PETER BERGEL – We must build a movement strong enough to abolish nuclear weapons altogether. It will take a lot of work and will not happen overnight, but if we want to survive, it is up to the citizens of the nuclear-armed nations to demand that their governments conclude the nuclear disarmament agreements necessary to enable all of them to sign the nuclear ban treaty.
Category: What’s Happening In the Movement
Candidates, Keep it Clean! The Exhausted Majority is Urging
MELINDA BURRELL – Weâ€™re hearing more about ourÂ â€œexhausted majorityâ€Â â€“ the two-thirds of Americans who are tired of the polarization and anger that surround us, are flexible in their attitudes, and want a way out of the divide.
Wet’suwet’en Water Protectors Vow to Continue Struggle after Announcing Strategic Retreat
ANISH R M – In the face of another crackdown by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), anti-pipeline Wetâ€™suwetâ€™en protesters have retreated from Coyote Camp. In an announcement on January 4, the activists of the Indigenous Wetâ€™suwetâ€™en tribe in British Columbia, Canada, have stated they are staging a â€œstrategic retreat.â€ Water protectors who have been resisting the construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline and staging an occupation and blockade at the drill site near Camp Coyote have retreated to evade arrests and another violent police crackdown.
Should Fighting for Democracy Take Priority over Building Powerful Social Movements?
GEORGE LAKEY – Activists throughout history have put social movement work on hold for the electoral arena. Determining whether to do so is a matter of strategy and calling.
Rohingya Sue Facebook for $150bn for Fueling Myanmar Hate Speech
AL JAZEERA and NEWS AGENCIES – Rohingya refugees have sued the social media giant Facebook for $150bn over claims the social network is failing to stem hate speech on its platform, exacerbating violence against the vulnerable Myanmar minority.
How the USA Could Lead a Global Green New Deal
KEVIN DANAHER – The world is facing two interlinked crises: politically motivated violence and global destruction of the environment. They are obviously related, in that global military conflicts and weapons spending are among the most egregious wasters of resources on the planet. This project would seek to unify those elements of the military and civil society who want to accelerate the transition to sustainability while also improving the security of the United States.
Victory in Ecuador: Constitutional Court Upholds Rights of Nature
PRESS RELEASE of the CENTER FOR DEMOCRATIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS – Rights of Nature Victory in Ecuador: In the Los Cedros case, the Constitutional Court upheld the rights of nature. The Court ruled that mining in a protected forest is unconstitutional, and violates the constitutional rights of nature.
Digging for Peace – Resisting Nuclear Weapons
BRIAN TERRELL – NATO boasts of â€œSteadfast Noon,â€ betraying the arrogant conviction of the Allied Heads of State and Government that despite a â€œdeteriorating security environment,â€ through annual displays of brute force and profligate waste of fossil fuel, the darkness can be held at bay forever and the exploiters of the earth and its people will bask in the everlasting light of noon. The scholars at The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who have kept a â€œDoomsday Clockâ€ since 1947, propose instead that the planet is actually closer to midnight, the hypothetical global catastrophe. The Bulletinâ€™s Clock is now at 100 seconds before midnight and humanity is closer to its destruction than ever before, because “the dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder… Climate change just compounds the crisis.â€
Why Public Banking is a Step Toward Revolutionizing Our Economy
PAMELA HAINES – The public banking movement is creating an opening wedge for the transfer of our financial system from private to public control.
Why Activism Needs to be Part of any Meaningful Climate Education
NICK ENGELFRIED – Simply teaching kids about the science of the climate crisis isnâ€™t enough. To prevent feelings of disempowerment, they need to see how they can make a meaningful impact.
Protest at Manchin’s Yacht Demands End to His Obstruction of Reconciliation Bill
JAKE JOHNSON – West Virginia activists in kayaks and electric boats converged on Sen. Joe Manchinâ€™s yacht in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 27, to protest the right-wing Democratâ€™s continued obstruction of his own partyâ€™s reconciliation package, a central component of President Joe Bidenâ€™s climate and safety net agenda.
4,391+ Actions for a Better World: Campaign Nonviolence Action Week is Bigger Than Ever
RIVERA SUN – From Sept 18-26, tens of thousands of people took action for a culture of peace and active nonviolence, free from war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction.
