LAURA FINLEY – While there is much to be done to address the many problems with policing in the US, the fix here seems quite simple: Stop hiring and rehiring people who are not good at their jobs.
GEORGE LAKEY – Thirty-five years after his death, the man who mentored Martin Luther King Jr. still has much to teach movements about harnessing the power of ‘people in motion.’
ALAN MACLEOD – Google has sent a warning shot across the world, ominously informing media outlets, bloggers, and content creators that it will no longer tolerate certain opinions when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
MARK ENGLER and PAUL ENGLER – The importance of grassroots organizing is still being underestimated.
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.
EILEEN FLANAGAN and GEORGE LAKEY – Two of the organizers who trained Americans to defend against a Trump-led coup explain how to minimize the threats to democracy going forward.
WINSLOW MYERS – Are we wholly defined merely by our opinions? The great Sufic poet Rumi said: â€œOut beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. Iâ€™ll meet you there.â€ Kate Johnson, a Buddhist teacher, writes: â€œThe Buddha said that friendship is the whole of holy life. To accomplish it, we need only overcome our fear of reaching out to one another.â€
JEANNE THEOHARIS – The way we talk about Rosa Parks covers up uncomfortable truths about American racism.
DONNA PARK – Most Americans who either support or accept the large amount of money spent on the U.S. military probably do so because they think it makes our nation secure. But does it really?
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.
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.
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.
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.
PETER BERGEL – In the wake of the COVID epidemic, the movement to ensure that Black Lives Matter, the inadequacies revealed in our health care system, the movement to address climate change and the growing disgust our people feel for the U.S.â€™s ongoing foreign wars and international bullying, the time has come for system-wide changes.
MARIA J. STEPHAN, CANDACE RONDEAUX and ERICA CHENOWETH – With elections four months away, and the rule of law under steady attack, people power could prove decisive in ensuring a constitutional transfer of power without violence.
DANIEL HUNTER – There are steps the Black Lives Matter movement can take to carry on the remarkable energy it has built â€” and steps that could cause it to disappear.
MEDEA BENJAMIN and ZOLTAN GROSSMAN – If we find indiscriminate state violence in our streets appalling, we should feel similarly about state violence abroad, and call for divesting from both police and the Pentagon, and reinvesting those taxpayer dollars to rebuild communities at home and abroad.
TAMIKO BEYER – As K-pop fans and Black organizers and artists are demonstrating, joyful, powerful movements draw more people in and reflect the kind of world we want to live in.
CHARLES M. BLOW – Feel-good gestures from politicians and the police shift no power. Real change lies within a system overhaul.
LARA PUTNAM, JEREMY PRESSMAN, ERICA CHENOWETH – Across the country, people are protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and demanding action against police violence and systemic racism. National media focuses on the big demonstrations and protests against policing in major cities, but they have not picked up on a different phenomenon that may have major long-term consequences for politics. Protests over racism and #BlackLivesMatter are spreading across the country â€” including in small towns with deeply conservative politics.
ERIC STONER – Momentum organizer Nicole Carty discusses how the Black Lives Matter movement built consensus on racial justice and the strategy needed to make the goal of defunding police a reality.
LAURA FINLEY – White people need to consider how they can truly be allies to the movement and whether their motives to participate are more self-serving than helpful. I implore everyone who wants to be a white ally to read the tips at Issuu.com, â€œ26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets,â€ and identify the best ways to act.
KINGS BAY PLOWSHARES 7 – More than 18 months after they snuck onto the site of one of the largest known collections of nuclear weaponry in the world, a jury found the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 guilty of all four of the charges brought against them.
OMNESHA ROYCHOUDHURI – The next time someone tries to tell you itâ€™s hopeless or that we need to â€œreach across the aisle,â€ because weâ€™ve never been more divided, tell them theyâ€™re right. Weâ€™ve never been more divided: Over decades, the Democratic and Republican platforms have become increasingly out of touch. The real divide in America is between what the majority of us want and need, and what a tiny minority â€” a handful of extremists in power â€” have been offering.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – When I recently asked a prominent activist how she was doing, she took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, â€œEverything Iâ€™ve been working on for 50 years has gone down the toilet.â€ With so many good people feeling depressed, letâ€™s point to the positive things that happened, even in this really, really bad year.
REBECCA SOLNIT – I began talking about hope in 2003, in the bleak days after the war in Iraq was launched. Fourteen years later, I use the term hope because it navigates a way forward between the false certainties of optimism and of pessimism, and the complacency or passivity that goes with both. Optimism assumes that all will go well without our effort; pessimism assumes itâ€™s all irredeemable; both let us stay home and do nothing. Hope for me has meant a sense that the future is unpredictable, and that we donâ€™t actually know what will happen, but know we may be able write it ourselves.
MICHAEL MOORE – Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.” First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble — in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House — and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich”, so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job.
GEORGE LAKEY – I was among the 100,000 who marched in San Franciscoâ€™s Womenâ€™s March the day after Donald Trumpâ€™s inauguration. While enthusiasm for the struggle seemed high, an important question was looming: Whatâ€™s the strategic plan, as we head into the Trump era? Although thereâ€™s no simple answer, I offer this 10-point plan â€” fully open for discussion and debate.
PATRICK T. HILLER – The war that has come home is that of unchallenged U.S. militarism. While easily identifiable in wars abroad, the sometimes subtler forms of militarism played out in six ways over the last days.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – It would certainly be easy to do a piece about 10 horrible events from 2015, from the ongoing war in Syria and the refugee crisis, to the bombings in Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino, to the rise of Donald Trump and Islamophobia. But that wouldnâ€™t be a very inspiring way to bid farewell to this year and usher in a new one. So letâ€™s look at 10 reasons to feel better about 2015.