Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun
Nonviolence News offers a weekly round-up of amazing stories . . . but it doesn’t stop there. Week after week, month after month, I’ve collected awe-inspiring stories. As I pause and look back over these six months, I see incredible statistics. Millions of people have participated in major campaigns and actions all over the world. I’ve reported on stories from over 100 countries on every continent except Antarctica. (We’ll get there someday, I promise.) Nonviolence News has shared stories of mass movements and solo acts of courage. It’s been eye-opening and incredible.
In this week’s blog-length article, I looked back on the past month and noticed something jaw-dropping: climate action has been off the hook! People are locking down to things, blocking railroads, divesting, engaging in civil disobedience, occupying public officials’ offices and so much more. Here are 21 ways you – and people just like you – are stopping the climate crisis. (As always, this article can be reposted and shared, please just link back to the original.) Read more >>
Here’s a highlight of climate action from this week’s news. In New England, citizens went out into the dark, cold night and blockaded a coal train shipment in three cities. In the third city, activists scaled a trestle bridge, hung from the iron beams, and stretched a banner across the tracks. They delayed the train for hours, backed up other shipments, and demonstrated that a relatively small group of activists can have a sizable impact through these types of coordinated actions. Read more >>
Going bananas over inequality. In Miami, FL, janitors are among the lowest paid in the nation. Meanwhile, at a nearby gallery, a strange art installation – a banana duct-taped to the wall – sold for $120,000. The janitors took to the streets, taped bananas to their chests, and held signs asking, “Why are bananas worth more than us?” Their rapid response raised the issue of the obscene inequalities in our world. Read more >>
Would you give your right leg for your kids? Well, this woman donated her kidney – to her ex-husband. Defying the usual story of acrimonious divorces, this mother and father decided that there was something more important than their disputes: their kids. Faced with the father’s kidney disease, the mother decided to engage in a magnificent act: giving up her kidney to keep him alive. This story is a great reminder of the remarkableness of human beings and a powerful example of how nonviolence comes in all shapes and sizes. Read more >>
Don’t miss the many other incredible stories in this week’s news: Australia just protected old growth forests the size of Tasmania, a young Russian gave a powerful testimony on why nonviolent resistance is necessary, in Italy sardines aren’t fish, they’re anti-fascist protesters, and airline workers are striking all over the world while climate activists are shutting down airports. Find all this and more in this week’s Nonviolence News.
With delight in the courage of our fellow human beings,
Rivera Sun, Editor
Photo Credit: First Nations groups occupy British Columbia salmon farming “net pens” in 2018. This campaign recently succeeded in getting Canada to agree to phase out open net pen salmon farming by 2025. Read more >>
Donations are wonderful. And so are you. Thank you.
Here are some recent successes brought about by nonviolence in action.
Unlikely allies win cargo industry campaign in Kenya: after two months of protest by business owners and workers in Mombasa, the government rescinded a decision to grant a transport monopoly to a China-financed railway. Read more >>
Australia passes historic policy that protects native and old growth forests in an area larger than Tasmania. Read more >>
After nearly three million signatures, over 130 vigils and rallies, and 100,000+ phone calls to state officials, the Texas parole board stopped the execution of Rodney Reed. Read more >>
Dallas, TX, added a mental health and social worker response team to their 911 dispatch options – and the program is having positive impacts. Editor’s Note: this is a good example of what structural nonviolence (vs. structural violence) looks like in our communities. The alternative to this is to have untrained emergency responders and police trying to deal with mental health issues. As we have tragically seen many times in the United States, police often respond with brutality and violence. Read more >>
In North Charleston, SC, land that had been granted to formerly enslaved people in 1871 is now being developed into an affordable housing community land trust. Read more >>
Stockton, CA, launched an universal basic income experiment that gives residents $500/month. The results have been remarkable. Recipients have used the money to apply for better jobs, spend more time with their children, or save for better housing. Read more >>
North Dakota county commission rejected anti-refugee bill after hearing from more than 50 residents, including recent refugees, business owners, and Indigenous people. 500 community members attended the meeting, many upset that the proposed bill would make them the first county in the United States to ban asylum-seekers. Read more >>
Editor’s Note: As 2019 rolls toward a close, the “Of the Year” awards are rolling out. Activists and social justice issues have been winning many of them. These choices reflect how nonviolent activism has shifted culture in profound and meaningful ways.
