Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament

KATHY KELLY – In the state of Georgia’s Glynn County Detention Center, four activists await trial stemming from their nonviolent action, on April 4, 2018, at the Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay. In all, seven Catholic plowshares activists acted that day, aiming to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” The Kings Bay is home port to six nuclear armed Trident ballistic missile submarines with the combined explosive power of over 9000 Hiroshima bombs.

What can be Learned from a Mass Shooting that didn’t Happen?

MICHAEL NAGLER – Nonviolence is spread out all around us, yet we so often fail to see how it can be used to stop some of today’s worst atrocities. Take school shootings, as just one example. It’s telling that the idea of arming teachers has been seriously debated in the media, while nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution remain largely unknown. That’s why the recent film “Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story” is so unique. It tells the true story of Antoinette Tuff, an elementary school accountant in Decatur, Georgia, who prevented a mass shooting in 2013 by talking would-be killer Michael Hill into putting down his assault weapon.

The Resistance Ramps Up as Pro-immigrant Direct Action Breaks Out Nationwide

L.A. KAUFMANN – Quite suddenly, over the last week or so, something crucial has shifted in the mood of the grassroots resistance to Donald Trump. You can time it, more or less, to the release of that devastating recording of migrant children weeping for their parents after having been ripped from their arms, or the widely circulated photographs of children being held in cages. The unfolding horror of Trump’s family separation policy, and his administration’s plans for indefinite immigrant detention, is galvanizing people to fight back in a way that hasn’t yet happened under this presidency — specifically, with mass direct action.

The End of Project Maven at Google Shows the Power of Tech Workers who Take a Stand

KHARI JOHNSON – We’re roughly halfway through 2018, and one of the most important AI stories to emerge so far is Project Maven and its fallout at Google. The program to use AI to analyze drone video footage began last year, and this week we learned of the Pentagon’s plans to expand Maven and establish a Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. We also learned that Google believed it would make hundreds of millions of dollars from participating in the Maven project and that Maven was reportedly tied directly to a cloud computing contract worth billions of dollars. Today, news broke that Google will discontinue its Maven contract when it expires next year.

Big Government’s Focus on Fines and Fees Disparately Impacts Poor, Minority Communities

PROJECT 21 – Law enforcement agencies focus too much on revenue-generating activities that have a negative impact on poor and minority communities, further straining the relationship between police and the communities they serve, according to the black leadership network Project 21 . As part of its “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” Project 21 recommends 10 criminal justice reforms.

Climate Change Movement Responds to Canada’s Plan to Nationalize the Trans Mountain Pipeline

PRESS RELEASE FROM STAND UP TO OIL COALITION AND PARTNERS – Despite widespread opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which would bring in 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day across Canada and out through the international Salish Sea waters in oil tankers, the Canadian government announced today that it will buy the pipeline in an attempt to guarantee its construction. By nationalizing this project, the Canadian government is taking on the risk of a massive construction project and pipeline that just this past weekend spilled oil.

True Patriotism Means Caring for Our Nation’s People

REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER, II and REV. DR. LIZ THEOHARIS – As the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival prepares for our third week of direct action, the nation pauses for Memorial Day weekend. Listening to many, including veterans in this movement, we chose to focus this week on our challenge to militarism and the war economy as well as the proliferation of gun violence in the US. We believe the greatest patriotism for moral agents is insisting that America become a more perfect union.

In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law

EL – The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline. A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects.

Towards a New Activism to Effectively Support a Transition to a Post-Growth Economy

MICHA NARBERHAUS – To this day, few civil society organisations are promoting the much-needed transition to a new economic system based on the principles of ecological limits, solidarity, human well-being, and intergenerational justice, nor are many organisations embracing the complexity of systemic change in their strategies, campaigns, and projects.

Seven Kings Bay Plowshares Activists Arrested inside Trident Nuclear Submarine Base

THE NUCLEAR RESISTER (a posting) – Seven Catholic plowshares activists were detained early Thursday morning, April 5, at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia. They entered on Wednesday night, April 4. Calling themselves Kings Bay Plowshares, they went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command: “beat swords into plowshares.”

