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The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World - Book 2

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Haga Que Pase - You Tube Audio
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yo se' co'mo es la vuelta

musica pal barrio

Why the Central Focus of the World Revolutionary Movement Must Be the Destruction of Racism
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MAKE IT HAPPEN - Click here for details!

The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World - Book 1
ISBO's first book: click here
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Mary Ann Shadd Cary
Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Fighter against Slavery and for Equality of Black and White, Men and Women

Yanga, Maroon Leader in Mexico

The International School for Bottom-up Organizing had its first international meeting in October, 2008 in Venezuela, met in Jamaica in 2009, and in Colombia in March, 2011. In 2012, we had an international session for two weeks in Jamaica, and Jamaican organizers visited the organizing projects in Colombia in September. We focus on creating and supporting organizing projects in the Americas. Our projects aim at building self-sufficient, egalitarian prototypes in communities of the most oppressed. Ours is an international struggle led by the poorest and darkest among us, especially women.

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We all need the same freedom and equality; we all have the same oppressors, worldwide: WE ARE ONE PEOPLE! We foresee a world in which the genius and creativity of humanity is unleashed, in which all humans share and share alike, whether in starvation or in plenty: in which we are free to love and truly take care of one another. We realize that the "haves" are a ruthless enemy who will stop at nothing to keep their power and resources, but we are confident that the unity and strength of the people will overcome all obstacles.

We welcome and need your input, ideas, criticisms and suggestions. Please contact us at

Support the Campesinos Uprising in Colombia!
Report from ISBO Conference Call

September 9, 2013

On September 3, ISBO held an international conference call at which we discussed the sudden mass movement in Colombia, with first-hand reports from participants. Notes from this conversation are below.

Colombian campesinos (small farmers) are leading a major protest movement that stretches to all corners of the country, with mass support from workers and students in the cities. The Colombian government has cracked down on demonstrators with brutal ferocity. Several people are dead and many are injured. News of massive peaceful demonstrations and their vicious suppression by police and army has been censored, both inside Colombia and in international news media.

[Note: To see for yourself what has been happening, the best place to go seems to be You Tube. Here is a link to a demonstration in Cali which was not attacked by police. The videographer chose to use music from Hage Que Pase, a group which has organizers trained by ISBO in it.]

Notes from ISBO conference call:

A Colombian organizer:
What's been happening in Colombia for the last 15 to 20 days is deeply rooted in history. Two weeks ago the campesinos (small farmers) decided to organize against the free trade agreement (FTA) the government signed with Obama early last spring. People came into the main highways in the countryside. They came because the FTA has caused so much pain in campesino lives. It is a very unfair way of letting multinationals get seed patents, which makes it illegal for farmers to plant food with native seeds. The seeds are patented, so it is illegal to save them: farmers must buy them from companies like Monsanto. The FTA also raised prices for fertilizers and allows US and European agribusiness to sell their produce in Colombia cheaper than the cost for Colombian farmers to grow the same things. It is impossible for small farmers to compete with agricultural economies that are subsidized, like the US and Europe.

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Fotos de la finca y de las reuniones comunitarios en Colombia
Photos from Colombia Farm and Community Meetings

March 11, 2013

Everyone Working
Todos trabajando
Everyone Working

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Report from Jamaican Organizers' Trip to Colombia in September, 2012
February, 2013

[Three ISBO organizers from rural Jamaica traveled to Colombia to visit our sister organizing projects. This is their report, submitted February, 2013.]

As we ventured out of the culture and atmosphere we knew and were accustomed to, several unanswered questions rang in our minds, but upon arrival in Colombia - Villa Rica to be exact - most of those questions were answered.

The people had warm and welcoming smiles upon their faces as they greeted us. Then, we knew that our ten days visit to Colombia would be memorable, and that we would miss the people dearly when we returned home.

Jamaican Organizers' Trip to Colombia

As us Jamaicans would say, "your kindness knows no bound." That much could be said about the people who took us into their homes and treated us like family. Their hospitality was second to none.

