Moving beyond protests, people around the world are using nonviolent acts of noncooperation and intervention to strive for change. From blockades to embroidery, they’re using dozens of tactics. In Bolivia, 140 road blockades are shutting down the nation to stop the delays in their elections. Arizona schoolteachers, worried about unsafe school re-openings amidst the on-going pandemic, called-in-sick in mass numbers and forced the district to halt its plans to reopen. In Canada, a group of activists have blockaded a forest road to halt old-growth forest logging. And this is just for starters. In this week’s Nonviolence News, you’ll also find these stories:
- Virtual game programmers won the first strike in their industry’s history.
- War Resisters took action against war crimes – perpetrated internationally and inside the US – and blockaded a tear gas factory.
- Banned from tweeting, a Belarus woman is embroidering evocative protest scenes.
- Activists voices are blatantly missing from news coverage of recent protests. Pundits and “experts” are spinning the story, which leaves out important on-the-ground messages.
- A new essay series on women and sexuality in nonviolent movements compiles reports from Pakistan, Mexico, Belarus, Brazil, India, and Sudan.
There’s always something to learn from Nonviolence News! Speaking of which, last Friday we had a wonderful Happy Hour conversation with 20+ people. If you missed us, join us for the next one. Find out more here>>
I hope this week’s stories offer ideas, solutions, and inspiration for your own efforts toward change.
Rivera Sun, Editor
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Video Game Writers Win Historic Strike: Twenty-one writers who were contractors that create scripts for the mobile app Lovestruck: Choose Your Romance went on strike on July 15 — a move nearly unheard of in the video game industry. Calling themselves Voltage Organized Workers, the group demanded better pay and workplace transparency. They are the first game writers’ strike to win their demands. Read more>>
After Organizing Mass ‘Sick-Out,’ Arizona Teachers and School Staff Force District To Reverse Reopen Plans: Teachers and school staff members in a Phoenix suburb were praised by progressives and public health experts on Monday for their “bold” decision to call in sick en masse, forcing their school district to reverse its plan to return to in-person classes. Read more>>
Amid Protests, USPS Concedes To Suspend Changes Until After Election: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says agency won’t remove equipment or cut hours amid congressional scrutiny ahead of an expected surge in mail-in voting. More protests for restoration of earlier closed boxes and shut-down sorting machines are scheduled for Saturday, Aug 21st. Read more>>
NORCOR (Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility) Ends ICE Contract: After sustained community action, this major prison facility and ICE ended their contract. Activists were upholding Oregon’s Sanctuary Laws as they campaigned to break ties to migrant detention centers. Read more>>
Bolivians Continue to Blockade Over 140 Roads: Tensions are rising as Bolivians continue road blockades to demand elections. The far right is mobilizing to stop the rising general strike against the right-wing President Áñez. Read more>>
Sudanese Protest a Year After Power-Sharing Deal With Army: Security forces fired tear gas as protesters returned to the streets of Khartoum to demand quicker political reforms. Read more>>
Peruvian Doctors Plan Strike For Better Working Conditions: Peru’s Medical Federation (FMP) Monday announced a 48-hour national strike to demand greater investment in the health sector as COVID-19 cases soar in the country. Read more>>
LA School Bus Drivers Protest For Funding To Help Reopen Safely: The drivers from the Los Angeles Unified Schools District (LAUSD) were joined by other vehicles as they circled city hall and honked their horns. “Until they get conditions safe, I prefer us to be at home,” said one school bus driver who has been in the job for 30 years. Read more>>
Turkmen Activists In New York Stage Rare Protest: Between the unacknowledged pandemic and economic devastation, protestors said the situation at home is so dire that inaction seems worse than government reprisals. Read more>>
Imprisoned North Carolina Hunger Striker Demands End To Solitary Confinement: Shine White has been in solitary confinement at various facilities for 3 years. He’s been on hunger strike for two weeks to end this torture. Read more>>
Greta Thunberg and Fellow Activists Decry ‘Political Inaction’ on Climate Crisis After Two Years of School Strikes: Millions worldwide have joined the movement and taken to the streets to call for ambitious policies, “but over these past two years, the world has also emitted more than 80 gigatonnes of CO2,” say Fridays For the Future activists. Read more>>
After a Big Win against Coal, New York Climate Activists Are Closer Than Ever To Ending All Fossil Fuel Investments: When New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced last month that the state would divest its over $200 billion Common Retirement Fund from more than 20 coal companies, it marked an important milestone for a grassroots campaign that has seen a recent burst of new momentum. Read more>>
Protesters Block Logging Road in Vancouver, BC: About 20 protesters have blocked a logging road near Port Renfrew, vowing they will stay until old-growth forests in a critical watershed area of the San Juan River are protected. Read more>>
World Assembly for the Amazon: The World Assembly for the Amazon took place on July 18 and 19. The convocation is an effort by various organizations and activists to organize the resistance and think about ways out of the dilemma in which we find ourselves. The proposal organizes three campaigns: COVID-19, Boycott, and Mobilization. Read more>>
Confederate Monument Protests Gain Momentum in Small Alabama Town: Black activist group Project Say Something has tried to have the monument to racism removed since 2017. They’ve used sit-in’s, die-ins, speak-ins in which the names of children sold as slaves were read, rallies, and more. Read more>>
Minneapolis Reneging on George Floyd Protest Promises: The city council promised to disband the Minneapolis Police Department. Instead, they’re renaming units and delaying taking action on the promise to disband. Read more>>
More Than 40,000 Demand Companies in Louisville Fight for Breonna Taylor’s Justice: To keep pressure on the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMP) for indiscriminately killing Breonna Taylor on March 13 and charging no one for five months, more than 40,000 people have signed a new petition demanding that Louisville companies—UPS, Ford Motor Company and Humana—do more to secure justice in her senseless death. Read more>>
