Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

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.

Walkers Expose Prison Industrial Complex

KATHY KELLY – Along with Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) companions, I’m part of a 150 mile walk from Chicago to Thomson, IL, a small town in Northwest IL where the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is setting up an Administrative Maximum prison, also known as a Supermax. Prison laborers from U.S. minimum security prisons now labor to turn what once was an Illinois state prison into a federal supermax detention facility with 1900 cells that will confine prisoners for 23 hours of every day. Drivers seeing us with our signs often wave or honk approval as they whiz past us on the road. “Education not Incarceration” says one sign; “Build hospitals, not Prisons,” says another.

How Nonviolence is Building Trust in Afghanistan

KATHY KELLY – Here in Kabul, I read a recent BBC op-ed by Ahmed Rashid, urging a “diplomatic offensive” to build or repair relationships with the varied groups representing armed extremism in Afghanistan. Rashid has insisted, for years, that severe mistrust makes it almost impossible for such groups to negotiate an end to Afghanistan’s nightmare of war. U.S. people should earnestly ask how the U.S. could help build trust here in Afghanistan, and, as a first step, begin transferring funds from the coffers of weapon companies to the UN accounts trying to meet humanitarian needs. The “giant” could be seen stooping, humbly, to help plant seeds, hoping for a humane harvest.

Remembering Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared

RIVERA SUN – Campaign Nonviolence is a movement to build a culture of active nonviolence. We share the stories of nonviolent action, drawing lessons, strength, and strategy from the global grassroots movements for change. Throughout the year, we look at historic struggles. The last week of April commemorated the 39th anniversary of the first protest of the Argentina’s Mothers of the Disappeared.

How We Won on Net Neutrality

RAY MORRIS – We won something big last week and we want to make sure you know just how important it was. For over a decade, CREDO fought ferociously to protect Net Neutrality. Last week a federal court handed us a huge and game-changing win for the future of an open and equal internet when it rejected the lawsuit to overturn the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) historic Net Neutrality rules.

New Tool for Communities on How to Promote Peace

THE COMMUNITY TOOLBOX – Promoting Peace is a free online resource offering detailed guidance and links to resources for students and those working as advocates. Focused on concrete steps that can be taken as an individual, a family, a community, and global society it showcases evidence-based approaches shown to be effective in preventing and stemming violence and fostering more compassionate communities.

Global Peace Index: Peace Gap is Widening

INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE – In the 12 months since the last Global Peace Index, increased conflict, terrorism and the refugee crisis suggests a less peaceful world. However, despite the increasingly unequal gap between peaceful and less peaceful nations, there are positive trends where the data tells a different story.

Former OPW Director on Peace Mission to Russia

PETER BERGEL – As some of you know, I’ll leave on June 15 to join a citizen diplomacy peace delegation to Russia for two weeks. I will take with me a peace message from the mayor and mayor-elect of Salem, OR and will, I hope, bring back peace messages from Russian citizens, decision-makers, academicians and journalists. I will also listen carefully to the Russians’ concerns, especially those that concern our own country.

DAVID SWANSON – In the early 1980s almost nobody from the United States traveled to the Soviet Union or vice versa. The Soviets wouldn’t let anybody out, and good Americans were disinclined to visit the Evil Empire. But a woman in California named Sharon Tennison took the threat of nuclear war with the seriousness it deserved and still deserves. She got a group of friends together and asked the Russian consulate for permission to visit Russia, make friends, and learn.

Rethinking Criminal Justice

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – “For over forty years our criminal justice system has over-relied on punishment, policing, incarceration and detention. This has ushered in an age of mass incarceration. This era is marked by sentencing policies that lead to racially disproportionate incarceration rates and a variety of ‘collateral consequences’ that have harmed our communities and schools. . . .”

On June 2nd Remember the Mother’s Day Peace Proclamation

RIVERA SUN – Every year in May, peace activists circulate Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Peace Proclamation. But, Howe did not commemorate Mother’s Day in May . . . for 30 years Americans celebrated Mother’s Day for Peace on June 2nd. It was Julia Ward Howe’s contemporary, Anna Jarvis, who established the May celebration of mothers, and even then, Mother’s Day was not a brunch and flowers affair. Both Howe and Ward commemorated the day with marches, demonstrations, rallies, and events honoring the role of women in public activism and organizing for social justice.

Direct Action Taken to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

ANNE MILLHOLLEN – On May 7, members of Beyond War NW were able to join the Mother’s Day Gathering and Action sponsored by the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington (www.gzcenter.org). The back fence to their lovely, forested Center, is part of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Located 20 miles from Seattle, the Trident submarine base at Bangor has the largest single stockpile of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal. The base is the last active nuclear weapons depot on the West Coast.

The Blue Revolution – How Kuwaiti Women Used Nonviolence to Gain Suffrage

RIVERA SUN – This week in nonviolent history commemorates the successful conclusion of Kuwait’s Blue Revolution. On May 17th, 2005, Kuwaiti women gained suffrage after more than 40 years of struggle. The women used a wide variety of approaches to achieve their goals, including lobbying, introducing repeated legislation, protests and demonstration, marches, rallies, and mock elections.

