Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
There seems to be a misperception that the climate justice movement has subsided. It hasn’t. The flashier mass demonstrations – which were largely symbolic – have diminished under the pandemic restrictions, but the blockades, boycotts, and direct action campaigns have gotten smarter and stronger. Indigenous Peoples across Russia (above) are demanding that big tech companies halt nickel extraction that endangers their region. Rural mothers in Indonesia have organized one of the best environmental monitoring networks in the world. Filipino activists continue to oppose destructive mines despite the high risks and murders targeting environmental organizers. In Scotland, Extinction Rebellion used a boat to blockade their largest polluter – an oil refinery – and another citizen road blockade to oppose flaring from an Exxon plant. In England, urban residents are blockading efforts to cut down city trees, claiming the local government needs to embrace a very different approach to plants in urban spaces.
Many of these campaigns are reminding the proponents of “green” and “sustainable” high-tech solutions that climate justice doesn’t just mean convenient technology for some and toxic mines for others. Climate justice needs to up its game, acknowledge the perils of some of its technologies, and emphasize reducing harm, not just shifting from one type of mining to another. These are not easy considerations, but they are imperatives of these times. Climate justice means justice for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.
Like so many social justice struggles, many of these groups are replacing symbolic protest with direct action. The short time window for change, increasing repression at protests, and health risks associated with the pandemic are pushing people to shift gears. In this week’s Nonviolence News, look for other reports that show how people are moving beyond acts of protest (marches, rallies, signs) and into acts of noncooperation (boycotts, strikes) or nonviolent intervention (blockades, shut-downs, occupations). The Shinnecock Nation is occupying their traditional land to demand recognition of tribal sovereignty. A group of Germans held a direct action to repatriate stolen art. What else can you spot?
Rivera Sun, Editor
PS Worried about the US elections? Check out the Call-To-Action section at the end of the round-up for helpful links and trainings.
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Chile Celebrates Scrapping Pinochet’s Constitution: After months of protests and withstanding brutal police repression, Chilean citizens won a citizen-driven constitutional rewrite and an end to Dictator Pinochet’s constitution. Read more>>
ICAN Makes Nuclear Weapons Illegal – 90 Days Until Ban Goes Into Effect: The passage of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is evidence that millions of people across the world believe another world is possible. Read more>>
Turkish Women Protect Agreement To Prevent Violence Against Women: When the “family values” faction tried to get Turkey to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention – an agreement that works to prevent violence against women – the public outcry of women postponed the decision. Read more>>
Prisoners Win Right To Stimulus Checks – Prisons Immediately Censor The News: The campaign to win stimulus checks for incarcerated persons won a legal victory. Then the prisons started censoring all the newsletters telling the prisoners to apply. Read more>>
New Jersey Transit Cancels Plan For Gas-Fired Power Plant: New Jersey Transit has backed off a plan to build a gas-fired power plant in northern New Jersey that drew opposition from environmental groups and surrounding towns. The agency announced at its board meeting Wednesday night that it will repurpose the project to focus on renewable energy sources. Read more>>
Thai Protesters Prevail Despite Efforts To Portray Them As “Violent”: The government failed in their attempt to portray the protesters as aggressive and violent, causing a political backfire and pressuring authorities to step back. Read more>>
Indonesia’s Omnibus Protest Wave: Indonesia’s new Omnibus Law was passed earlier this month, enacting a major series of counter reforms to workers’ rights and the environment. In protest, tens of thousands of workers went on strike, and in dozens of cities, students took to the streets. Read more>>
Palestinian Hunger Strike At Risk of Death In Third Month of Strike: The formidable insistence of Maher al-Akhras’ hunger strike against the principle of administrative detention, and his determination that the strike will end only once he is free or becomes a martyr, is mobilizing more and more people to his support. Read more>>
Labor Activists Prepare For Mass Action If Trump Attempts Coup: If Trump stays in office by subverting the democratic process, the implications for unions are grave. To deal with this immediate crisis, a network of union leaders and activists have formed Labor Action to Defend Democracy to begin planning labor actions after November 3 if Trump loses but refuses to step down. Read more>>
Middle East Muslims Organize Boycott Of French Products: Tensions are on the rise between French non-Muslims and Muslims in the Middle East. A boycott of French products is being organized in several countries in protest over blasphemous portrayals of the Prophet. Read more>>
Shinnecock Tribal Members Occupy Land Where Monuments Are Planned: The Shinnecock Nation had its status revoked by the US Government, which has put in jeopardy plans to build two Shinnecock Monument Centers in New York. Now, tribal members have set up an encampment, insisting that land access and construction permits be upheld. Read more>>
Women In Guatemala Protest Violence Toward Women with “Fearless” Song: On October 10, hundreds of women peacefully took to the streets in several Guatemalan cities, equipped with musical instruments, handkerchiefs, posters, and masks to demonstrate their rejection of violence against women. Read more>>
Philly Erupts With Protests After Police Kill Walter Wallace: As many as 2,000 people poured into the streets and marched near the site of Wallace’s killing in West Philadelphia Tuesday night, with demonstrators chanting, “Who killed Walter Wallace?” and, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” Read more>>
