GEORGE LAKEY – Many assume that polarization is a barrier to making change, but history shows otherwise. By learning what worked in previous periods of polarization, we can observe a clear roadmap to transformation.
Category: What’s Happening In the Movement
Trouble in town? Send in the Maroon People Instead of the Police
MELINDA BURRELL – The Mediation Response Unit (MRU) of Dayton, Ohio, is helping people understand, among other benefits, that they don’t need to use violence in a dispute, or call the police, or threaten attorneys. Another way is frequently a far better response. Often police are called for a disturbance but cannot do anything because it is a civil, rather than criminal, complaint.
Unions Buoyant as 1.27 Million French Protest Pension Reform
ELAINE GANLEY, JADE LE DELEY and JOHN LEICESTER – An estimated 1.27 million people took to the streets of French cities, towns and villages on January 31, according to the Interior Ministry, in new massive protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the retirement age by two years.
A Victory for Abolitionists: ICE-Run Immigration Prison Shuts Down Today
ADRIANNA TORRES-GARCIA and JASMINE RIVERA – It took nearly a decade of exposing the patterns of abuse and neglect at the facility in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
What Determines the Success of Movements Today?
CATHY ROGERS – Building on the recommendations of other movement strategists, new research from the Social Change Lab offers key insights into the factors that lead to protest wins.
Movement to stop Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’ calls for support after police kill forest defender
ZANE MCNEILL – “The struggle that is playing out in Atlanta is a contest for the future. It will determine whether those who come after us inherit an inhabitable Earth or a police state nightmare … The forest defenders are trying to create a better world for all of us. We owe it to the people of Atlanta and to future generations everywhere to support them.”
Celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
KARY LOVE – We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Such a time is now. Become part of human progress. Call, write, use this time creatively to end the threat to creation.
Become a “Vehicle” for the Shift to Nonviolence
SUSAN BEAVER THOMPSON – Let us each become a “vehicle” for a monumental shift toward a more evolved way to manage our conflicts. Though a challenging endeavor, Peace on Earth is possible… and it’s coming. Since Susan Thompson’s first peace journalism trek in 2013, much has changed. People are waking up, becoming engaged and taking action for what they believe. The soil is ripe for pioneering peace activists and peace journalists to rock the world.
Why I’m Going to Jail In Germany Instead of Paying Fines
JOHN LAFORGE – Refusing to pay fines for nonviolent resistance to nuclear war preparations is, from John LaForge’s position of privilege, also an act of solidarity with the poor, the undocumented, and the outcasts who often don’t have resources or connections enough to purchase their way out of pre-trial detention or incarceration for minor offenses.
As we confront the climate crisis, is bigger and faster always better?
CHARLIE WOOD – By prioritizing large-scale climate responses we might be missing out on the kind of bottom-up solutions most aligned with bringing the world back within its limits.
Unity in the community, or, how I learned to get along with my enemies
TOM H. HASTINGS – Hate only feeds more hate, more destruction, more violence, more useless continuation of wreckage. Unless some people simply stop, however unilaterally that might be, the hate will never vanish. It may go under some rock when social norms force it there, but it is like a peat bog fire just waiting under the surface, for years sometimes, before conditions allow it to erupt into a raging wildfire. How? How to drop the hate?
Bike Libraries Are Boosting Access To Bikes Across The US
CINNAMON JANZER – Campuses And Libraries Across The Country Are Increasingly Adding Bikes To Their Inventory, Increasing Access To Cycling Along The Way.
CODEPINK’s Statement on Congress Passing $858 Billion Military Budget
MELISSA GARRIGA – Budgets like the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) are moral documents. What this $858 billion “defense” budget (includes $50 billion for nuclear weapons; $25 billion for missile defense) is saying to every person in this country is that the people in power do not care about us. Bought by the war industry, they ONLY care about their own profits. They would rather give almost a trillion dollars to death, destruction, and war profiteers than meet the needs of the people.
These Cities’ Car-Free Streets Are Here to Stay
MAYLIN TU – Cars? In this economy? Here’s how four cities kept miles of pavement traffic-free, turning a popular pandemic solution into a permanent fixture.
In Barcelona, Kids Bike to School in Large, Choreographed Herds
CINNAMON JANZER – “The boys and girls who use bicibús establish new relationships with [other kids] from their neighborhood and of different ages … creating new opportunities to share space in the same neighborhood where they live,” Vilardell says. “If, in Catalonia, there are already more than a thousand people pedaling to school, [others] can do it too. [They can] fill their schools with bicycles for our health, the health of the children, and that of the earth.”
‘Powerful Victory’ as Judge Dismisses Charges Against Line 3 Water Protectors
JESSICA CORBETT – Opponents of Line 3 on Tuesday welcomed a Minnesota judge’s dismissal of all charges against five water protectors arrested last year for protesting plans to have the tar sands pipeline cross the Shell River in several places.
