Ben Grosscup

Vermont Yankee is closing!

Let’s celebrate, unify allied struggles, and focus on fights to come

By Ben Grosscup

The announcement this week that Vermont Yankee – the 41 year old nuclear power plant in southern Vermont that has been an object of derision for decades for anti-nuclear social movement activists – will be closed is an opportunity for climate justice and anti-nuclear movements to clarify that our fight is not only against this particular form of extreme energy. Rather we need to focus on the social arrangements that produce the need [...]

On Boston: The Inevitability of Vulnerability

From ISE board member and outstanding singer/songwriter Ben Grosscup:

Boston Tragedy Reveals Inevitability of Vulnerability
By Ben Grosscup

Public acts of inexplicable and horrific violence such as what we saw in Boston on Monday reveal basic vulnerabilities that are painful but necessary to face.

My whole family converged in Boston to cheer on my father and my two brothers who entered the Marathon. We are all well. My brothers and I heard the 2 explosions from a few blocks away, not knowing what they were until [...]

Ben Grosscup: Questioning “economic development”

It is time to question the ideology of job creation that holds sway in most discussions of so-called economic development... The real mark of economic health is not merely that firms in a given municipality are hiring. Economic health is when the basic economic functions of society make ours a healthier place to live – a place with less war, less disease, more ecological health and justice.

Grosscup challenges Sen. Kerry (D-MA) over war funding

On February 19 ISE Board member Ben Grosscup joined a reported crowd of over 250 at a “town-hall-style” meeting with Senator John Kerry. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported on the event where Ben challenged Sen. Kerry about his support for war funding in Afghanistan during a question and answer period. Here’s Ben’s question posed to Sen. Kerry followed by his statement on Kerry’s response:

“I’m Ben Grosscup and I’m an elected member of Amherst Town Meeting. We passed the Bring the War [...]

The Potentials and Pitfalls of Town Meeting Advocacy

(This article was published by Communalism: A Social Ecology Journal, Issue #2 Spring/Summer 2010)

Many communities in New England have a tradition of town meeting, dating back to the American Revolution. In recent years, activists have brought campaigns to these institutions on a range of issues, including nuclear energy, climate policies, civil liberties, U.S. wars, and genetic engineering. What have been the strengths and weaknesses of this strategy? And what can communalists around the world learn from this form of local organizing?

Just as there [...]

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    Mass Movement: Genetic Engineering becomes question of Democracy at Massachusetts Town Meetings

Mass Movement: Genetic Engineering becomes question of Democracy at Massachusetts Town Meetings

(This article was published by Gene Watch, Volume 20 Number 3 May – June 2007.
http://www.gene-watch.org/genewatch/volume20.html)

Since the year 2000, in many parts of New England — especially Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts —  there has been renewed interest in bringing resolutions to town meeting on a range of national and global issues. Measures concerning the USA PATRIOT Act, the military occupation of Iraq, impeachment of Bush Administration members, and global climate disruption have appeared on many town meeting [...]

Crisis and Crisis Management in Hurricane Katrina: A Radical Critique

During crisis events, people often show their most compassionate and even heroic sides. In Hurricane Katrina’s disruption of every day life, most people in New Orleans have done the best they can to help each other. While decried as “looting” by the officials of order and private property, reports have shown that people neglected by rescue authorities are in many cases taking from the ravaged city’s stores and distributing the goods equitably among fellow desperate people. Under police [...]

The Vote Fallacy: Strategically Advancing Radical Politics in the 2004 Elections

While election seasons are widely seen as times when the polity practices politics, this is an illusion; electoralism that accepts the premises of representative democracy is conceptually distinct and incompatible with practicing true politics. Politics involves public debate on the issues of a self-manging political community that leads to social policy. Voting is no political act in that it has nothing to do with this. Rather, it is a highly personal [...]