Lisa Fithian is an anti-racist organizer who has worked for justice since the 1970s. Using creative, strategic, nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, she has won many battles and trained tens of thousands of people while participating in a range of movements and mobilizations, including Occupy Wall Street, anti-WTO and corporate globalization protests all over the world, the climate justice movement, and more. She is the author of Shut It Down: Stories From a Fierce, Loving Resistance and lives in Austin, TX.
By Lisa Fithian, Resilience.org
During the process of writing my book Shut It Down, I have been learning what it means to truly love and accept myself, knowing that I am enough just the way I am. Sometimes this just means knowing what I am feeling, needing, and wanting and being gentle with myself. From all of my learnings, I am hopeful. Here again, complexity science informs my understanding—we are amazing, complex beings made up of many systems that are always interacting and changing.
By Starhawk, Lisa Fithian, Alliance of Community Trainers (ACT)
A mask and a lack of clear expectations create a perfect opening for those who do not have the best interests of the movement at heart, for agents and provocateurs who can never be held to account. As well, the fear of provocateurs itself sows suspicion and undercuts our ability to openly organize and grow. A framework of strategic nonviolent direct action makes it easy to reject provocation. We know what we’ve agreed to—and anyone urging other courses of action can be reminded of those agreements or rejected. We hold one another accountable not by force or control, ours or the systems, but by the power of our united opinion and our willingness to stand behind, speak for, and act to defend our agreements.