Think Outside the Protest Box

RIVERA SUN – We have more power than we think. But we’ve got to go beyond the “protest-petition-call officials-vote” routine. Think outside that box, and you’ll find a world of creative solutions and strategies to tap into. The time has come to double down on strategy and make great strides toward change.

How to Build a Progressive Movement in a Polarized Country

GEORGE LAKEY – Many assume that polarization is a barrier to making change. They observe more shouting and less listening, more drama and less reflection, and an escalation at the extremes. They note that mass media journalists have less time to cover the range of activist initiatives, which are therefore drowned out by the shouting. From coast to coast activists asked me: Does this condition leave us stuck? My answer included both good news and bad news. Most people wanted the latter first.

Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of Youth Plaintiffs, Rejects Trump’s Attempt to Evade Constitutional Climate Trial

OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST and EARTH GUARDIANS – San Francisco. On March 7, Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, rejected the Trump administration’s “drastic and extraordinary” petition for writ of mandamus in the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, brought by 21 youth supported by Our Children’s Trust.

PGE Withdraws Plan to Expand Fracked Gas-Fired Power, But Asks to Increase Pollution by 800% At Existing Plant

DAN SERRES – On February 20, 2018, Portland General Electric (PGE) officially ended plans to expand the Carty Generating Station, a fracked gas-fired facility located near Boardman, Oregon. This is a huge victory for our climate and public health. But controversy remains: PGE wants to dramatically increase air pollution at the existing Carty gas plant.

The Darkness and the Needle

EMILY JOHNSTON – It’s such an astonishing honor to live in this moment, knowing that we probably still have the power to set the world back onto a stable path, and thereby make life better, or at least possible, for countless people and other beings. I cannot imagine anything more meaningful. Uncertainty is possibility. In the uncertainty before us, in the sacrifices and joy of our connections with each other and every living thing, we have been given overwhelming abundance. In this darkness, we have begun our real journey.

Why the Moral Argument for Non-Violence Matters

KAZU HAGA – We find ourselves in an urgent moment in history. From climate change to the Trump agenda, we do not have the luxury to wait until tomorrow. We need a movement today. So maybe trying to make the moral argument is not the most strategic thing. But King taught us that it is never the wrong time to do the right thing. And so, I believe the time is right to make the argument that violence itself is our biggest enemy.

How Internet Co-ops Can Protect Us From Net Neutrality Rollbacks

SAMMI-JO LEE – “The FCC is basically taking the regulations off of big companies, but local companies can still offer high-quality internet access at good prices,” Christopher Mitchell says. Without net neutrality, broadband providers will be able to charge more for better access and faster speeds, or be able to restrict traffic to preferred business partners over competitors. More independent ISPs can offer consumers a wider variety of choices.

Why We are Suing the Norwegian Government

TRULS GULOWSEN – For the first time ever, a government is being brought to justice for opening new areas for oil and gas extraction after signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement. This historic court case is set to begin in Oslo, Norway, on November 14. Greenpeace and Norwegian environmental organisation Nature and Youth are challenging the Norwegian government in court for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic.

Necessity As the Mother of Prevention

TOM H. HASTINGS – This essay is meant to help those who are especially interested in the court proceedings of nonviolent resisters[1] to anthropogenic climate change. The intended readers would include nonviolent resisters, their lawyers, and those experts in strategic nonviolent civil resistance who may be asked to provide expert testimony validating the use of the necessity defense for resisters. In general, the necessity defense is known as an affirmative defense, a narrative that contextualizes and validates the otherwise apparently illegal actions of the nonviolent resisters.

Needed: A “Men Against Gun Violence” Campaign

ROB OKUN – Okay, guys, white guys—all guys—this is our moment to say, “Enough!” This is the moment to start a national “Men Against Gun Violence” campaign. Right after Newtown, women launched “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense” the day after the murder of 20 six and seven year-olds, and six staff at Sandy Hook elementary school. The day after!