You Can Help Stop Climate Chaos: 25 Ways
TOM H. HASTINGS – Almost all of us can do far better to fight climate chaos with relatively little effort.Â
Louisiana Plastics Plant Put On Pause In A Win For Activists
OLIVER LAUGHLAND – The US government has placed further delays on a proposed multibillion dollar plastics plant in southÂ Louisiana, marking a major victory for environmental activists and members of the majority Black community who have campaigned for years against construction.
‘We owe them a huge amount’: March to Honour Greenham Common Women
ALEXANDRA TOPPING – Forty years ago a small group of women, along with a few men and children in buggies in tow, left their homes in Wales to protest against the arrival of US nuclear warheads at RAF Greenham Common. The steps they took that day would lead to the establishment of the Greenham womenâ€™s peace camp, which at its height gathered more than 70,000 women for direct action and became the biggest female-led protest since womenâ€™s suffrage.
Abolishing Nuclear Weapons is the Peopleâ€™s Job
PETER BERGEL – Any of our cities could be incinerated by today’s nuclear weapons without warning at virtually any moment, either accidentally or purposely. Yet this monstrous possibility has fallen off the radar of most citizens and politicians.
We Must Choose the Future for This Newborn Child
RIVERA SUN – The story of a “Sixth Mass Extinction” must be turned around. The child born today will be almost 80 in 2100. What kind of world will we build for her?
‘Homecoming’: 100 Years after Forceful Removal, Nez Perce People Celebrate Reclaimed Land
DIANNE LUGO – On Thursday, July 29, more than 150 Nez Perce (Niimiipuu) people returned and blessed part of their homeland, a hundred years after the U.S Army drove them from the Wallowa Valley in eastern Oregon.Â
Everyone has a Role to Play in Stopping the Line 3 Pipeline
EILEEN FLANAGAN – Indigenous water protectors and allies are effectively engaging all four roles of social change â€” just what’s needed to beat a company as powerful as Enbridge.
Jesse Jackson, William Barber Among Dozens Arrested While Demanding Filibuster Repeal Outside Sinema’s Office
KENNY STANCIL – Thirty-nine people, including civil rights champions Revs. Jesse Jackson and William J. Barber II, were arrestedÂ Monday, July 26, duringÂ a sit-in outside the Phoenix office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a conservative Democrat whose opposition to filibuster reform is enabling Senate Republicans to obstruct the passage of progressive legislation on voting rights, the minimum wage, immigration reform, climate action, and more.
As DA Rejects Charges, Bayou Bridge Water Protectors Vow ‘We Will Not Stop Our Work’
BRETT WILKINS – “Louisiana’s ‘critical infrastructure’ law is an attempt to take away our personal freedom along with our constitutional right to protest,” Annie White Hat continued. “I stand proud of our work and am grateful for the countless allies who bravely stepped forward to support the first direct actions to stop oil and gas in the swamps of south Louisiana.”
Why the Russian Revolution Actually Owes its Success to Nonviolent Resistance
DAVID CARROLL COCHRAN – Despite conventional wisdom, Russians relied principally on a sophisticated and diverse array of nonviolent methods to end centuries of tsarist rule in 1917.
Media Turns Against Government for Supporting Violence In Country of Georgia
GIORGI LOMSADZE – Following the death of a cameraman who was attacked by a far-right mob, thousands rallied against the government, which they blamed for condoning the violence. But the authorities only doubled down.
Peace on the Korean Peninsula Needs to Be a Priority
KEVIN MARTIN – This year marks the sixth annual edition of coordinated advocacy days calling for peace in Korea. When it first started in 2015, just 12 people participated; the effort has now grown to include more than 200 people. Korean-Americans, the fifth largest Asian-American population in the U.S., are leading the effort and have become more politically engaged than just a few years ago, but everyone in this country, in Asia and around the world, would benefit from a more peaceful, less militarized Korean peninsula.
Sunrise Activists Arrested Over ‘No Climate, No Deal’ Blockade of White House
JESSICA CORBETT – Dozens of youth activists with the Sunrise Movement were arrested by Secret Service agents on Monday, June 28, while blockading all 10 entrances of the White House to demand that President Joe Biden and federal lawmakers deliver an infrastructure package that invests in job creation and combats the climate emergency.
‘Horrible and Unconscionable Betrayal’: Biden DOJ Backs Trump Line 3 Approval
JESSICA CORBETT – Indigenous and environmental activists fighting against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline were outraged Thursday, June 24, after the Biden administration filed a legal brief backing the federal government’s 2020 approval of the project under former President Donald Trump.
