Articles by George Lakey
Understanding Trump's Game Plan in Portland Could Be the Key to Preventing a Coup in November
George Lakey · Defeating Trump’s “law and order” strategy will mean creating a plan to win based on our strengths and his weaknesses.
As Coronavirus Opens the Door to Big Changes, the Left's Most Attractive Vision Faces Pushback
George Lakey · For many Americans, it’s time for a system change along the lines of the Nordic model. This has the political establishment deeply worried.
The World's Happiest People Already Have a Green New Deal, and They Love It
George Lakey · Green New Deal advocates in the United States should look to the Nordic countries for inspiration on how to overcome the 1 percent and address climate change.
How to Fight Fascism From a Position of Strength
George Lakey · The growth of white supremacy and fascism has been noticeable in a number of countries lately, prompting the question: What can we learn from each other? Each country might find “best practices” elsewhere that could be applied at home...
How to Take on Fascism Without Getting Played
George Lakey · In front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Howard Zinn Book Festival in San Francisco earlier this month, historian Mark Bray and I debated the value of using violence to quell the growth of neo-Nazis and white supremacists...
It's Time to Go on the Offensive Against Racism
George Lakey · When I read this in the morning paper, my heart stopped: Just 40 minutes away from me, the white mother of black children in New Jersey was repeatedly harassed via Facebook by a stranger, who told her that her children should be hung.
How to Build a Progressive Movement in a Polarized Country
George Lakey · Whether it’s assault rifles, racial justice, immigration or fossil fuels, the country is rocked by conflicting narratives and rising passions. In a recent national poll, 70 percent of Americans say the political divide is at least as...
Is Property Destruction an Effective Tactic? The Suffragette Movement Reveals Important Lessons for Today
George Lakey · “Suffragette” tells a gripping story drawn from the direct action wing of Britain’s woman suffrage movement. Because it spotlights one tactic – property destruction – the film raises the question of effectiveness. Leader Emmeline...
A Manual for a New Era of Direct Action
George Lakey · Movement manuals can be useful. Marty Oppenheimer and I found that out in 1964 when civil rights leaders were too busy to write a manual but wanted one. We wrote “A Manual for Direct Action” just in time for Mississippi Freedom Summer...
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’
George Lakey · While many of us work to create a better world, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example...
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
The Hopeful Thing About Our Ugly, Painful Polarization
George Lakey · Look to Norway and Sweden, where cooperative, socially democratic countries emerged after a frightening period of extreme polarization and social fracturing.
8 Ways to Defend Against Terror Nonviolently
George Lakey · One of my most popular courses at Swarthmore College focused on the challenge of how to defend against terrorism, nonviolently. Events now unfolding in France make our course more relevant than ever. (The syllabus was published in...
What Makes Effective White Allies? Training, Not shaming
George Lakey · It’s not a new idea to access training as a way to strengthen white people’s ability to be allies of people of color. In the 1970’s some of us brought to the world of direct action training a session designed to support everyone to move...