Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
When I read that India’s farmers led a record-breaking, 250 million person strike against corporate agriculture laws, I cheered. Then I found out that Peru’s farmers rose up against a similar farmworker-abusing law and got it repealed. Double cheers! I come from a farming family. When I train people in nonviolent action, I share that my first nonviolent action was picking potatoes on my family’s organic farm in Northern Maine. My father started a cooperative distribution company that helped local food flourish. Food and farming are cornerstones of human existence. Those who grow the food should be honored, respected, and protected from exploitation.
Farmers, nurses and doctors, teachers, students, youth, elders, prisoners – it seems like everyone and his brother are rising up for change lately. Thank goodness. Perhaps the backbone of society has had enough with extraction, exploitation, and injustice. It takes ordinary people engaged in extraordinary action to make the meaningful change that we need in our world. Each week, Nonviolence News shares these stories to uplift, inspire, and galvanize you to take action for social change, too.
And, nonviolence is succeeding – 300 times in 2020 alone!
This year, nonviolent action has delivered at least 300 victories and success stories. We’ve protected the Earth and won human rights. We’ve stood up for equality and justice. We’ve built successful alternatives to destructive practices. We’ve had many victories, large and small, strange and extraordinary, surprising and long overdue. I’ll be sharing these stories in a series of special reports over the next few weeks. Treat yourself to them. They’re heartening, inspiring, and balm to our spirits after an intense year.
Thank you for being part of the Nonviolence News community. I am deeply grateful for all of our readers, donors, and supporters. Each and every week, we grow the culture of nonviolence. We offer hope. We uplift people’s spirits. We show what’s possible in this immense field of potential we call “nonviolence”.
Photo Credit: Indian farmers lead the world’s largest general strike, breaking the record they set just eleven months ago.
52 weeks ~ 2,343 articles ~ 300 success stories
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Last Nonviolence News Happy Hour of 2020! Join us for our final conversation about the news, the headlines, and the take-away lessons. I may even share a sneak “scrolling” preview of those incredible 300 success stories. (Dec 18) Learn more>>
Peru Repeals Farm Law After Days of Labor Protests: In Peru, lawmakers have repealed a highly contested agricultural law, following five days of demonstrations and roadblocks led by farmworkers across the country. At least one person was killed Thursday when police opened fire on protesters. On Friday, Peru’s newly appointed interim president, Francisco Sagasti, sent a bill to Congress revoking the law, which sought to increase agricultural exports and give exporters tax breaks. Read more>>
Argentina Passes Millionaire’s Tax To Help With Pandemic Relief: Argentina’s Senate has approved what’s being called a “millionaire’s tax” — a one-off levy on around 12,000 of the richest citizens that will raise $3.7 billion to help the government respond to the coronavirus crisis and buoy the country’s economy. Read more>>
Meet Leydy Pech, the Mayan Woman Who Stopped Monsanto and Won the ‘Nobel For the Environment‘: This Mayan woman from Campeche is a beekeeper and defender of indigenous rights and Melipon bees. Her organizing work prevented Monsanto from destroying the ecosystem. Read more>>
Major Victory as $226 Billion New York Pension Fund Announces Largest Fossil Fuel Divestment of Its Kind: After eight years of tireless campaigning, the grassroots coalition DivestNY celebrated a major victory and turning point in the fossil fuel divestment movement Wednesday as New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced the state’s plan to end its investments in oil and gas by 2040, with reviews of the “riskiest” fossil fuel assets beginning in the coming weeks. Read more>>
Every Major Bank In US Refuses To Fund Arctic Drilling: Bank of America said that it will no longer finance fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, joining Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Chase, Wells Fargo, and CitiBank, which all announced similar policies this year. That means no major U.S. bank will fund oil and gas production in the region anymore. Read more>>
US Federal Judge Restores DACA: Immigrant rights defenders celebrated Friday after a federal judge delivered yet another blow to the Trump administration’s drawn-out effort to kill Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that protects certain undocumented residents, who were brought to the United States as children, from deportation. Read more>>
Court Rejects Trump’s Arctic Drilling Plan: Yet again, plans to drill in the Arctic were thwarted as the Liberty Offshore Drilling project was knocked down by the courts. You think oil and gas companies would give up already. Read more>>
Indian Farmers Lead Massive Strike Against Neoliberalism & Modi: After setting another world record for largest strike, tens of thousands of farmers are converging on the capital city of New Delhi by tractor and on foot to demand the repeal of new laws that deregulate agricultural markets. Read more>>