50 Years Ago, the Pentagon Papersâ€™ Success Hinged on a Personal Conversion to Nonviolence
ROBERT LEVERING – Without the friendships he forged in the antiwar movement, Daniel Ellsberg might not have found the courage and support he needed to help end the Vietnam War.
‘Keystone XL Is Dead!’: After 10-Year Battle, Climate Movement Victory Is Complete
JOHN QUEALLY – “Keystone XL is now the most famous fossil fuel project killed by the climate movement,’ said one veteran campaigner, “but it won’t be the last.”
Puerto Rican Workers: No Peace If Energy Is Privatized
WORKER’S WORLD – Unions representing thousands of Puerto Rican workers, ranging from teachers to truck drivers, support Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA) workers and demand the LUMA Energy contract be repealed.
Tribe Fends Off Dangerous Open Pit Mine Plan
REBECCA ROWE – The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin sent a mine developer back to the drawing board after a legal battle over sacred sites and water contamination.
Yaqui Resisters Dismantle a Gas Pipeline and Sell It As Scrap Metal
DALIRI OROPEZA and REYNA HAYDEE RAMIREZ – The gas pipeline was already a foregone conclusion, at least thatâ€™s what the company, the subsidiary, and the government of Sonora thought. They were wrong. Yaqui women narrate how they have stopped this project.
‘Oi Barclays, Clean Your Act Up!’ – Extinction Rebellion Dirty Scrubbers Pay a Visit to Barclays HQ
EXTINCTION REBELLION – [On March 30] Extinction Rebellion Dirty Scrubbers took their theatrical protest to Barclays Bank headquarters in Canary Wharf with a letter to the bank demanding it â€˜clean its act up!â€™ The scrubbers were armed with a â€˜wobbly washing machineâ€™ and a bubble machine. They washed the blood, oil, and greenwash out of Barclaysâ€™ dirty money and cleaned the black carbon out of Barclaysâ€™ arctic exploration in a theatrical performance designed to highlight the role of banks in the climate and ecological emergency.
Where Are the â€œOtherâ€ White Men?
ROB OKUN – Where are the â€œotherâ€ white men? Who wear masks, believe in gender equality (and science), raise their children, donâ€™t â€œbabysitâ€ them; workingmen volunteering in their communities? There are plenty of them below the mediaâ€™s radar, and many like them are in BIPOC communities.
Rewriting Portlandâ€™s Violence Narrative
RANDY BLAZAK, TOM HASTINGS, and SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY – Portland residents hold the key to changing the narrative of violence that has characterized the city. Nonviolent civil disobedience, such as peaceful protesting June 1, 2020, a demonstration for Black lives, can help lessen polarization and build broad support for change.
How DC Peace Team Modeled Community Protection during Election-related Demonstrations
METTA CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE – DC Peace Team, or DCPT, has had a presence in Washington, D.C. since 2011, mobilizing volunteers at different events with the potential to turn violent. So, when local organizations expressed a need for a coalition of experienced volunteers to step forward to be a part of the safety and security collective actions in the city, DCPT team was prepared.
Myanmar Protesters string up Women’s Clothes for Protection
JIRAPORN KUHAKAN – Protesters in Myanmar have taken to stringing up womenâ€™s clothing on lines across the streets to slow down police and soldiers because walking beneath them is traditionally considered bad luck for men.
Comcast Bows to Community Demands; Doubles Internet Speed
JULIE ZEGLEN – The comms giant raised speeds of its service for low-income customers. Coming amid a pandemic, it raises the questions: Is it enough? And what is Comcast’s responsibility to solve the digital divide?
Biden Takes Huge Step to Put Values First with Yemen Decision
KATE KIZER – â€œPresident Bidenâ€™s expected decision to end offensive U.S. military support in Yemen is a momentous victory. We, along with all those who have for years fought U.S. complicity in the catastrophic war in Yemen, are thrilled that this day is finally here. We commend the Biden administration for following through on its campaign promise.
How a Small-Town Paper is Applying Conflict Mediation Skills to its Opinion Content
JULIE HART – A letter to the editor was painful evidence that a small, community newspaper’s commitment to publishing as many letters as possible was no longer advancing a healthy dialogue among readers, if it ever had. In the town’s increasingly divided community, the paper had to take a hard look at how it could become part of the solution.
