Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
This week, a BIPOC-led struggle in Tennessee succeeded in getting the Byhalia Pipeline cancelled. First Nations drummers helped save a man’s life. Peace teams replaced police at a street festival in Minneapolis. In large and small ways, nonviolence is showing up for a better world.
You’ll also hear “a tale of two PRIDE marches”, one hopeful, one frustrating. In Macedonia, LGBTQIA activists have been working hard on LGBTQIA acceptance and their second-ever PRIDE festival went off without a hitch. Meanwhile, in Georgia, right-wing violence forced the PRIDE march to cancel.
Speaking of cancellations, First Nations and settler-Canadians marched and mourned by the thousands this past week. Spurred to action by the discovery of over 1000 children’s remains at residential schools, the demonstrators wore orange in solidarity with First Nations instead of the traditional maple leafs on #CancelCanadaDay. In Minnesota, the Indigenous-led Line 3 Pipeline struggle continued to resist the construction of a noxious fossil fuel pipeline. And, in British Columbia, the on-going Fairy Creek campaign to stop old growth logging escalated this week with increased aggression from both police and loggers. Though promised a temporary moratorium on logging, the forest defenders are pushing for a permanent protection.
There’s so much to explore in this week’s Nonviolence News. Take a look at the bold, women-led campaigns against sexual harassment, domestic violence, and patriarchy happening around the world, including in Senegal, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, and Thailand. Find out why activists need to share knowledge across borders (because security forces are already doing this). Learn how Mother Jones is inspiring a current coal miners strike. See how Italian dock workers are revitalizing the peace movement by refusing to load weapons ships. All this and so much more … enjoy.
Yours toward a nonviolent world,
Rivera Sun, Editor
Photo Credit: Forest defenders and loggers clash at Fairy Creek, BC.
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Byhalia Pipeline Cancelled In The Face Of Mobilized Community: The Plains All American Pipeline (PAA) company announced that they will no longer pursue the Byhalia pipeline. The proposed 49-mile pipeline between the Valero oil refinery and the Byhalia pipeline terminus in north Mississippi drew vocal opposition from numerous local elected officials and environmental groups. The opposition was led by Memphis Community Against the Pipeline – or MCAP – which began holding anti-pipeline rallies in March in Alonzo Weaver Park in southwest Memphis. Read more>>
Peace Teams Replace Minneapolis Police At Somali Independence Day Celebration. Police almost always have a presence at a large Minneapolis street festival. This time, organizers came up with their own plan, and turned to the nonprofit Nonviolent Peaceforce to provide unarmed protective accompaniment and de-escalation services. It worked out fine. Read more>>
First Nation Drummers Save Man’s Life: A Saskatchewan drumming group helped save a man’s life Saturday evening. The sound of their music kept a man from jumping off a bridge, eventually convincing him to step back from the edge. Read more>>
4-Day Week An Overwhelming Success In Iceland: Trials of a four-day week in Iceland were an “overwhelming success”. Workers were paid the same amount for shorter hours between 2015 and 2019. Productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces, researchers said. A number of other trials are now being run across the world, including in Spain and by Unilever in New Zealand. Read more>>
Azerbaijan Bans More Plastic: The country has followed neighboring Georgia and Turkey in banning most disposable plastic products. Government statistics have shown that the average Azerbaijani produces about 24 kilograms of plastic waste annually. Read more>>
Conviction of Dam Company Executive for Murder of Berta Cáceres Hailed as ‘Step Towards Justice’: Roberto David Castillo Mejía, a Honduran businessman and former military intelligence officer, was convicted for the March 2016 assassination of Indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres. “However, justice for Berta will never be truly complete until everyone who took part in the crime, including those who planned it, is brought to justice.” Read more>>
Second Skopje Pride Parade Celebrates Diversity In North Macedonia: Attended by President Stevo Pendarovski, the thousand-strong parade showcased support for a community traditionally discriminated against, while celebrating the hope for a society with greater solidarity and justice. Read more>>