This Volunteer Organizing Team Helps Non-Union Workers During the Pandemic: The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee is training workers and helping them organize. Can this be a successful model for building worker power? Read more>>
‘We Won’t Be Cash Cows’ – UK Students Plan Largest Rent Strike In 40 Years: Fed up with paying for halls they cannot use, residents demand universities take action. Read more>>
Graduate Student Labor Organizing Is Rising — and So Is Retaliation: Students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, are protesting the suspension of a wildcat strike organizer. Read more>>
Indigenous-Led Patrol Models Itself On Winnipeg’s Successful Bear Clan Patrol: An Indigenous-led patrol in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is hoping for funding from the city so it can expand to provide services similar to a well-known patrol in Winnipeg. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is connecting with people on the street, handing out essential safety items like masks and hand sanitizer. Their goal is also to calm tensions and some Vancouver councillors have taken notice. They say the initiative may be an effective tool as the city looks at alternative safety measures for the DTES. Read more>>
Community Broadband in Oaxaca: For-profit telecommunications companies often leave out rural and Indigenous communities from their service areas or charge exorbitant rates for service. In Oaxaca, Mexico, a project called Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias (TIC) is challenging this dynamic by offering affordable broadband service that is owned and democratically managed by the community. Read how TIC is building upon Indigenous values of self-determination, while blazing a trail toward the democratization of technology. Read more>>
Arkansas Poultry Workers Walkout In Protest of COVID-19 Conditions: The walkout was prompted by management’s decision to end staggered shifts, which forced workers entering the plant for their shift into narrow hallways with workers who were leaving. Read more>>
South Carolina Teachers Push For Virtual Schooling Amidst High Number of COVID-19 Cases & 1 Teacher’s Death: SC for Ed is asking schools to switch to virtual learning until the pandemic is brought under control in part because of health concerns, said founder Lisa Ellis. But increasing numbers of teachers and school employees sick or in isolation also means there aren’t enough adults in schools to keep children safe, she said. Read more>>
Prison Strikers Halt Hunger Strike But Continue Resisting Dangerous COVID-19 Conditions: The hunger strikers in Cellblock D have decided to suspend their starvation in order to recover their health for an ongoing fight. They are still continuing a work strike, refusing recelling, and have adopted a posture of non-cooperation. Active cases at the prison continue to hover near 1000 and now over half of the facility has contracted the disease. Guards and staff members are still failing to follow safety protocols. Read more>>
Healthcare Workers Strike For Life-Saving Measures: As a strike wave sweeps the U.S. healthcare industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 700 frontline workers at 11 Chicago-area nursing homes have been on the picket lines since November 23. Primarily Black and Latina women, the striking workers are members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana and include certified nursing assistants (CNAs), dietary aides, housekeepers and laundry workers. They are fighting for at least $15 an hour, hazard pay and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Read more>>
‘Strong Hearts to the Front!’: Indigenous Water Protectors Take Direct Action Against Minnesota Tar Sands Pipeline: Construction on the Enbridge Line 3 extension—which will transport up to 760,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil daily—began earlier this week, despite strong Native opposition. Read more>>
We’suwet’en Female Chiefs Demand Closure of Pipeline Work Camps: The continued Coastal GasLink construction violates First Nation sovereignty and heightens the threat of the pandemic to First Nation people. Read more>>
In Western Australia, Extinction Rebellion Brought Love, Police Brought Rage: About 200 XR activists took to the streets with a vibrant and creative protest, that included several bands, singers, dancers, clowns and some creative acts of disobedience — including a mad hatter’s tea party in the street outside Chevron’s headquarters. XR brought the love, but it was the police who brought the rage: its response to the protesters, which it outnumbered by 2 to 1, was over the top. Read more>>
Youth Climate Leaders Conclude Mock COP26: The youth-led Mock COP26 virtual conference concluded Tuesday with a treaty they hope world leaders will sign ahead of the official COP26 in November 2021. Mock COP26 participants presented the 18-point treaty, which includes calls for climate education at all levels, a legally recognized crime of ecocide and a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Read more>>