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Organizing Update from Jamaica Organizing Update from Jamaica
February 25, 2012

We have to start this report by apologizing for such a long silence! Although our readers haven't heard from us, we've been very busy. Here is a brief list of what we've been doing and accomplishing since last summer. We've also posted photos in the Audio-Visual page.
  • The People's Uprising Committee had general meetings the third Sunday of each month. We meet alternately in three different sites to include and unite our communities...
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People of Villa Rica Respond to Terror Attack by Organizing People of Villa Rica Respond to Terror Attack by Organizing
February 21, 2012

On February 2, bombs were detonated in Villa Rica that leveled a block of houses and killed seven people, including two children. After the initial shock, the people of Villa Rica responded with a strength and determination that would make their
ancestors proud. (Villa Rica was founded when slaves rose up in a successful rebellion in 1840, killing the plantation owner and taking over the plantation land to found the town and surrounding farming area.)
Ten days after the bombing, thirty seats were set up in a circle on a plot of land donated by a member of the community. There were more participants than chairs, about forty people, children, men and women, women being the majority. People of Villa Rica Respond to Terror Attack by Organizing
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Haga Que Pase - Musica pal Barrio Haga Que Pase - Musica pal Barrio
February 21, 2012

This song was written and performed by an ISBO organizer from Villa Rica!

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Help Needed in Colombia! Help Needed in Colombia!
February 6, 2012

It is seldom that we ask our friends for financial help, but a community in southwestern Colombia, South America, where ISBO has organizers, is under attack as we write this letter. ISBO organizers (International School for Bottom-Up Organizing) from around the world are going to
Colombia to stand with the people and help them organize. Here is a first-hand statement made yesterday by one of our organizers who lives and organizes in the town of Villa Rica:

"Thursday morning we arrived in Villa Rica at 11:30 a.m. The sirens that usually sound at 12:00 noon were going off at unusual times. No one understood why an hour later it sounded again. Then we heard the first explosion thirty seconds later. We weren't in the area of the blasts; those that were near the area say that there was a truck parked in front of the police station. Two guys left running with guns. As they ran, they screamed: "run, there's a bomb!" and as soon as they said it there was a bomb, double impact, on the police station; another cylinder exploded on top of a house destroying everything nearby, and another fell in the main road in Villa Rica, instantly leaving five dead people. Two more died at the hospital. Two of the dead were children, one was only three years old. Thirty five people were injured. And all the community didn't know what to think; this had never happened before. This hurts us very much to see children and people from our community die this way. It was very painful to see pieces of people on the road. This is not just. Things at the moment are on lockdown. The authorities have said that this was an attack from the Farc. One of the reasons they suggest this is that the police in Villa Rica, a few months ago, confiscated a ton of weed and then a mule loaded with cocaine. They say these drugs belonged to the Farc, and in response they put the bomb. But this is very suspicious, because 24 hours before, there was a similar bomb attack in Tumaco, another Afro population town. At the moment there have been talks about rebuilding the station. People are very angry, because before they built the police station there was a school there, and the mayor of Villa Rica knocked the school down and put the police station there in the midst of people protesting. These are the consequences today, and they are talking about reconstructing the police station in the same place. People are not up to tolerating this."

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Report from the ISBO Organizing Project in the Mountains of Colombia
December, 2011

The new colours of our freshly painted community centre, "make us feel happy (alegre)" says one of our young community organisers, as we teach the young children of our hamlet how to cut out sheep, cows, houses, baby Jesus, bridges and the three mystical kings that came from somewhere in the Arab world to see the just born Jew child-god.

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ISBO Official Statement of Support for the Occupy Wall Street Movement
The Dark and Poor Must Join OWS!

November, 2011

The International School for Bottom Up Organizing (ISBO) wishes to thank all who have stood with and in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS). We also wish to thank the Council of Elders and all veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. We embrace and stand in solidarity with everyone who stands up against capitalism, corporate greed, racism, sexism, classism, and all other isms that oppress and divide people and that take away the humanity of anyone in this world.

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Egyptians Offer Leadership and Advice to US Occupy Movement
November, 2011

[The following statement was issued by Comrades from Cairo on 13 November 2011.]

To our kindred occupiers in Zuccotti park,

When we called out to you, requesting you join us on 12 November in defending our revolution and in our campaign against the military trial of civilians in Egypt, your solidarity - pictures from marches, videos, and statements of support - added to our strength.

