Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
The United Kingdom is about to erupt in protests. An economic justice campaign called #EnoughIsEnough launched with a bold video decrying poverty wages, cost of living, and concentrated wealth. Over 100,000 people crashed the website trying to get on the email list. It’s a sign of the times. People around the world are fed up with the struggle to pay bills.
It’s not easy to campaign for economic justice. Sierra Leone is reeling after the police opened fire on a crowd of cost-of-living protesters, killing dozens. A new report illuminates how Sri Lanka’s protesters (who just ousted their president over bad economic policies) succeeded amidst a government-sponsored misinformation campaign that vilified the demonstrators. Detained immigrants in the United States are striking against $1/day wages. The United Mine Workers received a nasty slap-in-the-face from a court ruling that states they have to pay the company’s lost profits from a strike. If it holds up on appeal, it sets a troubling precedent in the United States.
Meanwhile, China is bracing for an economic crash as a mortgage boycott picks up steam. The would-be homeowners are refusing to pay mortgages because developers haven’t fulfilled their promises to build the apartments. 800,000 Brazilians publicly denounced the threat of a potential Bolsonaro coup. Congolese (pictured above) marched against an oil drilling auction. Argentina’s Indigenous women gathered to stop terricide, violence toward the earth, and the related violence toward women. In Iran, women who engaged in civil disobedience of the hijab law and posted pictures with #No2Hijab are facing harsh repression.
Climate protesters were brutally arrested after disrupting the Tour De France. So were a group of people offering clinic defense at a reproductive rights clinic in New York. Farmworkers are on a 24-day march to get the governor to sign a bill that makes union voting easier. India farmers in Punjab are protesting the government’s mishandling of drought that has led to a lack of water.
My favorite story? In Thailand, a group of Radical Grandmas fought a toxic gold mine. Now that it’s closed, they’re not pausing. They continue to organize for clean-up, land repair, reparations … and healing for their community. The women acknowledge that the campaign to close the mine caused rifts in the community. Healing the earth and healing the people is needed.
Enjoy this week’s stories,
Photo Credit: Extinction Rebellion rebels march through Goma city in the Democratic Republic of Congo to demand the oil drilling auction be cancelled.
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Outraged Uvalde Residents Stand Up To NRA, Get Local Gun Giveaway Canceled: A fundraising event planned by a charity for National Rifle Association (NRA) in Hondo Texas, some 40 miles away from the Robb Elementary School shooting, was canceled after relatives of the victims demanded that the Hondo City Council nix the fundraiser. “It is a slap in the face to all of Uvalde, especially the ones that lost a loved one, some of us being here today. What’s an even harder slap in the face is the AR-15 you get if you donate $5,000 to the NRA,” