Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
“Protests of Survival” – that’s what some editors are calling the many economic protests erupting around the world. I like that term; it’s descriptive of what people are feeling as they try to oust corrupt presidents, stop banks from freezing their funds, oppose high fuel prices, and more. Also dubbed “cost-of-living protests”, these demonstrations, national strikes, and protests are happening in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, China, Ireland, Albania, Argentina, Panama, Kenya, Ghana, Peru, Israel, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, Portugal, and more.
In other Nonviolence News, Trinidad’s port was shut down in protest of a police killing. Meanwhile, Trinidad’s families held die-ins to demand that the government do something about the unchecked homicide rate. Across the world, Kyrgyzstan’s women are pushing the president to take gender-based violence seriously. Polish immigration activists are discovering the gross (racist) double standard around refugees and migrants. In the US, a pair of ICE detainees reasonably objected to being paid $1/day for work and were put in solitary confinement.
The peace and anti-militarism movement is picking up steam. In Germany, 4,000 people marched against military spending. From the Philippines to South Sudan, people are forming unarmed peace teams and working to stop the violence and wars in their areas. Palestine Action shut down another Israeli-weapons factory. And US peace activists are laughing (in an appalled way) at a recent PSA that informed NYC residents of what to do in the event of a nuclear war. Go inside and stay away from windows, they were told, and don’t worry, ‘you got this’. Peace activists retorted that you most emphatically do NOT “got” this. There is no survival in the event of a nuclear war.
If there’s hope in our world, it lies in the feisty resistance that is one of humanity’s enduring charms. A pregnant woman in Texas was pulled over for driving solo in the carpool lane. Annoyed (like most US women) over the recent anti-abortion rulings, she informed the officer that, since the laws now deem fetuses people, there were two people in her vehicle. Meanwhile, Actor Hugh Grant tweeted a request at activists protesting outside Westminster to play the Benny Hill theme on their loudspeakers; when they did it became the soundtrack for street interviews with leading right-wingers trying to explain what Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation means for the British people.
My favorite story? It was a surprising find. A declassified WWII spy manual that was circulated by the United States in Nazi-occupied territories contained a list of clever and nonviolent tactics for resisting occupation. From working slow to “losing” documents at your office, there were methods for everyone. The best was how to ruin propaganda films. “Take the bag to the movies with you and leave it on the floor of an empty section of the theater. The moths will fly out and climb into the projector beam, so that the film will be obscured by fluttering shadows.” If only we could do that to corporate news.
There’s not enough space in my editor’s note to uplift all the incredible stories in this week’s Nonviolence News edition. (There are close to 60, in case anyone’s counting.) Be sure to at least scan the headlines. You’ll be glad you did.
Photo Credit: Protesters gather in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the start of the months-long mass protests against the economic crisis that led to the resignation of the prime minister, cabinet officials, and most recently, the president.