Climate Activists Mount Utility Strike to Urge the Shutdown of New England Coal Plant
BARBARA PETERSON – The Strike Down Coal campaign provides a COVID-safe form of disobedience, building on more than a year of direct actions to shut down Merrimack Station. Activists protest the continued burning of coal in New England by refusing to pay utility bills, and mailing coal to the utility company instead. (Facebook/No Coal No Gas)
Concerning Violence and Hate: A New Year’s Wish
SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY MD – Lately, I have been reflecting on what I have in common with extremists. It turns out that the list is longer than one would think. I hold their same passions for change, an ability to withstand discomfort–put more bluntly, tolerance for risk of pain that some term masochism–and I share a lack of tolerance for passivity and denial. Extremists are people of action. I am a person of action. I empathize with their demand to be heard and seen. They want us to feel their pain, even to the point of killing us to further their cause. As a pacifist and humanist, where I differ radically is in the choice of tactics.
Demand That Progressives in Congress Force Pelosi’s Hand
FORCETHEVOTE – We demand that every progressive in Congress refuse to vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House until she publicly pledges to bring Medicare for all to the floor of the House for a vote in January. Force the Vote!
Peru ‘Coup’: Public Fury Forces Resignation of Interim President Leaving Dangerous Power Vacuum
ALONSO GURMENDI DUNKELBERT – The growing popularity of parliamentary coups in Latin America is frequently overlooked outside of the region, but it is nonetheless an extremely worrying practice. What has happened in Peru should be seen by the international community as a renewed opportunity to examine this new kind of antidemocratic procedure. In the meantime, without a clear consensus on how to move forward and restore stability, there will be difficult months ahead for Peru â€“ and Latin American democracy in general.
Why Progressives Must Not Give Joe Biden a Political Honeymoon
NORMAN SOLOMON – Silence or grumbling acquiescence as the Biden presidency takes shape would amount to a political repetition disorder of the sort that ushered in disastrous political results under the Clinton and Obama administrations. Progressives must now take responsibility and take action. As Nina Turner says, â€œeverything we love is on the line.â€
Choose Democracy’s Whirlwind Effort to Prevent a Coup is a Crash Course in Good Organizing
EILEEN FLANAGAN – Choose Democracy â€” the whirlwind start-up that trained 10,000 people to prevent an election-related power grab â€” started with just three folks. Two had full-time jobs and small children. The other was 82 years old. Over the summer of 2020, Daniel Hunter, Jenny Marienau and George Lakey observed alarming signs that Donald Trump might not go quietly if defeated at the polls. As experienced trainers and organizers, they knew that preparation helped people to act powerfully. So they decided to prepare people to resist a potential coup based on nonviolent strategies that have worked in other countries.
Announcing “No Honeymoon” for Biden
ROOTSACTION.ORG – On December 16, the progressive activist group RootsAction.org announced the launch of â€œNo Honeymoonâ€ — a sustained campaign that will mobilize grassroots pressure on Joe Biden from across the country. The groupâ€™s NoHoneymoon.org website invites activists â€œto join with RootsAction to push back against the destructive forces of corporate power, racial injustice, extreme income inequality, environmental assault and the military-industrial complex.â€
How Portland Radicalized Me
SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY, MD – Today I find myself in an untenable position. I run an online encrypted mental health service to serve the Portland protest movement. This is the story of how I came to use a code name, an encrypted email and apps, and risk myself to help frontline activists.
Is It Time to Re-Envision Our Constitution?
GREG COLERIDGE and JESSICA MUNGER – The electoral crisis, the decline of trust in government, and gross income inequality in the United States may seem like separate issues. But they have a surprising, common origin: the US Constitution, or more accurately, its shortcomings. Indeed, the depth of multiple crises in our nation in 2020 â€” if not their existence entirely â€” are all rooted in our flawed Constitution and the judicial decisions that it has facilitated.
Meet the Volunteer Organizing Team Helping Non-Union Workers during the Pandemic
ERIC DIRNBACH – As early as March, there was a clear need to find ways to assist workers in confronting the new unsafe world at work. Thatâ€™s when the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee, or EWOC, was born. A joint project of the Democratic Socialists of America and the United Electrical workers union, EWOC recruited volunteer organizers to talk with workers who wanted to organize around COVID-19 concerns. It created a request form for workers to fill out, which it spread through social media. Inquiries from workers started coming in every day.
Earth to Portland: Dispatch from the Nationâ€™s Problem Child
TOM H. HASTINGS and SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY MD – Itâ€™s time for us to show the world that Portland is a town of peace warriors. Letâ€™s practice activism that everyone can participate in, including our children. This world is theirs to inherit–letâ€™s make our streets safe for them again.