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.

University students campaign for racial integration in Charlotte, NC, 1960

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

During a period of five months in the spring of 1960, students and adults in Charlotte, North Carolina, participated in the sit-in movement to protest segregation. It was an attempt to end racial segregation in the public facilities in the city of Charlotte. The city government was the opposition.

St. Louis CORE campaign for lunch counter desegregation, 1948-52


In the 1950s, St. Louis, Missouri was a thriving city. However, African-Americans residents were forced to take low-skill jobs, sit in segregated theaters, and were refused service at downtown restaurants, cafeterias, and lunch counters. In 1947, The St. Louis chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a national group that aimed to practice the tactics of nonviolence against the oppressive forces of segregation, was formed.

Philadelphia Student Union protests school district privatization, 2001-2002


In 2001, the state of Pennsylvania started a process that eventually led to a full state takeover of the School District of Philadelphia. Governor Tom Ridge, followed by Governor Mark Schweiker, sought this takeover due to the dismal track record of the public schools in Philadelphia. With the takeover came the privatization of many of Philadelphia's lowest achieving schools. Edison Schools, Inc., a for-profit school management firm, eventually received a contract to run 20 schools in Philadelphia.

Polish bus workers defeat privatization, Kielce, 2007


In the southern Polish city of Kielce, in the late 2000s, a public bus company, MPK (Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne), employed around 630 people and ran 160 buses regularly in the city. For several years, the company had been struggling to survive. It had been put under a traffic planning authority, ZTM, which controlled business operations and pushed it into debt. Working conditions were also unfavorable: wages were low, bus schedules didn't allow drivers regular breaks, and it became difficult for the company to hire new employees.

Palestinians in Bil'in Protest Construction of Israeli Separation Barrier, 2005-2011


In an effort to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from entering its borders, the State of Israel began constructing a 425-mile separation barrier along its border with the West Bank in June 2002. The separation barrier, known to Israelis as the “Security Barrier” and to Palestinians as the “Apartheid Separation Wall”, extends beyond Israel’s internationally recognized borders and weaves through Palestinian territory, often cutting through Palestinian farmland and dividing villages.

Virginia Union University students campaign for desegregation in Richmond, USA, 1960

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

The students of Virginia Union University, a black university, wanted to do something to contribute to the growing sit-in movement that had begun on February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina (see “Greensboro, NC, students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960”). Led by students Frank Pinkston and Charles Sherrod, who had been counseled on nonviolent protest methods by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., more than 200 Virginia Union students and faculty marched from their campus to Richmond’s downtown shopping district on February 20, 1960.

Rock Hill, South Carolina, students sit-in for U.S. civil rights, 1960

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

In 1955, before the sit-in campaign in Rock Hill, South Carolina even began, Rock Hill’s St. Anne School desegregated in compliance with the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. In 1957, Rev. Cecil Ivory (who would later become a leader in the sit-in campaign), led a bus boycott that put the Rock Hill bus company out of business. Sit-ins elsewhere, including in nearby Charlotte (see “University students campaign for racial integration in Charlotte, NC, 1960”), helped start Rock Hill’s own sit-in campaign. Sit-in protests lasted throughout the entire year.

New Orleans citizens boycott for U.S. civil rights, 1960-61

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

In 1960, almost 40% of New Orleans' population was African American. The city's main shopping avenue was Canal Street, where all stores were white-owned, predominantly Christian, had segregated facilities, and didn't serve blacks at lunch counters. The second busiest shopping avenue was Dryades Street, where the stores were also white-owned, but store patrons were almost all black. Blacks could use the facilities, but were not employed in the stores aside from an occasional janitor.

New Yorkers attempt to prevent garden demolition (El Jardin de la Esperanza), 1999-2000


New York City is home to hundreds of community gardens spread throughout the city. Over the past 20 years, these gardens have served as green spaces in which community members can come together and share ideas, children can get to know the process of growing food and become familiar with the earth. However, in 1998, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani began allowing the demolition of community gardens around the city in favor of luxury apartment development.

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