Communities Prepare to Fight Fracked Gas Pipeline

PRESS RELEASE FROM ROGUE CLIMATE – Landowners, Tribes, and community groups are ready to stop the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG export terminal terminal for the third time in 12 years, following yesterday’s announcement by Veresen Inc. that it has filed its permit application for the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Anti-Pipeline Activists across the Country Unite to #StopETP

BRANDON JORDAN – The company behind the Dakota Access pipeline and many other damaging fossil fuel projects — Energy Transfer Partners — was the focus of nearly 20 actions spanning 10 U.S. states last week. The #StopETP protests, which took place on Friday and Saturday, included a flotilla on a Louisiana bayou, a blockade of pipeline construction equipment in Pennsylvania and a demonstration outside the Texas home of CEO Kelcy Warren.

10 Ways Shame & Blame Hurts Social Justice Efforts

VANISSAR TARAKALI – We have all experienced it. We have inflicted it on ourselves or others. Subtle and not-so-subtle shaming, blaming and self-righteous ostracizing undermine social justice work. But let’s say our community or social justice group decides to take these habitual shame and blame pitfalls seriously. Changing old habits is possible when we are focused and persistent. With that in mind, what can we do?

Mass Civil Disobedience Campaign Obstructs One of Europe’s Largest Polluters

SARA FREEMAN-WOOLPERT – Red and yellow circus tents rose over the Rhineland farmland of western Germany last weekend, as over 6,000 climate justice activists converged for a series of action days to protest coal mining in the region. This included a mass civil disobedience campaign called Ende Gelände (or Here and No Further), in which 3,000 participants illegally obstructed the coal mining infrastructure on Friday and Saturday.

‘There must be another way’: Israeli 19-year-old Jailed for Refusing Military Service

BETHAN MCKERNAN – ‘I do not believe in building walls but building bridges,’ pacifist Noa Gur Golan says in rare case of IDF draft refusal. “When I was little, I dreamt of being an IDF war pilot,” says 19-year-old Noa Gur Golan. Now, however, the teenager is sitting in Military Prison 396 near Haifa. She’s been branded a traitor and a coward. It’s not clear when she is going to be released, because she’s being detained for refusing to do her military service with the Israel Defence Force (IDF).

Mayors for Peace Call for Early Adoption of Nuclear Abolition Treaty

MAYORS FOR PEACE – “We call on the cities around the world to unite in cross-border cooperation to pave the way towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.” This call made by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the establishment of “Mayors for Peace.” Since then, we have appealed for the establishment of a legal framework to prohibit nuclear weapons as we believed it to be essential in achieving their abolition.

Ann Wright Wins 2017 Peace Prize

U.S. PEACE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION – We are pleased to announce that the US Peace Memorial Foundation has awarded its 2017 Peace Prize to The Honorable Ann Wright “for courageous antiwar activism, inspirational peace leadership, and selfless citizen diplomacy.”

Don’t Feed the Trolls – How to Combat the Alt-Right

KAZU HAGA – Nazism and white supremacy are forms of violence. Let’s start there. The constitution does not protect violence, and I’m happy to see that the California chapter of the ACLU has taken a stand against protecting the “free speech” of hate groups. But with or without marching permits, it is clear that public displays of hatred are a growing trend in the United States. And as much as I don’t want to give these groups more attention, it is also clear that simply ignoring them is not going to make them go away. So what do we do?

Should I Go to That Neo-Nazi Rally to Fight Back?

STEPHANIE VAN HOOK and MICHAEL NAGLER – When we hear that the Neo-Nazi movement is coming to our town, most of us naturally feel called—or pushed– to some kind of action. But not every action is going to be effective, especially if we are walking into a situation where the level of dehumanization is extreme—where people are prepared to harm or kill others. How then can we draw from the power of nonviolence in a situation of escalating violence?

What Did MLK Mean by “Love”?

JOSE-ANTONIO OROSCO – As someone who regularly teaches about the political philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., I often spend time discussing with students the ways in which King’s ideas are taken out of context and turned into sound bites in order to support positions he would not himself have taken.