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Just Posted: Report on Jamaica Organizing to the Colombia ISBO School, February/March 2011

Just Posted: New Research Findings: Black Freedom Fighters Led the Underground Railroad, June 2011

ISBO Summer Project Report from Jamaica
August, 2011

As you know if you have read previous reports (see, a rural community group in Jamaica has an Organizing Class that is trained and guided by ISBO (International School for Bottom-up Organizing). The group and its organizers are working to build a self-sufficient and self-sustaining economy in our community. The work is based on an egalitarian principle and led by the people on the ground themselves, poor, black people. One step on this road was the creation of a chicken meat enterprise alongside some wicker production. Proceeds go to the organizers to support them in their work, with a portion going to the treasury of the community group itself. Another step was the creation of an emergency self-help fund to help organizers through crises involving food, medical or school needs. (We call this the "Equamor Fund" - "equa" for "equality" and "amor" for "love". The name was chosen by the group to express the principles of equality, love and internationalism.)

The ISBO-sponsored Summer Project had a goal of adding to our ventures into self-sufficiency by beginning to create our own fuel, using fermented vegetation to distill ethanol. We also planned to investigate aquaculture, which is a combination of fish-farming and vegetable-farming using the effluent from the fish as fertilizer. Toward this end, we did several things:

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Summer Project in Colombia Video Summer Project in Colombia Video: "Como Hacer Etanol en Casa"
"How to Make Ethanol at Home"

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Learning to Be Egalitarian from the Ground up in the Now

A Report on the Organizing Process of the ISBO Collective in Jamaica
June, 2011

The slim, ebony arm of the sixteen-year-old girl went up. "Maybe it truly was fair, or maybe it was unfair, I don't know, but I think last time, Howie got too much and some people didn't get enough. All of us have needs, and what he got could help him with his needs, but what some of us got wasn't enough to help us with our needs. I think Howie should get less this time and some of us should get more."

Maurice said, "Well, it's according to how much work you do, and he did most of the work."

The facilitator asked, "Is that the principle we agreed to? Get paid by how much we work, like any other job?"

Several people responded, "It's by need, not only by work."

Howie said, "Maurice did a lot more work this time than he did last time; he helped me tend to the chickens many days; he should get more money this time."

A woman who is new to the group and very shy said, "I think what Marcia said could be right. Maybe it wasn't fair before. We should look at people's needs, too."

An older woman said, "I was uncomfortable about Marcia last time, too. Four people each got the same small amount, but one of them has parents who support her so her money was just spending money; two of them have other income; but Marcia doesn't have any income at all, she has to beg rides to school, so it looked equal but it really wasn't fair."

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Join the ISBO Summer Project in Colombia and Jamaica
Únete al Proyecto de Verano ISBO en Colombia y Jamaica
haga clic aquí para leer en español
March, 2011

Urgent call to all who want to participate in the creation of an egalitarian new world from the people of three communities in Colombia and Jamaica

"We live in an Afro-descended community in Colombia. Most of us have to go out every day to find something to eat. Our electric bills for the month cost more than our food for the month. We need to learn to make our own electricity so we can stop paying electric bills. We need to grow healthy food in the very little space left since huge corporations have taken our land to produce bio-fuel. Is there someone out there who can come help us start this summer?"

The speaker is a young bottom-up organizer from the International School for Bottom-up Organizing (ISBO). ISBO organizers are building prototypes of self-sufficient egalitarian communities in the Americas. If you have had the opportunity of being educated or learning skills or trades, we think you have both the responsibility and the need to pass on that knowledge to the most oppressed. ISBO is based on the idea that the true genius and leadership for the creation of an egalitarian new world lies amongst the poorest and darkest among us, especially women. Bring us your minds and hearts this summer!

ISBO has planned summer projects for learning the skills of self-sufficiency in at least three communities in Jamaica and Colombia. At a planning session, another organizer from a poor Afro-Colombian community said:

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Summary Report of Local Organizing School in Colombia
April, 2011

From coffee farms in the mountains and from dusty towns in the plains they came; driven from their lands by multinational corporations and paramilitaries, they came. From southern Colombia, from Cali, Medellin, El Choco and Bogota, men and women, mainly young and eager to organize for freedom walked through the doors of the Palenque, a community center that serves the people of the poor, landless community where it sits - and named after the maroon freedom-fighters who are their ancestors. From Jamaica, England, Finland, France and the US, ones and twos entered those doors as well. All told, close to 70 people, young and old, women and men, all colors of the human rainbow, but mainly dark of hue, intimate with oppression, hunger, racism and machismo/sexism and with determination burning in their hearts to figure out how to build a new world.

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To those fighting for freedom, justice and equality in Egypt
February, 2011

First, we applaud your leadership, commitment and courage in ousting Mubarak. The sustained and massive protests in Egypt have inspired oppressed peoples around the world, reviving our hope in the possibility of real change that can benefit the majority of the world's people. The world is watching what the people of Egypt are doing very closely, and your actions are sparking more movements for freedom, justice and equality.