Youth > Fossil Fuels

KATIE MCCHESNEY – Something big is unfolding on campuses across the country this spring. In early April, twenty students from Swarthmore College launched a creative theatre action outside their administrator’s office in Philadelphia to call out her shady ties to the fossil fuel industry — including to oil giant Exxon — that are clouding her judgment on divestment. This marks the beginning of a national wave of campus action students are calling Youth > Fossil Fuels. Students are demanding that universities divest from fossil fuels once and for all, and reinvest in just solutions to the climate crisis.

Pennsylvania Township Legalizes Civil Disobedience

COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND – Grant Township, Indiana County, PA: Tonight, Grant Township Supervisors passed a first-in-the-nation law that legalizes direct action to stop frack wastewater injection wells within the Township. Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) has sued the Township to overturn a local democratically-enacted law that prohibits injection wells.

Did the Vatican Just Throw Out Its Just War Doctrine?

ERICA CHENOWETH – Last week, the Vatican hosted a conference on the theme of “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,” organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace along with the global Catholic peace network Pax Christi International. In their concluding appeal to Pope Francis, the 80 conference participants recommended that he reject Just War Doctrine as a viable or productive Catholic tradition. They also recommended that he write a new encyclical laying out the Catholic Church’s commitment to nonviolence in all of its manifestations—including nonviolent action as a means of engaging in conflict, nonviolent conflict resolution as a way of resolving conflict, and nonviolence as the principle doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Tax Day Actions Include Protests and Refusal to Pay

PRESS RELEASE – From traditional Tax Day, April 15, 2016, through the final day to file in Maine and Massachusetts on April 19, hundreds of people in communities across the United States will take public action to call for a change federal budget priorities away from military spending and to human and environmental needs. Individually and in groups, many of these concerned activists will divest from the Pentagon by refusing to pay some or all of their federal income taxes, which help to pay for war.

How to Counter Recruitment and De-Militarize Schools

DAVID SWANSON – U.S. military recruiters are teaching in public school classrooms, making presentations at school career days, coordinating with JROTC units in high schools and middle schools, volunteering as sports coaches and tutors and lunch buddies in high, middle, and elementary schools, showing up in humvees with $9,000 stereos, bringing fifth-graders to military bases for hands-on science instruction, and generally pursuing what they call “total market penetration” and “school ownership.” But counter-recruiters all over the United States are making their own presentations in schools, distributing their own information, picketing recruiting stations, and working through courts and legislatures to reduce military access to students and to prevent military testing or the sharing of test results with the military without students’ permission. This struggle for hearts and minds has had major successes and could spread if more follow the counter-recruiters’ example.

Residents Demand No New Offshore Oil Leases in Gulf of Mexico

KATE COLWELL – For the first time ever, hundreds of Gulf Coast residents are joining forces with local and national environmental and social justice groups to oppose a federal offshore fossil fuel lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed lease of 43 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to develop as much as 965 million barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is the largest single offering by the Obama administration. Today, the coalition sent a letter to President Obama requesting the sale’s cancellation as it [prepared] for an unprecedented March 23 demonstration at the Superdome, where the bids will be announced.

#NuclearIsDirty Campaign Kicks Off

MICHAEL MARRIOTTE – Last week we launched a new campaign to put an end to the myth of “clean nuclear power,” and we are off to a great start. We are rolling out the #NuclearIsDirty campaign with a series of online and social media events over 12 weeks. During that time, we will take you through the entire nuclear fuel chain, from uranium mining all the way to the impossible problems of radioactive waste and contamination.

Open Request to Secretary Kerry Regarding the Murder of Berta Cáceres

The tragic assassination of Berta Cáceres, a leading voice for Honduran Indigenous rights and tireless advocate for justice, has resulted from the inability of governments to provide security to environmentalists and makes it increasingly dangerous and difficult for communities to protect their rights and environments. The letter clarifies the details.

Huge Victory! FERC Denies Jordan Cove Project

ROGUE RIVERKEEPERS – Today – March 11 – we received amazing news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal in Coos Bay and its associated Pacific Connector Pipeline! This is a huge victory for our Rogue Basin and all who would have been impacted by this project.

Oregon Legislature Passes Historic Coal Transition Bill

HEALTHY CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP – The Oregon Legislative Assembly yesterday approved a landmark bill that will commit the state to eliminate its use of coal power by 2035 and double the amount of clean, renewable energy serving Oregonians to 50 percent by 2040. Otherwise known as the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition plan, Senate Bill 1547-B received final approval on the Senate floor today after the Oregon House approved the bill in a 38-20 bipartisan vote on Tuesday.

Salem’s Pringle Creek Community is now a B Corp

PRINGLE CREEK COMMUNITY – Pringle Creek Community is now a B Corporation, part of the global business community inspiring businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world but to also be the best FOR the world, a community that is working to use the power of commerce as a force for good vs just for profit.