ROB OKUN – Brent Renaud. Marina Ovsyannikova. One a US filmmaker killed by Russian troops on March 13 while working on a documentary about refugees. The other, an editor-producer on Russian state TVâ€™s Channel One who dramatically interrupted a news broadcast to hold aloft a sign denouncing Putinâ€™s war. She was immediately arrested. Renaudâ€™s senseless killing one day and Ovsyannikovaâ€™s brave action the next, unintentionally have forged a link between journalism and wartime truth telling that cannot be overstated.Â
NORMAN SOLOMON – If Joe Biden fully meant what he said after meeting with George Floydâ€™s family in the Oval Office on Tuesday, he wonâ€™t nominate Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan. But recent news reports tell us thatâ€™s exactly what the president intends to do.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Are we transcending the religion that gave us slavery?
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.
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.
ASHLEY SMITH – The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating as the death toll climbs ever higher around the world. Spectreâ€™s Ashley Smith interviews epidemiologist Rob Wallace about the global capitalist roots of the current pandemic, the likelihood of future pandemics, and the types of organized resistance necessary to prevent them.
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.
MENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE OF PORTLAND, OREGON – While we are doing everything we can to battle the systemic racism that has built up over hundreds of years, we must help those who are struggling with mental health and addictions, and are most likely right now to face excessive police force.
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.
TOM H. HASTINGS – Bring the issues raised by Black Lives Matter back to the best policing possible and remove the politics by removing the violence. We as US citizens deserve nothing less.
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.
WINSLOW MYERS – Militarism is found in the rhetoric of all those, from the president to Rush Limbaugh, who push a joyless, simplistic us-and-them worldview that tries to negate the existential reality that we are in this together, all challenged to acknowledge our interdependence and steward the life-support system that sustains us. For this great task, militarism is obsolete.
ARNIE ALPERT – With Black Lives Matter in the midst of an unprecedented moment, now is the perfect time to read â€œThe Movement Action Planâ€ â€” a model for understanding the long arc of movements.
ANDREW BACEVICH – The nationâ€™s current preoccupation with race, as honorable and necessary as it may be, falls well short of adequately responding to the situation confronting Americans as they enter the third decade of the twenty-first century. Racism is a massive problem, but hardly our only one. Indeed, as Martin Luther King sought to remind us many years ago, there are at least two others of comparable magnitude.
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.
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.
KATHY KELLY – After the onset of COVID-19, Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, had this message for the world: â€œThe fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdownâ€¦.. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes. End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.â€
NORMAN SOLOMON – With Amy Klobuchar now on Joe Bidenâ€™s short list for vice president, the gruesome killing of George Floyd has refocused attention on Klobucharâ€™s history of racial injustice.