Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun
Wow! Check out the Successes & Victories section. Amazing! And that’s not all: this week, up to 250 million Indians went on strike in what might be the largest strike in world history. The most interesting article I’ve read about actions in India was on the women of Shaheen Bagh who have been demonstrating for 22 days straight against the discriminatory laws toward Muslims and other Modi policies. Here’s an excerpt:
“The women of India have a unique quality — they can manage any situation, says a Shaheen Bagh organizer, Shabina, 49. In the beginning, a major question that popped up was: for how many days would the Shaheen Bagh protesters be able to leave work, home and hearth, and sit on the roads? “The women told the men: go to work, earn the bread and butter, we’ll carry the torch of protecting the Constitution; we’ll carry the burden of fighting for a just India,” Shabina says. “No doubt it’s insanely cold, but in light of the barbarity we have seen, this cold is not being felt. We don’t feel it because we are fighting for our kids.”
How’s that for determination? If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my Nonviolence News-inspired article on Waging Nonviolence 5 Ways Activists are Seizing the Gears of Electrical Power. From Nigerian youth shutting down the power grid to French electrical workers tailoring power outages to hit government offices and not poor families, there’s plenty of good ideas on both literal and political power-seizing.
Enjoy this week’s Nonviolence News. May it inspire you to take action, too,
Rivera Sun, Editor
Photo Credit: Women protesters in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, on Jan. 3, 2020. (Image Credit: Rajvi Desai)
Aw, you all rock! Thanks to everyone who donated last week.
Here are some recent successes brought about by nonviolence in action.
Argentina’s activists and residents forced the government to reinstate a law that bans hazardous chemicals (including cyanide) in mining activities using 8 days of marches, candlelight vigils, and enormous protests. Read more >>
Finland ends homelessness with a Housing First policy. Read more >>
A Maltese appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of a German captain of a private ship that rescues migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Read more >>
Olympia, WA’s Intercity Transit ditches fares, becoming the Pacific Northwest’s largest fare-free bus service. Read more >>
Mexico City – a metropolis of 21 million people – implemented a plastic bag ban. Read more >>
A court denied a state permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Union Hill, a predominantly Black community that has battled against dangerous and polluting fossil fuel industry projects for years. Read more >>
Fort Bend, Texas names its newest elementary school after Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai. Read more >>
New Orleans nuns convert a monastery ruined by Hurricane Katrina into the nation’s largest urban wetlands – a move that will help mitigate climate-change driven flooding in the city. Read more >>
California’s largest privately-held giant sequoia forest was saved from development. Editor’s Note: Remember this story? We reported that the fundraising effort was underway. Now, they’ve done it!Read more >>
Rural electric coops succeed in pressuring electrical mega-provider Tri-State to close its three coal-fired plants by 2030. Read more >>
Here’s how people are taking action this week for a wide range of causes.
World’s largest strike stops India: 250 million workers walk out of work and go on strike against Modi. The national unrest is organized by 10 trade unions. Workers from multiple sectors of the economy are protesting the privatizations of public companies and policies that do not support employment. Among the requests: minimum wage, pension reform, labor reform. Read more >>
Colombian National Strike Committee and Colombian Government agree to resume talks to resolve the grievances driving mass protests and strikes. Read more >>
Argentina launches a 66,000+ person program to guarantee the “right to eat well”. This food card program also employs thousands of people in food production. Read more >>
In Guinea, supporters of the president attacked opposition protesters during marches and demonstrations. Concerns that President Conde will amend the constitution to grant himself a third term have led to rolling protests since October. 21 people have died during clashes between demonstrators, the police, and rival groups. Read more >>
The real “right to work” program: guaranteed jobs. If you want to work, this campaign is pushing for a federal program for living wage jobs. Read more >>
Thousands marched in an anti-hate demonstration across the Brooklyn Bridge to show solidarity for New York City’s Jewish community who were targeted recently. Read more >>
Protesters in Mississippi call for prisoners rights after recent violence in state prisons. Read more >>
Communications Workers of America (CWA) launches new initiative in support of organizing Tech and Game Workers. Read more >>
Oakland’s Moms 4 Housing who took over a vacant property are still occupying it, protesting that it was “stolen” by foreclosure and snapped up by speculative real estate buyers who are driving the Bay Area housing crisis. Read more >>
In Sacramento, youth push to get police out of public schools. Read more >>
Raising the US minimum wage by $1 could prevent thousands of suicides. Read more >>
Nonviolence towards the Earth is nonviolence toward humanity. Here are ways people are working to save the planet . . . and our species.
