Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun
A recent report proved that creative action is far more effective than conventional petitions and speeches. When it comes to creativity, street artist Banksy is a master. Banksy’s recent art installation in a downtown storefront features a “Tony the Tiger” Rug (Frosted Flakes) as the centerpiece of a capitalist dystopia lifestyle store named, “Gross Domestic Product“. The backstory is that the store is a countermove to a legal dispute with a greeting card company. Read the whole story – it’s Banksy brilliance from start to finish.
Meanwhile, the creative action that relaunched the migrant justice movement is bearing fruit. Four months after the “Kids In Cages” protests hit the streets of New York and other cities, the mass outcry against family separation and child detention centers has been making strides. Forbes reported this week that private prison companies Geo Group and CoreCivic lost their funding sources. In addition, John Hopkins University, Portland Police Department, and the sheriff’s office in Norfolk, VA, all canceled their contracts and cut ties with ICE.
Two weeks ago, I ran a story about 1000 Black men marching to end violence. It turns out that this group is also listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website as a hate group. This has prompted numerous discussions in the past week about how and if Nonviolence News should cover stories like this. My reflections this week make me think that it might be worthwhile to cover stories like this. We might not agree with all the views of the group, but if we do support the call for ending violence and building peace in one’s community, perhaps we should cover these kinds of marches. If I’m going to cover the United States’ military’s renewable energy policies, or the biker gang that rescues abused animals, then it may be fair to cover this story, too. I’m still reflecting on this. My thoughts may change. In the future, however, I’ll try to include more context for a story like this. Special thanks to the readers who reached out to let me know the background of the group.
As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of M.K. Gandhi’s birthday, it’s amazing to reflect on how far the field of nonviolence has come since he was born. With millions of people around the world engaged in what Gandhi called “experiments in truth”, it’s no wonder. Nonviolence is the greatest achievement of humankind to date, far more impressive (to me, anyway) than walking on the moon or splitting the atom. Nonviolence has hundreds of tools and practices. It has brought down dictators, waged peace, won human and civil rights, protected the environment, and healed relationships. How will you help foster the growing field of nonviolence for the next 150 years?
I’ll close with my favorite Gandhi quote: “We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But, I maintain that far more undreampt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence.”
Thank you for being the change we all wish to see in the world,
Rivera Sun, Editor
Photo Credit: Banksy’s new storefront, Gross Domestic Product. By Laura Staugaitus.
Did you know that Gandhi’s newspaper, The Young India, was the largest circulation newspaper in the world at the time? Imagine if Nonviolence News was that big! Your support helps turn that vision into reality.
Here’s what you’ll find in
this week’s Nonviolence News:
Victory! Success Stories
Happy 150th Birthday, Gandhi!
Knowledge & Reflection
Major banks committed to not renew $2.4 billion in credit lines and term loans to industry giants GEO Group and CoreCivic, cutting off funding for private prisons and detention centers. Read more >>
Following continued pressure by students, Johns Hopkins University is cutting ties with ICE. Read more >>
The Norfolk, VA sheriff’s office won’t renew its agreement with ICE. Read more >>
Portland Police Bureau discontinued their contract that allowed ICE to train at their facilities, thanks to organizing by the Portland Democratic Socialists of America and the Close the Concentration Camps Coalition. Read more >>
Fred Meyers workers reach tentative agreement with owners and end their call for a boycott of the grocery chain. Read more >>
4 states and 57 cities currently celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, most of them replacing Columbus Day. Editor’s Note: There’s a long way to go on this, but it’s important to take stock, recognize the successes, share those stories, and keep pushing forward. Read more >>
What would Gandhi say on the 150th anniversary of his birthday? Metta Center’s Michael Nagler shares his thoughts. Read more >>
Former Vogue India editor says that Gandhi would urge us to buy less and support sustainable fashion, not the current fashion industry. Read more >>
United Nations celebrates Gandhi’s 150th birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence. Read more >>
How South Africa forced Gandhi to reckon with racism and imperialism. Read more >>
