George Lakey

George Lakey is Visiting Professor at Swarthmore College and a Quaker. He has led 1,500 workshops on five continents and led activist projects on local, national, and international levels. Among many other books and articles, he is author of “Strategizing for a Living Revolution” in David Solnit’s book Globalize Liberation (City Lights, 2004). His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in and most recent was with Earth Quaker Action Team while protesting mountain top removal coal mining. E-mail: glakey1@swarthmore.edu

Articles by this author

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Friday, August 14, 2015 - 7:00am
When the Next Crisis Comes, Which Movements Will Seize the Opportunity?
You, too, could be caught in a situation where people are ready for an alternative, yet your group has none to offer. It’s understandable. We who work for change seem years away from convincing a critical mass of people that it is both stupid and wrong to have a school-to-prison pipeline, or a rate...
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Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 8:45am
Four Lessons from Iceland and Greece for Movements Fighting Austerity
After dining on cod on July 7, European leaders representing the economic elites went back to work figuring out how to run over the Greek majority in Europe’s first democracy. The serving of cod, presumably from Iceland, is ironic considering that it was the Icelanders who six years ago defied...
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 8:30am
Americans Must Go on the Offensive or Risk Losing Ground
Both Bernie Sanders and the national campaign to raise the minimum wage are sounding a wake-up call for all progressive Americans, especially those trying to save public education. Both are breaking out of the choke-hold the economic elite has on our country’s imagination. Bernie Sanders calls for...
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Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 2:45pm
How a Small Quaker Group Forced PNC Bank to Stop Financing Mountaintop Removal
After five years of action by Earth Quaker Action Team, PNC Bank announced a shift in its policy on March 2 that will effectively cease its financing of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. This marks a major turnaround for the nation’s seventh largest bank, which for years refused to...
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 12:18pm
A Revolution Comes in Stages — Occupy or Otherwise
All of us hold an idea about how progressive change might happen, whether or not we spell it out explicitly. For some it’s an elaboration of grassroots alternative-building, for others it starts with flooding legislators with advocacy. One way or another, we all have one.
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Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 12:10pm
People of Cyprus: Follow the Vikings!
When the banks of the Sweden, Norway and Iceland went out of control, the people refused to bail them out, and the economies of all three countries were the better for it.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 2:30pm
I Pledge Allegiance... To Resist the Pipeline
One of the hardest things in the world is, if I may borrow a biblical phrase, to read the signs of the times.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 8:57am
How to Create a Multi-Level Movement for Climate Justice
The more we hear calls for the urgency of climate justice like that of Bill McKibben’s July Rolling Stone article , the more we confront a strategic dilemma: Where shall we put our energy, on the local or national level?
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Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 3:43pm
Did the Norwegians Have a Revolution?
For the better part of a century, some visionaries have been trying to break out of the dominant belief that there are only two means of forcing change: reform through elections and revolution through violence. The rigidity of that binary choice still strangles thinking today.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 1:57pm
The Right to Self-Defense
We have a moral right to defend ourselves against violation; there’s no doubt in my mind about that. Persons and groups have boundaries for a reason, and integrity generally requires that we defend them. Gandhi said that this is an obligation that trumped his call to experiment with nonviolent action; if you can’t think of a way to defend yourself nonviolently, he said, use violence.
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