So, yet another school shooting followed by outrage and the familiar call for change. The ugly truth is that we are all the problem, even those of us who don't own guns and who want #guncontrol. We're the problem we because we're too passive. We demand far too little of ourselves as citizens of a supposed democratic republic - by the people, for the people, we've been content to watch passively as "our" government, proves ineffectual at solving problems. Voting and typing isn't enough. #directaction

A vegetable garden planted in the center courtyard of an apartment complex
Community garden in courtyard of apartment complex, Memphis, 1993.

If we want change, be it gun control, addressing climate collapse, protecting abortion rights, confronting white supremacy, we're going to have to get out of our houses and off our couches. The movements are all there, but we all need to help build community power via local activism: co-ops, elections, clinic escorting, protests, ultimately, we probably need to organize a #generalstrike and shut down the whole thing. Real direct action not complaining via keyboards.

We need real, face-to-face community building and development of relationships. It's messy, difficult, and hard. Sometimes it amounts to very little. Sometimes it changes lives. Little changes, big changes. But if we don't start making the efforts we can be sure that we will fail. But if we get out there and try, experiment, fail, learn, fail again, but keep building. I don't see any other way. Waiting for broken government is just letting others do what they want with our lives.

People working in garden rows together
Community Garden, Kirksville, MO, 1991

Some examples that I've seen or been a part of: Bike co-op (fixing donated bikes, teaching repair skills to kids, #recycling, transport), #Housingcoop (shared housing fostering community, shared resources, #mutualaid, economical), community gardens (learning how to grow food, mutual aid, time spent together, food production), #community tool library (sharing resources), community free schools/libraries. Almost any local business can be built as a co-op. #communitybuilding via potluck meals