Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
South Korean truckers have won important concessions from the government after bringing exports to a grinding halt for over a week. The strike sent shockwaves through global industry, especially since it threatened the critical microchip supply. Disrupting business-as-usual can be a vital part of waging struggle. It makes sure you can’t be ignored, and raises the stakes for decision-makers. That might be what rail workers in the United Kingdom had in mind as they brought the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations to an awkward halt. Their walkouts and strikes shut down 100 underground (subway) stations at the height of the events.
In other Nonviolence News, 30,000 Australian public workers have gone on strike, objecting to inadequate pay raises. Meanwhile, Cuba cracked down on protesters who took part in last year’s massive demonstrations against economic woes, sanctioning 381 people. In the United Kingdom, new documents have revealed that ExxonMobile funded the secretive right-wing think tank that pushed for the draconian anti-protest laws. Students in Tbilisi, Georgia, occupied the chancellor’s office to demand dormitories – many students can’t return to studies due to unaffordable rents in the city.
In the Knowledge Section, you’ll find an interesting strategy piece on why escalation is a good response to crisis. Several movements are using that approach this week: Ecuador is escalating its general strike in response to the government arresting the leaders. Tunisian judges are also refusing to yield to repression, continuing a strike against the president’s authoritarian moves. A group of migrant justice activists and allies laid down in the road to Heathrow Airport to halt the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda, calling the policy “racist, inhumane and barbaric”.
Here are a few creative actions I spotted this week: a yogi named Sadguru is swapping out his meditation mat for a motorcycle as he uses a 100-day ride to raise awareness of the need to stop topsoil loss. In the United States, a Christian university passed an anti-LGBTQ hiring policy, so the graduating students protested by passing rainbow flags to the president during the graduation ceremony. Most illuminatingly, a group of Sioux are shining light projection boycott messages onto the sides of hotels in Rapid City, South Dakota. The campaign is ramping up their call for a boycott after the owners double-downed on glaringly racist policies and behaviors.
My favorite story? It was a social media post of a horse showing us how to wield nonviolent power. Sugar (the horse) doesn’t like to be ridden, so anytime someone tries to get on her, she just lies down on her side. Dr. King once said, “a man can’t ride your back if you stand up straight”. Translated for equine resistance movements, that might read, “a human can’t ride your back if you refuse to stand up.” Noncooperation is a key component of ending exploitation. Ask striking workers. Or Sugar.
Be like sugar,
Photo Credit: South Korean truckers sent shock waves through global trade by going on strike for eight days.
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South Korea’s Truckers Strike Wins: The victory for the truck drivers came after eight days of continued strike brought exports to a standstill and disrupted major sectors including electronics and automobiles. The strike also threatened the global supply chains of semiconductor chips. The government has agreed to extend the existing temporary rules on minimum wage guarantees for truck drivers that were due to expire in December this year. The deal also promises to continue discussions on expanding fuel subsidies for freight on additional goods. Read more>>
Migrants Win Licenses In Massachusetts: Following Movimienta Cosecha’s final 24-hour encampment in front of the State House, the Massachusetts Senate voted 32-8 to override the governor’s veto. Licenses for all is now law. Read more>>
Iran’s Labor Minister Resigns As Economic Protests Grow: Iran’s Minister for Labor, Welfare and Social Affairs Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki publicly announced his resignation on June 14, officially confirming recent media reports and dodging an impeachment bid planned in parliament corridors. Read more>>
‘Enough Is Enough’ – Thousands Rally Across US In Gun Violence Protests: Rallies for gun reform were held in Washington, New York, other US cities and around the world on Saturday, seeking to increase pressure on Congress to act following a spate of mass shootings, including in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. Read more>>
Ecuador Escalates National Strike: The government’s attempt to quell protests by sweeping up alleged leaders not only failed, it backfired. News of the arrest of Leonidas Iza, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), mobilized thousands of people to the Latacunga prison where he was taken and prompted a sea of condemnation of the government from a broad range of organizations, human rights groups and prominent figures. Read more>>
