Atlanta, Georgia is a city in a forest. The neighborhoods and the woods wind around and through each other like so many rips and eddies in the creeks beneath the streets. In southeast Atlanta, a battle over the forest, the city, and, many contend, the world has been escalating for the past two years. Specifically in dispute is a 420+ acre portion of forest split by Intrenchment Creek, a vein of the South River Watershed.
If you want to learn how to blow up pipelines, you would do better to read about the movement to Defend the Atlanta Forest or the French struggle to stop construction of a massive water reservoir in Sainte-Soline (which has also featured sabotage emerging from the matrix of a mass movement), or the occupation of the town of Lützerath in Germany to stop the expansion of a coal mine, or the dozens of actions taking place monthly by land and water protectors in Mexico, to give only a few possible examples.
The new unionists think in terms of the organizing drives of the mid- to late-1930s, a near-centurys worth of hind-gazing. Its a perspective that interferes with their ability to act in the here-and-now, a perspective that misses opportunities to reimagine what a union can accomplish. This was the case for the part-time faculty (adjuncts) union at Rutgers University in New Jersey, whose strike recently ended in a major victory. A lucky, and to some extent unanticipated, confluence of factors helped win the clash with management.
A little over a year ago, I attended a virtual conference called the Nudges in Health Care Symposium. For the uninitiated, the term nudging refers to the practice, via various mechanisms, of deliberately altering an individuals choices, structuring her so-called choice architecture without her awareness. In doing so, it is intended as a way to allow individuals to make decisions that benefit them that they otherwise might not have made.