At the end of a rough year, it’s a time to honor our losses, and to celebrate the possibility of good things ahead in 2021!
This year we lost our beloved, visionary Beautiful Solutions co-editor Elandria Williams. As we grieve this monumental loss, we are even more committed to sharing Elandria’s powerful and prophetic work. We invite you to join us in celebrating and honoring Elandria by continuing to grow the solutions E knew we needed, wherever you are.
Turnout, especially in polarized times like these, wins elections. The stakes in this election — whether we have a livable planet, whether kids are incarcerated in detention centers and, perhaps, whether we continue to have a functional democracy — are high. And when the stakes are this high, it’s time to get creative.
We are ready for YOU! The Resistance Hotline is a new take on a 1-800 support line offering training and nonviolent action planning to defend the integrity of our elections and build a strong progressive movement.
From fringe idea to law of the land — a look inside the creativity fueling the struggle to defund the police
“Defund the Police!” has moved from fringe idea to nearly law of the land so fast, pundits have motion sickness. It shows what can happen when progressive ideas are backed by true people power in a kind of “People’s Shock Doctrine.” (This phenomenon is an inversion of the “Shock Doctrine” that Naomi Klein observed, in which a traumatized population cedes control to corporate power in a moment of crisis.)
So how has all of this moved so quickly?
The Beautiful Trouble Training Network is almost three years old and has already conducted over 40 trainings for a variety of groups in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Led by people on the frontlines of injustice in these movements, the Network has been hugely supportive to a wide range of grassroots movements for social justice.
What can you learn about strategic creative nonviolent action in 90 minutes? If you said not much, you would be far off the mark! In this short amount of time, students at Loyola Marymount University went on a gallery walk through a museum of nonviolent direct action, shared best and worst action stories and their strategic implications, and dived into a whirlwind presentation of tactics, principles and action history.
Imagine taking the greatest movement victories of the last 100+ years and teasing out the core strategies and tactics that made them successful — then adding in the most contagious solutions people are working on today to make the transition to a just and sustainable society. That’d be a pretty great toolbox or two right there. Now imagine a deck of cards and an online gaming platform that allowed you to play with these ideas in different ways depending on the challenges you’re facing.
In a continued effort to get this information into the hands of troublemakers around the globe, Beautiful Trouble is available in seven languages (and counting!) Most of the foreign editions are initiated by local artist-activists and showcase the most creative social change efforts in each country.
On Wednesday, November 18th, the BTTN Hangout Live! series continued with Paris COP 21 artivistas and organizers.
The first BT TN HangOut, Live!, feat. the (sur)real Black Body Survival Guide took place Wed Aug 5th at 5 pm PT// 8pm EST.
This launched a BTTN LIVE! series showcasing the latest and greatest in creative action news from around the globe; & offer a platform for BT Trainers and allies to share current work and relay network info.
Are you a detail-oriented up-and-coming activist with a passion for social change, social media, and getting stuff done? Want to expand your skill-set and increase your organizing mojo? Here is an opportunity to work with a dynamic network of artist-activist changemakers as we continue to grow Beautiful Trouble.
Are you passionate about creative activism, social movements and Quickbooks? Are you a detail oriented, number-literate activist? Here is an opportunity to work with a network of creative changemakers as they build a more solid organizational foundation for either world domination or financial sustainability, whichever comes first.
Last week we reported on what turned out to be the inaugural gathering of the Beautiful Trouble Training Network. We promised a follow-up post to describe the new collective vision for the Network that is unfolding, and outline a potential path forward. Well, this is that post. But before we dive into our brave new future, a bit of back-story is essential.
Over Memorial Day weekend, 23 intrepid movement builders traveled by plane, train, automobile and bicycle (yes — bicycle! David Sievers from Avaaz rode his bike 14 miles from the train station) to the gorgeous Watershed Retreat Center in Millerton, New York for the first ever Beautiful Trouble Training for Trainers.
In early February, while on the train from Paris, members of the non-violent Basque action group Bizi devoured an early release copy of “Joyeux Bordel” (that’s French for Beautiful Trouble) that they had just picked up from the ATTAC France offices. Inspired, they thought up the action “requisition cityoenne” before they reached home in Bayonne.
“I don’t have the privilege of losing hope,” said Nabila Espanioly, a Palestinian feminist activist speaking on stage. “The urgency of action requires reflection to be more sustainable and effective.” In two breaths, Espanioly addressed two ongoing philosophic activism questions — How can we find hope in such troubling times? and How can we find time for thoughtful reflection amidst the chaos outside? — and poised herself as a beautiful troublemaker.