Cuba Sanctions 381 Protesters, Including Jail For 297: Cuba said on Monday it has sanctioned 381 people, including 16 young people between the ages of 16 and 18, who participated in last summer’s protests, the Communist-run island’s largest since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. Widespread protests across July 11 and 12, 2021, saw thousands of Cubans take to the streets in towns and cities across the country. Many shouted “freedom” as they marched against food, medicine and power shortages amid a spike in coronavirus cases on the island. Read more>>
Three Animal Rights Advocates Face Trial Over 2019 Hog Farm Occupation: It’s been three years since two hundred animal rights advocates descended on the Excelsior Hog Farm on April 28, 2019 “to expose the reality of what is happening to the victims of the ‘meat’ industry and to challenge the current mindset within our society,” according to the activist group Meat The Victims. Over a year later, a total of four activists were facing multiple charges, however today, three of them stand trial at the end of June 2022. Read more>>
Tunisian Judges Continue Strike For Second Week: Tunisian judges extended their strike for a second week after President Kais Saied refused to reverse a decision to dismiss dozens of judges. Saied dismissed 57 in just this month, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists, charges that the Tunisian Judges’ Association said were mostly politically motivated. The first strike began on June 4. Read more>>
Protest Against Exclusion At Summit Of The Americas In Los Angeles: “We are here today in front of the Convention Center protesting against the Summit of the Americas and particularly the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. It is not really the Summit of the Americas if a large part of that continent and the peoples of Latin America are excluded from the Summit.” The protest was peaceful and speakers took turns addressing the rally with their speeches demanding an end to sanctions and wars. Read more>>
Sex Workers Fight for Their Rights: Across the country, there are efforts to erase stigma and enhance safety. There has been a sea change in attitudes to sex work, similar to the cannabis legalization movement. A 2020 poll found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) support decriminalizing sex work. In addition to Vermont’s bill decriminalizing prostitution, New York State has two competing bills before the legislature: one that would fully decriminalize prostitution and another that would make selling sex legal but buying it illegal. Read more>>
Activists Disrupt Bonn Climate Talks To Call For Plant Based Treaty: A group of activists believe the answer is a global shift towards plant-based diets, and they are not afraid to make their voices heard. The campaigners disrupted a meeting at the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Friday to call for a Plant Based Treaty. Read more>>
Mining Resistance From Alberta To Argentina: Even with severe obstacles, Latin American communities offer an inspiring example of resistance against difficult odds. A new report shows the successes, setbacks, and how mining corporations took advantage of the pandemic to try to expand operations. Read more>>
World Oceans Day In Photos From Trinidad & Tobago: The climate crisis is affecting the good health and sustainability of our oceans. Regional environmental activists and leaders know exactly what the challenges are, but perhaps on this year’s World Oceans Day, where the goal is revitalization of our oceans, we need to be reminded of their purpose and beauty before we truly understand the importance of the collective action required to successfully defend them. Read more>>
A Growing Movement to Reclaim Water Rights for Indigenous People: Native tribes are reliant on their local water sources, which have been continuously exploited and contaminated by the U.S. government and non-Native people. Indigenous groups are finding new ways to demand justice. Read more>>
Revealed – Policing Bill Was Dreamed Up By Secretive Oil-Funded Think Tank: The UK government’s legislative crackdown on protest in England and Wales was dreamed up by a secretive right-wing think tank that had been funded by US oil giant ExxonMobil, openDemocracy revealed. Read more>>
Minneapolis Fights For Community-Owned Sustainable Urban Farm: 5 community members and organizers entered Mayor Jacob Frey’s office, June 6, to demand that the city stop stifling the East Phillips neighborhood’s efforts to build a community-owned sustainable urban farm on the site of an unused Roofing Depot plant in their neighborhood. The coalition was led by the Climate Justice Committee and the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI). Read more>>
Corrupt Fossil Fuel-Funded Senator Calls Cops On Environmental Activists: Senator Yaw has a second job on a law firm that works for the oil and gas industry. He’s also the chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. When constituents called him on this conflict of interest, he called the cops and had them arrested. Read more>>
Boycott Ramps Up With Light Projection Training and Support from Rapid City Businesses: NDN Collective held a light projection action at the Grand Gateway Hotel to bring more visibility to the group’s boycott of the Grand Gateway Hotel, Foothills Inn, and Uhre Realty. The boycott is being organized after a member of the Uhre family (which owns the hotel) was involved in the shooting of two Indigenous people and the hotel implemented a “no Indian” ban. In response, a number of local businesses have made pledges condemning racism and expressing pride to serve Indigenous people. Read more>>
