Category: What’s Happening In the Movement

NRC Denies Nuclear Safety Petition

MICHAEL MARIOTTE – On April 9, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) formally denied a petition originally submitted by Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and 37 co-petitioners to make modest improvements in emergency planning for nuclear reactor accidents.

Earth Day Calls for a New Beginning

KEN MCCORMACK – For Earth Day, April 22, let’s vow to take responsibility. Our careless behavior has changed Earth much faster than predicted. We are living through a global crisis, and the United States is largely responsible. There are good economic reasons, of course, to deny what has happened. ExxonMobil is recording higher profits than ever. Expensive disinformation campaigns are spreading doubt. Governments and corporations are urging “more growth.” That is, “more for us!” But in our hearts we know. Endless growth is impossible, and its pursuit is immoral.

Military Recruiters Bully Counter-Recruiters in Portland School

ANGIE HINES – On March 13, a fellow counter military recruiter and I went to Cleveland High School to talk with students. We were in a room filled with uniformed
military recruiters, many more than necessary to staff a table. The Army, Army National Guard, Navy, and Marines were there. Within three to four minutes of our beginning to speak, we were essentially forced out of the room. Our treatment at the hands of the military recruiters was pathetic and not to be tolerated.

Peacebuilding: Powerful New Frame for the Peace Movement

MATTHEW ALBRACHT – The prevailing notion and dominant cultural story is that violence is inevitable and there is really nothing significant we can do about it. Luckily, this is a false assumption. Many new methodologies are emerging, at almost every level of society, which are proving to be highly effective ways to address conflict before it erupts into violence — or to turn it around more quickly when violence is already ensuing. Conflict may be inevitable, but violence does not have to be.

Small Arizona Town Challenges Border Patrol Excesses

JOHN HEID – “You have no rights here!” barked a U.S. Border Patrol agent to a resident of Arivaca, AZ who was passing through a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint 23 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. This remark confirms a sense of violation of rights that many borderlands residents have when encountering one of the 71 permanent or tactical checkpoints scattered across the southwestern U.S.

Peace Activists Challenge Government Harrassment

ANTI-WAR COMMITTEE – On Feb. 26, 2014 we were successful in getting unsealed the application and affidavit used to obtain the search warrants for the 2010 raids on the Anti-War Committee office and on the homes of Mid-west anti-war and international solidarity activists. A review of these documents shows not only the extent to which law enforcement will twist the truth in pursuit of a target, but also the obsession of the U.S. government with any opposition to the U.S. imperialist agenda and the depths to which they will go to suppress freedom of thought and speech.

Nuclear Weapon Resisters Sentenced to Long Prison Terms, Outrageous Fines

JOHN LAFORGE – Three anti-war activists who easily snuck into what is touted as one of the country’s most secure nuclear weapons facilities were sentenced to long terms in federal prison Tuesday, Feb. 18. The three were convicted last May on felony charges of depredation of property and sabotage for their nonviolent action called Transform Now Plowshares at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The convictions carried possible maximum sentences of 30 years in prison.

Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

NORMAN SOLOMON – The National Security Agency depends on huge computers that guzzle electricity in the service of the surveillance state. For the NSA’s top executives, maintaining a vast flow of juice to keep Big Brother nourished is essential — and any interference with that flow is unthinkable. But interference isn’t unthinkable. And in fact, it may be doable.

The Only Way to Stop Climate Change Now May Be Revolution

ERIC HOLTHAUS – So it’s come to this. Last year, a researcher presented a paper on climate change at the American Geophysical Union’s meeting entitled ”Is Earth F**ked?” which advocated “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups.”

Trial of Anti-Nuclear Activists Ends with Unusual Sentence

MEGAN FINCHER – [Dec. 30, 2013; Kansas City, MO.] Defense attorney Henry Stoever meekly approached the bench of Presiding Judge Ardie Bland Dec. 13, complaining that security had refused to let him bring certain pieces of evidence into the courthouse: a full-sized wooden door with a banner proclaiming, “Open the door to a nuclear weapons free world!”, as well as an array of picket signs. Stoever was representing eight nuclear protesters on this unlucky trial date, and Bland, who had sentenced other nuclear activists to jail just two years prior, was the inauspicious icing on the cake.

Anti-Drone Movement Prepares for Take Off

KEN BUTIGAN – An organizing summit held this past weekend [November 23-24] at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. — called Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance — signaled another important milestone in the growth of the anti-drones movement. With 400 participants, including people from nations regularly under drone attack, the conference was a mix of research, analysis, networking and concerted movement building. The news delivered at the gathering was grim, but the convergence gave attendees a sense that the struggle is gaining traction, both in the United States and internationally.

