Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun
Nonviolence News is packed with awesome stories this week. Iraq ousted its prime minister. Black Friday protests swept the globe, many targeting Amazon’s inhumane worker policies. And tens of thousands of women took to the streets in dramatic and evocative protests against the global epidemic of violence toward women. The best news of the week? We really did save the whales. (For the moment, anyway.)
As you may notice, Nonviolence News is experimenting with layouts again this week. Got opinions? Let me know. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Some of you spoke up last week and I appreciated it! One suggestion was to choose the Top 5 stories to highlight – so that’s what I’m doing this week. Here you go:
Who knew? We really did save the whales. Conservation and bans on whale hunting has helped restore humpback whales from 450 whales to 25,000. It’s a testimony to the power of citizen action. But don’t break out the champagne just yet – remember that our current actions still put the entire ecology of marine life at risk. The take-away? Don’t get complacent, get encouraged by this report and strive forward for the protection of all species and the restoration of our ecosystems. We really can save the whales … and many other species, too. (Hopefully, our human species is included in that.) Read more >>
Reaching the Finnish Line On a 2-week Postal Strike: Finnish postal service employees won a pay increase after 2-week strike. The secret to their success lies in the solidarity strike held by other transport workers. This solidarity strike disrupted the entire country, including grounding 300 airline flights. The head of the postal service resigned after mishandling the strike, causing it to mushroom into other sectors. What can we learn from this? Organizing solidarity strikes, particularly with sectors that have a strongly disruptive impact, can help catalyze the struggle to the next level (hopefully the tipping point to victory). Read more >>
Resistance is in the air. Airport service workers at 16 US airports took action on Thanksgiving Weekend. Their struggle illuminates the challenges facing employees of sub-contractors. In this case, the workers are even prohibited from going on strike by law. So, in order to pressure their little-known service company (SkyChefs) to improve wages and benefits, the workers held die-ins in the terminals, building concern among the customers of major airlines like United, and making airline execs worried about their image. The workers say they’re taking action in public places like this to let the major airlines know about the plight of the workers. United, for example, hires SkyChefs and is in a position to threaten to cancel their contract unless conditions for workers improve. This is an example of how nonviolent movements must choose their targets wisely. Read more >>
What’s more important? The football game or the fate of the planet? This week, climate activists disrupted the major Harvard-Yale football game by occupying the field. For years, they’ve been calling for the colleges to divest from fossil fuels. This high profile action swiftly whipped through the news and social media channels, amplified by the media platforms already in place to cover the sports game. This is a great example of how to use someone else’s platform for your important message. Read more >>
Who’s leading the world in waging nonviolent struggle? Africa. Despite the little Western news coverage, African nations are at the forefront of waging nonviolent struggles. In the past decade, Africa has produced more mass movements than any other continent. The success rate of Africa’s uprisings since the 1970s remains higher than any other region of the world. In 2019 alone, at least 9 major political uprisings took place. Read this excellent overview from Phil Wilmot on those struggles. Read more >>
Enjoy the news,
Rivera Sun, Editor
Photo Credit: Tens of thousands of women around the world rose up during the International Day of Ending Violence Toward Women. Here are photos from Chile, Mexico, Sudan, France, Italy, and more.
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Here are some recent successes brought about by nonviolence in action.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has announced that he will resign following weeks of anti-government protests and condemnation from global human rights campaigners against a violent response from security forces to the protesters. Read more >>
Amid student protests, University of British Columbia is set to divest $300 million in funds from fossil fuels. Read more >>
Extinction Rebellion and its supporters celebrated Wednesday after the agency that conducts criminal prosecutions in England dropped charges against 105 activists who were arrested in London last month for participating in the environmental movement’s “Autumn Uprising” actions. Read more >>
Disabled and elderly paratransit riders in Seattle have won a victory over the “corporate criminal”, Veolia corporation, which for years has delivered negligent service to the disabled riding public. Read more >>
Sysco Denver employees end strike, winning improvements in wages, pension and health and welfare; strong, concrete protections for drivers, and more. Read more >>
Boycott, Divest, Sanctions campaign tackled the sports industry in Portland, OR, and won. The Portland Trail Blazers basketball team ended their partnership with Leupold & Stevens, which makes rifle scopes for Israel’s brutal occupying army. Read more >>
Here’s how people are taking action this week for a wide range of causes.