10 Strikes Over 4th of July Weekend: At least 10 groups of workers went on strike over US Independence Day weekend, including lifeguards, factory workers, grocery workers, berry pickers, and air force base workers. Read more>>
‘I Just Need My Son’ – The People Who Disappeared Amid Colombia’s Protests: Since protesters first took to the streets of Colombia’s cities in late April, calling on the government to address entrenched inequality, hundreds of people have been reported missing. Some have eventually reappeared after being held for days in extrajudicial police custody. But others have not been seen again: 77 people have vanished since the start of the unrest. Some were protesters, others appear to have had no links to the demonstrations. Read more>>
“A Slap In The Face’- Crime Rise Warnings Ignore Years Of Work By Local Organizers: As cities across the United States are recording significant increases in homicides this year, police departments and some politicians have claimed that pushes to defund police departments coupled with surging gun sales have led to lawlessness, and urge cities to bolster police budgets and hire more officers to combat the violence. That analysis fails to fully explain the current dynamics of rising violence. It doesn’t factor in the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities and the disruption brought on by lockdowns to violence prevention strategies. Furthermore, research has shown that cities that increased police budgets were just as likely to see a rise in murders as cities that reduced them. Read more>>
Voodoo Doughnuts Workers Fired After Walkout: Three employees at the downtown Portland, OR, Voodoo Doughnut location were told they no longer have a job after they joined a strike during this week’s heat wave. Read more>>
Right-Wing Violence Forces Cancellation of Georgia PRIDE March: Violence by hate groups grips Tbilisi. Hate groups rampaged through the streets of Georgia’s capital for hours on July 5, the day that LGBTQ+ activists planned to hold a public march. Police did little to contain the mob violence, led by far-right activists and priests. Over 50 journalists were injured; the March of Dignity was cancelled. Read more>>
Cuban-Americans Plan To March 1,300 Miles To Lift Blockade: From Miami to DC, seven Cuban-Americans are marching to carry a petition from 25,000 people demanding that the illegal and immoral U.S. embargo aimed at asphyxiating the Cuban people be lifted. Instead, they want to build Puentes de Amor, bridges of love, between the two countries. Read more>>
Olympics Needs to End Restrictions on Free Speech of Athletes: Athletes are defending their right to protest against racism, police violence and human rights violations. Read more>>
Poor People’s Campaign Announces ‘Season of Nonviolent Direct Action’ Targeting US Senate: “If our actions result in the system believing it has to arrest us, then so be it. Civil disobedience is a badge and banner we will proudly wear,” said Rev. William Barber. Read more>>
Thousands March In Cancel Canada Day Actions: On July 1, several thousand Indigenous people and settler and immigrant allies answered the call of organizations like Idle No More to protest the celebration of Canada Day and the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples. Cancel Canada Day actions took place across the land occupied by the Canadian state. Read more>>
Philando Castile Is Memorialized In A Mural, Thanks to Local Teen Activist: A young activist who had participated in BLM protests and organized locally, created a mural to honor Castile, who was murdered by police in 2016. It was painted outside St. Anthony’s City Hall, which also houses the police department. Read more>>
Teachers’ Unions Are Pushing Back Against Attacks on Anti-Racist Education: Unions are pooling resources to defend educators from an onslaught of attacks from Republicans and right-wing media. Read more>>
1000+ People Gather For Canada-First Nations Reconciliation Walk: Instead of a maple-leaf-filled Canada, people wore orange and walked to account for the pain caused by colonialism and residential schools. Former chief Garry Feschuk asked the crowd to “walk with purpose” in his opening speech, calling the federal government to task for an ongoing lawsuit over loss of language and culture. Read more>>
How California’s Black Wall Streets Are Changing Their Cities: Last summer’s reckoning with racism and inequality has put many of the central issues Black Wall Streets seek to address at the center of the national conversation. Black-owned banks have seen huge investment and can now leverage that to serve minority communities. Elsewhere, as the #BuyBlack hashtag circulated on social media, US states added directories of Black businesses to their tourism websites and banks promised to address decades of economic racism. Read more>>
