Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

A Call to Mobilize the Nation over the Next 18 Months

REV. JOHN DEAR – While the media and the nation sit transfixed over the Trump scandals and attacks on democracy, those of us who work for justice and peace know that we have to keep working, resisting, and mobilizing people across the country if we are going to have the social, economic and political transformation we need for our survival.

Trump Quadruples Obama’s Rate of Drone Strikes

JOSEPH GIBSON – “Trump has taken Obama’s massive and limitless drone war and quadrupled strikes—more than one a day now,” said Courage to Resist’s Jeff Paterson. “My hope is that because it’s now The Donald lawlessly murdering people with flying robots, folks will begin to realize how insane this ‘less interventionist’ policy is. Aside from being a terrorist recruiting tool, it’s morally unjustifiable. We need to resist, and support those with the courage to do so.”

Civil Rights Advocates Renew Efforts to Oust Bannon

NEWS RELEASE – As news outlets continue to report on whether embattled White House chief strategist and white nationalist Stephen Bannon will continue serving in the administration, 23 diverse civil rights groups are reminding the Trump Administration that governing through Bannon’s divisive and hateful campaign style is out of step with the country.

U.S. Out of Korea

DAVID SWANSON – My biggest concern is not the embarrassment of a U.S. public afraid of the tiny impoverished nation of North Korea. If that embarrassed me, how would I survive what U.S. culture makes of ISIS, or — for that matter — the election of Donald Trump? My biggest concern is that U.S. war profiteers may end up using Korea to get us all killed.

Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All

ANDREW MOSS – When silent complicity prevails, the gates to authoritarianism are opened wide. Yet the choice to speak on behalf of the other can still be exercised if citizens act in time. In such choosing we can see not only the movement of the individual conscience. We can also see how democracy itself – the culture and institutions sustaining human rights – can be kept alive as well.

Protest and Persist: Why Giving Up Hope is Not an Option

REBECCA SOLNIT – I began talking about hope in 2003, in the bleak days after the war in Iraq was launched. Fourteen years later, I use the term hope because it navigates a way forward between the false certainties of optimism and of pessimism, and the complacency or passivity that goes with both. Optimism assumes that all will go well without our effort; pessimism assumes it’s all irredeemable; both let us stay home and do nothing. Hope for me has meant a sense that the future is unpredictable, and that we don’t actually know what will happen, but know we may be able write it ourselves.

Veterans For Peace Endorses Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act

TULSI GABBARD – “Those who have seen and experienced war firsthand share a unique appreciation for the need for peace. From Iraq to Libya and now in Syria, the U.S. has and continues to wage wars of regime change, each resulting in unimaginable suffering, devastating loss of life, and the strengthening of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. I am grateful to have the support of Veterans for Peace for the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, and for their work to prevent the United States from continuing to pursue counterproductive, interventionist wars,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Do These 10 Things, and Trump Will Be Toast

MICHAEL MOORE – Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.” First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble — in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House — and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich”, so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job.

A 10-point Plan to Stop Trump and Make Gains in Justice and Equality

GEORGE LAKEY – I was among the 100,000 who marched in San Francisco’s Women’s March the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. While enthusiasm for the struggle seemed high, an important question was looming: What’s the strategic plan, as we head into the Trump era? Although there’s no simple answer, I offer this 10-point plan — fully open for discussion and debate.

Activist Challenges Supreme Court Over Capital Punishment

JACK PAYDEN-TRAVERS – “I won’t be able to make that appointment as I’ll be in jail next Tuesday,” I told the nurse who was setting the date for my checkup to remove stiches. She appeared a bit shocked that this aging white middle class male was going to jail. I tried to assure her that I would return–just not on the 17th. I explained to the nurse that January 17, 2017 is the 40th anniversary of the first execution in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in the case of Gregg v Georgia back in 1976.

What Kind of Nonviolence Training Do You Need?