Why grassroots activists are turning to the wonky world of monetary policy to fight for economic justice
PAMELA HAINES – Determined to challenge the all-encompassing threat of private banks, a small group in Ohio is leading a campaign to put monetary reform on the national agenda
Your Brain on Elections: Democracy Means Listening to the Other Side
BELINDA BURRELL – I’m afraid what Thanksgiving will be like, no matter how the election turns out,” a friend commented. She’s not wrong to be worried. Elections bring up all sorts of emotions and behaviors that create division. Understanding our “brains on elections” can help.
Gun Store Closes to Avoid Assault Rifle Controversy in Portland, Oregon — Activists Claim Minor Victory
PETER BERGEL – “They didn’t sell any assault rifles today. That’s a start.”
The Fossil Free Research Movement is Taking Universities by Storm
NICK ENGELFRIED – A student-led effort to get fossil fuel money out of university research is building on the divestment movement’s biggest successes.
The Rights of Nature Movement Cannot be Stopped
PAMELA HAINES – From the Navajo Nation to a small town in Pennsylvania to Ecuador, then across the world, the idea of enshrining the rights of nature is only growing.
Get Mad About Nuclear Madness
DAVID SWANSON – But right now there’s not a single U.S. Congress Member seriously sticking their neck out for peace, much less a caucus or a party. Lesser evil voting will always have the strength of logic it has, but none of the choices on any of the ballots includes human survival — which merely means that — just as throughout history — we need to do more than voting. What we can’t do is allow our madness to become meanness, or our awareness to become fatalism, or our frustration to become a shifting of responsibility. This is all of our responsibility, whether we like it or not. But if we do our very best, working in community, with a vision of a peaceful and nuclear free world before us, I think we just might find the experience likable. If we can form pro-peace communities everywhere like the one we’ve been part of this morning, we can make peace.
Activist Shareholders for Smith & Wesson Embrace the Long View in Struggle to Curb Gun Violence
ARNIE ALPERT – Despite failing to pass a human rights resolution, one group of investors will continue the fight to hold the world’s biggest firearms manufacturer accountable.
We have a violence problem – Campaign Nonviolence strives to solve it
RIVERA SUN – Violence may be everywhere, but so are we. Tens of thousands of people will move into action between Sept 21-Oct 2 to bring a nonviolent world one step closer to reality. Will you?
There’s No Place for Burnout in a Burning World
CHARLIE WOOD – Climate activists can start to build a stronger culture of care by taking burnout seriously and understanding its root causes.
Marine Life Defenders Say UN Talks ‘Last Chance’ for Global Ocean Treaty
JESSICA CORBETT – Because the high seas “don’t ‘belong’ to anyone, they have been treated recklessly with impunity,” said one campaigner, arguing that “nobody’s waters” must become “everyone’s responsibility.”
Veterans Send Letter to President Biden: “Read Our Nuclear Posture Review Before Releasing Yours”
VETERANS FOR PEACE – In an Open Letter to President Biden, Veterans for Peace is requesting that he take a look at their Nuclear Posture Review before issuing his own. The letter is prompted by the escalating war in Ukraine and the growing possibility of nuclear war.
Why Is There More Media Talk About Using Nuclear Weapons Than About Banning Them?
KARL GROSSMAN – It’s of critical importance—indeed, existential importance—to the world: the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. And a coalition of peace organizations in the United States is charging that media are acting like the treaty “does not exist.” The Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative is waging a campaign to encourage press coverage of the treaty, which, it argues, “provides the only pathway to a safe, secure future free of the nuclear threat” (Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance Newsletter, 6/22).
Practicing Safe Protest: Just Say No to Violence
DR.TOM H. HASTINGS – Our peace team is one of many across the US and we hope more and more folks seek training in more and more towns so we can return to protest that is very assertive, but not aggressive, not alienating to the public, and everyone stays safe.
Climate Change: If you want to know who changed Manchin’s mind–you did
BILL MCKIBBEN – For decades now, when asked about the point of one climate protest or another, I’ve usually said something to the effect of: we fight to change the zeitgeist, people’s sense of what is normal and natural and obvious. Yes, we fight to block this pipeline or divest that pension fund, and each of those is important: but they add up to something more, a slowly moving weight that eventually shifts from one side to the other. That’s what happened last night when Joe Manchin caved. Now the Senate finally—for the first time in more than three decades—seems set to pass actual serious climate legislation.
Financial Sector Addresses Meeting on Nuclear Ban Treaty
ICAN: INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS – For the first time ever investors were directly represented at a conference of parties to a humanitarian disarmament treaty. The Italian asset manager Etica Funds, on behalf of a group of 37 investors presented a group statement to the first meeting of states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Organizers are reeling yet determined following Supreme Court’s dangerous expansion of gun rights
ZANE MCNEILL – After celebrating the Senate’s gun control legislation, advocates are planning new actions in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on concealed carry.
KXL is Officially Dead
JOYCE BRAUN – KXL Official Termination “marks the end of one heck of a fight!”
