Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

By Prioritizing Electability We Hurt the Movements Needed to Beat Trump

GEORGE LAKEY – The trouble with pragmatism these days is that our country is becoming less predictable by the minute. What is going on among the 40 percent of the electorate that didn’t bother to vote in 2016’s general election? How about the new voters who’ve become naturalized citizens in the meantime, or the many who’ve turned 18? How much will the Russians skew the results?

Sunrise PDX Is Latest Progressive Group to Oppose Oregon Cap-and-Trade Bill

BLAIR STENVICK – A bill that would aim to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon is dominating this year’s short legislative session. But while the political dynamic in Salem is mostly focused on Democrats who support the bill and Republicans who oppose it, the bill is also receiving pushback from progressive environmental groups in Portland.

Epidemic Violence on Indian Reservations Must Be Addressed

GAIL SKENANDORE and TOM HASTINGS – We believe a light needs to shine on the pockets of escalating violence on Indian reservations. The intersection of guns, drugs, poverty, scant education, substandard health care, high unemployment, and corruption are literally producing conditions that invariably redound the hardest and worst on young people of color.

1970 New York Times Ad Helped Spark an Environmental Revolution. 50 Years Later, 2020 Ad Hopes to Make History Again

DENICE ZECK – On Sunday, February 2, Earth Day Network ran a full-page ad in The New York Times announcing a global day of activism to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020. The advertisement ran nearly 50 years to the day that a full-page ad in The New York Times used the words “Earth Day” for the first time. The ad changed everything about environmental awareness.

New Film Exposes How US Undermined Iran’s Government and Brought About Today’s Crisis

WINSLOW MYERS – The enthralling new documentary directed by Iranian film maker Taghi Amirani and edited and co-written by the renowned film editor Walter Murch (“Apocalypse Now”; “English Patient”) is a meticulous backward look at an event that still determines much of the resentment Iran feels toward the government of the United States—and Britain: the 1953 coup which overthrew Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran.

Overcoming White Nationalism Has Been a Winning Strategy in the Past and Can Be Again

LESLIE D. GREGORY and TOM H. HASTINGS – We can regain our global image as champion of human rights, which is currently undone. We can be the leader in environmental protection, which Trump is wrecking. And we may even catch up to the rest of the tech-advanced world in universal health care if we choose to drop the politics of division and start the politics of unity.

Inside 350.org and Why They Rise for Climate

350 not only networks people together at the grassroots level, but connects fellow climate change activist groups and unites them for major conglomerate projects and demonstrations. It helps smaller organizations make big changes together. There may not be a more significant presence in climate change activism than 350.

Brown Needs to Join Urban and Rural Oregonians in Standing Against Jordan Cove

KRISTINE CATES and EMMA MARRIS – Seldom does one issue unite Oregonians like this one. Last month, nearly 1,000 of us from all over the state met at the state Capitol to demand that Gov. Kate Brown do all she can to stop the ill-advised Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline. . . . Governor, the time to oppose the Jordan Cove LNG project is now.

Movement Violence Can Lead to a Decline in Public Support

J. MUNOZ and E. ANDUIZA – The choice between violence and nonviolence is available to any protest movement. Opting to engage in violence is more costly to the movement because it increases the chance of state repression and also reinforces the claims of those who oppose the movement. The academic research on this topic shows that nonviolent movements are more successful in achieving their long-term goals, whether influencing policy or bringing about regime change. Many researchers theorize that broad-based public support for protest movements is instrumental to their success and that the use of violence may weaken this support.

PLOWSHARES FOUND GUILTY

KINGS BAY PLOWSHARES 7 – More than 18 months after they snuck onto the site of one of the largest known collections of nuclear weaponry in the world, a jury found the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 guilty of all four of the charges brought against them.

Taking Next Steps toward Nuclear Abolition

KATHY KELLY – Many who are working for the abolition of nuclear weapons are deeply disturbed by the madness of maintaining nuclear weapons arsenals and believe such weapons threaten planetary survival. They are joined by people everywhere who worry that, similar to the 1930s, citizens of countries possessing nuclear weapons sleepwalk toward utter disaster.

Expanding the Concept and Practice of Nonviolence

MIKE YARROW – True “nonviolence” is an affirmative presence of an alternative force for change, which Gandhi called, “a force more powerful.” Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement is, “. . . true nonviolence is more than the absence of violence. It is the persistent and determined application of peaceable power to offenses against the community.”

Americans Want Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, not just Limitations!