RIVERA SUN – Campaign Nonviolence is often contacted by people who are looking for nonviolence trainings. Frequently, they are not sure what type of training they need, or what the catch-phrases are to describe what they’re looking for. This guide is offered as a resource in identifying which type of nonviolence training supports the needs of each situation. We believe that a culture of active nonviolence will benefit from training all citizens in all of these skills and practices. However, the different types of trainings are distinct and not interchangeable.

Resolve in 2017: Eternal Hostility to Poverty, Racism and Militarism

KATHY KELLY – No matter what gang is issuing the orders to kill, whether a massive military power or a smaller group that has acquired weapons, we can all claim our right not to develop, store, sell or use weapons. We can claim our right not to kill and not to live with the memory of having killed. “Declaring eternal hostility” to the fear, greed and hate which are our real enemies seems to be our true hope. We can lay aside forever the futility of killing. We can be hopeful and determined that our resources and ingenuity are directed toward meeting human needs.

Be a Citizen Diplomat in 2017

SHARON TENNISON – For the whole of 2016, we have been actively deliberating how best to use the Center for Citizen Initiatives’ 33-year experience in the US-Russia field––since Russia is increasingly being declared America’s enemy #1––which we totally reject. We’ve concluded that our successful programs of the ’80s are precisely what is needed again in today’s baffling environment.

UN General Assembly Approves Historic Resolution

TONY ROBINSON – On December 23, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly approved an historic resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The vote follows a decision on 27 October, 2016, by the General Assembly’s First Committee – which deals with disarmament and international security matters – to begin work on the new treaty despite fervent opposition from some nuclear-armed nations.

A Visit to Russia for “Life Extension” of the Planet

BRIAN TERRELL – The life extension of our planet needs to be a universal goal. To speak of, let alone pour a nation’s wealth into a program of “life extension programs for weapon systems” is nothing short of madness. Our Russian friends’ confidence in our collective sanity and the steadiness of our leadership, especially in the wake of the recent election, is a great challenge. I am grateful to new friends for the warmth and generosity of their welcome and I hope to visit Russia again before long. As important and satisfying as these “citizen diplomatic” encounters are, however, we must honor these friendships through active resistance to the arrogance and exceptionalism that might lead the U.S. to a war that could destroy us all.

Coalition Applauds Final Denial of Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline

NEWS RELEASE FROM ROGUE CLIMATE (SENT BY HANNAH SOHL) – Late Friday, December 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a request from Canadian oil and gas companies for rehearing of the case surrounding the proposed Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline, finalizing the commission’s rejection of the project in March. Landowners, citizens, and organizations are now calling on the State of Oregon to cease work on any outstanding permits related to the terminal and pipeline.

What Being a Refugee in Afghanistan Means

KATHY KELLY – December 10th marks the U.N. Human Rights Day, celebrating and upholding the indispensable and crucial declaration of universal human rights. On the eve of this event, I visited a refugee camp housing 700 families in Kabul. Conditions in refugee camps can be deplorable, intolerable. Here, the situation is best described as surreal.

Focus on the Silver Lining

PETER BERGEL – The election is over and Trump won. In a country with a sane election system, he would not have, but we have the Electoral College, so he did. In Joe Hill’s immortal words, “Don’t mourn; organize!”

Something to Teach Us About Living Well

DAVID SMITH-FERRI – At a gathering in Redwood Valley, California, on November 6th, I listened while a Native American activist told us that opposition to DAPL shouldn’t be about moving the pipeline off-rez. It should be about an end to pipelines. It should be about the shift we need to make to alternative energy. No doubt nationwide support of the protest at Standing Rock is a complex, multi-faceted reaction. And no doubt it has something to do with the courage of Native people who are standing up to “big petroleum” in an era of growing consciousness and fear of climate change. Maybe we are, at long last, witnessing a dawning consciousness that there is something crucial to be learned from First Nations, a spark of recognition that the people who occupied this continent for twelve or fourteen thousand years without harming it may just have something to teach us about living well on this planet.