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Sri Lankan President Agrees To Resign After Protesters Occupy Official Residence: Amidst public protests, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on May 9, 2022. However, his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stayed in power despite ongoing protests. Thousands of people from all over the country marched toward the president’s official residence in the capital Colombo and occupied the president’s official residence until he resigned. Read more>>
Protesters Win Removal of Lynching Display at Las Vegas Mall: As children and families passed the bubble blowers, hermit crabs and miscellaneous toy stands in Sunset Mall, they also grazed their eyes upon a toy train stand featuring the display of a lynching. Protestors gathered outside the mall in Galleria, Las Vegas to express their disgust with the display. As a result, it was taken down just days later. Read more>>
DC Violence Interrupters See Decrease In Homicides: In Washington, DC, six target areas implementing the Cure Violence model saw a 47% decrease in gun homicides and a 3% decrease in assaults with a deadly weapon from 2020-2021. Read more>>
After Protest, Chinese Banking Officials Promise Payments to Small Depositors First: The provincial banking regulator in the central Henan province said they would start paying depositors whose savings were frozen following a mass protest that was marred by violent assaults on protesters. Thousands of depositors from across China had been unable to withdraw their savings from at least four village banks after a shareholder fled following a “serious financial crime” in March. Read more>>
Antigua & Barbuda Overturn Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws: Antigua and Barbuda has joined the list of regional territories that have been forced to reconsider these outdated laws. On July 5, the country’s High Court ruled that clauses in the Sexual Offenses Act, which criminalize homosexual sex and threaten a 15-year jail term, were in contravention of citizens’ constitutional rights to both privacy and freedom of expression. Read more>>
Judge Dismisses Charges Against Three Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Protestors: A White Earth Tribal judge dismisses charges against three Indigenous people involved in Enbridge line three pipeline protests. Nancy Beaulieu, Justin Keezer and Todd Thompson were charged with criminal trespassing at an eight day ceremonial camp at Fire Light camp. It is on land above where Enbridge Energy built the pipeline. White Earth Court Judge David DeGroat says the protestors’ actions “were lawful exercises of sovereign Indigenous rights reserved in an 1855 Treaty and protected nonviolent direct action pursuant to the White Earth Tribal Code.” Read more>>
Mile-Long Bus Museum Honoring Children Killed By Gun Violence Heads To Ted Cruz’s Texas Home: A convoy of buses are protesting gun violence. Even its name – the NRA Children’s Museum – is a protest against the lack of gun control in the United States. The 52 yellow school buses will be empty and the 4,368 empty seats are meant to honor the number of children killed by gun violence in the last two years. The bus at the front of the procession will include a display from the NRA Children’s Museum, filled with photos, videos, audio recordings, and personal memories of the children who have died from gun violence since 2020. Read more>>
Sudanese Struggle To Keep Sit-Ins Going Amidst Repression: The organizers of the sit-ins launched 10 days ago in Khartoum announced Monday that they have dismantled two of their four camps in the Sudanese capital. Read more>>
Trinidad Families Hold Protest Against Murders: Citizens staged a protest calling for greater anti-crime action from the government, lying on the pavement outside at the entrance of Parliament this afternoon. Read more>>
‘This Is Apartheid’ Billboards to Greet Biden in Occupied West Bank: “Mr. President, this is apartheid.” That’s the message that U.S. President Joe Biden will see on billboards and digital screens as he travels through parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) this week—the opening leg of his first trip to the Middle East since taking office. Read more>>
WWII Spy Manual Details Forms Of Noncooperation To Resist Occupation: When you think of espionage, you might imagine disguised explosives, wiretaps, or other dramatic inventions. But declassified documents reveal that World War II was won in part by more everyday saboteurs–purposefully clumsy factory workers, annoying train conductors, and bad middle managers, all trained by the U.S.’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual. Citizens should “cry and sob hysterically at every occasion, especially when confronted by government clerks.” Train conductors can “issue two tickets for the same seat in the train, so that an interesting argument will result.” Most impressively, any audience member can ruin a propaganda film by bringing a bag of moths into the theater: “Take the bag to the movies with you” and leave it on the floor of an empty section of the theater. “The moths will fly out and climb into the projector beam, so that the film will be obscured by fluttering shadows.” Read more>>