We Don’t Need More Evidence That Police Can’t Be Trusted. We Need Real Safety: We must demand systems of care and accountability that affirm and sustain life and our environment for the long term. Read more>>
From Juneteenth to Reparations – Reclaiming Our Stolen Stories: The media system, from news and publishing to music and entertainment, helped construct the narratives that played a critical role in upholding violent institutions like slavery. A world where Black people of the diaspora get to tell their own stories, from ideation to distribution, is possible. Just as Juneteenth was inevitable, so is the realization of reparations. In order to achieve full reparations, we need to reconstruct media systems built on violence, specifically anti-Black violence. Read more>>
30,000 Public Service Workers In Australia Strike Over Inadequate Pay Raise: Some 30,000 public employees from New South Wales protested on Wednesday over a substandard wage increase. The workers, who include park rangers and school staff, are demanding a 5.4% pay raise this year, News.co.au reported. Read more>>
Twin Cities Nurses Picket, Demand Hospitals Put Patients Over Profits: Registered nurses picketed outside 11 Twin Cities hospitals Wednesday, calling on health care executives to put patients over profits in contract negotiations with their union, the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). Read more>>
United Kingdom In Strike Mode: The U.K.’s jolly jubilee weekend came to a screeching halt on Monday when around 4,000 workers from the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walked out of their jobs to protest Transport for London’s plan to lay off 600 workers, about 10% to 15% of the London Underground’s staff. In all, about 100 stations were closed, according to the BBC. Read more>>
Quarry Workers Strike, Forced to Work 60 Hour Weeks: In Springfield, Illinois, quarry workers employed by Hanson Material are on strike. Many workers say they are fed up with short staffing at the quarry, which often forces employees to work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. They say they are especially frustrated with the refusal of management to negotiate a contract in good faith. Read more>>
Rent Hikes Fuel Student Protests In Tbilisi: Rents in the Georgian capital have nearly doubled thanks to inflation, an influx of Russians, and landlords seeking to take advantage. Students say their universities must provide dormitories. Students are protesting that they can’t afford to return to the capital to resume their studies in person because rents have gotten so high. Read more>>
Eviction Defense Successful Despite Aggressive Contractors: On June 1, 2022, authorities in Minneapolis unsuccessfully cleared an encampment of tents on an unused strip of land off Interstate 35. Eviction defenders thwarted the sweep by asking for documents, helping residents pack and move, and using their bodies and placing objects in the way of authorities. Despite aggression from the contractors hired for the eviction cleanup, no tents were taken. Yet, all residents have since moved. Read more>>
Local Organizations Unite Against Housing Crisis: On Saturday, several local organizations kicked off their plan to end the growing housing and homelessness crisis in Oakland. Gathering in Oscar Grant Plaza, in front of the new art installation that calls out police murders of Black people, the groups sought to mobilize the crowd around another kind of racialized violence: displacement. Read more>>
Azerbaijan’s Embattled Queer Community Holds “Pride Event”: While the event, the first in eight years, was only a press briefing, organizers still celebrated it as a “step forward” even as they enumerated the many recent hate crimes the community has suffered. Read more>>
This Could Be One Of The Most Dangerous Pride Months Ever: Daily mass shootings, Christofascist mobs and attacks on LGBTIQ rights make Pride risky – but it’s still uplifting. June is LGBTIQ Pride Month, and festivities are already under way across the United States – in many cases, for the first time in two years, since Pride parades and celebrations were among the gatherings that had to be cancelled during COVID. Pride events are often picketed by hateful street preachers, but the community pushback tends to make them look small, petty and pathetic. Read more>>
Christian University Banned LGBTQ+ staff So Graduating Students Handed Pride Flags To President In Protest: Dozens of graduating seniors at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) handed small rainbow pride flags to Interim President Pete Menjares in protest of the school’s anti-LGBTQ+ employment policy. Several seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, handing pride flags, notes and other pride items in protest of SPU’s “Employee Lifestyle Expectations” policy, which requires full-time staff to “reflect a traditional view on Biblical marriage and sexuality,” including barring them from participating in “same-sex sexual activity.” Some students also abstained from shaking his hand. Read more>>