Is our democracy at risk? Actions we all can take to protect it
MELINDA BURRELL – The January 6th Committee is showing us how fragile our democracy is. Our trust in each other and in our institutions is waning – in both parties. Norms of peaceful, inclusive democratic activity are being eroded, as we see from reports about professional election officials being intimidated.
Time to launch “Dads Demand Action to Raise Healthy Boys”
ROB OKUN – This Father’s Day, if you like, sure, fire up the grill and give Dad a new fishing rod. But also, let’s encourage men—fathers, sons, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, nephews—to move off the sidelines as bystanders and onto a field of dreams as change agents cultivating a disease-resistant crop of healthy boys.
Organizers Are Demanding a Green New Deal for the Gulf South
C.J. POLUCHRONIOU – The Green New Deal project proposed by progressive activists and lawmakers carries special weight for sustainability in the Gulf Coast.
Protesters Take On NRA Convention After Texas Shooting
CHARLIE SCUDDER – Hundreds rally for gun control outside the NRA’s Houston meeting, calling on Americans to ‘protect kids, not guns.’
The People’s Summit for Democracy Offers a Progressive Vision to Counter U.S. Dominance in the Americas
SHEILA XAIO and MANOLO DE LOS SANTOS – For the Americas, which are on the cusp of transformative times, the age of the Monroe Doctrine is over.
Great Plains Farmers Push Back Against CO2 Pipelines Encroaching on Their Land
LEANNA FIRST-ARAI – Farmers, ranchers, and other rural community members across five Great Plains states and Illinois — many of whom were previously sued by developers of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines wanting to build through their land — are finding their property, safety and livelihoods encroached upon yet again by corporations. This time, they’re coming up against developers, many with fossil fuel ties, who are seeking to cash in on climate solutions tax credits to build a massive network of carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines across the United States.
Rebellious Climate Scientists Have Message for Humanity: ‘Mobilize, Mobilize, Mobilize’
KENNY STANCIL – In the face of the “escalating climate emergency,” the advocacy group Scientist Rebellion warns that the IPCC summary to global policymakers remains “alarmingly reserved, docile, and conservative.”
Ukraine War Causing Fractures in the Peace Movement When It’s Needed Most
BRIAN GARVEY – Cohesive opposition that demands an end to the violence and bloodshed in Ukraine must be the top priority of advocates for peace.
Energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins: â€˜Itâ€™s the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest way to address the crisisâ€™
JOHN VIDAL – Just as with the 1970s oil shocks, the problem today is not where to find energy but how to use it better, Amory Lovins says. The answer is what he calls â€œintegrative, or whole-system, design,â€ a way to employ orthodox engineering to achieve radically more energy-efficient results by changing the design logic. Design, retrofitting, and efficiency, these are the answers to the climate crisis.
Ukrainians took to the streets to avert a nuclear disaster. Will Americans do the same?
PAUL GUNTER and LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – The near disaster at Europeâ€™s largest nuclear power plant shows why activists fought for decades to end these risks â€” and why mass action is needed once again.
Two Hundred Nobel Laureates Call for an End to the Ukraine War
NOBEL LAUREATES – Two hundred two Nobel laureates voice their support for the Ukrainian people and the free and independent state of Ukraine as it faces Russian aggression.
Worried about Nuclear War? You can actually do Something to Prevent it
FRIDA BERRIGAN – If anything good can come out of the horrific war in Ukraine, it might be a renewed movement to abolish nuclear weapons once and for all.
300,000 Russians Sign Peace Petition in 12 Hours
RUSSIAN PETITIONERS – We appeal to all sane people in Russia, on whose actions and words something depends. Become a part of the anti-war movement, speak out against the war. Do this at least in order to show the whole world that there have been, there are and there will be people in Russia who will not accept the meanness created by the authorities, who have turned the state itself and the peoples of Russia into an instrument of their crimes.
Independent American and Russian Women Call for Peace
WOMENCALL4PEACE – We are women from the United States and Russia who are deeply concerned about the risk of possible war between our two countries, who together possess over 90% of the worldâ€™s nuclear weapons. We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another. We stand together and we call for peace. Stand with us.
US and Russian Doctors Warn of Possible Global Catastrophe from Escalating Conflict in Ukraine
INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS FOR THE PREVENTION OF WAR – American and Russian physicians representing IPPNW are warning that the war in Ukraine could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe as a result of conventional fighting and the attendant risks to that countryâ€™s nuclear power facilities and of escalation to nuclear war.
No War with Russia! No Expansion of NATO!
MASSACHUSETTS PEACE ACTION – The US has just managed to extract itself from a 20-year war in Afghanistan. Does our government seriously want to embark on another war? Since 2001, our long, bloody, fruitless interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan have cost thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in those countries, andÂ $6.4 trillion.
Who is Willing to Participate in Non-Violent Civil Disobedience for the Climate?
CONTRIBUTORS – In September 2021, we asked Americans about their willingness to support an organization engaging in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse and about their willingness to personally engage in such non-violent civil disobedience themselves. Here we examine how this willingness varies across different groups including Global Warmingâ€™s Six Americas, generations, and the three largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States.