A Self-Sustaining Afro-Ecological Community: The Black Dirt Farm Collective, a group of Black agrarians, educators, and organizers in Maryland, is working to build a self-sustaining Afro-ecological village autonomous from wealthy donors. Collective member Blain Snipstal calls the effort “a very deliberate act to target the folks that have historically helped to build the wealth of this society, but had no real participation in that said wealth.” The collective also seeks to “support folks to move from principal consumers to principal producers of our own means of production, whether that is through values, knowledge, culture, building things, or toiling the land.” Read more>>
How People Fight and Win with Humor – Lessons of Creative Resistance from Belarus, Other Tyrannies and Failing Democracies: Steve Crawshaw, author of Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief (foreword by Ai Weiwei), looks at what the history of nonviolent resistance, in the immediate region and worldwide, teaches us about the prospects for a democratic change propelled by civil resistance in Belarus today. Watch the recording of the webinar here>>
This Is What Solidarity Sounds Like: Musicians are reeling from the economic impacts of the pandemic closures. So, they’re forming a union to demand relief. Read more>>
The Driver Cooperative: As companies like Uber and Lyft roll back the clock on labor protections, more gig workers are looking to platform cooperatives for better pay and working conditions. This week, in New York City, drivers announced the launch of the city’s first driver-owned ridesharing service. Read more>>
‘We Are Unarmed, We Are Here To Protect Civilians And We Will Not Leave’ — Nonviolent Peaceforce In Action: Nonviolent Peaceforce Co-Founder Mel Duncan joins Nonviolence Radio to discuss the growing use and acceptance of unarmed civilian protection. Read more>>
Practices and Insights from One of the Largest Social Movements in the World: Ekta Parishad is a non-violent Gandhi-inspired social movement in India working on land and forest rights at a national level. It has been built up over the last twenty years growing from the local, to the state, to the national and increasingly, to the international level. A panel of organizers with the movement shares their approach and practices. Watch the recording of the webinar here>>
The Teacher Strike – Conditions for Success: The teacher insurgency of the last decade is a welcome sign of the revival of the strike. But strikes are just one part of a broader strategy to build the power of labor. Read more>>
Imagining A World Without Policing: Major structural changes — such as the legalization of all drugs and an emphasis on community justice — are needed to create a police-free world. Read more>>
Amazing Things Happen When You Refuse To Embarrass Your Opponent: The principle of non-embarrassment not only helps opponents gain a broader perspective — it’s effective. Read more>>
To Turn Fear to Action, We Must Confront the Emotions of the Climate Emergency: Climate activist Margaret Klein Salamon discusses the organizing power of connecting emotionally over climate disaster. Read more>>
Taking On The Tech Titans & Reclaiming Our Data Commons: What strategies, structures and institutions are needed at national and international levels to confront Big Tech and advance digital justice? Read more>>
Meet Radical Activist and Anarchist Dorothy Day: Day’s organization provided food, shelter, and clothing to all who needed it. Read more>>
How A Grassroots Revolt Is Restoring Democracy in Peru: Peruvian citizens showed the world that resistance is not futile. Read more>>
Last Nonviolence News Happy Hour of 2020! Join us for our final conversation about the news, the headlines, and the take-away lessons. (Dec 18) Learn more>>
Belarus – Still Uploading? Join Global Voices for a virtual conversation on “Belarus 2020: Still Uploading?”—a lively discussion on the 2020 Belarusian revolution with experts from Belarus and the region and members of the Global Voices community. The event will be live-streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live. (Dec 14) Learn more>>
Peace Through Permaculture & Farming: How do we tackle something as large as the twin threats of war and climate change? This unique webinar will explore the intersections between permaculture, farming, simple living, and anti-war activism. World BEYOND War’s Organizing Director Greta Zarro, who is also a co-founder of Unadilla Community Farm, a non-profit organic farm and permaculture education center, will moderate this interesting discussion. (Dec 16) Learn more>>
Nonviolent Movements for Democracy and Human Rights: The Call from the Front Lines – What’s Our Response? While civil resistance movements by themselves have not been sufficient to reverse the trend of rising authoritarianism worldwide, it is also evident that this trend cannot be reversed without them. This event will draw on cutting-edge scholarship and practice on civil resistance, focusing on what activists on the ground need, as well as what new research tells us about this phenomenon. (Jan 13) Learn more>>
“Civil Resistance Struggles: How Ordinary People Win Rights, Freedom, and Justice”
ICNC is launching the fifth edition of its highly popular, information-packed and free participant-led online course: Civil Resistance Struggles: How Ordinary People Win Rights, Freedom, and Justice. This unique learning experience is driven entirely by participants from around the world, who take the course together and engage in lively interactions with their fellow learners. (Apply now; starts March 4) Learn more>>
We’ve shared 2,343 stories in 2020. Let’s do it again in 2021.