Land Action assists environmental and social justice organizers establishing and defending occupations used for housing and advancing projects. Land Action reclaims otherwise wasted resources and expands the capacity of the environmental and social justice movements. This is especially important in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis and recession when the urgency of these movements is profound but funds for organizing are challenging to access.
Volunteer organizing has been the hallmark of grassroots movements in America throughout our country’s history, yet volunteer organizers often suffer from burnout after a few years due to challenges presented while organizing on issues involving adversaries who are well funded and well connected. Life’s precarity that many organizers deal with often gives way to the need to find more stability in life and these organizers either leave the movement or go on to organize in paid positions in the non-profit sector.
However, the non-profit sector is subject to many of the same pressures. In many cases the quest to fund an organization takes up much of the organization’s resources, and often the funding that is available comes with stipulations requiring the organization to model their work based on parameters set by funders rather than the organization’s original mission; a situation known as “mission drift”.
Land Action proposes a different approach to organizing by assisting grassroots volunteer organizers to access resources directly by occupying land for housing, food, and projects. In this way, organizers can minimize the reliance and influence of benefactors. Autonomous organizing and direct access to resources is Land Action’s strategic model.