Global Grassroots Movements and Organizations

climate_drum at Forward on Climate March Washington 2013

[This is a list I’ve been compiling of global grassroots movements and organizations on the progressive spectrum. How do we get these millions of activists into a dialogue, to find common ground and a common narrative about the global transformation we so urgently need? Another world is possible if a global Movement of movements can emerge which seeks it. Could a global dialogue website help this process along, or is it too early? I’ll publish a second list of global think-tanks and media after this. Further suggestions for inclusion welcome.]

Global Grassroots Democratic Movements and Organizations (No Parties!) 2014-2015


TOTAL movement organisations: 108

Of which: Transnational 31, Europe 16, North America 22, Asia 12, South America 8, Africa 6, Middle East 7, Australasia 4

Other: 28, Media: 33

Total movement organisations, foundations, institutes, think tanks, media: 169

(Note: No parties, mainstream trade unions, big NGOs (except FOE and AMARC) or lobby groups were included as they are all hierarchical, bureaucratic machines that are largely part of the problem. No national sections or member groups of international federations were listed (except the Landless Peoples Movement in Africa). Some group descriptions have been left in their original languages. Groups marked with an * are those I personally would focus on initially in terms of reaching as broad a progressive spectrum as possible and as many of the global south and non-Anglophone as possible. We need a few people speaking Spanish and Portuguese for a start. I read French and am bilingually German, but that’s about it.)

Global Organisations/Federations [31]

*Democraciarealya International (grew out of Spanish #15 M movement, cf. Take the Square)

*Take the Square (international network, with participants from all over the world, organized to establish a global network of citizen activism based on the #15M ideals; goal is to get over local determinations to become a movement with truly global roots, in the fight against global problems, to give global alternatives and solutions) [Cf. its ideas at the end of this list]

Other Worlds (women-driven education and movement-building collaborative; inspires hope and knowledge that another world is possible, and helps build it; brings to light political, economic, social, and environmental alternatives that are flourishing throughout the world, and helps the public throughout the Americas open up new pathways to adapt and replicate them; supports global movements propelling the alternatives)

*Third World Network International (international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, developing countries and North-South affairs based in Penang, Malaysia, and Geneva)

Food Not Bombs (over 100 autonomous chapters on all continents)

Attac (International movement with national sections working against neo-liberal globalization and towards global social, democratic and ecological alternatives)

Our World Is Not For Sale (international network of associated groups and movements fighting the current model of corporate globalization embodied in global trading system)

International Organisation for a Participatory Society (participatory socialist org)

Migrants Rights International (non-governmental organization and federation of migrants’ and migrants’ rights organizations, trade unions and faith-based groups within the various global regions promoting and defending the human rights of migrants at local, national, regional or international levels)

*La Via Campesina (international movement of peasant and rural people, 150 million peasants in 60 countries)

Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International)

Cultural Survival (US, global advocacy for indigenous rights)

*Transition Network (global re-localisation and local resilience network, end 2014 there were 462 initiatives officially registered in 43 countries)

350. org (global climate change alliance of 300 global orgs, based in US)

*Climate Justice Now! (global network of 37 climate justice activist orgs)

Oilwatch International (network of resistance to oil activities in tropical countries; members in over fifty countries around the world; national and regional networks in Asia and Africa and also organisations in the global North to support its activities; coordinated from offices in Nigeria and Ecuador)

*Rising Tide (international grassroots network of groups and individuals on four continents who organize locally, promote community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change)

World Rainforest Movement (part of a global movement for social change that aims at ensuring social justice, the respect of human rights and environmental conservation; works to secure the lands and livelihoods of forest peoples and supports their efforts to defend the forests)

Friends of the Earth International (autonomous federations in many countries)

The Rules (global activist group based in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Rio)

War Resisters International (global pacifist, anti-militarist network with over 80 affiliated groups in 40 countries, founded in 1921)

Women in Black (global network of anti-militarist women)

International of Anarchist Federations (anarchist global federation since 1968 of ten national federations in Europe and Argentina)

*International Workers Association (anarcho-syndicalist International since 1922, with sections in ten European countries, Brazil, Argentina and Australia)

Industrial Workers of the World (old anarcho-syndicalist federation since 1905, branches in Europe, North America, Australia and Taiwan) (cooperation site between 22 ‘platformist’ anarchist groups in Europe, North and South America, South Africa, Australia)

