Actually, the confusion stems from our lack of understanding of the difference between mobilizing and organizing work. The difference between the two is fundamental. Mobilizing work is focused on bringing people together to bring awareness around a specific issue and/or problem. Typically, events like rallies, marches, town hall type meetings, testimonials, etc., are hallmark events for mobilizing efforts because all of these events have one common theme. People are galvanized to come out to a specific event. The event happens, and once its over, there is nothing to bind the attendees to any future work and/or follow up. Think about it. When you attend marches you often see the same people each time, but you have no common agenda and/or plan with any of them. You don't even know for sure if they will be there each time until you see them because there is usually very little coordinated communication in between these events of that nature. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an effective mobilizer. And there is nothing wrong with mobilization work. Its very necessary and valuable because it helps bring consciousness to a problem. In fact, most of us entered this work through some level of mobilization work so there is no criticism of mobilization here. Some of the most prolific events in our movement have been mobilization activities like the March on Washington which attracted over 250,000 people or both Million Man Marches and the Million Women March which attracted millions. The attraction of people to these events, as well as the local marches taking place everywhere are opportunities to further inform and radicalize people to the core contradictions of this system because these events specialize in bringing people together who otherwise would have no connection to one another. Consequently, it gives people the opportunity to expose new people to new ideas which is a cornerstone to building consciousness in any society. So, hopefully, it is clear that nothing ever written here is intended to serve as a "you must do this and not that or you are problematic!" I've said it many times that any work is better than no work and our great African patriot Ahmed Sekou Ture correctly stated that "bad organization is always better than none!"
Still, it is important to understand the difference between mobilization and organization work. Since mobilization work is focused on events and galvanizing people for those events, organizational work uses events to galvanize people for future work and activities. African Liberation Day is an example of an organizing event. Our focus for African Liberation Day all over the world is to encourage African people to join the All African People's Revolutionary Party or some organization working for justice. Every year, our theme is centered around a commitment to this message and anyone familiar with our party knows that to be our central statement. That's true because we are consistent with that message and if you sign up with us for more information, you will receive a phone call and follow up work to try and get you involved in future activities beyond African Liberation Day. In fact, when we pass you an African Liberation Day post card, poster, etc., we aren't even all that concerned that you come to the event. Our real focus is to get you to follow up on the principles displayed in the event. I've recruited many people into the party over the years who I met handing them flyers to events they didn't even attend. I struck up a conversation with them and once it was established that they have an interest in participating in our liberation struggle I get their contact information and follow up with them to have further, more advanced, discussions. Eventually, there is an ask for them to get permanently involved. I have recruited people into the All African People's Revolutionary Party who have gone forward from this initial process to become outstanding and committed cadre within our party. Some have even enhanced that commitment by moving to Africa to continue that work for the party there. Some have left the party, but gone on to other organizations where they make their contribution. All of this is wonderful because the objective behind organizational work is to build capacity to engage our enemies - the capitalist system - on an ongoing and consistent basis for the protracted struggle we know we have in store for ourselves. We know we cannot have revolution without revolutionaries and we also know the process of creating revolutionaries takes time, patience, love, and commitment. That's why I can tell you that I've probably spent about 60% of my time in the All African People's Revolutionary Party engaged with people for this one on one work I'm describing here because that's the core work that must be done.
So, possibly, one productive way to look at it is mobilization work is an introduction for people into the movement and organizational work is the way people engage the work to build struggle institutions. So obviously, based on that example, both methods are important and valuable. The problem I expressed in the last article that I think many people are missing is that practically everyone who is involved on any level right now is involved specifically in mobilization work. There are very few practical organizing efforts where sustainable work is taking place. And this is true while mobilizers, confused about this question, call themselves organizers despite the fact they have never engaged in any work to build any institutions for struggle. We know there is confusion about all of this because most of the folks doing mobilizing work are not involved in organizations. They just show up and some of them have been doing that for so long they mistakenly believe they are organizing. You are not. You are showing up. Its not a criticism, but can you imagine the police just showing up everyday with no plan, no training, no vision. Clearly, the police have a plan. Clearly they have a vision. You don't kill and lock up millions of people as they have without a plan being in place. You could actually say the police are the very bottom of a plan that includes corporations, media, political structures, and government agencies, working hand in hand to achieve their objective of profitability. And, since this backward system is based on exploiting Africa to maintain profitability, that means the masses of African people must remain oppressed. That requires the type of systemic organization that you have seen over the last 500+ years. And, you expect to beat that system by relying on an arbitrary process of just showing up? That's my point. So, you can do mobilization work, but you must be in an organization that requires you to take your mobilization efforts to a higher level beyond just showing up. That's my message. All organizers have to have an organization. There is no such thing as an organizer without an organization because individuals cannot build institutions by themselves.
So, have your rallies and marches, but realize that if that's all most of us are doing and most of those folks are not in organizations, we are not building capacity to defeat the problem. We are continually locked in a cycle of responding to the problem. Organizing work is connected to the type of work I described in the last article. That will move us to victory when all cylinders are clicking. Not 90% doing mobilization work, five percent doing nothing and the other five percent attempting to organize while our enemies are 100% organized. Can we at least get a commitment to aim for at least a 70% mobilization, 30% organization split? At least for now?