local community or neighborhood-level campaign

LOCAL COMMUNITY OR NEIGHBORHOOD-LEVEL CAMPAIGN. This tag is not primarily about scale of the activity — whether participation was geographically widespread or localized. There might be a national campaign with very limited organizational strength and in which participation was primarily in one locality — but in some countries if that "locality" is the capital, the national campaign still might win. This tag is primarily about the nature of the goal and the targeted opponent. A campaign that seeks to drive the drug trade out of a particular neighborhood, or prevent a super-highway from coming through the center of a town, or prevent the dumping of toxic waste in a community, gets this tag. The purpose of the tag enables readers especially interested in community organizing, also called "grassroots organizing," to locate campaigns whose goals and/or opponents are local, even if the local goals and targets also have wider implications.

Puerto Ricans expel United States Navy from Culebra Island, 1970-1974

 

In 1970, Puerto Rico was a non-sovereign territory of the United States. Its residents were U.S. citizens but could not vote in presidential elections, nor did they have political representation in the U.S. Congress, although they could serve and be drafted in the U.S. armed forces. At the beginning of the 20th century, the U.S. Navy eliminated the principal town on the island of Culebra and evicted its residents so that a marine base could be built. In 1941, President Roosevelt claimed exclusive rights to the air space above Culebra as well as a three-mile wide radius around the island.

Bishnoi villagers sacrifice lives to save trees, 1730

 

The Bishnoi faith is a religious offshoot of Hinduism founded on 29 principles, most of which promote environmental stewardship. Bishnois strictly forbid the harming of trees and animals. The religion was founded by Guru Maharaj Jambaji in 1485 AD in the Marwar (Jodhpur) desert region of western Rajasthan, India. Jambaji witnessed the incessant clear-cutting of trees during times of drought to feed animals, only to see them die eventually as the drought continued.

Kumaon villagers campaign against British forest regulations, 1916-1921

 

From 1916 to 1921, villagers in Kumaon in northern India set hundreds of forest fires to protest the colonial British state’s increasing regulations of the natural environment.

Love Canal residents campaign for clean environment, New York, USA, 1978-1980

 

In 1894, William T. Love started construction on a power canal in an area outside of Niagara Falls in upstate New York. Although the canal was never completed, the neighborhood of Love Canal was born and soon became a locus of major chemical companies. In 1942, Hooker Chemical Company began dumping chemical waste into the abandoned canal. Through 1953, Hooker Chemical dumped 21,000 tons of chemical waste, including sludge, fly ash, and chlorinated hydrocarbon residues.

Community members campaign for integration of Girard College in Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1965-68

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)
 

Stephen Girard (1750 – 1831), the well known Philadelphia merchant and banker, bequeathed a large sum of money to be used in the founding of Girard College, a boarding school for orphaned youth between the ages of six and ten. The school was established in 1848 on forty acres of farmland north of Philadelphia. Stephen Girard stipulated in his will that the school would only be open to “fatherless” white boys.

Sindh Hari Committee struggles for land rights, 2009

 

The villagers of Goth Muhammad Issa Khaskheli have lived on and farmed their village for the past fifty years, in Sanghar, Sindh, Pakistan. In 2003, a nearby feudal lord, Varyaam Faqir, began encroaching upon their land, despite the fact that they held documented ownership from the Pakistani government. Over a period of years, he began threatening the villagers and forcing them into working in his fields for free.

Irish republican prisoners campaign for special status, 1976—1981

 

Hunger strikes have a long history in Ireland dating back to the medieval periods when Cealachan, a method of gaining justice for some perceived offense through starvation, was codified in the civil code called the Senchus Mor. This starvation tactic, whereby the victim fasted on the doorstep of their wrongdoer, could be used to settle or recover a debt, or address an injustice – the threat lay in that if the complainant was allowed to die on the defendant’s doorstep, that person would be held responsible for the death and the victim’s family.

Hondurans in Tacamiche resist eviction by Chiquita Banana company, 1994-1997

 

In response to labor strikes on banana plantations throughout the country, which were a result of a large drop in wages for plantation workers, Chiquita Brands International closed its plantation in Tacamiche and three other farms in June of 1994 due to their heightened involvement in the strikes. The closure was not only devastating to the strike, which soon after conceded to a pay increase, which due to inflation was far below the amount from before the strike, but also for the people living on the plantations.

Chicago activists challenge segregation (Chicago Freedom Movement), USA, 1965-1967

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)
 

In 1962, in response to growing recognition of de facto segregation of public schools and housing availability, the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) was founded in Chicago. This council included the Chicago Urban League, the Chicago NAACP, and the Woodlawn Organization. CCCO elected Albert (Al) Raby, a local teacher, to organize and convene the group. In 1965, Mr. Raby invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to tour Chicago and witness the spatial segregation of this northern city.

Philadelphians campaign for a casino-free city, 2006-2010

 

Seeking extra tax revenue to bolster a struggling state budget, the United States state of Pennsylvania passed a bill in 2004 authorizing casinos in the state. The bill, Act 71, legalized the construction of 15 new casinos in the state, two of which would be chosen from among five proposals in the city of Philadelphia. The location, size, management, and other details remained open-ended. As the permitting process began, Philadelphia community members voiced concern to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) about the intrusion of casinos into their neighborhoods.

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