Spreading "Jelly"


{via Flickr}

{throwback | liberatormagazine.com}

A couple of weeks ago, NPR Morning Edition highlighted "Jelly", a semi-weekly gathering of freelancers of various ilk (graphic designers, web developers, photographers, musicians) at someone's house to work on different projects together. Since freelancers usually work from home, Jelly offers them the social interaction they'd get at a typical work place without the stress and monotony of reporting to an office every day.

When I heard about Jelly, it reminded me of the idea of mobilization vs. organization. Although the idea of gathering at someone's house to engage each other in meaningful dialog is nothing new, maybe it's something we need to bring back. A good example of this is the Jena 6 case.

Yes, it's nice that thousands of people showed up to rally in Jena, La. this weekend and that the rally sparked memories of and comparisons to the civil rights marches and rallies of the 1960s. But I wonder how many of them would be willing to meet regularly to discuss how to keep this issue and many, many others (taxes, health care, police brutality, Iraq, living wages, fallout from Hurricane Katrina, take your pick) that affect our livelihoods in the public consciousness? How many of those people would be willing to meet with people in their communities, to come up with effective ways to imbue their communities with real political staying power? To do all this without the fervor of a large crowd, without the presence of news reporters, photographers, videographers and some so-called Black Leader sermonizing (or as my dad would put it, "speechifying") on the mount?

Maybe our dear Liberator readers could start hosting semi-weekly or monthly Liberator "Jellys" (Jams? Preserves?) in their cities in the vein of true organization, so that mobilization, while important, isn't our only means of flexing our collective political muscle.