Uruguayan Workers Protest The Economic Crisis And High Cost Of Living: Thousands of Uruguayans took part in a partial national strike called for by the PIT-CNT and mobilized against the right-wing national government, its austerity policies, rising hunger, high cost of living, privatization of public companies, among other issues. Read more>>
Inflation Protests Span The Globe: Sri Lanka is not the only country where household budgets are stretched to the breaking point. In many countries, high inflation has increased the cost of living, and protests are erupting at a rapid pace. There are protests in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, China, Ireland, Albania, Argentina, Panama, Kenya, Ghana, Peru, Ecuador, Israel, and more. Read more>>
Zimbabwean Government Workers Strike: Fuel and food prices are soaring in Zimbabwe as elevated inflation and a runaway exchange rate ratchet up pressure on government workers who have now given notice to strike. Read more>>
Ireland Protest Voices Panic Over Soaring Costs: Panic about back-to-school costs and a fear of the impending winter as people face soaring fuel prices were the main concerns voiced at a protest in Cork before Government breaks for summer. A motion calling for an emergency budget to tackle the spiraling cost of living was to be called for at Cork City Council’s final meeting before summer recess after protesters dispersed from the gathering outside. Read more>>
Thousands Gather In Tel Aviv To Protest Housing Prices And Cost of Living: Some 2,500 people filled Habima Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest Israel’s high cost of living and soaring housing prices, according to police. In recent weeks, Israel saw a return to tent protests in central locations, including Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, in echoes of the widespread social justice protests over a decade ago. Since then housing, cost of living, and the relative costs of Tel Aviv compared to other world cities have only gone up. Read more>>
Kenyans Protest Cost of Living: Youths and activists held demonstrations to protest against the high cost of living in Nairobi. The protesters marched to voice their frustrations about the high prices of commodities like sugar, unga, cooking oil and gas. The protesters carried empty plates to convey their message. They accused leaders of playing deaf to their concerns despite the previous protests. Read more>>
Police Arrest 28 People In Ghana At Cost of Living Protests: Violence marred demonstrations against high prices in Ghana. After police tried to disperse a crowd of protesters with tear gas, the demonstrators flung stones back. Organizers attempted to redirect the media outcry to the seriousness of the economic crisis. Read more>>
After Ecuadorians, Panamanians Say No More Pillaging: The situation in Panama is becoming increasingly tense as more people join in what has become a permanent strike expressed in street protests. During the last few weeks, there have been several strikes in the transportation sector, especially in agricultural transportation, but the government has not offered any solutions to the demands so far. The lack of response has generated growing discontent, and since last Thursday, teachers have joined the transport workers declaring a permanent strike, paralyzing a large part of the country’s economic activity. Read more>>
Thousands of Portuguese Workers Rally: Thousands of Portuguese workers marched July 7 to condemn inflation and stagnant wages. People traveled from across the country to gather in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. Many traveled by train from Porto, the biggest city in the northern region of Portugal, where the train departed from Campanhã Train Station with around 800 protesters aboard. The thousands converged on Marqués de Pombal Park in Lisbon then marched to the Portuguese parliament. Read more>>
Dodgers Stadium Workers Threaten Strike Ahead of Big Game: Dodger Stadium concession workers have threatened a strike in the days leading up to the All-Star Game. Unite Here Local 11, the union that represents those workers, announced in a news release on Monday that “99%” of the employees voted in favor of going on strike, adding that one could occur “at any moment.” When it comes to wages, baseball’s billionaires give stadium workers peanuts. Read more>>
Restaurant Workers Quit After Paycheck Bounces: A Las Vegas bakery-style restaurant has been open for less than a month and already employees say their first paychecks bounced on July 5. They walked out and the store remains closed. Read more>>
XR Climate Activists Converge On G7 Castle To Demand Cancellation of Global South Debt: “Who owes who? was the rallying cry that activists used to question the framework of global south debt in an area of disproportionate climate impacts. Climate activists targeted the G7 Summit with protest actions, highlighting the inequities around global finance and climate impacts. In this newsletter, Extinction Rebellion also shares action highlights from around the world. Read more>>
