On Eve of Recalls, WEAC Turns to Alinsky Disciples For Community Organizing Help

MacIver News Service | March 15, 2012

[Madison, Wisconsin] Gearing up for increased political activism on the cusp of a campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker, the State’s teachers’ union is being guided by the philosophy of radical leftist Saul Alinsky, the MacIver News Service has learned.

On Friday and Saturday WEAC is sponsoring community organizing training seminars put on by the Industrial Areas Foundation.

The IAF is a leftist community organizing network established in 1940 by Saul Alinsky. Alinsky, author of the book Rules for Radicals, remains a controversial political figure many years after his death. Opposed to many of the bloody revolutionary strategies supported by his fellow radicals, Alinsky was guided by a neo-Marxist philosophy that promoted infiltration and gradualism over violent confrontation.

“A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists,” Alinsky wrote. “From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage — the political paradise of communism.”

According to a website promoting the WEAC training, “The workshop will provide an overview of key concepts and critical components essential to building strong locals and connecting those locals into a broad based organization necessary to create power. Special emphasis will be placed on the identification of leaders and the creation of local allies necessary to effect change at both the local community and state levels. Participants should expect a practical interactive opportunity to learn and help shape the future organizing work of WEAC and other like-minded organizations in our state.”

The topics to be covered in the workshop are:

  • Creating a Culture of Organizing
  • Mapping the External World…the why, what and how of doing a power analysis
  • Practice examples from Chicago, New York, and New White House Group
  • Bureaucratic/Maintenance Organizations vs. Broad Based Relational Organizing
  • How to Initiate Action/s Relationally
  • What kind of leaders will it take?
  • Identifying the talent, making the offer

The workshops will be conducted by Mike Gecan, co-director of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, and Tom Mosgaller, IAF’s Wisconsin based Organizer.

TheIAF”s initiatives include universal health care, massive increases in the minimum wage and open borders.

Alinsky died in 1972 but the IAF continues to grow. The organization boasts: “The living reality of the IAF is overwhelmingly present in the 59 IAF affiliates functioning in 21 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.”

Their Wisconsin affiliate is Common Ground in Milwaukee.