Community Organizing: The Power of People

Power of People

Community organizing is the coming together of individuals within a community who are concerned about certain issues that affect the welfare of that community. They join forces to create a change. By uniting their forces, these members will generate a stronger power to bring about the desired change. Through the process of community organizing, people are able to promote civic engagement and give their support to lasting solutions that will take care of the problems faced by their community.


Freedom is definitely a hard-won thing that every generation must win again if they are to keep it. This craving for freedom and betterment must come from the heart of those who choose to become a part of a community organization. It is, after all, a self-interest driven movement that does not refrain from speaking its mind and seeking what it wants from the very leaders of society and other powerful bodies. There is strength in numbers, and that is one of the factors community organizers depend on to get want they want.


The Power of Self-Interest


While some may argue that the tactics used by community organizers are too confrontational, and that their demands are too self-centered, they would possibly in return point out that those are same characteristics that drive political parties. As far as they are concerned, they act on behalf of the weak and oppressed, the same people who are exploited by the government and the powerful - why then should they use any other tactic?


Community groups unite forces to break the backs of the powerful. Their unrelenting demands usually force the powerful to take heed and listen to them, as they sense the level of power that this group can further generate. The group relies on this power to give them the advantage, and therefore they spend time building their memberships. History points to the labor movements that sought better treatment, better wages and better working conditions for oppressed workers. This led to the desired effects where powerful employers, threatened by the sheer power displayed by the charged and united workers and other organization members, would agree to meet with them and work out a deal.


Other examples include the protests of community organizations against the government's attempts/practice of using its power to disregard community rights in order to benefit corporations. This is where the community organization waged a full protest against the government and corporate powers. One such incident saw the institution of the first rights-based municipal laws that stopped corporations from totally dominating agriculture through factory farming, and also placed a ban on the waste dumping practices of corporations which they used to do in municipal jurisdictions.


Self-Interest is not all Bad


When community organizations realize a wrong is being committed or is about to be committed against people, it has the right to act in the interest of those people. People power has long been a practice that has brought about change by breaking the heavy handed tactics of the powers that be. Community organizing is all about the people speaking out for the people.


Helena Breit is an independent home community researcher. She enjoys sharing his insights on various property and community websites. Visit the Copperfield website where you can find out more information on Calgary townhomes.

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