Protesters Lie In Road To Stop Rwanda Deportation Flight: Activists have blocked a road near a Heathrow detention centre in an effort to stop vehicles carrying the first group of people being deported to Rwanda. A line of people have laid across the road in pairs with their arms in metal lock-on tubes. Despite numerous attempts to challenge the legality of the “racist, inhumane and barbaric” plan, the government was trying to deport its first group of asylum seekers. Read more>>
Vulnerable Migrant Fishers Protest In Ireland Over Delayed Protections Review: Frustrated migrant fishers and union representatives gathered outside the Dáil today to protest over a delay in the promised review of the Atypical Working Scheme for non-EEA fishers. The scheme leaves migrant workers vulnerable to abuse by employers and needs urgent reform. Read more>>
UK Policeman Punches Protester In Face During Immigration Raid: Shocking footage has revealed the moment a Metropolitan Police officer punched a protester in the face as she resisted an immigration raid in Peckham. It is among a series of allegations of violence made against the Met during Saturday’s events, which ended with a man being bailed and cops leaving empty-handed. One protester said police knelt on their back, while others reported seeing people pushed and trampled. Read more>>
Pro-Immigrant Rally Held Outside Supreme Court As Lawsuit Aims To Block New Voting Rights: As it stands, 800,000 New York City residents who are not U.S. citizens, but authorized to live and work in the U.S., will be allowed to vote in next year’s municipal elections. On Tuesday, proceedings began for a lawsuit (filed by New York Republicans) that is trying to prevent those residents from voting. At the same time, in front of the courthouse, immigration rights activists, politicians and DACA recipients gathered to protest the lawsuit. Read more>>
Introducing Community Peacebuilders In Minneapolis: At the start of February, Nonviolent Peaceforce welcomed four Community Peace Builders, as well as their mentor Will Wallace, to their Minneapolis-St. Paul team. Peacebuilding is most effective and most likely to succeed when local voices, particularly those most targeted by violence, are at the helm. Now, the Community Peace Builders continue that ethos and legacy as they work to address community conflict and violence in North Minneapolis. The focus of their work will be on addressing gun violence and community violence, as well as adapting unarmed civilian protection training to resonate with the needs and strengths of Northside residents. Read more>>
Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) Is Campaigning In Solidarity With Masafer Yatta: Thousands of Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, in the area south of occupied Al-Khalil (Hebron), face the imminent threat of expulsion in what would be the largest expulsions carried out by the Israeli apartheid regime since the 1970s. Here are the ongoing BDS campaigns that you can support in solidarity with Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta resisting ethnic cleansing. Read more>>
Rewriting the Roles of Women In Peacebuilding: In Lanao del Norte in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, Nonviolent Peaceforce works alongside women to address safety concerns and co-create peace in their local villages. Many of these women are former members of an armed group and are still trying to figure out their place in the community now that the peace process is underway. On top of this, the pandemic has made life more difficult for women who are experiencing increased violence and threats. Read more>>
Marking Protection of Civilians Week, May 23-27: Nonviolent Peaceforce joined 22 organizations in a joint statement to the UN Security Council, calling for immediate actions to address civilian harm and protect civilian lives in armed conflict. Read more>>
Spiritual Leader Embarks On 100-Day Motorcycle Journey To Save The Soil: More than half of the world’s agricultural soils are already degraded, and both scientists and UN agencies agree that the remaining soil will only take us another 40 to 50 years. Yet despite the threat this poses to biodiversity, the climate and global food security, soil health receives less attention than other looming environmental crises. That’s why yogi, mystic and visionary Sadhguru has set off on a 100-day, 30,000 kilometer (approximately 18,641 mile) motorcycle journey to save soil. Read more>>
California Peace Activists Hold Counter Events During Peace Week To Push Back On Hyper-Militarized Peace Week: Fleet Week is five days of celebratory militarism all packaged over Memorial Day with out a sign of the purpose of that day of remembrance for those who fought as combatants in US wars and lost their lives. Peace Week organizers hold action, pass out anti-war fliers to people waiting in line to tour a battleship and more. Read more>>
Workers Summit of the Americas Challenges The Hollowness of Official Summit: A gathering was held in Mexico to protest and challenge the exclusionary Summit of the Americas (which did not include Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua). Here is their final declaration decrying neo-colonialism, exploitation, poverty, and oppression. They call upon all workers to stand in solidarity for a better world. Read more>>
