Civil Unrest

How to Stop Being Controlled and Take Your Community into Your Own Hands

Many of us in neighborhoods across the world believe we do not have control of our communities. From political organizations to law enforcement to criminals, the wrong people are often in charge of our neighborhoods. This leaves us at their mercy. But we don’t have to put up with it. We can take our communities back into our own hands and stop being controlled. It will take time, hard work and sacrifices. But freedom is a basic human right that we deserve.

 

Join Up

There are several types of community organizations already trying to get their communities back from the wrong people. Groups such as National Neighborhood Watch (NNW), Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), Public Citizen (PC) and Community Police Forums (CPF) already exist in many neighborhoods.

 

Depending on who is controlling your community, try to find the right organization in your area and join up. Ask your friends and neighbors if they know of any such groups. Check your local newspaper because lots of community organizations use local papers to reach out to community members. Search the internet for any groups that look promising. Even if you’re not a fan of local law enforcement, go to your local police station and look at any pamphlets and posters you find there. Some organizations distribute useful information at police stations.

 

Start Up

If you can’t find any appropriate organizations in your area, you need to start your own. Check if there are any bylaws or regulations that involve community organizations to ensure you don’t accidentally break any laws. If you intend to collect money to fund your organization, you will probably need to register it as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). Again, you want to abide by any rules regarding community organizations.

 

Once you’ve checked and met any relevant legal requirements, you can create your community organization. You may feel a bit overwhelmed by the task ahead of you, but keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. There are many excellent resources that can help you start and run your community organization in the most effective manner possible.

 

Show Up

The Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank once said, “The world is run by those who show up.” And he’s right. We can’t expect to change anything if we just sit at home. Complaining without action doesn’t achieve anything either. If we want to take our communities back into our own hands, we need to show up. If you’ve started your own community organization, you’ll obviously have to attend meetings. If you’ve joined any other community organizations in your area, go to every meeting and get-together you can.

 

You’re not the only one who needs to show up. Recruit as many friends, family members, neighbors and community members as possible. You’ll need all the help you can get if you want to stop being controlled by others. Communities have many stakeholders apart from actual community members themselves, so be sure to recruit the help of schools, places of worship and local businesses.

 

Stand Up and Speak Up

Your organization needs a platform to work from, and a website will serve this purpose perfectly. So develop one for your organization, and include all the relevant details, such as your mission and how new members can sign up. We live in an age of social networking where almost everyone uses at least one social networking platform. Use this to your advantage. Create a Facebook group and get a Twitter handle; use as many social media platforms as you can. A word of warning: social media is not very secure so don’t post any private information or financial details.

 

There are numerous effective ways to make your voice heard and promote your cause. Depending on the nature of your cause, you can create petitions, write to your congressmen, print posters, patrol your neighborhood, meet with local law enforcement and arrange peaceful demonstrations. But do not break the law. You’ll only harm your cause if your organization becomes known as a group of thugs, criminals or even domestic terrorists.

 

We can’t sit back and let others control our communities anymore. We need to work together to take our communities into our own hands. So take a stand and make a difference in your community and world.

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Carla

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