The skinny on how/when/where and why to join a climate justice action group this year. Read more >>
In British Columbia, Canada, the Indigenous Wet’suwet’en nation is resisting the construction of fractured gas and bitumen pipelines through their unceded territories. The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have issued an eviction notice to the Coastal GasLink pipeline company. Read more >>
Spurred into action by Sweden’s Flight Shaming campaign, this international citizen took a cargo ship and train home from Germany to Canada. The experience was not the drudgery she was expecting. Read more >>
Big Oil is spending billions trying to convince the US public and public officials that fracked gas is a transition fuel . . . but it’s not working, fossil fuels are viewed with increasing distaste. Read more >>
London and NYC mayors call on every major city in the world to divest from climate-destroying fossil fuels. Read more >>
The commute to work (and home again) is being reinvented by the global Sharing Economy, which has given a renewed boost to carpools and ride shares. Read more >>
Here’s how communities around the world are working on going Zero Waste. 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.
Activists take on the toxic tampon industry to fight menstruation stigma. Period activism reveals aspects of women’s health and social justice that are often overlooked — from period stigma to the unfair tax on feminine hygiene products and the fight to regulate and disclose ingredients in tampons and maxi pads. Read more >>
12,000 Muslim Indian women participated in a rally against the discriminatory citizenship law. Read more >>
Learn more about the Muslim women who are leading the protest against India’s discriminatory citizenship law. The women of Shaheen Bagh have weathered one of Delhi’s worst winters, the fear of being forced out of their protest site, and their revolution being usurped by political organizations. Read more >>
A dozen women wearing green scarves lined up in front the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City’s central square on Sunday to call for legal and safe abortions throughout Mexico. Editor’s Note: As previously stated, when it comes to qualifying abortion as violent/nonviolent, I take the following stand: that denying women’ the rights to reproductive healthcare is a form of structural violence. Therefore, regardless of how the act of an abortion is categorized, the choice to have or not have an abortion needs to be legal for women. Read more >>
Led by an Iranian-American woman, this fashion house strives for fashion justice, employing immigrant women and challenging gender norms. Read more >>
Women’s March 2020 will include a week of events and trainings leading up to the Jan 19th march and direct actions against the politicians trying to infringe on women’s rights. Read more >>
And here are 14 sign ideas for the 2020 Women’s March and Sister Marches. Read more >>
Virginia may become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment . . . does this mean it’s now in effect? Legal experts weigh in. Read more >>
40 vintage pictures from Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in 1981 and 1982. The mass demonstrations protested nuclear cruise missiles with a specifically gendered lens. 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.
Gallup reports on global trends around the migrant crisis, where migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are accepted, and how they are treated. Read more >>
After 68 days of hunger strike, migrant detainees are close to death in ICE custody. Read more >>
More than 25 US cities light up the night in protest against prisons and detention centers. Read more >>
Austria’s Justice Minister – originally from Bosnia and the nation’s first immigrant in a high position in government – was met with an onslaught of online hate. The Chancellor and other officials have condemned the attacks and announced their support of the Justice Minister. Read more >>
Activist faces jail for resisting the Massachusetts Sheriff’s collaboration with ICE. Read more >>
The Sea-Watch and No More Deaths court rulings in the United States and Italy have favored the humanitarian aid and rescue organizations, but efforts to criminalize such work continue. Read more >>
Latina author in New Mexico organizes book drive for migrant families called “Libros para el Viaje”, Books for the Journey. Read more >>
Professional chefs help South Texas volunteers feed masses at migrant tent camp. Read more >>
Through dancing and chanting, dozens denounced a proposed detention center for migrant children in Los Angeles. Read more >>
Around the world, people are using nonviolent action to wage peace.
