The Progressive Movements Commons

Resistance is Not Futile – It is Essential

The Progressive Movements Commons

A cornucopia of information for progressive individuals and movements  Challenging the Right-Wing Backlash
Notes about this website and its policies
Visit Common Dreams for “News and Views for the Progressive Community”

Top Taps Table of Contents
What Does a Social Movement Need to Succeed?

Slideshow for your
Skeptical friends:
How Trump’s Rhetoric
Fueled a Bigoted Right-Wing Juggernaut of White Nationalism, Heteropatriachy, & Repression (offsite)

Watch this video
with your When Democracy Works video boxfamily
then talk about what’s going on in Washington, DC


 Up Front – Our Spotlight On a Great Resource

Author Sarah Jaffe Talks Activism!
in an ongoing series titled
Interviews for Resistance

It’s a syndicated series of interviews with
organizers, agitators and troublemakers,
available twice weekly as text and podcast.
You can subscribe on iTunes!

Dozens of thoughtful and challenging previous interviews are online here.

When Democracy Works video box

Featured Video

When Democracy Works
Made in 1997 — it’s still as Current as the
Election of Donald Trump
You Will Want to Read This Soonest!
‘Social Self-Defense’: Protecting People and Planet
Against Trump and Trumpism
by Jeremy Brecher
See Previous Must Reads!

 Groups, Organizations, Websites

Key Sources for Challenging Trumpism

Reliable Media: No More Fake News!

Search or Browse a Curated List of
250 Reliable Websites
from progressive, liberal, and civil liberties organizations

Selected Reliable Progressive Media:

Public Interest Journalism


Special Interest Commercial Media

Organizations and Groups by Topic

Democracy and Human Rights

American Promise
–Set reasonable election spending limits
Amnesty International USA
–Defending Prisoners of Conscience
–An equal say and an equal chance for all
Facing History and Ourselves
–Resources for Teaching about Genocides
Open Democracy
–Global Information Network
People for the American Way
–For a diverse democratic society

Peace & Antiwar

Civil Liberties
Why should progressives support civil liberties and free speech for all?

Sustainability and
Environmental Protection

Other Reliable Progressive Groups

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Black Lives Matter
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Media & Democracy
Center for New Community
Changelab / Scot Nakagawa’s Race Files Blog
Class Matters
Color of Change
Day Laborer Organizing Network
Domestic Workers Alliance
Guestworkers’ Alliance
Movimiento Cosecha
Highlander Research and Education Center
Institute for Southern Studies
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Move On
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Children’s Advocacy Center
— Multiple State & Local Affiliates
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
National Lawyers Guild
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

National Organization for Women
National Urban Indian Family Coalition
Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress
Our Revolution
People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
Political Research Associates

Race Forward / Colorlines
South Asian Americans Leading Together
Southeast Asian Freedom Network
Spirit House Project
Showing Up for Racial Justice
United for a Fair Economy
United for Peace & Justice
US Human Rights Network (Member Groups)
Working America
Working Families Party
Zinn Education Project:  People’s History

Regional & State


United Nations

Global Sustainable Development Goals 
What are Human Rights? 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Urgent Care:
A Section on Safety and Security

→ A more extensive set of resources is curated at
Political Research Associate

Defending Our Civil Liberties:

U.S. Constitution: Amendment I.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Click above to read a lot more about what it means

Remember: The First Amendments protects ideas,
but not actions that break laws
♥ Why should progressives support civil liberties and free speech for all?
When libertarians are our strategic or tactical allies! {in the queue}

Jump to list of civil liberties groups

Movement Building

The Basics

When movement leaders create a coherent and persuasive interrelated package linking a group’s Ideology, Frames, and Narratives it helps build powerful social movements on the Left and Right

Visualize an Online Resource Hub for folks interested in building human rights, civil liberties, civil rights, and progressive movements; and it maintains bibliographies, and an extensive glossary of terms
 < click me!

Race, Gender, Class – try to separate them
and you help build systems of oppression.

Is Organizing Enough? Race, Gender, and Union Culture by Bill Fletcher Jr., Institute for Policy Studies and Richard W. Hurd, Cornell University

Race, Gender, and “Essentialism”
Thoughtful analysis from Colette Guillaumin, 1995. from her book Racism, Sexism, Power and Ideology. London: Routledge.

