We Need a Wildfire

In a wave of global movements that seems to be just getting started, people all across the United States are fighting back amidst deep economic, political, social, and ecological crises. Among other important movements and struggles around the world and the US, Occupy was a major breakthrough: it pointed a finger at the bad guys, brought people out to the streets, opened space to re-imagine what is possible, and pulled thousands of new people into what may very well be the beginning of a new social movement. What is possible now was unthinkable a few years ago.

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BUT THE CRISES WE FACE AND THE SYSTEMS THAT GAVE BIRTH TO THEM HAVEN’T GONE ANYWHERE, AND THE FIGHT IS STILL ON. 

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It’s going to take a hell of a lot to win back what’s being taken from us and even more to win the world we actually deserve. We need a movement, and movements need institutions to keep them going.

This new political generation needs what every successful movement throughout history has had: institutions that strengthen the new formations emerging from struggle, organizing that builds new bases and brings in new constituencies, training that deepens politics, sharpens skills, and builds groups. Even more, it needs structures to help groups and individuals  connect to one another across issue lines, prepare for the crises ahead, and cultivate the ability to go on the offensive to turn those coming crises into opportunities for collective liberation. It needs infrastructure that speaks its own language – the language of a new movement growing into itself.

IT NEEDS A WILDFIRE.

GroupLearningThe Wildfire Project meets a concrete need for training in a new and refreshed way, by using experiential methods to fuse deep political education with serious organizing training in long-term processes for groups in action.

We work primarily with groups emerging from real experiences of crisis – led by working people, people of color, women, queer people, and other oppressed groups – to fight in ways that threaten systems at their roots. We put our weight behind groups intervening in the major crises of our generation – the foreclosure crisis that rips families out of homes, the crisis students experience in the face of rising tuition and debt, the crises in communities caused by austerity policies, the climate crisis that threatens the planet, the crises caused by the mass incarceration of black and brown people, and more. We prioritize groups early in their stages of formation and those that truly need the support we can offer to meet their enormous potential.  In some cases, Wildfire even intervenes in crisis zones to support the development of new groups along these lines.

BUT WILDFIRE IS MORE THAN TRAINING. WILDFIRE IS MOVEMENT BUILDING.

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The challenge is greater than preparing individuals and groups to fight back. The real point is to connect those groups to one another – to break issue silos, share experience and resources, find common goals and targets, and lay the foundation for a network of front-line groups fighting together for social, political, economic, and ecological justice in the United States and the world.

Yes. It’s big. The crises are deep, the systems that birthed them are powerful, and the challenge is great. But we are confident.

WE CALL IT WILDFIRE BECAUSE THAT MOVEMENT IS ALREADY OUT THERE, BUSY BEING BORN: ALL IT NEEDS IS A SPARK.