Squat!net (provides websites, email, mailing lists for squatters and related projects re squatting, housing rights and land struggles, support in seven languages)

*International Alliance of Inhabitants (global network of associations and social movements of inhabitants, cooperatives, communities, tenants, house owners, homeless, slum dwellers, indigenous populations and people from working class neighbourhoods; objective is the construction of another possible world starting from the achievement of housing and city rights)

*NoVox (global network of grassroots social movements and organizations of ‘deprived peoples’ – from work, from housing, from legal residence, from earnings etc.; linked to World Social Forum)

Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition (21 global member orgs, initiative of public interest civil society organizations and international social movements, including peasants, fisherfolk, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, and food and agricultural workers)

World Social Forum/Forum Social Mundial and regional Social Forums

*Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS: intercontinental network connecting social and solidarity economy networks throughout the world; a network of networks, it brings together continental networks, that in turn bring together national and sectoral networks; believes in importance of global solidarity in order to build and strengthen an economy that puts people and planet front and center; organizes global forums every four years and is a nexus for learning, information sharing and collaboration)

Europe [16]

*Agora99 (grassroots activists ‘European meeting on Debt, Rights, Democracy’)

*Democracia Real Ya! (Spain, federation of 200 groups initiating #15M movement)

Ecologistas en Accion (federation of 300 eco-activist groups, Spain)

Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (anti-eviction movement, Spain)

Mondragon Cooperative (world’s largest producer cooperative, Spain)

Cooperativa Integral Catalana (Catalan Integral Cooperative, Spain)

Yesca (organización juvenil castellana y combative; un espacio de lucha para la juventud revolucionaria de nuestra tierra, Spain)

Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT, confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labour unions affiliated with the IWA, Spain)

Kommuja (Egalitarian Commune Federation, Germany)

Nyeleni (European Food Sovereignty movement)

European Water Movement (network for recognition of water as a commons and as fundamental universal right, against water privatisation and commodification, for communal management of water via democratic participation of citizens and of workers)
London Coalition Against Poverty (coalition of solidarity and direct action groups around issues of housing, wages and benefits)

Alliance for Green Socialism (UK)

Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation, SAC – Syndikalisterna (Syndicalist trade union federation, Sweden)

Syndikalistiska Ungdomsförbundet (SUF, youth-based anarcho-syndicalist federation in Sweden that supports independent working class struggle) (small self-managed factory, Greece)

Asia [12]

Karnataka State Farmers Association (KRRS India, Gandhian peasant movement, 10 million members)

*Navdanya (women-centred network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 17 states in India, has helped set up 111 community seed banks across the country, trained over 5,000,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped set up the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country)

Nayakrishi Andolon (Bangla Deshi New Agricultural Movement, farming communities practicing biodiversity-based ecological agriculture, 65,000 families)

*Bangla Desh Krishok Federation (peasant movement org for food sovereignty and social change)

Community-based Biodiversity Management South Asia (CBM-SA) Programme (conservation for livelihoods programme implemented in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, works towards making resource poor farming communities more resilient to the impacts climate change)

Pakistan Action Network (network of overseas Pakistanis working to promote democracy, human rights and social justice in Pakistan and within overseas Pakistani communities, based in Vancouver, Canada)

Sri Lanka Democracy Forum (a global network of human rights and democracy activists committed to promote democratisation and inter-ethnic co-existence in Sri Lanka, based in London)

South Asian Progressive Action Collective (‘Chicago-based organization that developed out of a common desire for a forum to take up progressive issues pertinent to South Asia and the Diaspora through direct action, creative expression, and discussion’)

*Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977)

Hong Kong Federation of Students

Nihon Seikatsu Kyodo Kumiai Rengokai (Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union, world’s largest consumer cooperative)

Thai Climate Justice Working Group

North America [22]

*Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (US alliance of grassroots organizations building a ‘popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world, supporting each other’s local struggles and collaborating with international allies who share our vision and commitment to building a transformative social justice movement beyond borders’)

Popular Resistance (resource and information clearinghouse seeking to ‘aid in bringing movements for peace, justice, economic fairness and environmental protection together into an independent, nonviolent and diverse movement that can end the power of concentrated wealth, shift power to the people and put human needs before corporate greed’)

