Last weekend I attended a non-violent direct action training that was put on by If Not Now, Never Again Action, and a new organization called Jews Against White Nationalism.
It was a really cool experience to be in the room with Jewish folks of all ages, from all over the country, some with differing political views who were ready to throw down and acquire new direct action skills together, as the #NewJewishLeft. It feels hard to summarize all of the things we covered, because there was so much content and so much of it seemed powerful, but below I’ll highlight the parts that stuck with me most:
HOW WE PLAN AND CONCEIVE ACTIONS
Points of intervention: This was a concept that was explained to us as a way to open up the way we think about planning actions. So often, we plan our actions at the point of decision- i.e. causing a disruption at the place where the destructive decisions are being made. We learned that there are tons of other ways to approach direct action by changing the point of intervention. Beautiful trouble has a ton of awesome resources that can help to diversify how and where we demonstrate our power through direct action. It was a great exercise to think through different issues and all the different ways to demonstrate power at different points in the process.
Tactic, Tone, Setting: As another exercise to open up the way we plan actions in new, creative ways, we did the tactic, tone, setting activity. Essentially, there were three piles of note cards. The first pile had a different setting on each card, i.e. grocery story, public library, carnival, the park, etc. The second pile had a different tactic on each card, i.e. mass disruption, sit in, die in, boycott, rally, political theater etc. The third had different tones on each card, i.e. serious, aggressive, sad, silly, etc. The challenge was to pick one card from each pile, and to use 5 minutes to plan and act out an action that fits the three criteria. This made for some really interesting action ideas, and challenged me to expand the way I approach what actions can look like. Also I laughed a lot when I watched a wedding officiated by Mike Pence, to celebrate the union of the republican party and white nationalism.
Bonus points if you can find me in this joyful group photo!Read more
Our friends and comrades at Bend the Arc, Carolina Jews for Justice, Jewish Community Action, Political Research Associates (& many more!) bring you an excellent resource.Read more
As I reflect on the past year, I am thinking about moments I felt closer to a higher power, when I felt as though I was praying with my feet. I think back to the day of July 31st, the second night of the Presidential Democratic debates in Detroit.Read more
I still remember the twinkle in Andy’s eye. It was early 2013 - I was working at the DIA and taking a coffee break with my old family friend. I’d recently moved home to Detroit after graduation from my tiny Quaker college, followed by several years making, learning, and teaching pottery. Conspiring over coffee, Andy Levin shared with me his vision for a robust social justice movement growing from the fertile earth of Congregation T’Chiyah, embodying our shared Reconstructionist values.Read more
This beautiful piece of art was created by DJJ Leader Hannah Lewis for the Wolfgang Awards Honorees. We want to share its powerful message with all of you as a new year’s offering.
I want to begin by sharing with you a question that has been keeping me up at night for weeks: how is it possible that the 1st ever Wolfgang Awards was scheduled one week before the High Holidays?!Read more
Missed the gala? Want to relive the magic? Check out the program book, beautifully designed by Shira Kresch!Read more
My name is Kendra (they/them) and I am so excited to be working with DJJ as part of my fellowship with Repair the World Detroit! I’m originally from Pontiac, MI and have spent the last four years living across North Carolina. I recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Jewish Studies and Sociology. While at UNC, I focused my research on the racialization of Jews and the experiences of Jews of color in Jewish institutions. In North Carolina, I was an active member of Carolina Jews for Justice (CJJ), and it seems fitting that in returning to Michigan, I can build on that experience and expand my community through DJJ.Read more
My name is Becca (she/her) and I am very excited to be joining this community as the DJJ intern for the next eight months.Read more