Re-Imagining Action Week In A Pandemic: Campaign Nonviolence strives to build a culture of active nonviolence, free from war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction. This year’s action week included 4,000 events and actions designed in response to the pandemic restrictions. Read more>>
Laid-Off Hotel Workers Rally After Health Insurance Yanked: About 150 hotel workers who’d been laid off — but promised their jobs back when the hotel industry rebounds — gathered in Grant Park Friday to call on their employers to continue providing health insurance. Read more>>
#AnswerUsElonMusk – Russia’s Indigenous Peoples Campaign Against Arctic Pollution: An oil spill in May devastated large swathes of the tundra. Here’s how indigenous rights activists joined forces to demand justice from the culprit — Russia’s largest nickel producer. Read more>>
Extinction Rebellion Halts Traffic To Protect Trees: “They are not an inconvenience, we need to learn to live around nature and work with nature rather than dominate it.” Read more>>
“Clean Up Your Mess” Protest Tells Exide Not To Dump Clean-up Fees On Los Angeles: Residents of the massive cleanup zone surrounding the shuttered Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon marched to downtown Los Angeles on Monday evening to protest a bankruptcy court’s decision to allow the company to abandon the heavily contaminated site. Some brought plastic bags of dirt from lead-polluted yards, throwing them over a fence onto the steps of the federal courthouse. Read more>>
Land Defenders In the Philippines Killed For Opposing Canadian Mine: Since Duterte came into power in 2016, extrajudicial killings, including those of land defenders, have skyrocketed. Environmental watchdog Global Witness declared the Philippines the deadliest country for land and environmental defenders in 2018, when 30 people were killed. Read more>>
The Fight For Quitobaquito: “Border wall construction is destroying the Sonoran Desert’s most sacred spring. Growing up as a Tohono O’odham woman on my ancestral homelands taught me one thing above all: Take care of the land and the land will take care of you. When the federal government ramped up border-wall construction in Arizona, I knew I had to fight for my homelands, which are split in half by the U.S-Mexico border.” Read more>>
Mountain Valley Pipeline Remains Stalled In Legal Limbo: Environmentalists hope Mountain Valley is headed for the same fate as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and view the natural gas industry’s recent slide as evidence the market might be on their side. Read more>>
Boat Blockade Closes Gates Of Scotland Refinery: Extinction Rebellion Scotland claims Ineos is Scotland’s biggest climate polluter and is staging the blockade as part of a program of action. Small groups of no more than six people have locked themselves together at the gates and aim to remain there all day. Read more>>
Scottish Activists Use Direct Action To Stop Pollution From Exxon Plant: At the Mossmorran Exxon plant, recent flaring has dumped toxins into the air … and locals are rising up to stop it. Read more>>
Empty Plate Protest Over Cancellation Of School Lunch Program: Around 20 paper plates with messages on were attached to the windows of public official’s offices in a United Kingdom school district along with a poster which said: “Your MP voted no to feeding poor kids”. Read more>>
Another Decolonization Direct Action Returns Stolen Art To Tanzania: A German artist collective stole a Joseph Beuys artwork from a Münster museum and gave it to an institution in Tanzania—and made a rollicking video about their stunt. The collective, Frankfurter Hauptschule, say they stole Beuys’s Capri-Batterie as a comment on European imperialism and the forced transfer of objects from the African continent into German collections during the colonial era. Read more>>
Black Choreographer Creates Tribute To John Lewis: Alvin Ailey Dance Theater’s first resident choreographer Jamar Roberts crafted In Memory, a dance film tribute to the late civil rights icon. It was commissioned for this year’s March On Washington Film Festival and you can watch some of it here. Read more>>
‘Art and Protest Will Forever Be Bound Together’: Kimberly Drew on the Fine Art of Activism: “Art and protest will forever be bound together. And the beautiful thing about art, like activism, is that it allows us space to be curious and learn. Sharing art has helped me learn how to make my voice heard and ask better questions.” Read more>>
Wikimedia Campaigns To Break Stereotypes About Africa: The incredibly diverse continent is misrepresented by stereotypical or repetitive photographs. This crowdsourced media effort seeks to change that. This year’s theme is “transportation” and is inviting submissions from millions of Africans. Read more>>
We Need To Build A Movement That Heals Our Nation’s Traumas: If we don’t have an unwavering commitment to healing as we mobilize this election season, we will always be in crisis, Kazu Haga says. Read more>>
Defending Democracy — A Conversation With ‘Hold the Line’: Hardy Merriman joins Nonviolence Radio to offer concrete, practical advice on how to show up for our Constitution and protect the principles it rests upon. Read more>>
3 Ways Creative Action Can Win The Election (And Beyond): Beautiful Trouble’s guide to winning the numbers game, defending democracy and challenging business as usual to build the future we deserve. Read more>>
Protect The US Elections! Editor’s Note: US citizens, there are many upcoming trainings for a network of movements and groups mobilizing to protect the integrity of the US Elections. If you want a general orientation with me (Rivera Sun), you can view this 1-hr recorded version. Find it here>>
Please check with these groups for dates/times, and other calls-to-action:
Hold the Line: Tap into the best civil resistance knowledge for countering coup attempts and coordinate your efforts with a group making sure that civil society (military, police, elections officials, politicians, media, and more) respect the vote. Learn more>>
Black People’s March On White House: The Black Is Back Coalition calls on all to march, rally and convene in Washington, D.C., during the “Black People’s March On White House.” Registration is required. (Nov 7-8) Read more>>
Facing Race Conference: Racial justice activists and leaders from government, arts and culture, and community organizing will gather virtually for the largest intergenerational and multiracial justice conference in the US. (Nov 10-12) Read more>>
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