Part 1. How Community Organising & Community Building can work together: the two-fisted fight

New forms of collective action are emerging in the UK. With growing frequency people are taking to the streets to defend the rights of citizens against outside forces; this trend is unfolding alongside an increasing and often jarring rhetoric of devolution and localism. People’s lived experience see that most citizen campaigns are concentrated in looking outside their communities for solutions, or fending off external problems, while agencies and organisations, often quite remote from community life, are telling local residents they will now have to solve their own problems. As a consequence, all too often, local people are left to try to deal with on-going social and political issues such as poverty by ensuring some external cavalry saves them (an outside in strategy), either by getting an unwilling agency to change, or by getting a benevolent agency to fund a predefined programme that has been externally constructed.

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