Oregon Megaload Protesters Savaged by Police

LYNN FITZ-HUGH – Hyperbole? You decide if this is how you believe the police should behave when citizens are exercising their constitutional right to free speech. On Monday, December 16, 16 people were arrested at two different locations on Hwy 26 outside John Day, OR. They were there in response to Omega Morgan Company moving a heat condenser from the port of Umatilla to the Tar Sands site of the XL pipeline in Canada.

Federal Court Vindicates Edward Snowden’s Actions

ANTHONY D. ROMERO – Edward Snowden is a great American who deserves full immunity for his patriotic acts. When Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA, he single-handedly reignited a global debate about government surveillance and our most fundamental rights as individuals. On Monday, a federal judge vindicated Snowden’s actions by declaring unconstitutional the NSA’s spying program, labeling it “Orwellian”-adding that James Madison would be “aghast.”

Public Interest Groups Propose a Budget for People, Peace and Planet

PRESS RELEASE FROM ROOTS ACTION & OTHER GROUPS – (December 10, 2013, Washington, DC). Representatives from a broad coalition including over a hundred peace, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, environmental and community groups called upon Congressional leaders Tuesday to increase funding for a wide range of domestic programs by cutting runaway, dangerous military spending by 25 to 50%.

Male Socialization – the Unconsidered Factor in Mass Shootings

ROB OKUN – As we prepare for the gut-wrenching first anniversary of Newtown on Saturday, I teeter back and forth between sadness and anger. Sadness that 20 six and seven year-olds were murdered—along with a half-dozen Sandy Hook Elementary School educators—and anger that public officials and most of the media still largely ignore the missing component in the Connecticut tragedy—the gender of the shooter.

Climate Change Protest Halts Megaload in E. Oregon

GEORGE PLAVEN – Dec. 2, 2013: Climate activists won the night Sunday, effectively stalling the first of three controversial “megaloads” from leaving the Port of Umatilla on schedule. Two protesters were arrested after they locked themselves onto the side and underneath the truck hauling massive equipment to the oil fields in Canada. It took police two hours to remove the men, and by the time they finished it was 11:30 p.m. About 50 people representing grassroots environmental groups, as well as the local Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, arrived late Sunday to speak out against the megaloads and industrial transporter Omega Morgan.

School of Assassins Faces Protest and Congressional De-Funding

JOHN LAFORGE – The U.S. Army School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia is a notorious training operation for Latin American officers and soldiers. It’s associated with some of the worst dictatorships and human rights violators in the hemisphere. Over the past 20 years, the grassroots School of Americas Watch (SOA Watch) has grown into one of the most dynamic, multi-generational, cross-continental movements against militarism in the Americas (SOAW.org/November).

Frequently Asked Questions about Chelsea (Bradley) Manning

EDITOR’S NOTE – Now that the trial is over and the case finished let’s not drop the ball and forget about Bradley Manning (who has changed his name to Chelsea and identified as a woman). She was courageous and did an honorable act. Lead attorney David Coombs explains how we can all show some solidarity and moral support, and notes the dos and don’ts in doing so.

U.S. Plans Nuclear Missile Tests Around International Day of Peace and UN High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament

NUCLEAR AGE PEACE FOUNDATION – Two dates this month have special significance to those who want to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons: the International Day of Peace (September 21) and the UN High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament (September 26). Instead of honoring the significance of these dates and working in good faith to achieve nuclear disarmament, the United States has chosen to schedule two tests of its Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on September 22 and September 26.

Israeli Activists Replace Threatening Military Signs with Messages of Peace and Resistance

HAGGAI MATAR – For several years now, all roads branching off of major Israeli-controlled West Bank highways and taking drivers towards Palestinian villages and cities, have been dominated by the presence of red trilingual warning signs. . . . On Saturday, July 13, 2013, a group of Israeli women went on a road trip to replace these threatening signs with more inviting texts.

Connecting Globally, Acting Locally for a More Peaceful and Just Future

PETER DECCY – For 68 years the peace movement has worked to insure nuclear weapons will never be used in war again. Worldwide solidarity of peace movements is increasingly possible and is more and more necessary in the work for peace so war will have no place to take root, so the wealth of nations is directed to creating a better world for its citizens and not spent on preparations for its destruction.

Nonviolent Blockaders Shut Down U.S./German Bomber Base

JOHN LAFORGE – On August 11, more than 750 people converged at Buchel Air Force Base — the largest joint U.S./German Luftwaffe air base — to condemn the retention of 20 U.S. nuclear weapons, in open violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In a show of popular rebellion 150 hearty war resisters blockaded all nine base entrances for 24 hours.

Bradley Manning Wins Peace Prize

DAVID SWANSON – U.S. whistleblower and international hero Bradley Manning has just been awarded the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award by the International Peace Bureau, itself a former recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Manning is a nominee this year.