Here are some of this week’s stories.
Massive antiwar protests breakout across the United States in opposition to President Trump’s escalation of tensions with Iran. Over 50 emergency demonstrations were held. Read more >>
Across the US, 180 more demonstrations against war with Iran were planned for Jan 9th. Read more >>
Hundreds of Israelis march against US war with Iran. Read more >>
Iranians flood Twitter with photos of the cultural sites President Trump threatened to destroy. Read more >>
Pacifist war movies? Are they an oxymoron or a growing trend opposing war and militarism? Read more >>
Close Guantanamo actions call for the end of the torture and indefinite detentions of the US prison. Read more >>
Congress members can do a lot to resist war with Iran. Here’s how. Read more >>
Many US soldiers want to stop fighting. Here’s how we can build a peace movement that welcomes them. Read more >>
Nonviolence unleashes our human creativity. Here are some ways creativity and the arts merged with nonviolent action this week.
This program allows minor offenders to substitute jail time for an art class at the Brooklyn Museum. People arrested for minor offenses, like shoplifting or painting graffiti have a chance to avoid jail time and a court appearance by taking a two-hour course. Read more >>
The bushfires affecting Australia in recent weeks have sparked a global crafting effort, as thousands of volunteers unite to knit, crochet and sew shelters for animals affected by the crisis. Read more >>
Survivors of the disastrous Campfire blaze in Paradise, CA, send uplifting messages of solidarity and compassion to Australians. Read more >>
Book review highlights the Top 10 reads on Toxic Masculinity. Some novels are all-out protests of the behaviors, others (like the Iliad) are the original source points of valorizing toxic behaviors. Read more >>
Visionary fiction article sketches out a decade-long course of future climate action year-by-year. Read more >>
Here are a few stories that harvest the wisdom of the successes and setbacks in worldwide nonviolence movements.
Ever wonder what it’s like to report on mass protest movements? This article takes you behind the scenes with global protest journalists and photographers. Read more >>
Prashant Nema and Sana Alam talk to Nonviolence Radio about the deep roots of nonviolent activism in India and the struggle against Modi’s nationalist agenda. Listen here or read the transcript >>
Civil resistance researcher Erica Chenoweth comments on the global protest movements of 2019 and offers take-away lessons for 2020. Read more >>
Facing a “Nazi-emergency” in Dresden, Germany, this museum countered the far right by inviting them in, opening conversations to try to change hearts and minds. Read more >>
10 activist campaigns that shaped the 2010s. Editor’s Note: this article’s headline refers to these movements incorrectly as “youth” movements. Some of them are youth-led, but many of them are better characterized as intergenerational. Read more >>
Lesson from radical Seattle: how general strike rhetoric became a city-wide reality in 1919. Read more >>
Trade workers at this industrial college are learning how to organize … are you? Here’s one of the instructors’ lessons in the difference between tactics and strategy. Read more >>
Here are a few upcoming actions inviting your participation and support.
Code Pink offers “Letter to the People of Iran” apologizing for US extralegal assassination of Major General Soleimani. You can sign it. Read more >>
No War With Iran Global Demonstrations on January 25th. Read more >>
Stop 5G Global Protest Day on January 25th. Read more >>
Jan 19th, Women’s March 2020 in DC with Sister Marches across the country. Read more >>
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict has two paid internships in DC open. Read more >>
End the US Military Draft! Bill introduced to end draft registration for all genders and halt the plan to expand the draft to everyone. Read more >>
5 ways to support Chelsea Manning in 2020. 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 >>
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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Author/Activist Rivera Sun has written many books and novels, including The Dandelion Insurrectionand 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. You can find out more about her at: www.riverasun.com
Nonviolence News is a sister project to Nonviolence Now. Nonviolence Now is a campaign that is intended to introduce and share stories of nonviolence, and to ignite the potential of principled nonviolence globally. They place thought-provoking nonviolence images in unlikely spaces and connect people who might be leaning toward violence with an alterantive.