Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

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.

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.