The Politics & Principles of LA COiL

Prefigurative Struggle


We envision a different world is possible because that imagination is healing and liberating, and also so we can start building that future now, inside our movements. We embed that future in our work today so our struggles and collective spaces can start sowing the seeds of that vision. Practicing that vision now creates our capacity to be ready each time we find ourselves in moments of major upheaval. When we’re ready for those sparks, it is more likely those moments can lead to massive changes towards a liberated society.

Intersectional Analysis & Unbreakapartable Struggle


Intersectional analysis is necessary, but not sufficient. Cemscawship (COiL acronym for intersecting oppressions, hyperlink to definition) will be dismantled through unbreakapartable struggles - drawing from the strategies of many movements for freedom and liberation. We look for creative ways of dismantling all oppressions even while engaging specific struggles around a certain form of oppression.

Horizontalism


We see horizontalism as both a leadership development practice and a commitment to the potential of our movements to grow big enough to challenge state power.

Throwing power back - We practice being “leaderful”, a model of leadership that’s rooted in creating deep mutual relationships that value newness as well as experience. We undo hierarchy by supporting people’s deep development, especially people with marginalized identities, to be movement actors. This is a wayof prefiguring the future we want: a world without exploitative hierarchies and domination.

Spreadability - We prioritize campaigns, strategic locations of work and forms of organization that have potential to spread like wildfire. We want to be ready for those brief moments in history when everyday people see potential for large scale change. We can not create scale through our own efforts, but we can plant seeds and be ready for those moments by practicing strategies and tactics that are easy for people to take up and run with.

Dual Power


We are committed to both challenging repressive forces (dismantling power) AND building prefigurative alternatives that have the potential to replace oppressive institutions (making power). We experiment with radical reform campaigns that create consciousness, improve people’s lives now and plants seeds for a reorganized future. Coordinated with radical reform campaigns, we create opportunities for people to gain the skills and experiences needed to meet people’s daily needs in alignment with our values.

Mind/Body/Spirit


We do this transformational political work as whole human beings, not machines or non-feeling bodies. We attempt to weave healing from individual and community traumas into all our spaces. We strive for our collective spaces of political work to be spaces that actually heal us, not contribute to further trauma. This is rooted in an understanding that doing transformational organizing work requires a commitment to personal transformation.

Experimentation


We are excited to experiment, be creative and take risks in our work. Letting go is an important organizing tool – we resist attachment to certain prescriptive forms of organizing. However, we root this experimentation with methods of historical materialism, the practice of learning from both positive and negative examples in history. We are attempting to stand on the shoulders of past work through a commitment to understanding and analyzing history. We understand that each action we take has a reaction, and that reaction in turn transforms our current situation, requiring further analysis, reflection and creation of new ideas and actions.

Reflections
Cemscawship
WTF Happened In The 20th Century?!
A Liberatory Vision
What We Value & Envision
South Africa
1871 Paris Commune
DMSC Sex Workers Union Kolkata, India
The Politics & Principles of LA COiL
A Clear Vision Means We Do Our Work Differently
Making an Intersectional Analysis Central
Anti-Colonialism: A ‘Manly’ Fight?
War an Answer For Violence Against Women?
The Limitations of Intersectionality without Unbreakapartable Struggle #metoo
The Limitations of Intersectionality without Unbreakapartable Struggle DREAMERs
My Struggle is Your Struggle
Pedro Lemebel: A Gay Communist from Chile
Garment Workers Center
2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina
Intersectionality in Action
Combahee River Collective
Students Deserve: LAUSD students lead the fight against a racist and classist school system
Orange County Immigrant Youth United (OCIYU)
The Limitations of Intersectionality without Unbreakapartable Struggle
Horizontalism and a New Kind of Leadership
Ella Baker
Non-Hierarchy in Practice
Non-Hierarchy and Power
Zapatistas
Growing Our Work
The Horizontalist Movement We Build Can Build Power
COiL Reflections on Emergent Strategy