NDN Collective Distributes Air Filters To Those In Wildfire Smoke Zones: NDN Collective’s Climate Justice Campaign joined with the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women to distribute dozens of air filters for those impacted by the wildfires in New Mexico. The wildfires have been raging for over a month, spurred by unprecedented winds and drought which have consumed nearly 237,000 acres so far. Read more>>
How Kazakhstan’s Mothers Formed A Protest Movement – And What They Want: It all began three years ago, with a tragedy on the outskirts of Nur-Sultan. Five daughters of the Siter family died in a fire in their home, a coal-fired temporary shelter, while their parents were at work. The oldest was 12, the youngest nine months. The funeral drew hundreds of people, while thousands turned out to protest against a system that fails to provide adequate housing and child benefits for large families in need. Several thousand Kazakhstani mothers united in rage and grief on Telegram and WhatsApp. Read more>>
Survival And Resilience – From the Frontlines of Myanmar’s Pro-Democracy Movement: Hnoung Eain Thin (pen name) led the 2021 anti-coup protests in Taungoo District, Bago Division of Myanmar, for which he is currently on the Tatmadaw’s wanted list. Formerly a student leader and then a teacher, he is now an artist, a poet and a musician living in exile after the Tatmadaw’s brutal crackdown of the anti-coup protests. Here is an inside look in the grueling journey. Read more>>
Horse Shows How To Resist: Sugar the Horse teaches us the power of nonviolence and noncooperation by refusing to be ridden. Read more>>
Why Escalation Is The Best Response In Moments Of Crisis: To win on gun violence and abortion, US activists must engage in actions of escalation that match the public’s distress. Read more>>
How Citizens’ Assemblies Are Revitalizing Democracy: A fresh tactic with a long history is putting everyday folks at the center of public decision-making on divisive issues — and bolstering their trust in government. Read more>>
Nonviolence Training Can Change The World: Nonviolence Radio interviews Kazu Haga of the East Point Peace Academy and Robin Wildman from Nonviolent Schools RI on different types of nonviolent trainings and their importance. Read more>>
Save The Mountain Grassland Of Sinjajevina From NATO Militarism: Montenegro has a new prime minister. World BEYOND War and grassroots activist allies will soon be meeting with him to present their petition to once and for all prevent the destruction of this mountain for a NATO training ground, and to prevent the construction of that training ground anywhere else in Montenegro. The local people have put their bodies in the way and prevented military exercises on their land — an amazing victory! The movement was awarded the War Abolisher of 2021 Award. But they need our help to make their success permanent and end all efforts to build a NATO military base or training area in Montenegro. Sign and share the petition now! Learn more>>
Cancel RIMPAC: The Pacific Peace Network and its allied organizations call for the cancellation of the dangerous, provocative and destructive international Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval war practice and for increased citizen pressure for a demilitarized Pan-Pacific Zone of Peace. Show your support here>>
Scalawag Invites You To Pop Justice: This a new series of webinarsbreaks down the ways popular culture—music, film, television, TikTok, journalism, and more—upholds the police state and ultimately stalls conversations on abolition. As part of Scalawag’s 3rd annual Abolition Week, pop justice will exclusively feature perspectives from currently and formerly incarcerated folks. (June 20-25) Learn more>>
24-Hr Peace Wave’s Rolling Rally For Ukraine: 24-hour rolling rally live streaming from 2 p.m. in Iceland on June 25 moving west around the globe to 4 p.m. in Ukraine on June 26. Jump on! (June 25-26) Learn more>>
Artful Activism With Backbone Campaign: Explore ways that creativity can be integrated into your activism to grow your group, mobilize your community, earn media attention, and build power for a society that honors humans, community, nature, and our obligations to future generations as sacred. You will learn how to make giant banners, do light projections, and much more. (June 30) Learn more>>
#NoWar2022: Resistance & Regeneration, World BEYOND War’s virtual global conference, is coming up this July 8-10! #NoWar2022 will facilitate international solidarity by bringing together speakers and attendees from around the world. As we resist the institution of war worldwide, from crippling sanctions and military occupations to the network of military bases that encircle the globe, how can we simultaneously “regenerate,” building the alternative world that we want to see based on nonviolence and a culture of peace? (July 8-10) Learn more>>
Nonviolence Toward Earth: Acting upon the climate crisis is a growing urgency and OUR responsibility. Now, more than ever, we need to practice Nonviolence Toward Earth. This 6-week course with Merwyn De Mello and Rivera Sun will explore the many dimensions of how we can both practice nonviolence toward the Earth and join nonviolent actions on behalf of the planet. (July 12) Read more>>
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