How Cities Are Cutting Meat Consumption To help Meet Climate Goals: Meat and dairy account for at least 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions, and Americans eat more meat per capita than any other country. Recently, several cities have begun experimenting with a new approach that advocates say can put an actual dent in emissions: reducing the amount of meat city agencies purchase and serve at public events. Read more>>
Dutch Farmer Protests Inspire More Actions Amid Food Shortages: Dutch farmers are blocking roads, airports and food distribution centers in an effort to shut their country down. These actions are in response to climate laws designed to lower nitrogen levels that will result in putting farms out of business and underscore why addressing the climate crisis requires a just transition for displaced workers. Read more>>
Australian Climate Activists Face Increasing Repression: Harsh, new anti-protest laws in NSW threaten protesters with up to two years imprisonment or a $22,000 fine. Restrictive bail conditions were slapped on arrestees: they were issued with non-association orders, originally designed for criminal gangs, that prohibit their interaction with other BA activists. One activist was even given a non-association list that included himself. Read more>>
A ‘Tax The Rich’ Climate Protest Shuts Down The East Hampton Airport: East Hampton Town police arrested six people today (July 11) protesting higher taxes for the wealthy outside the East Hampton airport. The demonstration was organized by advocacy group New York Communities for Change, the latest in a series of Hamptons protests over the past few days. New York Communities for Change is focused on climate emissions caused by wealthy Hampton residents. Around 25 people gathered outside the airport this morning, holding signs that read “tax the rich” and “make billionaires pay.” Read more>>
Trinidad’s Capital Blocked By Protests Over Police Killings: Trinidad’s capital city, Port of Spain, was in gridlock on July 4 as a result of protests about the police killing of three young men over the weekend. It is not the first time that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) been accused of abuse of power; these protests seem very much like déjà-vu. Read more>>
Reparations For Racist Laws Are Gaining Traction At State And Local Levels: While California is looking comprehensively, advocates in Republican-controlled states like Georgia are hoping for a narrower victory focused on farmers. A number of states are taking a closer look at racial equity in agriculture specifically. Read more>>
Akron Declares State Of Emergency: Protests have continued in Akron, Ohio after the June 27 police killing of Jayland Walker, 25, who had 90 bullets fired at him by officers, 60 of those rounds struck the victim. Protesters poured into the streets after the video was released. Despite organizers calling for peace and expelling one person who had pulled down a street sign, the situation grew more hectic as police shot tear gas canisters into crowds of protesters. Most protesters fled, while some launched smoke bombs into the streets. Read more>>
The CIO Was One Of The Most Successful Anti-Racism Movements In US History: In the 1930s, as the labor movement thought about how to win during the Great Depression, the lessons of the 1919 Steel Strike loomed large; workers’ movements would have to be anti-racist and intersectional if they were to win. New organizations, such as the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), ran anti-racist trainings to facilitate Black and white workers organizing together to fight employers. It formed interracial social groups and sport teams, challenged public displays of racism, and highlighted the treatment Black workers faced on the job. Read more>>
Residents Resist Millionaire Developers: UC Townhomes residents and their supporters staged a “Families4Housing” march to kick off a summer of events on July 9. Their goal is to stop displacement of 68 West Philly families from the low-income housing units near the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, which is targeted for development by gentrifiers. In the background were about 15 tents, which were put up on the property’s green lawn after a “Protect the Block Party” July 9. Residents and housing activist supporters are taking turns staying overnight as part of the “We ain’t going nowhere” campaign, joining in the residents’ resistance. Read more>>
I Led A Renters’ Rebellion – And Won: A Nepalese immigrant made a new home in Parkdale, Toronto, an area with many immigrant communities. But, by 2015, property prices in the area had started to increase. With wealthier people arriving, landlords spied an opportunity to increase their profits. Soon, he found there were mice, cockroaches, leaks, and mould in the buildings. Something had to be done. Read more>>
Housing Workers Head Toward Strike: Tenderloin Housing Clinic, one of the city’s most prominent city-funded nonprofit housing providers, is heading toward a historic moment: its workforce could be the first in San Francisco that primarily serves the formerly homeless to go on strike. A strike at a permanent-supportive housing provider would be uncharted territory, and lead to a serious disruption in services, with appointments canceled, maintenance requests unfulfilled and nobody at front desks monitoring who enters buildings. Read more>>