Groups Call For Release Of Cambodian Environmental Activists: Human rights groups in and outside of Cambodia are calling for the immediate release of Mother Nature activists who were detained for filming a sewage flow near the Royal Palace. This is not the first time that Mother Nature members have faced prosecution for their advocacy. Mother Nature is known for organizing social media campaigns and community action plans to highlight environmental issues. Read more>>
Indigenous Water Protectors Continue Resistance To Line 3 Pipeline In Minnesota: Resistance to construction of the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline continues in northern Minnesota, where more than a dozen water protectors this week locked themselves to construction vehicles at two worksites, and to the pipeline itself. Just last month, 179 people were arrested when thousands shut down an Enbridge pumping station for two days as part of the Treaty People Gathering. Read more>>
On 700th Day of House Arrest, Allies Rally for Freedom of Steven Donziger: On the 700th day of Steven Donziger’s house arrest, supporters of the human rights attorney gathered outside his New York City apartment on Tuesday night to demand his release and to mourn the 2,000 residents of the Amazon rainforest who have died as a result of carcinogenic fossil fuel pollution. Read more>>
Exxon Exposed – Greenpeace Tricks Top Lobbyists into Naming Senators They Use to Block Climate Action: Greenpeace UK released a video of two lobbyists discussing Exxon’s secretive efforts to fight climate initiatives in Washington, revealing how the oil giant supported a carbon tax to appear proactive about climate change while privately acknowledging that such a tax has no chance of being passed. Read more>>
Threats And Fear As Loggers Clash With Blockaders At Fairy Creek: As enforcement of an injunction obtained by logging company Teal-Jones enters its seventh week, aggression from police and logging industry workers has been ramping up. Each day the RCMP try to clear logging roads, encountering blockaders in what are known as “dragons” — a device that secures a person’s arm in a tube buried in the ground — or surreal-looking wooden tripods dangling up to 30 feet in the air. Read more>>
As Biden Backslides, A Bigger, Better-Organized Climate Movement Prepares To Seize ‘Now Or Never’ Moment: Tired of waiting for progress as the world burns, climate activists are shaping the public narrative — through mass protest and targeted actions — to push for federal legislation. Read more>>
Arrested In Rocking Chairs, Grandparents Protest Chase Bank Over Climate: In an effort to pressure President Biden on climate action, senior citizens trekked 170 miles from Biden’s birthplace to his hometown. Then, a dozen grandparents took a stand for climate justice by sitting down in rocking chairs at Chase Bank. Read more>>
Women Protest ‘Rape Culture And Impunity’ In Senegal: ‘We are here to make the culture of rape stop, for justice to do its work’ say women after a series of high-profile rape cases in the country. Read more>>
Women Protest As Turkey Officially Withdraws From The Istanbul Convention: Thousands of women marched across the largest cities in Turkey on July 1, against Turkey’s official withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention. The Convention contained important laws against domestic violence and abuse. Read more>>
A Young Activist’s Fight For Gender Equality And Democracy In Thailand: “I think everyone should be a feminist, because if it’s a true democracy, the people should be supreme, and every person should be equal, no matter their gender or class.” Read more>>
Egypt Organization “Speak Up” Strives To End Sexual Harassment: ‘Sexual harassment is a daily fight, but change is happening,’ says the founder of Egypt’s campaign. Due to the pressure exerted by initiatives like Speak Up, the government has upped its measures to counter prevalent sexual harassment, passing laws that criminalize the act and support victims. Read more>>
Spain’s Female Farm Laborers Fight Back Against Exploitation And Sexual Assault: ‘If you report abuse, you lose your job,’ warn female farm workers in Spain. Fed up with exploitation and sexual assault, they are campaigning to make their collective voice heard. Read more>>