Over 100 feared dead in crackdown on Iran’s protests. An Internet blackout is keeping news from reaching the world. The protests are a continuation of mass demonstrations in dozens of cities across the country in 2017 and 2018 and reflection of widely held frustrations with the government. Read more >>
Iraq’s women protesters face death, kidnappings, and torture … but they refuse to stay home and keep silent. Read more >>
With political protests banned, Kyrgyzstan citizens hold non-political rally to protest “jaw-dropping” corruption in government. Read more >>
Georgian protesters regroup, insist on cultured approach. As protestors and police engage in a contest of endurance outside Georgia’s parliament, the disparate movements and forces organizing them are morphing. Read more >>
Colombian protests continue, objecting to the death of a protester and demanding a set of changes, including input on reforms to pensions, labor laws, and tax policy; a ban on fracking, and more. Read more >>
In response to nationwide strike, President Duque called out the troops to repress protest movement in Colombia. Read more >>
Chileans who lost eyes from police repression demonstrate against police brutality in the capital city. Read more >>
Topless Femen protesters disrupt a pro-Franco fascist demonstration in Spain. Read more >>
India’s power engineers plan to boycott work for a day to protest privatization schemes. Read more >>
Cyprus, Greece’s health officials have launched an awareness campaign to educate the public on how to reduce wireless radiation exposures. The campaign includes large scale signs on public buses with the slogan “Don’t Irradiate Me: Learn How to Protect Me” along with posters, brochures, and videos translated into both Greek and English. Read more >>
Protests rise up in Afghanistan during ballot recount marked by accusations and suspicions of widespread fraud. Read more >>
Seattle’s Alphabet Resistance holds rotating signs on highway bridge that spell out, “Bribery & Abuse of Power; Hold Trump Accountable.” Read more >>
300 US cities mobilize to demand impeachment on night of US House of Representatives vote. Read more >>
Native tribes gather at Plymouth to hold Gathering of Grief on US’ Thanksgiving Day. Read more >>
Lebanese petrol stations hold strike in protest of monetary exchange rate inflations, citizens counter-protest with car blockades. The strike ended after talks with union officials were scheduled. Read more >>
Black Friday Amazon protests erupt across Europe. Read more >>
UK Amazon workers walk-out on Black Friday and will do so again on Cyber Monday to protest appalling working conditions. Read more >>
In a rather bizarre (from the US activist’s vantage point) turn of events, Hong Kong protesters rallied by the thousands to thank Donald Trump and US Congress for pro-protester resolution. US activists, meanwhile, decried the maneuver as merely protecting US trade interests in Hong Kong. Editor’s Note: As a US activist, I learn toward cynicism on this resolution. Our Congress is neither pro-popular democracy nor pro-protest movement. We certainly have never seen our Congress pass a resolution like this for any of our major protest movements including Occupy, Standing Rock or Black Lives Matter during Ferguson, among other examples. Read more >>
United Kingdom university lecturers and support staff went on strike for better pay, disrupting 50% of the UK’s universities. Read more >>
Striking workers sound the alarm on privatizing D.C. public transit. They’ve been on strike for a month protesting poor treatment under new, privatized, management. Read more >>
Nonviolence towards the Earth is nonviolence toward humanity. Here are ways people are working to save the planet . . . and our species.
Australians hold climate action demonstrations in smoke-covered Sydney. Read more >>
Across Europe, farmers are driving their tractors into city centers in protest of climate justice legislation that favors Big Agriculture and puts unfair burdens on small and mid-sized farmers. Editor’s Note: While some of this might be fueled by the usual dislike of necessary and unpalatable change, these farmers also have specific grievances about the unfairness of the policies. Their protests are a reminder of why Just Transitions are important aspects of any legislation, particularly climate action. Read more about the French Farmers and read more about the German farmers >>
Climate justice activists crashed Congress last week, protesting legislative inaction and demanding justice for people living on the front lines of the crisis. Read more >>
From Russia to the Amazon, Extinction Rebellion reports on this week’s actions, including the 500-person hunger strike for the planet. Read more >>
Former tribal chairman will walk to his tribe’s traditional lands to protest proposed copper mine. Read more >>
The struggle for racial justice takes many forms. In schools, workplaces, politics, society, and culture, people are demanding changes that ensure racial justice. Here are some of their stories.