Cops Have Repeatedly Attacked and Obstructed Street Medics During BLM Rebellion: Dozens of reports of police arresting medics and destroying their property have emerged since the revolt began in May. Read more>>
Citizens Stall ICE Bus with Sit-in: An attempt by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to detain two men in Bend did not go as planned Wednesday afternoon, after hundreds of protesters stalled the action for more than 10 hours, leading to a standoff with Border Patrol agents later that night. Read more>>
Immigration Nation Netflix Series Shows True Horror Of Ice Agents: The six-part series embedded with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reveal the shocking banality of official cruelty. Read more>>
The Aurat March and Pakistan’s Struggle for Women’s Rights: The march called for more accountability for violence against women and support for women who experience violence and harassment at the hands of security forces, in public spaces, at home, and in the workplace. Marchers also demanded economic justice, labor rights for women, recognition for women’s work in the care economy as meriting pay, maternity leave and daycare centers to ensure women’s inclusion in the workforce. Read more>>
New Series On Women & Nonviolent Movements: Minds of the Movement bloggers are taking a deep dive into largely under-reported movements for rights of women, and sexual and gender minorities, as well as women-led pro-democracy campaigns. They chronicle how these groups and their allies—in countries as disparate as Belarus, Brazil, India, Mexico, Pakistan, and Sudan—are disrupting oppressive spaces and taking the lead in transformative politics with creativity and stamina. Read more>>
Arts & Symbolism In Mexico’s Feminist Movement: Feminism in Mexico has many strands, this article explains how the Mexican feminist movement’s use of art and symbols as nonviolent weapons has been effective and can serve as an example for other movements around the world. Read more>>
War Resisters League Blockades Tear Gas Factory: Five activists are blockading the entrance of Combined Systems Inc. with giant tear gas cans and gas masks, refusing to move. These five are with a group of 40 activists from cities across the U.S. who are onsite in Jamestown, PA with the goal of shutting down operations at Combined Systems Inc. for the day. Outside the facility, other activists have staked over a hundred yard signs, each with the name of a different city where tear gas has been used against people. Read more>>
It’s Time To Formally End The Korean War: South and North Korea are technically at war because the 1950-53 war was halted by an armistice, not by a peace treaty. This new campaign collects signatures calling for a formal end of the war and delivers them to North and South Korea, China, the United States, and the United Nations. Read more>>
Meet The Artist Embroidering Belarus’ Protests: For Rufina Bazlova, if the revolution can’t be live-tweeted, it must be embroidered instead. In the example above, riot police chase protesters. Read more>>
A Return to India’s Regenerative Cotton Roots: This movement based on the intricate relationship between humanity and nature, forged through friendships with rural farmers and artisans, has tangibly changed cotton agriculture and khadi organizations throughout the country. Read more>>
Director Ava Duvernay Talks About Using Art To Make a Difference: “Art is the foundation of any movement,” says director Ava DuVernay as she unpacks the transformative power of art—both in its ability to uplift and destroy. Read more>>
Nonviolent Activism in the Islamic World in a Time of Islamophobia: This video features scholars and activists who have dedicated their life’s work to promote human rights and justice in various parts of the Islamic world. Read more>>
How Dorothy Day Found Her Calling While Fighting The 1918 Flu Pandemic: Dorothy Day’s nine months as a nurse at the height of a pandemic that killed 50 million people, deepened her commitment to the poor, homeless and abandoned. Read more>>
Fighting Injustice Can Trigger Trauma — We Need To Learn How To Process It And Take Healing Action: Are we simply trying to “shut shit down,” or do we want to open up this nation’s wounds and clean out the infections so that we can all heal? Read more>>
Activist Voices Missing From Corporate Coverage of Uprisings: Establishment media overwhelmingly turned to columnists, pundits and government officials for interpretation of the uprisings—rather than to the activists facing tear gas on the frontlines. As a result, the protesters were denied the chance to present their demands in their own words, and the voices of those most impacted by police brutality went unheard. Read more>>
Standing At the Intersection of PRIDE and Anti-Apartheid Struggles: Beverley Ditsie stood with other LGBTQIA activists to make sure the South African struggle did not leave them out of liberation. Read more>>
Anger As A Voice For Change Webinar: Anger is a powerful emotion that can sometimes have destructive effects, but anger can also be harnessed to remind us what’s important, and to create change in our interpersonal relationships and communities. Join facilitators Bianca Pointner and Jonathan Jones for this interactive webinar. (August 25 & September 4 / 5:00pm – 6:30pm) Learn more>>
Preparing for Street Demonstrations: Practical Tools For Compassion In Action: Webinar with Jerry Monroe Maynard on what to do before, during, and after a street demonstration. You will learn what to bring, how to stay calm, what to do in uncertain situations, and how to look out for other demonstrators. (Sept 8) Learn more>>
September Nonviolence News Happy Hour: Join the conversation! Explore recent news, dig into your favorite stories, and hear what other people are talking about when it comes to nonviolence in action. (Sept 11) Learn more>>
Nonviolence Communication For The Rest of Us: Leonie Smith offers this training in nonviolent communication for People of Color and others who don’t necessarily feel like they “belong” in NVC culture. (Sept 15) Learn more>>
People Power: The Strategic Dynamics of Civil Resistance: The International Center On Nonviolent Conflict has opened registration for their free, moderated online course. (Oct 1-Nov 20) Learn more>>
Nonviolence In Action: Planning & Strategy Webinar: Join Nonviolence News Editor Rivera Sun to learn how to organize effective actions, powerful campaigns, and movements for change. (Oct 8) Read More>>