“Strategy & Soul” with Daniel Hunter (Mon 21 Jan)

January 18, 2013 by combehavendefenders


WHEN: 7.45pm – 10pm, Monday 21 January 2013
WHEN: Friends Meeting House, 5 South Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1SA

Combe Haven Defenders and Peace News are proud to be co-hosting this event with US trainer and author Daniel Hunter. A story of “ordinary” people taking on big money, big business, and local politicians whose motives are not entirely pure … we suspect there may be lessons for local campaigns here in the UK!

Highly recommended.


Daniel Hunter has done trainings on strategy and conflict transformation with various ethnic minorities in Burma/Myanmar, pastors in Sierra Leone, Naga activists in India, environmentalists in Australia and Indonesian religious leaders. In addition, he has worked with a range of labor, religious, peace & justice and activist organizations in the United States and Canada.


Due to be published in February, Daniel Hunter’s “Strategy & Soul” reveals how strategy is built in real campaigns, not the step-by-step logic of a traditional how-to book, but in the crucible of a fiery campaign.

The book follows the single largest expansion of casino slot parlors in American history – snuck through without debate in the wee hours of July 4th weekend, 2004, backed by the casino-backed Governor and the State Legislature of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, most citizens thought this was a lamentable decision, but reluctantly accepted political pundits’ prescription that this was an unavoidable “done deal.”

But at a kitchen table in West Philly, Jethro Heiko and author Daniel Hunter decided to fight it, only vaguely aware this would pit them against powerful city and state politicians, a corrupted judiciary, and two casinos backed by billionaires. This is the story of their bare-knuckles organizing to stop the building of these unpopular riverfront casinos, rooted in their experiences as a community organizer and direct action trainers.

Full of vivid detail and passion, the narrative follows the growth of the movement, offering rare insight into how social movements feel, move, and grow – the highs of gathering 27,000 signatures in the coldest weeks of winter to force City Council’s hand, the lows of being slapped down by the highest court in the state, and the challenge to develop a strategic response involving 15,000 participants in direct action.

Spanning three years, this roller coaster ride follows a feisty underfunded group of citizens standing up to tens of millions of opposition dollars. This book introduces readers to teachers, retirees, programmers, and other ordinary citizens as they navigate the small but crucial moments that make or break movements: treacherous dances with hostile reporters; blundering as casino money successfully splits neighborhoods; facing down private investigators, threats to have their offices destroyed, and physical attacks.

In an age of stifling politics, this book offers real-life strategy of fighting hostile politicians and corporations. It brings a fresh perspective on grassroots tactics when lobbying, marches, and rallies fail. It overflows with a wealth of fresh tactics to build people power: public filibusters, citizen’s document searches, window washing, practice site occupations, shadow elections, and more.

It does more than merely recount the successful story of citizens who stopped one $650 million casino and reduced another to a mere third its size. It lays bare the strategic techniques to recruit, organize and engage citizenry in direct action. Ultimately it’s about giving hope to disbelieving citizens that we can fight and win on the issues we care about – even when the powers that be do everything to smother opposition.

For more background info see www.strategyandsoul.org

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