Peaceful Uprising is excited to present C o R R --Communities of Resilient Resistance--a collaborative resource to build a just and healthy world which starts in each of our communities. The idea arose through many conversations with activists around the nation about starting PeaceUp chapters. However, we hesitated to follow a conventional NGO chapters model. Not only do we lack the capacity or interest to take charge of new chapters, but more importantly, we believe that community starts from within, and sharing powerful ideas can inspire a healthier diversity of decentralized, uniquely organized communities.
So, we got to work distilling what we've learned through 3 years of organizing and activism. This site represents a starting point sourced from our community in Salt Lake City, but we intend for many more voices to contribute! Whether you have links to more resources, great quotes or a personal narrative, we want to hear from you -- so take a look around, and if what you see excites you, please contact us about collaborating. We'd love to take any suggestions for content, and if you have lots to contribute, ask about settting up a contributor account!
Peaceful Uprising's Story
PeaceUp was founded in early 2009, very soon after Tim DeChristopher disrupted a federal oil and gas lease auction. The first public mention of an organization called Peaceful Uprising was made during a First Unitarian Church program in Salt Lake City on January 19th, 2009. The focus of the program: Is Civil Disobedience Morally Required in This Time? The name Peaceful Uprising came to Julianne Waters, one of our co-founders, in a dream.
In December 2008, when Tim walked into that BLM building, fed up with Protesting as Usual, he had no plan in mind -- just a desire to effectively stop the fossil fuel machine. And he did. Spontaneously and boldly outbidding Big Oil, he derailed the auction thereby bringing international attention to a federal agency illicitly rushing the sale of public lands. This caused a big stir around the world and particularly in Utah. Many folks in the community felt that the headlines and attention his action garnered were a clear indicator that the world was hungry for something more. A meeting was called. Various community leaders spoke. Tim responded, “It’s time to rush the field.”
In the beginning, PeaceUp organized around an understanding of two facts. First, that what the climate movement was doing at that time was not working. Second, that we didn't necessarily know what to do either, but we were ready to try a new approach. This understanding led to a group that was willing to experiment and evolve. For a year and a half, we worked with no formal structure or entity -- led by our hearts and our convictions. We became a formal organization, under a non-profit fiscal sponsor, with an Advisory Board and a set of ratified by-laws only when it became necessary to meet our needs. And always under the condition that protecting the institution of PeaceUp would NEVER take precedence over our commitment to Climate Justice.
PeaceUp is designed to meet the needs of our community and our movement. Our path has been guided by recognizing and responding to the movement’s needs for boldness, the needs of our community for empowerment, and individual needs for personal transformation.
Two defining aspects of PeaceUp are our willingness to experiment and our commitment to supporting people who take risks. PeaceUp Communities of Resilient Resistance (PeaceUp CoRR) is based on those two principles. We recognize that the movement needs bold innovation, and that only real grassroots efforts will break new ground. We also recognize that this movement is not about making whatever compromises are necessary to win a short-term victory in a small battle. Winning will take a radical paradigm shift, founded in a cohesive vision and an evolution of values and human consciousness.
What goes into to building a beloved radical community that is empowered to be both resistant to the status-quo and resilient to external shocks from deepening global economic recession and climate change?