In Kyrgyzstan, Activists Concerned Violence Against Women Not Taken Seriously: A group of activists demanded an urgent meeting with the president, Sadyr Japarov, to discuss the issue of violence against women and children. They demanded in their public appeal to the president that he rapidly push through legal reforms and hire a dedicated advisor on gender issues. Read more>>
How Drag Queens Are Fighting Queer Censorship: After the Proud Boys targeted Drag Queen Story Hours throughout Pride Month, one San Francisco-based drag performer is finding hope in young people and the LGBTQ+ community. Read more>>
The Importance of Gender Inclusivity in the Movement for Abortion Rights: As we fight to restore, protect, and expand abortion rights, we must include trans, nonbinary, and intersex people—not just cisgender women. Read more>>
Why Gender Dissent And Queer Sci-Fi Can Challenge Surveillance: In this interview, cyberpunk artist Shu Lea Cheang explores the issues of surveillance through the prism of queer activism, sexual dissident history and data art installation to challenge the public’s acceptance of control. Read more>>
Countering Corporate Pinkwashing: To an LGBTQ+ community that has a national poverty rate of 22 percent (compared to 16 percent of cis straight people), rainbow capitalism is a slap in the face — a way for corporations to reap the benefits of queer allyship without spearheading initiatives or promoting tangible policies that will have a positive impact on the community. Read more>>
In New Jersey, Activists Are Learning What “Abolish ICE” Means in the Biden Era: Post-Trump, immigrant justice is far out of the spotlight. But many immigrant rights activists, like those organizing to shutter a dismal ICE facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey, haven’t given up, despite a tough slog of fighting the Trump-like policies of Joe Biden. Read more>>
ICE Detainees Protested $1-a-Day Wage. Now They’re in Solitary Confinement: Two immigrant detainees have been held in solitary confinement for over a week for backing a labor strike seeking better wages and conditions at the privately run facility where they are held in Bakersfield. After the news broke, one of the men was moved out of solitary. The other remains in segregation. Both men were found guilty of “inciting or engaging in a demonstration,” charges allegedly related to a months-long labor strike by immigration detainees seeking higher wages. Read more>>
Building Solidarity Against Poland’s Two-Faced Refugee Policy: The reception of Ukrainian refugees in Poland has painted an image of a country welcoming refugees. But the crisis at the border with Belarus tells a different story. Read more>>
4,000 People Oppose Weapons Spending In Berlin: Approximately 4,000 people took part in the demonstration on July 2nd. One headline reads: “Awakening of the Peace Movement.” An even larger demo is now being planned for October 8th. Greetings from the U.S. peace movement were enthusiastically received. Delegations of Italian and of Greek militant trade unionists also spoke from the stage and made a strong impact. Read more>>
Step by Step, Former Women Combatants Moving Towards Peace in the Philippines: With support and training from NP, a group of former women combatants in Lanao Del Sur, Philippines is slowly changing their role and public reputation as an armed group to becoming Women Peace Facilitators for their community. By working with NP, these women have strengthened their skills in advocacy, peacebuilding, psychosocial support, and more. Read more>>
Peace in Greater Pibor: Last Month, Women’s Protection Teams in South Sudan traveled hours to come together for a peace conference. Their purpose? Strengthening inter-community relations and women’s leadership in the Pieri Peace Process, a peace agreement established last year. Read more>>
As Russia’s Invasion Continues, Ukraine’s Elderly And Disabled Struggle To Survive: After a recent visit to hard-hit southeastern Ukraine, unarmed civilian protectors are exposing the lack of humanitarian engagement with the country’s most vulnerable populations. Read more>>
A Ukrainian-Led School Emerges in Germany to Teach Refugee Children: More than 5.8 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Europe. In Dresden, Germany, a school has opened to serve them. Read more>>
Palestine Action Occupy And Dismantle Thales Weapons Factory In Glasgow: Palestine Action Scotland have made their way back on the roof of weapons company Thales’ factory in Glasgow. A team of activists scaled the roof at dawn, and began causing severe damage to site facilities, forcing workers to evacuate the building. Their occupation is ongoing, rendering Thales’ conveyor belt of weapons inoperable. Read more>>
‘You Don’t Got This’ – Peace Group Blasts NYC’s New Nuclear Survival PSA: Peace advocates on Tuesday derided a New York City public service announcement meant to prepare residents for a nuclear attack as a 21st-century version of the absurd Duck and Cover civil defense film of the early Cold War era. Read more>>
