Saul Alinsky Essays

On August 25, 1995, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin gave a speech which began: It is fitting that we are gathered here because since the beginning, Chicago has been important to the Campaign and the Campaign has been important to Chicago. Jack Egan organised the 'Friends of CHD' in the mid-1970s, and for decades has been an inspiration to the Campaign's work; the great work of community-organising began in Chicago, and Chicago has many important networks and training centres; CHD enjoys a rich tradition of support here, both in the form of active and enthusiastic participation by people in organisations and projects funded by CHD, and in the generous donations to the annual CHD Collection.

In these remarks, Bernardin highlights four points directly linked with Alinsky.

In the 1960s, the Temporary Woodlawn Organization (TWO) was formed on behalf of local churches to confront a plan by the University of Chicago to expand in the area, as well as work toward better neighborhood schools.

Woodlawn organized a series of protests, using negative publicity to its advantage.

He wanted reform inside the system by pressuring government officials to take into account the needs and wants of neighborhood residents, and he believed that the end justified any means.

He was opposed by far-left radicals who wanted to destroy capitalism and who feared that Alinsky was strengthening it by resolving the issues most important to the poor, and was nicknamed "The Red" for his radicalism—his book was dedicated tongue-in-cheek to Lucifer, the first radical.

In once instance, residents brought their cameras into the schools and took pictures of unoccupied desks.

during protests in front of the homes of white slumlords, black residents were bussed in where they held signs all the way up and down the streets distributing pamphlets and protesting to gather attention to the situation.

Lastly, the "organizations and projects" funded by CHD are all of the left wing Alinsky-style organizations in the Chicago area that the Catholic Campaign had worked so hard to deliver funds to.

which was largely responsible for most of the liberal community groups throughout the country.

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