28 Indigenous Hawaiians arrested for blocking a development project that will disturb burial grounds. Read more >>
After more than 1,000 protestors were arrested for rallying against a corrupt Russian election that excluded opposition candidates, over 20,000 people flooded the streets of Moscow to demand their release from prison. Read more >>
Hindus protest Narendra Modi events in Houston and New York to raise awareness of the situation in Kashmir. Read more >>
Mayor of Minneapolis denounces Trump ahead of the president’s visit to the city. Read more >>
An Iowa city received a federal request to remove it’s rainbow crosswalks. The city declined, choosing to support the demonstration of LGBTQ rights. Read more >>
Want to prevent bullying? Engage children and students in creating solutions. Read more >>
Protester thrown out of Morrissey concert for holding up signs against far-right views. Read more >>
Asylum seekers in Greece protest conditions in camp. Read more >>
After 10% of this Mississippi town was detained by ICE in recent raids, here’s how the community mobilized and organized to pushback. Read more >>
Defending immigrants when their landlords use ICE against them. Read more >>
Around 200 Bolivians took part in a protest march to demand more action be taken to stop fires that have ravaged their area. Most of the 200 were members of an indigenous group from the Chiquitanía region. Read more >>
Yurok tribe grants personhood status to the Klamath River. Read more >>
A snapshot of Climate Strikes across Southeast Asia. Editor’s Note: I’m sharing this story because the global climate strike coverage last week didn’t seem to give enough attention to this area of the world. Read more >>
How teams of people are caring for Myanmar’s baby elephants that have been orphaned by poachers. Read more >>
Doctors backing the Extinction Rebellion movement have blockaded the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to highlight the impact of climate change on public health. Read more >>
Why Detroit could be the engine for the Green New Deal. Read more >>
500 farms and 50 organizations representing nearly 10,000 farmers and ranchers sent a letter to Congress supporting the Green New Deal. Read more >>
With a Tony the Tiger Frosted Flakes Rug as the center piece, Banksy opens a capitalist dystopia lifestyle store called “Gross Domestic Product”. Read more >>
San Francisco tries to deter the homeless by putting large boulders on the sidewalks. City residents fight back by listing the boulders as “free” on Craigslist and rolling them off onto the street. Read more >>
Go-go music festival celebrating Washington D.C.’s historic black culture helps fight gentrification and cultural erasure. Read more >>
Protecting the books that will never be written: how children’s and young adult novelist Judy Blume, one of the most banned authors in the United States, fought – and still fights – censorship. Read more >>
Metta Center’s Nonviolence Radio explores the meaning of coercion in nonviolent struggle, how it relates to power and persuasion, its risks when drawn upon as a “first resort,” and where it fits in a strategic escalation of nonviolent action. Read more >>
Five years later: a deep dive look at Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives. Read more >>
What works? Conventional civic organizing (petitions, public speeches, flyering) or creative activism? This new 73-page whopper of a report says get creative. Read more >>
How Community Land Trusts and City Land Banks can work together to provide permanently affordable housing. Read more >>
Greta Thunberg and the power of strategic movement messaging. Read more >>
How are the kids doing? A recap of the successes, challenges, and early tactics in the Youth Climate Movement. Read more >>
Oct 6, DC, Reclaim the Courts protest for gender justice on the one year anniversary of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Learn more >>
Oct 7th is a Day of International Rebellion for climate justice organized by Extinction Rebellion. Learn more >>
Oct 11th, DC, March on the Pentagon rally and actions for peace and against militarism, imperialism, and war. Learn more >>
Oct 17th, join the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict’s free webinar on how people have used civil resistance to survive ISIS, using acts of popular disobedience, non-cooperation, protests and public defiance to improve their lives and defend their values. Learn more >>
Author/Activist Rivera Sun has written many books and novels, including The Dandelion Insurrection and The Way Between. She is a nationwide trainer in strategy for nonviolent movements and her essays are published in journals across the country and around the world. www.riverasun.com
Nonviolence News is a sister project to Nonviolence Now. The Nonviolence Now campaign is intended to introduce and share stories of nonviolence, and to ignite the potential of principled nonviolence globally.