Activists Occupy Property Manager Of Israel’s Drone Engine Factory: In protest of their facilitation of Israeli war crimes, Vine Property Management in Birmingham, UK, was taken over and shut down by Palestine Action. The action called for an end to the firm’s continued facilitation of Elbit Systems and, by extension, of Israeli war crimes. Three female Palestine Action activists stormed the site at 6:00am on Monday 5th July, chained the gates of the site shut, sprayed premises in blood-red paint, and prevented any operations by occupying the roof of the building. Read more>>
Italian Port Workers Resist Weapons & Militarism: Port workers in Italy are refusing to bloody their hands for wars they don’t support – from Yemen to Gaza, and their resistance is inspiring others. Read more>>
The Israelis and Palestinians Working Together For Peace: Combatants for Peace (CFP) is a grassroots movement of Israelis and Palestinians working together to end the occupation. It includes both civilians and military personnel. CFP uses actions bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to remind everyone of the terrible costs of the Israeli occupation. Read more>>
The Red Car Monument To An Iconic Act of Defiance: This unusual monument pays tribute to an iconic act of defiance during the early stages of the Croatian War of Independence. On June 27, 1991, T-55 tanks from the Yugoslav People’s Army rolled through Osijek in a forceful demonstration of power. A resident of the city decided to protest the incoming forces by parking his red Fiat (also called a Fićo) on the street in front of the approaching tanks, blocking the road as an act of defiance. Read more>>
A Research Center In The Scandinavian Forest Nourishes Resistance: Home to a large library, writer’s residence and a vast garden, the Irene Community in Sweden welcomes activists and academics to explore nonviolent activism. Read more>>
Why Nonviolence And Utopian Thinking Go Hand In Hand: Without the clarity that utopian thinking can provide, nonviolence cannot fulfill its higher capacity for societal transformation. Read more>>
Grace Lee and James Boggs Showed How We Can Unite Our Struggles for Justice: There is much we can learn from Lee and Boggs’s 40-year partnership as an interracial couple in movement activism. Read more>>
Police Share Pro-Tips Around The World; So Should Activists: The same apparatus which teaches violence around the world condemns the spread of resistance knowledge around the world, finding ways to censor, block or minimize the information-sharing activities conducted by protesters. Activists need to push back on this trend and escalate their knowledge-sharing. Read more>>
How Did Xenophobia Impact Labor Solidarity Between US-China Workers? Over the course of the Trump era, China became a favorite target of the right, on issues ranging from trade policy to human rights to COVID-19, with some dangerous implications in terms of anti-Asian violence and xenophobia in the United States. But what does this mean for workers and for the labor movement both here and in China? Read more>>
How A Campus Protest Galvanized The Turkish Opposition: The Turkish government’s crackdown on protests at Boğaziçi University earlier this year has brought together the broadest coalition of AKP opponents since the 2013 Gezi Park protests. Read more>>
Physicians Have a Duty to Confront the Exploitative Industry That Employs Them: Physicians take an oath to do no harm. Upholding it requires fighting the structural violence that hurts patients. What role can physicians have in addressing the structural violence that causes harm to patients, such as homelessness and displacement, food insecurity, or trauma from the police and the prison system? Read more>>
What Mother Jones Has to Do With a Miners’ Strike in Alabama: The legacy of the “grandmother of all agitators” lives on. Mother Jones will never truly die; the impact she made is far too great. Now her legacy has found vital new life in a group of women in Alabama coal country. A grueling strike has consumed a rural mining community as over a thousand workers and their families have taken to the picket lines to square off against corporate greed. Read more>>
StopTheMoneyPipeline and #DefundLine3: Call the top executives at Wells Fargo and Citibank and demand that they #DefundLine3. Here is a call script and a call tool that will even dial for you. Learn more>>
Tools for Organizing and Community Leadership – A 3-Part Series on Kingian Nonviolence: Join On Earth Peace in July 2021 for a 3-part series to explore tools for organizing and community leadership through the values and practices of Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation. Learn more>>
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