New York City high school students strike to demand racial equity in the United States’ largest — and most segregated — school district. Read more >>
Activists say US police are racist, unjust, corrupt, and unaccountable. Here’s how activists across the country are demanding change. Read more >>
As people flee war, economic injustice, and climate disasters, the struggle for migrant justice is growing. Here are some examples of recent actions.
A growing number of musicians are taking their music off Amazon’s sales platforms over the company’s ICE contracts. Read more >>
Students at 16 universities are holding protests against Palantir over its ICE contracts. Read more >>
People are striving to attain gender justice in a wide variety of ways. Here are a couple stories that came up in this week’s news.
Tens of thousands of women around the world rose up against violence toward women. Here are photos from Chile, Mexico, Sudan, France, Italy, and more. Read more >>
Free moving service helps people flee abusive situations. Read more >>
Will US Women’s March 2020 turn up the heat? Some say yes, hinting at direct actions. Read more >>
New York City staff hold demonstration against sexual harassment in the workplace. They say harassment is widespread in the city government and demand change. Read more >>
Around the world, people are using nonviolent action to wage peace. Here are some of this week’s stories.
During visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pope Francis joins Catholic radicals in denouncing nuclear weapons and calling for global abolition. Read more >>
Protesters in Democratic Republic of Congo blockade roads and demonstrate against UN peacekeepers’ 2-decades long presence, saying that they are not doing enough to protect people from rebel attacks. The UN peacekeeping chief responded to the protests by coming to visit in person. Read more >>
Nonviolence unleashes our human creativity. Here are some ways creativity and the arts merged with social action this week.
The Murals of Baghdad: protesting with street art. Read more >>
Dutch quilters respond to call to make rescue and recovery mittens for koalas burnt in Australian fires. Read more >>
Everyone was family on the New York L Train’s Thanksgiving Feast. Any commuter who popped into the car was served turkey, mashed potatoes, and greens. Read more >>
Grassroots initiatives of the Right To Repair Movement, such as repair cafés and restart parties, have become very popular, using a “do it together” model, in which volunteer menders support the owners of broken items. Read more >>
Creative collaborative housing initiatives are on the rise, allowing people to temper the effects of an unaffordable housing market and surround themselves with like-minded creatives. So-called “maker villages” are springing up in places including the United States, France, and the Netherlands. Read more >>
We are fortunate to live at a time when there is so much knowledge about nonviolence available to explore. Here are some articles that invite us to dig deeper.
The forgotten history of radical Asian-American activism. Read more >>
Why doesn’t American political culture understand the power of direct action campaigns? Even among activists, we often miss the point – and the power – of our own campaigns triumphs and failures. Read more >>
What happened when Chile awoke: learning about the recent protest movement. Read more >>
What’s new about the 2019 protests in Iran? How are they different from those in 2017-18? Read more >>
New report sheds light on extractivism and resistance in North Africa. This article links those themes to the on-going rash of protest movements erupting across the region to oppose corruption and neo-liberal economics. Read more >>
Ever crossed state lines crouched on the floor of a car in order to flee simply for typing up a movement report? Mary Elizabeth King has. In this essay, she shares her wisdom on organizing communications in the best – and worst – of times. Read more >>
Here are a few upcoming actions inviting your participation and support.
Join the 300+ cities preparing for rapid response protests on the day of the Trump impeachment vote in the House. Read more >>
#NoMusicForICE campaign calls upon musicians to immediately take their music off Amazon. Read more >>
UN Women’s annual global 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE campaign from November 25th to December 10th. Read more >>
Join #FireDrillFridays with Jane Fonda in Washington, DC, to oppose militarism and the climate crisis. Read more >>
When Movements Face Repression webinar will be streamed on Facebook Live on Dec 4th. Learn more here >>
Sunrise Movement offers chance to get skills to make your next strike, rally, or sit-in visually stunning and ready to capture attention in the media. Apply to join the Sunrise Action Art Skills Training, December 13-15 in Kansas City, Missouri. Read more >>
Feb 3-7, 2020, Black Lives Matter At School Week – engage your local school in participating! Read more >>
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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.
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