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The People's Revolution Does Not Seek to Lead Nations
January, 2011

All nationalism belongs to our enemy, the rich and powerful two percent that run the world. Oppressed people throughout the world are one people. If we are loyal to "our country" or "our race," we end up with the slaughter we see around us. It is impossible to control a nation and be egalitarian.

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Lessons from Escaped Slaves
September 2010
Lessons from Escaped Slaves Our report from ISBO's research trip to North Buxton in Ontario, Canada and Maroons in the Great Dismal Swap in North Carolina and Virginia, U.S.A.

Click here to see all of our pictures.

Just Posted: New Research Findings: Black Freedom Fighters Led the Underground Railroad, June 2011

Why the Central Focus of the World Revolutionary Movement Must Be the Destruction of Racism
June 2010

Building a Revolutionary Egalitarian Movement Led by the Poorest and Darkest, Especially Women

Who Are We?
The writers of this discussion document are the organizer training collective of the International School for Bottom-up Organizing (ISBO). The paper was written with the help of numerous readers, contributors and critics from several countries. The final document was consolidated, edited and prepared by Curtis Muhammad and Kathy Fischer.

Contact Information
We can be reached by writing to, or by calling 773-649-5464 or 312-330-5285 in the US or 876-655-0266 in Jamaica, or by mailing to P.O. Box 7295, Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica. Further information is available at

Introduction and Overview
The goal of the revolutionary movement is to end all forms of oppression and build a world of complete equality, created and led by the people themselves. Right now, the movement is stalled. It will not be possible for it to move forward by doing the same things it has done in the past: what didn't work twenty years ago or fifty years ago won't work today either. The struggle for humanity and the world requires a great leap forward.

The purpose of this paper is to propose what seems to be needed to make that great leap forward, which humanity so desperately needs.

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Photos of the ISBO Research Trip to Canada
Click here to view the Photos of the ISBO Research Trip to Canada

Black Radicals Led Struggle against Slavery and Built Self-Sufficient Communities in Canada
Report on Research Trip to Canada, October 2009

November 25, 2009

"Self-reliance is the true road to independence." (Mary Ann Shadd Cary)

The second international meeting of the International School for Bottom-up Organizing held in Jamaica in August, 2009, agreed to the following proposal:

that ISBO continue to research the hidden history of historic movements of dark-skinned folk on the bottom and publish it widely, and we continue to discuss and deepen our understanding of how the lessons of those movements can help light our way to victory in the struggle for an egalitarian new world.

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Just Posted: New Research Findings: Black Freedom Fighters Led the Underground Railroad, June 2011

Summary Report of Second Session of the International School for Bottom-up Organizing
Jamaica, August 2009

September 21, 2009

Magic happened in Jamaica between August 15 and 23, 2009. It was one of those moments in history when the whole is something much greater than the sum of all the parts. As with any other moment in history, it was a link in a long chain of the people's struggles against inequality, injustice and oppression. The roots of ISBO go back to the organizing of plantation workers by SNCC in rural Mississippi in the 1960s under the guidance of Ms. Ella Baker, and further to the radical organizing in the South in the 20s and 30s, and before that to self-sufficient black communities that evolved out of Reconstruction, which in turn owed their inspiration to the valiant struggles of slaves and their allies in rebellions, maroon communities, the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement - not only in the United States, but all over the Americas.

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The following is an insert currently included inside each copy of the book.
April, 2009

In the Upcoming Edition of The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World from the International School for Bottom-up Organizing...

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Click here to download the Book Insert PDF file »

Friends and Supporters of Bottom-Up Organizing:
March 23, 2009

Have you read with interest ISBO's book, The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World? Well, we are pleased to invite you to attend ISBO's (and the book's) "coming out event" at this year's Left Forum in New York.

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Afro-Colombians Resist Eviction Attempt
March 23, 2009

On New Year's Day, international representatives from ISBO made connection with young Afro-Colombians in the town of Villa Rica: a town in which slavery still existed into the 1920s. These inspiring young people do organizing out of a community center they call the Palenque, which was the name for independent communities of escaped slaves, which existed in Colombia for hundreds of years.

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ISBO's first book: The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World
An introduction to the International School for Bottom-up Organizing
February, 2009

Table of Contents

International School for Bottom-up Organizing