Creative and strategic militancies interrupt the normal functioning of society, shift the terms of debate in public discourse, and expand the definition of the common good. Never has this been more evident than when the Young Lords barricaded themselves inside The First Spanish United Methodist Church in East Harlem.
By inviting their members to learn bureaucracies and hold them accountable, the Gray Panthers empowered elderly people to see themselves as experts capable of disentangling convoluted bureaucracies and reshaping them to better address local needs.
By organizing and running free health centers, the Black Panthers not only delivered much needed social provisions. They also empowered participants to envision and pragmatically move toward new political horizons.