Time Magazine chooses Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year. Read more >>
Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Word of the Year: “They” as a gender neutral pronoun. Read more >>
Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year: “climate strike”. Read more >>
Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year is “climate emergency”.Read more >>
Feminist soccer star Megan Rapinoe was chosen as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year. She used the awards ceremony to slam the magazine’s sexist biases. Read more >>
Here’s how people are taking action this week for a wide range of causes.
Thousands of people joined the biggest protest in Thailand since the coup in 2014. The protesters poured into the streets after Thai authorities moved to ban a party that has rallied opposition to the government of the former military ruler Prayuth Chan-ocha. Read more >>
Protests erupted across India as the government stripped naturalization rights from Muslims. Read more >>
International support for the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Movement (BDS) is growing as more people seek to hold Israel accountable for its oppression of Palestinians. Read more >>
147 nations call to halt ‘aid’ to illegal Israeli settlements. At the United Nations General Assembly in New York, they approved a resolution which called on the international community not to “render aid or assistance to illegal settlement activities.” Read more >>
Yegor Zhukov’s statement to a Russian judge, as he was being tried for posting a YouTube video on nonviolent activism, is powerful. He speaks of civil love, nonviolence, and why he had to stand against the atomization and disenfranchisement of the Russian people. Read more >>
Algerians boycotted recent elections en masse and warned that the new president (replacing the 20-year ruler ousted by nonviolent struggle) is a puppet of the military and business interests that have been a target of on-going protests. Read more >>
Strikes in France continue, urging politicians to withdraw the pension ‘reform’ draft law. Read more >>
Miles-long protest in Hong Kong remained – for the first time in weeks – tenuously peaceful. Read more >>
Tens of thousands of people joined a demonstration in central Rome on Saturday organized by a grassroots movement known as “the sardines”, launched only a month ago to protest against far-right leader Matteo Salvini. Read more >>
Hundreds of US citizens (who have houses) engaged in an act of solidarity with the unhoused, sleeping outside in jackets and sleeping bags despite sub-freezing temperatures to protest the epidemic of homelessness. Read more >>
Hundreds of journalists around the world sign open letter demanding freedom for Assange. Read more >>
Jetstar, the low-cost unit of Qantas Airways Ltd., canceled 90 weekend flights because of a planned strike by workers over a pay and safety dispute. The strike follows a worker walk-out and will be followed up by further actions. Read more >>
Hundreds of international and domestic flights in Italy were cancelled Friday as air transport workers held a nationwide strike to protest feared firings and salary cuts at troubled national carrier Alitalia. Read more >>
As many as 4,000 mental health clinicians are expected to go on a five-day strike starting Monday at up to 100 Kaiser Permanente clinics and mental health service locations throughout California. Read more >>
Nonviolence towards the Earth is nonviolence toward humanity.
Here are ways people are working to save the planet . . . and our species.
The Amazon’s Indigenous forest defenders need international support if the Amazon is to be at the centre of climate action rather than just another distant frontline in the war against nature. Read more >>
Hundreds of people with #ShutDownDC blockaded the capital’s streets and shut down the banks and investment firms that finance the climate crisis, drive migration, and profit from the devastation. Read more >>
Two kids (8 & 11) rappelled down from bridge in Madrid during COP25 to demand climate action. Read more >>
And 8-year-old Zozo followed up the bridge action by climbing up a street light post in a climbing harness to protest again. Read more >>
This small German town took back its power and went 100% renewable. Read more >>
Dutch police detained dozens as 150 climate protesters held a demonstration at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport calling for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more >>
This Australian 13-year-old caught and relocated over 100 fish by hand to save them from the drought destroying the river. Read more >>
These Colorado high school students, children of coal miners, learned how to build solar panels in science class. Read more >>
Scientists call for “peak meat production” to reign in emissions from the livestock industry. Read more >>
Around the world, people are using nonviolent action to wage peace.
Here are some of this week’s stories.
Code Pink pressures LUSH cosmetics to close stores in Saudi Arabia due to lack of women’s rights and the nation’s involvement in the Yemen War. Read more >>
The Better Angels project initiates civic conversations in the deeply polarized United States. Their goal? Prevent civil war.Read more >>
US school principal initiates a “Phone Free, New Friends Friday” lunch period to foster better school community. Read more >>
Want to stop climate change? Shrink the US military. Why peace and climate action go hand-in-hand. 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.
