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?
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!
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.
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€
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.
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€
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.
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.
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.
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.
PEOPLE’S DISPATCH – Despite police repression and the COVID-19 pandemic, workers and farmers and their allies across India participated in the pan-India strike action against the recent neoliberal reforms pushed through by the Narendra Modi government.
JESSICA CORBETT – Environmental and Indigenous activists celebrated Friday after Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took action to shut down the decades-old Enbridge Line 5 oil and natural gas pipelines that run under the Straits of Mackinac, narrow waterways that connect Lake Huron and Lake Michiganâ€”two of the Great Lakes.
STEPHANIE LUCE – Strikes are rare but political strikes are on the agenda more than they have been in many years. Labor Action to Defend Democracy has come together to “plant seeds and stir the pot,” and work with community partners to protect the vote.
EMMA HABER – In the aftermath of the closing of Hopewell House, the only hospice house in Portland, one final hope has arisen. After 30 years providing compassionate and dignified end-of-life care, Hopewell sadly shuttered its doors in 2019. With only months to raise the funds, Friends of Hopewell House, a newly incorporated 501(c) nonprofit, has launched a $5 Million capital campaign to purchase the property from Legacy Health Systems and once again open the beloved institutionâ€™s welcoming doors.
KENNY STANCIL – “It’s obscene and offensive to us that local and state governments move to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day while the federal government blows up our sacred sites, steals our kids, militarily occupies our communities, and shoots at Native Americans.”
DONNA PARK – It is now more evident than ever that the world lacks the structures necessary to successfully address the many global problems facing it. The General Assembly of the United Nations represents the nations of the world. But the governments of these nations often seem more worried about protecting their national sovereignty than about addressing global problems that are existential threats to humanity.
NICK ENGELFRIED – After a devastating wildfire season on the West Coast, climate activists are busy mobilizing mutual aid, young voters and a just recovery.
JAMES RYAN – There are many ways to make a difference. One of the most important is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult: provide dignity. Please do not studiously ignore the homeless person on the park bench or look away from the one sitting on the sidewalk as you pass. Greet them or strike up a small conversation. Many homeless people report that more difficult than giving up their possessions is giving up the dignity of being seen.
LORETTA GRACEFFO – More than 30 years after ACT UP was founded, their bold activism in response to the AIDS crisis offers critical lessons for those mobilizing around COVID-19.
BRETT WILKINS – The Belmarsh Tribunalâ€”named after the notorious British prison where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned as he faces possible extradition to the U.S.â€”was convened remotely Friday morning by Progressive International (PI). The activists “put the United States government on trial” for crimes ranging “from atrocities in Iraq to torture at GuantÃ¡namo Bay to the CIA’s illegal surveillance programâ€”and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them.”
JESSICA CORBETT – “We’re in a make-or-break decade for the preservation of our planet and our livelihoods,” said C40 chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
GEORGE LAKEY – Weâ€™re making amazing progress mobilizing people to choose democracy. Large national progressive organizations are now quietly creating alliances to be able to move swiftly after the November election, even if some that are now going all-out to get out the vote.
GEORGE LAKEY – A knee-jerk protest wonâ€™t stop a Trump power grab. Itâ€™s going to take several clear, do-able strategies that together enable us to win.
JEAN MITSCH – For activists or non-activists of any age, the memoir, Activist Odyssey: Inside Protest Movements, Some of Which Worked, brings to life an historic journey by a committed activist.
FRIDA BERRIGAN – Forty years ago, the Plowshares Eight sparked a movement of nuclear disarmers that continues to take responsibility for weapons of mass destruction.
KATHERINE HUGHES-FRAITEKH – Waging Nonviolence and Solidarity 2020 and Beyond are launching a new webinar series featuring experienced grassroots activists from a broad array of international struggles.