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Ben Manski

An urgent and current voice, Ben Manski’s work has taken him from farm fields to forest blockades, labor struggles to independent politics, clinic defense to legal defense, and to every region of the country. Internationally recognized to be among the most innovative of the new generation of U.S. progressives, Manski is best known for his efforts to build a new democracy movement in the United States.

Ben Manski is an attorney and pro-democracy advocate. He is the executive director of the Liberty Tree Foundation, a think-tank and organizing center he founded in 2004, as well as principal attorney at Manski Law & Communications, LLC, and an associate fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies.

Politically engaged since his early childhood in Israel and Wisconsin, now in his mid-30s, Ben Manski has worked for a variety of causes, notably serving as co-chair of the Green Party of the United States, national director of the Campus Greens USA, and as Midwest Director for the Nader 2000 campaign. In 2001-2002, he was active on the steering committee that formed the major U.S. peace organization, United for Peace and Justice. Manski was a primary figure in the student movements of the 1990s, serving then as national coordinator of the Democracy Teach-Ins and the group 180/MDE in the lead-up to the Seattle WTO protests. At that time, Manski was also prominently involved in other social change movements, and worked in the employ of various labor, environmental, and pro-democracy organizations.

Since the early 1990s, Manski has been a featured speaker on scores of campuses and at hundreds of events, from Barcelona to Caracas to Seattle, and has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, The Nation, The Progressive, Mother Jones, The Call, In These Times, among others, as well as on National Public Radio, Air America, Pacifica, CNN, ABC News, Fox News, as well as a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Week in Review". Ben Manski has published widely, including contributions to Campus Inc.: Corporate Power and the Ivory Tower, TNI's Yearbook on Public Services, and IPS' Mandate for Change, released earlier this year. He is currently working on his first book, a history of militia law and the National Guard.

Recent priorities for Manski have included his efforts as national coordinator of the No Stolen Elections! movements in 2004 and 2008, his role in organizing the Local Democracy Network to support local approaches for achieving a green economic transition, and his work in building Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law, a multi-state campaign designed to reform state statutes to impede the unlawful deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2009, Ben Manski opened his firm, Manski Law, LLC, specializing in non-profit, coop, and public sector law, as well as public relations and communication technologies. He also serves on the sociology faculty of Madison College, and as CVO of PosiPair.com, a green internet startup owned by his wife, Sarah.

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