Power Beyond Privilege is an attempt to set up an alternative and self-organised learning programme which will look at how current institutions and social relationships are oppressive and exploitative, so that we can explore how we might begin to transcend these harmful social relationships now – to the extent that we are able. We hope you will join to create a learning programme that will be fun, participatory, democratic, open, explorative, immersive and creative!
Internal study and participatory public learning can deepen our theory and analysis of exploitative and oppressive institutions and social relations of capitalism/classism, patriarchy/gender, heteronormativity/LGBTQ, able-ism, white supremacy/racism, environmental destruction, and the violent State that enforces them. This can help inform our strategies for change, hone our ability to rally in moments of crisis, and seek wider changes in the longer-term. For example, minority groups or women can find that their voices are not taken as seriously. Women, people of colour, working class people who have tried to participate in activism, community organising or youth work often report feeling that their voices are not taken as seriously as those of middle-class, educated males.
By understanding existing forms of oppression in a holistic way, understanding how those systems of oppression are inter woven, and are able to recreate, reinforce and defend one another, we can grow and develop different tendencies. Taking from feminism, anarchism, national liberation, and labour struggles, for example, we can bring these paths with us into our work of movement building from the ground-up.
The learning programme will explore questions such as, how can we:
- challenge dominant narratives
- create channels through which people can join more and more grassroots movements, community groups, and youth groups
- fight for concrete victories today, that meet people’s needs
- do social justice grassroots organising in a way that’s empowering and doesn’t lead to burn-outs
- seek to transform ourselves – and our social relationships – as we agitate and fight to transform institutions
If we want a radical transformation of the institutions that govern our lives and of the values that drive them, we must also work to transform ourselves, so that what we build does not replicate exploitative, oppressive, hierarchical social relationships. How can we overturn forms of oppression that inevitably arise in our very own organising circles, in our friend groups and in our social relationships? What are the available methods of overcoming internalised oppression and its manifestations within our organisation through internal group work?
We note that workshops may involve being open and vulnerable. So, we will try to organise some after-care group support of participants.
The Programme will be almost like a course that you might do at work or at university, but which is completely free of charge, and which we are all – in part – making up together (in a democratic and fun way!) as we go along.