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Deciding to Organize

Directed by Peter Pearson and Bonnie Sherr Klein
Canada, 1968 (documentary, 34 minutes, black and white, English)
Deciding to Organize
Image: © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"From the The Alinsky Approach: Organizing for Power series, this film shows a group of concerned citizens from Dayton, Ohio, meeting and consulting Saul Alinsky on the means of creating an effective organization."
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Produced by: Barrie Howells, John Kemeny
Film Editing: Roger Hart
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du Canada

Notes about Deciding to Organize


Quotes about Deciding to Organize

"Deciding to Organise, a record of the lecture [Saul Alinsky] gave to the Dayton citizens in 1968, is one of a series of five films made by the Canadian National Film Board to serve as a kind of manual to the Alinsky method [...]. What emerges is something closer to a collection of intriguingly compressed snippets from a personal diary, with Alinsky mixing in anecdote with theory, occasionally getting caught in a log-jam of jargon, and at other times hinting but not defining the precise terms of his own extremism, the 'top values' which he would not be prepared to sacrifice in the violent pursuit of any cause."
-- Richard Combs (source)

"[Deciding to Organize] shows [Saul] Alinsky interpreting his approach to a potential sponsor group in Dayton, and members of this group struggling to decide whether it wants the IAF [Industrial Areas Foundation]. [...] We observe Alinksy in an initial stage of organizing—he is attempting to undermine rationalizations for inactivity and testing the group for its willingness to accept the ethical and tactical consequences of his approach to organizing—his anecdote about ruining the Ku Klux Klan leader in Texas, which he would do again, is just such a test."
-- Peter Katadotis (source)

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