What Makes Us Move?

The Movements of Movements, Part 1

Our world today is not only a world in crisis but also a world in profound movement, with increasingly large numbers of people joining or forming movements, at local, national, transnational, and global levels. The dazzling diversity of ideas and experiences recorded in this collection capture something of the fluidity within movements and campaigns for a more just and equitable planet. Taking internationalism seriously but without tired dogmas, this book provides a bracing window into many of the central ideas to have emerged from within popular struggles and movements across the world during 2006-2010. The essays in this book cross borders to look at the politics of caste, class, gender, religion, and indigeneity, and move from the local to the global.

What Makes Us Move?, the first of two volumes, provides a background and foundation for understanding the extraordinary range of uprisings around the world that have taken place over this past decade: Such as Tahrir Square in Egypt, Occupy in North America, the indignad@s in Spain, Gezi Park in Turkey, and so many others. Starting with structurally different perspectives on the earthscape of emerging movement, it draws on the rich reflection that took place following the huge wave of creative direct actions that had preceded it, from the 1990s through to the early 2000s, including the Zapatistas in Mexico, the Battle of Seattle in the United States, and the accompanying formations such as Peoples’ Global Action and the World Social Forum.

As a whole, and especially when taken together with the second volume titled Rethinking Our Dance, this book – and this project - attempts to be a space where such movements can speak to one another, and exchange ideas; where multidirectional and transcommunal conversations can open up, both between and across movements and also between movements and readers, and where it becomes possible for all to begin to perceive and comprehend the nature, vastness, and richness of the universe of movement in our times.

Edited by Jai Sen, and conceived by him and his saathis / compas in CACIM and OpenWord in India and with inputs from fellow-series editor the late Peter Waterman, this book will be of interest to all who work for justice and for egalitarian social change and with respect for Mother Earth—be they in universities, schools, parties, trade unions, social organisations and movements, religious organisations, or the media; or in government or corporations.

The contributors to the book are activists and scholar-activists from all over the world, South and North. They include: Taiaiake Alfred, Tariq Ali, Daniel Bensaïd, Hee-Yeon Cho, Ashok Choudhary, Lee Cormie, Jeff Corntassel, Laurence Cox, Guillermo Delgado-P, Andre Drainville, David Featherstone, Christopher Gunderson, Emilie Hayes, the late François Houtart, the late Fouad Kalouche, Alex Khasnabish, Xochitl Leyva Solano, Roma Malik, David McNally, Roel Meijer, Eric Mielants, Peter North, Shailja Patel, Emir Sader, Andrea Smith, Anand Teltumbde, James Toth, Virginia Vargas, and the late Peter Waterman.

We pay our respects here to all the contributors who have walked on: the late François Houtart, the late Fouad Kalouche, and the late Peter Waterman.

Within the book, we attempt to recognise and warmly acknowledge the many different inputs we got that helped make the book; here, we would like to specially recognise the role of the late Jim Coflin in finally bringing together all the material and artwork in one place, towards publishing the book; and of all those at PM Press who published the book in the US, in collaboration with OpenWord, and at AuthorsUpfront who then brought this book out in India, together with PM Press and OpenWord.

Take a look also at Part 2, Rethinking Our Dance! The two Parts of The Movements of Movements were conceived together and dance with each other – and ideally, can and should be read and enjoyed side by side.