Occupy Wall Street (now operated by Occupy Solidarity Network, New York City)

Occu-Evolve (‘Hub of thought, info, action focussed on evolving OWS movement in NYC’)

*InterOccupy (seeks to foster communication between individuals, Working Groups and local General Assemblies, across the movement, in the spirit of the Occupy Movement and general assemblies)

*US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (100 member workplaces)

BlueGreen Alliance (14 million member alliance, US)

International Labor Rights Forum (org advocating for global working poor, US)

Federation of Egalitarian Communes (US)

Global Exchange (human rights/social justice org, US)

Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly (open space for voices on left, Canada)

The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (committed to uniting the poor across color lines as the leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty, US)

Seattle Solidarity Network (direct action network standing up for working people’s rights, linked to numerous other solidarity networks in many US towns and cities)

Organization for a Free Society (participatory socialist organization, US)

Left Roots (activists engaged in mass organizing committed to developing the skills necessary to ‘formulate, evaluate and carry out strategy to build twenty-first century socialism’, US)

Nonviolence International (decentralised network of NV resource centres, US)

System Change Not Climate Change (eco-socialist coalition, US)

Global Justice Ecology Project (eco-activist group, US)

*Peaceful Uprising (revolutionary climate justice collective, US)

Idle No More (indigenous movement for peaceful revolution to honour indigenous sovereignty and protect land and water, Canada)

Indigenous Environmental Network (US)

Tar Sands Blockade (‘coalition of affected Texas and Oklahoma residents and climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline’)

South America [8]

*Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (landless workers’ movement, 1.5 million members, Brazil)

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto (urban shackdwellers’ movement, Brazil)

Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement, arising out of WSF, Brazil)

*EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army, about 3000 members and militia, Chiapas, Mexico)

*Consejo Indigena Popular de Oaxaca ‘Ricardo Flores Magon’ (CIPO-RFM, non-violent direct democratic action group of 26 indigenous rural communities, c. 2000 activists, Oaxaca, Mexico)

Yo Soy 132 (student Occupy movement, Mexico)

Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales (National Assembly of the Environmentally Affected, Mexico: espacio vivo de encuentro de todos los barrios, pueblos, comunidades, organizaciones y movimientos que a lo largo de los últimos años, tanto en el campo como en la ciudad, hemos luchado contra el proceso de degradación, destrucción y despojo de nuestras aguas, aires, suelos, bosques, biodiversidad, semillas, salud y convivencia)

Confederación de Estudiantes de Chile (CONFECH, National Student Confederation, Chile)

Africa [6]

*NO REDD in Africa Network (collective of African organizations and individuals that oppose REDD/carbon trading and see it as false solution to Climate Change, in 15 African countries)

*Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM, libertarian shack-dwellers movement, South Africa)

Landless Peoples Movement (rural and urban shack dwellers’ movement, affiliated with Via Campesina, South Africa)

*The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign (direct action, anti-authoritarian umbrella movement of poor and oppressed communities in Cape Town, South Africa)

Solidarité Maroc

Mamfakinch (‘site d’information citoyen géré par un collectif de blogueurs et d’activistes Marocains’)

Middle East [7]

*Peace Now (Israel)

New Profile (feminist women and men working to demilitarize Israeli society)

Combatants for Peace (Israeli and Palestinian ex-combatants advocating and educating for non-violent struggle in Israel and Palestine)

Anarchists Against The Wall (Israel)

Unity (Ahdut/Wihda: anarchist org in Israel/Occupied Palestine)

*Alternative Information Center (joint Palestinian-Israeli org promoting justice, equality, peace)

Jordanian Anarchists

Australasia [4]

Lock the Gate Alliance (anti-fracking direct action, farmers and environmentalists, Australia)

Brisbane Solidarity Network (anarcho-syndicalist union initiative, Australia)

Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network

Wellington Solidarity Network (New Zealand, linked to US, UK and Australian solidarity networks)

~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on February 3, 2015.

5 Responses to “Global Grassroots Movements and Organizations”

  1. Wow, thanks for taking the first step, and a big one. I have a list of smaller NAmerican groups involved in climate struggle that could be thrown in.

