TOM H. HASTINGS – To me, Memorial Day will always be a peace holiday. It should commemorate the hundreds of millions who did not die from thermonuclear warfare this year. May we be so lucky until next Memorial Day.
PEDRO RIOS – From challenging narratives justifying violence to know-your-rights trainings and cultural actions, border communities are building a powerful movement.
ARNIE ALPERT – While New Hampshire seeks to prosecute #NoCoalNoGas campaigners for â€œbad behavior,â€ activists continue their struggle against the regionâ€™s worst offender.
SARAH FREEMAN-WOOLPERT and ARNIE ALPERT – By escalating from symbolic actions to obstruction, the #NoCoalNoGas campaign is mounting a serious challenge to the fossil fuel industry with a growing network of climate activists.
CAM FENTON – As climate activists prepare to stop a tar sands pipeline in British Columbia, history offers an important lesson on fighting a restrained and measured opponent.
KEN BUTIGAN – Itâ€™s synchronistic that, the same week Pope Francis brought his message of peace, people and the planet to the United States, thousands of activists were dramatizing many of these same themes by taking to the streets in hundreds of cities for a culture of peace and nonviolence. It was a coincidence that Campaign Nonviolenceâ€™s second annual week of nonviolent actions took place during the popeâ€™s visit. But the fact that both happened at the same time underscores the importance of two critical elements of nonviolent change: vision and action.
BERNARD E. HARCOURT – Our language has not yet caught up with the political phenomenon that is emerging in Zuccotti Park and spreading across the nation, though it is clear that a political paradigm shift is taking place before our very eyes. Itâ€™s time to begin to name and in naming, to better understand this moment. So let me propose some words: â€œpolitical disobedience.â€
GEORGE LAKEY – I am happy to announce that a four-year project is now ready for release to you: 430 cases (and growing) of campaigns from around the world that used nonviolent direct action.
ERICA CHENOWETH – From Cairo, Egypt, to Madison, Wisconsin, civil societyis fighting back through massive nonviolent resistance. But what makes for a successful campaign? The data is in.
BILL MCKIBBEN – Let’s consider for a moment the targets the federal government chooses to make an example of. So far, no bankers have been charged, despite the unmitigated greed that nearly brought the world economy down. No coal or oil execs have been charged, despite fouling the entire atmosphere and putting civilization as we know it at risk. But engage in creative protest that mildly disrupts the efficient sell-off of our landscape to oil and gas barons? As Tim DeChristopher found out on March 3, that’ll get you not just a week in court, but potentially a long stretch in the pen.
TED GLICK – â€œThose who take the meat from the table teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss call ruling too difficult for ordinary men and women.â€ – Bertolt Brecht
Several times in columns over the last year or so I have written about the need for a â€œthird force,â€ a broad, inclusive, independent, and progressive united front.
JEFF LEYS: Last month, Admiral Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) announced that the Pentagon will seek additional war funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2010. While he did not give a firm dollar amount, the New York Times reported that defense budget analysts are kicking around the number of $50 billion.
This month’s letters to the Editor: 1) Vote With Your Dollars Against Chevron ; 2) Mountaintop Removal Protest Prompts Bail Money Request; 3) ACES Bill Too Watered Down to Support; and 4) Voice of the People? Not.