Consider Using the “Building Human Rights” Framework as an Inclusive Umbrella Concept for Outreach and Coalition Building

Organizing to Block Trump’s Plans

Start with this excellent slideshow from Organizing Upgrade
Post-Election Slideshow

Then Read:
‘Social Self-Defense’: Protecting People and Planet
Against Trump and Trumpism by Jeremy Brecher

Research Resources

Extensive Glossary of Terms

Housed and edited at the
Social Movement Study Network website

An example:
Systems of oppression: Forms of oppression that have become embedded in social systems, structures, and institutions in a society.
— See Racial oppression, Gender oppression, and Class oppression.
— See also: Institutional racism, Institutional sexism, Institutional homophobia, Institutional classism, Institutional xenophobia

Strategic Rhetoric for Progressives

Avoid “Violent Radicalization”
—WHY? “Radicalization” deals with the relative position of ideas and ideologies while “Violence” is an act. Thus the term “Violent Radicalization” undermines First Amendment guarantees of free speech, and masks the wave of surveillance and political repression being carried out by US government. Avoid using the term “Radicalization” in a pejorative sense in the current political climate.
Avoid “Extremism” Replace with (The Target) and (The Act or Methodology)
—Examples: Racist Terror, Sexist Rhetoric, Islamophobic Articles, Antisemitic Posts. Homophobic Assault, Stigmatizing the Disabled, Stereotyping Mexicans
—WHY? “Extremism” is a term used to deligitimize any ideas outside the political Center; and to suggest systems of oppression are something we all do not need to confront.
Avoid “Hate Crimes” Replace with “Bias Crimes” or “Ethnoviolence.”
—WHY? Because most of us tend to think those people that “hate” are not like us, and so we do not confront our own–often unconscious–complicity in existing systems of oppression.

How Trump uses the rhetorical Tools of Fear:
Systems of oppression in the United States are fueled by Prejudice, Bigotry,  Supremacism, and Ethnonationalism which create fear and anxiety about losing power and privilege in a society under stress

How does Trump’s rhetoric of “Scripted Violence” work?

Best Websites for Researching & Challenging Right-Wing Movements

Since 1981
Political Research Associates
The Premiere Progressive Website for Studying
Right-Wing Movements and Institutions
Home Page
Public Eye Magazine

Read Stories Exposed by
The Center for Media and Democracy
Using Investigative Journalism

Major Focus Sections
Special Investigative Projects

Koch exposed (Koch Brothers & Koch Industries)
ALEC exposed (American Legislative Council
SPN exposed (State Policy Network)
Trump Exposed

Major Sections

Business Chambers (US Chamber of Commerce)

Right Web:
Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Scholar Bob Altemeyer
Donald Trump and Authoritarian Followers
Authoritarianism & the Tea Party Movement

People for the American Way: Right-Wing Watch

Invaluable Collection of Lists of Right-Wing
Organizations  –  People  –  Topics  –  Reports

American United for Separation of Church and State

Southern Poverty Law Center
Most extensive and reliable information on the
Ultra-Right, especially White Supremacists, Misogynists, Antisemites, Islamophobes, and Homophobes

Center for Right-Wing Studies
University of California at Berkeley has a huge physical archive

Right-Wing Populism in America
Online excerpts and many expanded resources from the book by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons  that predicted the Tea Party and Trump

Small Populism Chart

Click to Enlarge this nifty chart on
Right-Wing Populism and the “Producerist” Narrative”

Building Human Rights Network

(Currently Under Construction but with topical search)

Major Introductory Overview of:
The Ideological Roots of the Republican Party and its Shift to the Right in the 2016 Election

To successfully counter Trumpism, progressive organizers and organizations need to expose the ideologies behind the Trump campaign, and also show how they are rooted in
“mainstream” US society.

White Nationalism
Christian Nationalism

This study is by Alex DiBranco and Chip Berlet who are busy writing a chapter on this for Routledge Press,
so please respect the copyright.

Coming Soon:

  • Rugged Individualism  {in the queue}
  • Aggressive Militarism
  • Planetary Resource Exploitation

White Nationalism, Right-Wing Populism, and Fascism

A slideshow originally created for Showing  Up for Racial Justice by Chip Berlet – May 16, 2017
This link takes you to a slightly revised version
based on feedback from a panel of experts.


Chip Berlet’s
Reading List: ‘Trump, Populism, and White Nationalism

on the WorldCat website. These are the books I frequently refer to when researching right-wing politics in the US. I am working on smaller topical lists as requested by you pests.