    Yesterday I saw a piece on the upcoming World Social Forum (in Tunisia once again) and started thinking about possible reasons that effort never coalesced into actual mobilization and resistance. I think the first one was in 2003 and yet through all that dialogue I don’t think anti-capitalist language could ever be agreed upon. Thoughts? Because I dread having to spend years going over basic arguments. That’s why I appreciated IOPS.

    • I don’t reckon it’s the anti-capitalist language they can’t agree on, it’s the same shit since eternity that no-one seems to agree on, where we are going? It ain’t what needs to be done anymore, it’s where the frig are we going? Our damaged selves, and I agree with you Dave about all that, are quite happy to eek out any existence we can before the inevitable. The Bageant phenomena. The Appalachian underclass will die before they listen to any pinko commo lesso queero for advice. Their story of hardship and poverty is THEIR story, so piss off. There’s autonomy for ya. They, and actually most, ain’t budging for anyone unless the left can show some real direction, some workable achievable replacement. Until then, parties like Syriza, PSUV and others offer the easier path – easier to understand and join with less reading and learning to be done.

      Anarchists are always seen as wishy washy compared to the other, Marxist type mobs, yet it is the wishy washy who tend to come up with “visions” while the other mob, not prone to cooking in the utopian kitchen, just continually argue about theory and democratic centralism (while others quietly build a party of sorts (Left Unity) off to the side), yet paradoxically, the wishy washy don’t really like “vision” at all other than vague idealistic notions that impress no-one who isn’t a member of the radical left choir, while Marx sits on a hill admiring the Paris commune and dreaming about how the future could be. Go figure.

      Maybe a global common website will bring people together and some common direction will evolve. IOPS brought people together and died in the arse. It’s small things you know, like leaving the lid off the toothpaste all the time that cause splits. Solidarity in diversity is easy to say but much harder to do. All inclusiveness has a smell about it. There needs to be a large tolerance for dissonance, for chaos and uncertainty. There needs to be hard robust arguments and disagreements but no splitting off. Kind of like “doing a Hitchens”. He didn’t want to see the world rid of religion, much to Dawkins’ dismay, because he liked arguing with the buggers. Entertainment. The left needs to inject more entertainment into its veins. After all, many activists and single issue projects and others may just be doing what they are doing, not just to save the world because they care so much more than the rest of “us”, bless their little hearts, but because they friggin’ enjoy it. Like a vocation. They’re good at it. What am I good at? You? Everyone?

      That’s why I do enjoy Brand getting on board. He pisses people off, particularly the well read, been around for ages traditionally embedded hardcore types, annoying, ordinary, funny, entertaining and just relentless.

      But still, the call should be for Where not What.

  2. you would think that with so many groups already fed up with capitalism, it wouldn’t be such a big leap recognizing the necessity for another system…yet there is !
    so many single issues with progressives…can’t see the forest for the trees…

  3. sure sounds to me like we’re fucked…like there is no other solution but to eek out your best case scenario before the inevitable…
    i had high hopes for iops…with the values based institutions that basically corralled the worst behaviors and promoted the best…but human egos are very self-righteous, and like you say…they’ll let the planet perish before they’ll read and learn how they have more in common with those “others” than they’ll ever have with their rulers…
    but there’s no way to implement a better system if people won’t even listen or read about options…
    and there are sooo many reasons/excuses…
    too busy keeping their head above water…
    or their faith in their god & religion…
    or their single issues….
    or they’ve made a career of pointing out how fucked we are, preaching to the choir… but offering no valid solutions…just bandaid reforms…

    just what options do the youth have except a crap shoot…?
    get an education and work for who…doing what…???
    your lofty ideals will not put a roof over your head or pay off your loans…
    ah…the elite seem to cover all the bases don’t they…
    profit off anything and everything…
    do we really do kids any favors by opening their eyes to the inequity/injustices in the world ?
    we say “don’t be a bully” but promote values of a system built on bullying…
    continuing to watch the maligning of the arts…while administrations implement the rote, mind-numbing, core subjects to force on and test an ever more resentful youth…comply or get punished… when they see thru the hypocrisy and call you on your shit, they get punished for it…
    and they wonder why humans have mental health issues…kids cut themselves, do drugs, join gangs…follow football, sports, celebrities…but don’t read…

    simmering, simmering….has to boil over sooner or later…fewer and fewer outlets…such wasted potential…so damaged…

    no viable recourse…well, no “acceptable” ones anyway….

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