George Lakey

George Lakey

screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_5.02.53_pm.pngGeorge Lakey is an activist sociologist and author who recently retired as professor at Swarthmore College. His most recent book is, "Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right and How We Can, Too"(Melville House, NY & London). He has led over 1500 social change workshops on five continents and led projects on local, national and international levels. His first time arrested was in the civil rights movement; recently he went to jail in the successful campaign to stop the nation's seventh largest bank from financing mountaintop removal coal mining. 

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017
How Do We Stop Trump and Win Gains in Justice and Equality?
As mass demonstrations against President Donald Trump's Muslim ban rocked airports across the United States last weekend and after a week of mass demonstrations against Trump's memo pushing for the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines, I asked George Lakey, an author and organizer with six decades...
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Februray 15, 2003: Tens of thousands of protesters marched in the streets of San Francisco to voice their opposition to war in Iraq in the largest global day of protest the world had ever seen. Views
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Why Campaigns, Not Protests, Get the Goods
After the election there will be many things to protest, no matter who wins. This is the time to figure out how to amplify our power and maximize the chance of winning victories. To do that, we can start by freeing up the energy devoted to one-off protests, rallies and demonstrations. When I look...
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Friday, March 18, 2016
How Empathy, Not Protest, Can Defeat Trump and Right-Wing Extremism
In Orson Scott Card’s great 1985 strategy novel “Ender’s Game,” a boy named Ender enters a training school where students learn skills for outwitting an opponent. They play computer games that become ever more challenging. The stakes in the training are high because their world is threatened by an...
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Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Using Momentum to Build a Stronger Movement
We always looked forward to the annual visit of Saul Alinsky when I taught at a small graduate school. Alinsky was the terror of city hall bosses everywhere, and he told us colorful stories from his organizing experience. Ours was the Martin Luther King School of Social Change. The students could...
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Sunday, February 07, 2016
What Role Were you Born to Play in Social Change?
Bill Moyer was a street-wise, working class white boy from rowhouse Philadelphia, who — in the turbulence of the 1960s — went to Chicago to work for an anti-racist housing campaign. He wound up joining Martin Luther King Jr.’s national staff as an organizer. I played tag football more than once...
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Friday, August 14, 2015
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 09, 2015
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
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 05, 2015
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 08, 2013
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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