In a provocative protest for migrant justice, this US church’s nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in separate cages as a migrant family separated at border. Read more >>
Japanese Americans from across the country will gather next spring in Washington, D.C., June 5-7, 2020, for a National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps. They plan to bring 125,000 paper cranes, or tsuru, as expressions of solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities that are under attack today. Read more >>
7 arrested at UMB bank protest in downtown Kansas City demanding end to role with ICE. Read more >>
Around the world, struggles for gender justice are demanding equality, ending gender-based violence, sexual harassment and assault, and more. Here are a few stories about those struggles.
The viral anti-state, anti-femicide danceflashmob from Chile is spreading around the world, including San Francisco. Read more >>
Rural Indian women form the “Green Gang” to teach women’s rights, report abusive relatives, disrupt alcoholism and gambling, and break cultural barriers. Editor’s Note: According to this article, though the women learn basic self-defense and carry sticks (used here to smash alcohol bottles), they use primarily nonviolent approaches to dealing with problems. Read more >>
Native American COP25 delegation removed from US Embassy while trying to honor Missing and Murdered Women. Read more >>
Nonviolence unleashes our human creativity. Here are some ways creativity and the arts merged with social action this week.
The Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks now have a digital archive with videos and audios of the songs so you can listen and learn these resistance and movement-based folksongs. Read more >>
Greenpeace USA released a remake of the holiday classic song, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, asking Target to cut back on single-use plastic.Watch it here >>
Greenpeace activists dropped banners and held flares in an attempt to make the Europa building in Brussels, Belgium appear to be on fire as the continent’s leaders gathered to address the planetary emergency. Read more >>
To counter the confederate monuments that are still in place in the city of Richmond, VA, African-American sculptor Kehinde Wiley unveiled a statue of a Black, dreadlocked man on a rearing horse entitled “Rumors of War”. Read more >>
Constructive Programs and alternative institutions build the strength and resilience of the community while weakening reliance on systems of oppression. Here are some stories about those and other forms of constructive action.
These US hospitals have promised $700 million for affordable housing. Why? Because it improves the health of the community. Read more >>
A new kind of real estate cooperative fights speculative development in the East Bay. Read more >>
Metta Center’s Nonviolence Radio interviews Michelle Johnson about “skill-in-action”, radicalizing yoga, and bringing social justice to the mat. Read more >>
Three ways to regenerate bio-regions. Editor’s Note: This article isn’t about nonviolent action, but rather an nonviolent and restorative approach to our ecosystems. It illuminates what nonviolence toward the Earth might look like. Read more >>
Dubliners hang winter coats on bridge for people who need a good winter coat. 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.
100,000 record database on fugitive slave advertisements shows an incredible history of resistance to slavery. Read more >>
This year, in a challenge to Mexico’s corporatized unions, tens of thousands of workers defied union leadership to undertake one of the biggest industrial actions Mexico has witnessed — and the movement is growing. Read more >>
As the decade draws to a close, the power of protest endures. Read more >>
6 key points for harnessing the power of nonviolent struggle for the upcoming decade. Read more >>
Teen Vogue, recognizing that low wages and crappy jobs are the fate of young people today, published a piece on “what to know about your right to unionize“. Read more >>
Inside the struggle for prison laborers’ rights. Read more >>
US and Filipino call center workers are banding together to resist the abuses of the global corporate economy. Read more >>
There’s a new frontline in the global campaign against fossil fuels: local bans on oil and gas infrastructure in new urban construction. Read more >>
Here are a few upcoming actions inviting your participation and support.
Be the Revolution Summit: How to Create Vision, Strategies & Solidarity for Sustainable Social Movements. FREE Online Summit, DEC 11-20 & JAN 6-31. Find out more >>
Apply now for the 2020 Block, Build, Be retreat and training with Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Read more >>
500 groups issue plan to pressure the next US president (whomever it may be) to take 10 steps in the next administration’s first 10 days to address the climate crisis. You can join in. Read more >>
Join #FireDrillFridays with Jane Fonda in Washington, DC, to oppose militarism and the climate crisis. Read more >>
Apply now for ICNC’s free 2020 Participant-Led Online Course: “Civil Resistance Struggles: How Ordinary People Win Rights, Freedom, and Justice.” Read more >>
Sign up for World Beyond War’s 6-week course starting in January, War Abolition 101: How Do We End War? 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