Santa Monica Passes West Coast’s First Rights of Nature Ordinance

INTERVIEW BY SIMON DAVIS-COHEN – Santa Monica recently passed an ordinance that elevates its right to enforce its Sustainable City Plan, rights to clean air, water and soil, and the rights of nature above corporate entities’ privileges and powers. The interview is a written conversation between Read the Dirt editor Simon Davis-Cohen and Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of Earth Law Center and advocate of the Santa Monica Sustainability Rights Ordinance.

Together We Drew The Line

DAVID OSBORN – Saturday (July 27, 2013) we drew the line. Some 800 people came together from across the region including Vancouver (WA), the Tri-Cities, Astoria, Eugene, Bellingham, Vancouver (BC), Seattle, Portland and Hood River to demonstrate our unity in opposition to the oil, coal and gas terminals proposed throughout the Northwest and our commitment to take action such that none shall pass through our region.

How Germany Is Getting to 100 Percent Renewable Energy

THOMAS HEDGES – There is no debate on climate change in Germany. The temperature for the past 10 months has been three degrees above average and we’re again on course for the warmest year on record. There’s no dispute among Germans as to whether this change is man-made, or that we contribute to it and need to stop accelerating the process.

Stop the Monsanto Protection Act

TWILIGHT GREENAWAY – It’s that exciting time of the year again when the Senate and House Appropriations Committees gets together to hash out the annual agriculture budget. I know, right? Really fun stuff.

This year, in addition to the usual underfunding of legislation that could make the food system more sustainable, the appropriations process has become especially charged, thanks to a one-paragraph addition called the “farmer assurance provision.”

Give Peace a Dance Slated for March 23

PETER BERGEL – The best peace party in Oregon, Give Peace a Dance, will shake, rattle and roll Salem’s Grand Ballroom (187 High St. NE) from 6-11 p.m. on March 23rd. The event features superb entertainment, silent and oral auctions, delicious food and a no-host bar. The event benefits Oregon PeaceWorks, a statewide peace, justice and sustainability organization based in Salem.

FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CIVIL JUSTICE FUND – FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund(PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

35 Years in Prison for Embarrassing H-Bomb Guards?

JOHN LAFORGE – Risking your personal freedom for a worthy cause is as American as apple pie. But nonviolently putting your life at risk in defense of others is so rare that the actor is sometimes dismissed as crazy. Some people think the Transform Now Plowshares activists were crazy for sneaking into a nuclear weapons factory — the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. — in order to make a direct, unequivocal and crystal clear demand for an end to the expensive, poisonous, criminal and delusional self-destructiveness of building nuclear bombs.

Power of One: Ronny Edry Creates Israel ♥ Iran Image

REV. JIM HETZER – An Israeli graphic designer overhead a conversation at a grocery in Tel Aviv between the owner and a customer. The owner said that soon Iran would send 10,000 missiles to rain down on Israel. The customer said it would be 10,000 missiles a day. The Israeli graphic designer is named Ronny Edry. He has heard this kind of story over and over for the last 10 years. He felt that he needed to do something to help the situation.

Carol Bragg’s Fast for a ‘Revolution in Values’

KEN BUTIGAN – The December 14 rampage that claimed the lives of 28 people, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn., has prompted a vigorous new debate on gun violence in the United States and the emergence of a spate of legislative proposals that the president and Congress may broach sometime this year. While policies designed to outlaw or control guns are needed now more than ever, for many of us these efforts must be rooted in a larger imperative: coming to grips with the culture of violence that makes this kind of tragedy possible and seeing our way clear to an alternative.

Organic Seed Growers Take Monsanto to Court

JIM GERRITSEN – WASHINGTON, DC – November 23, 2012 – On November 21, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., announced that it would hear the Appeal of Dismissal inOrganic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto at 10am on Thursday, January 10, 2013. The landmark organic community lawsuit was originally filed in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York, in March 2011.

Message from Sen. Merkley About Military Spending

JEFF MERKLEY – This letter is a reply from Sen. Jeff Merkley to PeaceWorker Editor Peter Bergel in response to Bergel’s request that Merkley support major cuts to the military budget during the upcoming “fiscal cliff” debate, rather than allow cuts to social security, medicare, or other remaining components of the safety net. Let’s hold Merkley to this encouraging approach.

Time for Obama to Break His Silence About Climate Change

TED GLICK – When did this silence begin? A piece in last week’s Guardian newspaper reminded me of how far back it goes, to a meeting the White House organized for leaders of environmental groups in March of 2009 at the Old Executive Office building next to the White House. At the meeting, according to the Guardian, aides to Obama made it clear that they did not plan to talk much about climate and wanted their supporters to do the same.