Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

A Voice and a Vote for the People of the World

DONNA PARK – It is now more evident than ever that the world lacks the structures necessary to successfully address the many global problems facing it. The General Assembly of the United Nations represents the nations of the world. But the governments of these nations often seem more worried about protecting their national sovereignty than about addressing global problems that are existential threats to humanity.

You Can Help the Homeless By Offering Dignity

JAMES RYAN – There are many ways to make a difference. One of the most important is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult: provide dignity. Please do not studiously ignore the homeless person on the park bench or look away from the one sitting on the sidewalk as you pass. Greet them or strike up a small conversation. Many homeless people report that more difficult than giving up their possessions is giving up the dignity of being seen.

With Focus on Assange, Belmarsh Tribunal Puts ‘US War Crimes on Trial’

BRETT WILKINS – The Belmarsh Tribunal—named after the notorious British prison where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned as he faces possible extradition to the U.S.—was convened remotely Friday morning by Progressive International (PI). The activists “put the United States government on trial” for crimes ranging “from atrocities in Iraq to torture at Guantánamo Bay to the CIA’s illegal surveillance program—and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them.”

Ashland Activist: Systemic Change Starts with Us

IRENE KAI – The first World Peace Flame in North America was installed in the lobby of the Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee in 2002. Ashland (Oregon) Culture of Peace Commission (ACPC) installed the second North American World Peace Flame on the International Day of Peace two years ago, 21 September 2018.

Listen Democratic Party: Your Supporters Want Military Budget Cuts

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Democratic majorities were crucial this summer to the defeat of three separate bills, introduced by progressive Democrats, to reduce military spending and/or undo the militarization of police departments. These included amendments in both the Senate and the House to the National Defense Authorization Act, diverting 10 percent of the Department of Defense budget to health care, education and jobs; as well as a Senate proposal to end the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to transfer military gear to the police. The amendment’s defeat in the House was especially an outrage in that the Dems hold a majority in the House and could have passed it.

The Floyd Protests are the Broadest in U.S. History – and are Spreading to White, Small-Town America

LARA PUTNAM, JEREMY PRESSMAN, ERICA CHENOWETH – Across the country, people are protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and demanding action against police violence and systemic racism. National media focuses on the big demonstrations and protests against policing in major cities, but they have not picked up on a different phenomenon that may have major long-term consequences for politics. Protests over racism and #BlackLivesMatter are spreading across the country — including in small towns with deeply conservative politics.

Don’t be Mesmerized by the Fetishization of Protest

LAURA FINLEY – White people need to consider how they can truly be allies to the movement and whether their motives to participate are more self-serving than helpful. I implore everyone who wants to be a white ally to read the tips at Issuu.com, “26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets,” and identify the best ways to act.

The Established Order Has Never Been Weaker – Movements Need to get to Work

CAM FENTON – All around the globe, governments are starting to move forward with reopening plans that lift some degree of COVID-19 social distancing. With that comes talk of recovery and rebuilding. While some of the attention is on green stimulus and a range of progressive demands for just and equitable recoveries, the only way we can win any such advances is through movements that are prepared to take on the fight.

Oregon Department of Agriculture Considers Permitting New Mega-Dairy, Easterday Farms, While Small Dairy Farmers Dump Milk

STAND UP TO FACTORY FARMS (Press Release) – Stand Up To Factory Farms, a broad coalition of environmental, food safety, family farming, and animal welfare organizations fighting to protect Oregon from mega-dairies, calls on Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to protect small dairy farmers during the COVID-19 outbreak and enact a mega-dairy moratorium on new and expanding dairies.

Coronavirus Is a Historic Trigger Event—So Let’s See a Social Movement Rise

PAUL ENGLER – There are times in history when sudden events — natural disasters, economic collapses, pandemics, wars, famines — change everything. They change politics, they change economics and they change public opinion in drastic ways. Many social movement analysts call these “trigger events.” During a trigger event, things that were previously unimaginable quickly become reality, as the social and political map is remade

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.