Celebrate and Take Action to Support Paris Climate Agreement

REV. CANON SALLY G. BINGHAM – Today [Nov. 4, 2016] is an historic day! The Paris Climate Agreement will become international law. Currently 96 countries have ratified the agreement, representing just over two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris agreement will reduce emissions toward a shared goal of keeping global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, with an aspirational target of no more than 1.5 degrees.

Standing with Standing Rock: #NoDAPL

REV. ANTHONY GRIMES – Right now, FOR National Council member Sahar Alsahlani, former National Council member Rick Ufford-Chase, FOR executive assistant Juliette Suarez, and I are traveling to the Standing Rock Sioux nation in North Dakota to join more than 350 faith leaders from across the United States.

Cops Jail 141 in ND: Even More ‘Water Protectors’ Step Up to the Frontline, Citing 1851 Treaty

NAVAJO – It was not 83 Water Protectors who were arrested on Saturday, October 22, as reported yesterday: 141 people were actually jailed! The 83 count was from the Morton County jail alone. Due to a lack of space to hold the 141 arrested, Morton County sent protectors to several county jails. Arrestees continue to report being strip searched for misdemeanor charges. This seems to be a “Let’s catch everyone we can in one fell swoop” approach by police. But like other environmental protests in the U.S., this was not catch and release. Our people are being held and forced to pay bail.

Seattle City Council Approves Green Career Pathways Resolution

CLIFF CAWTHON – Seattle City Council unanimously adopted Got Green’s Green Pathways Resolution on Monday to support the development of green careers for young people of color, both in city government and Seattle’s private sector. The legislation focuses on combating socioeconomic barriers for young people in communities of color to access paths to quality internships, apprenticeships and jobs.

Oregon Activist Mary Paladino Dies

OBITUARY OF MARY CADY PALADINO – Mary was a brilliant, strong, spirited woman with a huge and joyful heart, who greatly valued her independence, worked tirelessly every day of her long, happy life to make the world a better place, and was consistently a beacon of positive energy, love and light to those around her. Mary passed from this world on August 13th, 2016 on a bright, clear morning surrounded by family and loved ones, and at the moment of her passing a vivid rainbow filled the sky to let us know that while Mary’s body could no longer carry on, her boundless energy and love will continue to grace this world.

Pope’s World Day of Peace Message to Focus on Nonviolence

KEN BUTIGAN – The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will issue his annual World Day of Peace message for the first time on the theme of nonviolence. Entitled “Nonviolence: The Style of Politics of Peace,” the January 1, 2017 papal message will be sent to all foreign ministries worldwide. Announced by Vatican Radio this week, the traditional message is intended to indicate “the diplomatic concerns of the Holy See during the coming year.”

The White Rose: Nonviolent Resistance to Hitler

RIVERA SUN – In June 1942, a pair of German university students formed The White Rose, a German resistance movement that used a series of leaflets to decry Nazi militarism and call for an end to the war. Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell wrote the first four leaflets between the end of June and beginning of July. In the fall, Hans’ sister, Sophie Scholl, discovered that her brother was one of the authors of the pamphlets, and joined the group. Shortly after, Willi Graf, Christoph Probst, and Kurt Huber became members.

Growing a Culture of Nonviolence

RIVERA SUN – Is America tired of its violence yet? While the media reports on the onslaught of shootings, militarism, police violence, and hate-motivated violent crimes, growing numbers of citizens are taking a stand in nonviolent action and community organizing nationwide.

The Catholic Church’s Turn Toward Nonviolence

JOHN DEAR – “I believe we are at an important and hopeful turning point in human history,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire said after a Rome conference in April, “a turning from violence to nonviolence, war to peace.” I hope Christians and Church people everywhere will study our statement, urge their local church leaders to teach Gospel nonviolence, and pray for and call for such an encyclical so that we can get Catholics and Christians out of the big business of war and start the world down a new path–toward a new world of peace.