TIMMON WALLIS – September 23, 2019: A NuclearBan.US poll, conducted on its behalf this week[1] by YouGov, reveals that 49% of Americans think that the US should work with the other nuclear armed countries to eliminate all nuclear weapons from all countries, in line with the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (“Nuclear Ban Treaty”). Only 32% think that the US should continue to ignore the new treaty and hold on to its nuclear weapons regardless of what other countries think or do, while a further 19% say they “don’t know”.

How the Youth-led Climate Strikes Became a Global Mass Movement

NICK ENGELFRIED – It began as a call to action from a group of youth activists scattered across the globe, and soon became what is shaping up to be the largest planet-wide protest for the climate the world has ever seen. The Global Climate Strike is the result of a whole new generation taking bold action and could be the turning point for grassroots resistance to fossil fuels.

Immigration Resistance Has Many Faces

ANDREW MOSS – For the most part, major news organizations like the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have provided comprehensive, accurate coverage of major immigration-related developments. Significant policy changes and their impacts on people have been presented with careful regard for both detail and larger issues. This is as it should be. Nevertheless, coverage often falls short in underplaying a critical dimension of unfolding events: the extraordinary depth and breadth of resistance to the Trump administration’s policies.

Rotary International as a Model for Statecraft

WINSLOW MYERS – The United States is strong enough to lead the way into a new paradigm of self-interest, where dominance is replaced by a global network attuned directly to meeting human and ecosystem needs. Anything less threatens everyone’s survival. If we can offer help to our adversaries because we see it as self-interest, a different world is possible.

It’s In Our Hands Now: Localizing Resistance to Fight Climate Change

OAKLEY HILL – As the climate crisis becomes more prominent and imminent, the world has looked to the top echelons of global power to save us from ourselves. Too often, we look for top down change when problems so profound and systemic must also be addressed from the bottom up. Everyday citizens can slash emissions and move the planet toward environmental sustainability—especially if they leverage their power at the community and city levels. Around the world, this is already a growing reality as hundreds of communities take matters into their own hands to resist the climate crisis and build alternative institutions.

New Common Cause Site Tracks Which Members of Congress Have Actually Read the Mueller Report

DAVID VANCE – Common Cause is tracking which members of Congress have read, or not read, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian attacks on the 2016 presidential election. The new easily searchable “Will Congress Act?” website (willcongressact.org) allows people to see whether their Members have read the report and contact them to ask that they read it if they have not.

In Afghanistan We Have Three Dreams

DR. HAKIM YOUNG – We’re the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, and we have three dreams. Our three dreams are about reuniting with nature and 7.7 billion other human beings! Our dreams aren’t prescriptions. They’re music and movements, distilled from today’s nightmares.

Nuclear Weapons Ruined My Life, and I Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way

FRIDA BERRIGAN – Nuclear weapons ruined my life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, I hope they are ruining your life too. Because that is the only way we are going to get rid of them. Editor note: This intimate, first person account is a must-read for everyone (and beyond) who cares about the fight to end the existence of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.

Youths Explain Support for Green New Deal

SAMANTHA M. and ANGELICA PERKINS – We believe in the Green New Deal, and we know what the Green New Deal is. We have read it and we understand it because we know exactly what we have to do to secure our future. Youth have a right to be in this conversation because in the long run, this is more than a debate. It is our life and future.

Chelsea Manning Jailed Again For Refusing to Testify at a Grand Jury Inquiry

KATHY KELLY – Chelsea Manning, who bravely exposed atrocities committed by the U.S. military, is again imprisoned in a U.S. jail. On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, she was incarcerated in the Alexandria, VA federal detention center for refusing to testify in front of a secretive Grand Jury. Her imprisonment can extend through the term of the Grand Jury, possibly 18 months, and the U.S. courts could allow formation of future Grand Juries, potentially jailing her again.

US Peaceworker Suffers US Sanctions in Iran

DAVID HARTSOUGH – I come back home with a heart which is much stronger but also with a much greater commitment to stop US policies of economic sanctions which I believe are acts of war. I will continue the work of getting the US to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement and get on the track of peace-building rather than threatening acts of war. I hope you will join me.

When Will Politicians Start Exercising their Constitutional Authority to Rein in Large Corporations like Amazon?

PAUL CIENFUEGOS – Many of us around the country are working hard to build the Community Rights movement, as we understand that in this ecological and social crisis moment in the world, it’s too late to tackle one corporate outrage at a time. That in fact, these problems are structural. That we need to learn from our history and bring back these century-old laws that can once again subordinate the business corporation, so that it is again required to serve The People, to cause no harm, and for its directors and stockholders to once again be held personally and financially liable when the corporation causes significant harm to our communities and the natural world.