Changing the world, together

Grassroots Gathering lunch

The struggle to change the world has always brought together different movements and communities, deepening their efforts and creating an ‘ecology of knowledges’ that goes far beyond official ways of seeing the world.

In Ireland, 1990s projects like the magazine An Caorthann: the Rowan Tree and the Ireland from below gathering fed into the wider networking process that came to be the  ‘movement of movements’ in Ireland, particularly in the Grassroots Gatherings and the Seomra Spraoi social centre, developing in parallel with direct action campaigns like the struggle against Shell in Erris, resistance forcing the cancellation of the 2003 World Economic Forum‘s planned “European Competitiveness Summit”, and the Dublin Grassroots Network’s protest for an alternative Europe at the 2004 EU summit in Dublin, analysed here.

Out of some of these experiences, in dialogue with the longer experience of working-class community organising in Ireland, came the Maynooth MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism, a ‘masterclass in changing the world’. There’s a short overview of the course for activists available here and a video with students and staff here.

Lastly here is an appreciation of Interface co-editor Peter Waterman (1936-2017), much of whose life was dedicated to making the connections between different movements, in the form of “social movement unionism” and the “global justice and solidarity movement”.