Challenging Religion In Schools, Activist Asks To Lead Satanic Prayer On Football Field: After the U.S. Supreme Court backed a high school football coach’s right to pray at the 50-yard line, a South Florida artist and political activist has reached out to a Broward County high school asking to lead a Satanic invocation at one of its football games. Read more>>
Texas Woman Given Traffic Ticket Says Unborn Child Counts As Second Passenger: A pregnant woman in Texas told police that her unborn child counted as an additional passenger after being cited for driving alone in a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, offering up a potentially clever defense for motorists navigating the legal landscape following the supreme court’s striking down of nationwide abortion rights last month. Read more>>
Actor Hugh Grant Inspires DJ To “Culture Jam” Right-Wingers Speech: Actor Hugh Grant tweeted a request at activists protesting outside Westminster to play the Benny Hill theme on their loudspeakers; when they did it became the soundtrack for street interviews with leading Tories trying to explain what Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation means for the British people. Read more>>
A New Play Imagines the End of Isolation for All Incarcerated People: “The Box,” a play about solitary confinement in prison, is going on the road this summer as part of the “End of Isolation” tour. The play is written and directed by Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers who were imprisoned by Iran from 2009 to 2010. It features formerly incarcerated actors and hopes to help audiences understand one of the darkest experiences of prison. Read more>>
Using Art For Social Activism In The Middle East And North Africa: In June, AFSC brought activists from Egypt, Palestine, Tunisia, Lebanon, and other countries to Morocco, where they discussed the role of art in their work for social change. The gathering was part of American Friends Service Committee’s Dialogue and Exchange Program, which convenes community leaders from the Global South to learn, exchange ideas, and collectively work for solutions for a more just, peaceful world. Listen to this podcast to hear from three participants>>
Why Sudan’s Protest Movement Has Toppled One But Not Yet Two Dictators: So far, protestors in Sudan have not been able to topple their authoritarian regime, as they previously did when they helped remove Omar al-Bashir in 2018-2019. Why? There are three key differences that are worth exploring between the 2018-2019 protests and today’s demonstrations. Read more>>
The First Principle Of Union Organizing – Spontaneity Isn’t Enough: The seemingly spontaneous upsurges at companies like Starbucks and Amazon are an inspiring sign of life within the workers’ movement. But spontaneity is nowhere near enough to turn labor’s dismal fortunes around. Read more>>
Reclaiming the Nonviolence Of the Civil Rights Movement: Nonviolence International’s Nimesh Wijewardane and Christiana Green discussed the legacy of Reverend James Lawson, the whitewashing of the civil rights movement, progressive organizing in the South, and how Christiana’s faith inspires her work. Read more>>
Mutual Aid Groups That Arose During COVID Gather to Build Power Regionally: Durable mutual aid networks prioritize building relationships around anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist values. Read more>>
The “Iron Lady” of Kashmir Documents The Disappeared: Parveena Ahangar has carefully laminated scores of newspaper cut outs over the last two decades. Each clipping tells a story of loss. On the wall of the office where she sits is a huge board with names of the people Ahangar has documented as disappearing in Kashmir since the 1990s. Ahangar, now chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared People, estimates that at least 8,000, and perhaps as many as 10,000 Kashmiris have disappeared since conflict in the region began in 1989. This includes her son. Read more>>
Preserve Highlander Center For Activists & Movements: The legacy of the Highlander Center is under threat. We need your support today to help defend our historic civil rights legacy – please add your name to our letter campaign calling for the Highlander Folk School name, property, and historic legacy to be returned to us and saved from opportunists who seek to capitalize on our 90 years of work. Learn more>>
James Lawson Institute 2022 Is Accepting Applicants: The powerful, in-depth training in strategy for movements and civil resistance, guided by the Rev. James Lawson and a team of organizers, is accepting applications. (Deadline: July 30; Starts Aug 10th) Learn more>>
#RaceAnd The Attack On Education: How can we fight back against a movement that is leaving teachers feeling frustrated and burnt out, at a time when teaching students the values of democracy is essential to fighting for the multiracial democracy we want to build? This online event is part of the #RaceAnd series, which places race at the forefront by exploring the intersectionality of race and racism with various issue areas and systems of oppression. (July 20) Learn more>>
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