A slightly out of date but nifty
Searchable database of books 
about right-wing reality

by critics, scholars, and participants —-
Developed for the Political Research Associates library


At Organizing Upgrade

At Research for Progress

     Trump, Populist Rhetoric, and Fascism (pre-election)
Charts & Diagrams


Training Guide Track

Under Construction by Strelnicov & Friends at
Research for Progress

Resources for Defending
Democracy and Human Rights

The FAQ Files:
The Truth is Filed Here

What are the Different Sectors of the US Right?
A Chart from Political Research Associates

Under Construction  and {in the queue}

Armed Citizens Militias
“Cultural Marxism”
Right-Wing Populism
As  a precursor feature of Fascism
— Core elements
——Producerist White Nationalism
——Demonization & Scapegoating
——Apocalyptic Narratives & Millennial Visions
—The Sucker Punch of Right-Wing Populism
Right-Wing Movements & Groups
Key Institutions and Think Tanks
Cato Institute
Heritage Foundation
—Patriot Movement
——Tea Party Movement
——John Birch Society
——Oath Keepers *
——Sovereign Citizens *
—Conspiracism on the Right
——Key Targets
———Saul Alinsky
———Democrats & Liberals
———LGBTQ Community
———Obama linked to Hitler & Stalin
———Voter Fraud
———Welfare Recipients
Tools of Fear
White Nationalism
—as Ideology
—White Supremacy *
——as Ideology
——as Organized Movement *
———Ku Klux Klan Groups*
———NeoNazi Movements *

*Often intersecting with Ultra-Right
***Part of the Ultra-Right

Citizen Journalism Training

Citizen Journalism Training Home Page

Other Training Websites

On Radical Copy Editing by Alex Kapitan

Chip Berlet’s Resource Stash

Research for Progress Website & Blog

What are the Tools of Fear Used by Trump?
From Bigotry to Scapegoating to Violence

How Organized Wealth Keeps Screwing U.S.
A Slightly Snarky History of the 1%

Given the trends we are facing, all of us who want to defend human rights and democracy have to fight on four fronts. We must organize against:

  • The rise of reactionary populism, nativism, & fascism with roots in White supremacy, xenophobia,  Islamophobia, antisemitism, conspiracist subversion myths, and the many mutating offspring of the Freemason/Jewish banker conspiracy theories.
  • Theocracy and other anti–democratic forms of religious fundamentalism, around the world, which in the US is based in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant with its subtexts of elitist hierarchy, patriarchy and heterosexual privilege.
  • Authoritarian state actions in the form of militarism and interventionism abroad and government repression and erosion of civil liberties at home.
  • The antidemocratic pillaging by the greedster elites of organized wealth and rapacious multinational capital (neoliberalism) with their attack on the standard of living of working people around the globe.

The Tools of Fear & Systems of Oppression

Systems of Oppression
in the United States
that are fueled by prejudiced ideas,
and which generate acts of discrimination and violence

Religious Triumphalism
(and many more)

Forms of Discrimination:
Actions and Attitudes that create Systems of Oppression

Individual — i.e. person to person

Structural (defacto) — i.e. within kinship, family, and/or societal structures.

Systemic (defacto) — i.e. political systems (social democracy, fascism), economic systems

Institutional (defacto)  —  i.e. Fox News, Tea Parties, John Birch Society, Heritage Foundation, Free Congress Foundation

Legal (dejure) — i.e. Courts, Police, Parole officers, FBI, etc.

These can occur singly or in combinations.

* defacto: discrimination enforced as a matter of fact without being tied to a specific law, and sometimes illegal.
* dejure: discrimination enforced by being tied to a specific law.

Note that the First Amendment protects prejudice in the form of ideas without necessarily being tied to concrete acts, unless these acts break an existing law.
Prejudice is Ideas — Discrimination is Acts
The First Amendment protects Ideas

Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill:
How Coded Rhetoric by Demagogues
Incites Scripted Violence Against Scapegoats
by Chip Berlet

A New Inclusive Formula

+ Power
= Oppression

This simple formula allows us to discuss
 interrelated  “Systems of Oppression”
that keep us apart
but also explore the intesectionality
that could unite us into a powerful movement
for justice, democracy, and human rights.

Favorite Hoax Quote

Mussolini Said What?
The Hoax Quote on Corporatism

Seek Peace
Nurture Nature
Challenge Oppression
Build Human Rights
Defend Democracy
Demand Justice
Resist Repression

Notes on this website and its policies

This website features progressive organizations and tends to avoid links to Inside-the-Beltway groups, with overly close ties to the Democratic Party or mainstream liberal organizations, because of their lurch to right in terms of ideologies, analysis, and action plans since the 1970s.

There are hundreds of progressive organizations and movements across the US. This page is a small curated collection of links that highlights only a few of them.

Not listed here are progressive groups that offer training for a fee, many of which are excellent. However free online resource materials from these groups are linked when appropriate. We generally do not link to information behind a pay wall.

This website was originally developed in 2008 as part of a set of webtools demonstration sites as a way to urge progressive movements to build collaborative online resources to fight the right. It is currently is curated by Chip Berlet. In 2018 it will be turned over to a consortium of progressive organizations who will curate it in a collaborative manner.