“Thank you for calling Direct Action Services, how may I direct your call?”

“Yeah, hi, can I talk to Joe in, uh, the grassroots department?”

“Would that be Grassroots Organizing, Grassroots Mobilizing or Grassroots Development?”

“Uh, the grassroots department.”

“Well, I’d need to know which section….Joe, you say.”


“I don’t think we have anyone by that name.”

“That’s right. The grassroots section.”

“I’m sorry?”

“What? Uh, he just started yesterday, maybe he’s not in your system there yet.”

“I doubt that. What’s his last name?”

“Last name?”


“I don’t know, he didn’t say. Just Joe.”

“Just Joe?”

“Yeah, just Joe.”

“Just Joe, as in Justin Joe?”

“Justin Joe?”

“Yes, there’s a Justin Joe. He’s new here. He’s in Mobilizing. He started yesterday.”

“In the grassroots department?”

“Yes, Grassroots Mobilizing.”

“As opposed to?”

“As opposed to Grassroots Organizing, or Development.”

“There’s a difference?”

“A difference?”

“Yeah, a difference?”

“Well, yes! First you organize – get to know people, the community, whatever. Organize meetings. Organize public lectures, things like that. Hand out leaflets, put up posters. Talk to people. Listen to them. Organize. It’s your basic step one.

Mobilizing means moving people into action. Moving them – making them mobile – mobilizing. Move people into action, into the movement, as we like to say. You can mobilize at any time, but it works better if you organize first. Doesn’t always happen. Of course you can mobilize a community first and organize afterwards – but you’ve got to have the commitment to follow up. Doesn’t always happen.

“Development’s what you do at any point after you’ve successfully organized. It can range from routine check-in meetings to advanced skills sharing, conflict resolution training, active listening workshops, that kind of thing – developing. Towards a better stage of development. The better developed, the better the mobilization. The better the mobilization, the sooner the revolution. The sooner the revolution, the better.”

“Right on. Justin Joe, in mobilizing, please.”

“Transferring your call.”




Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *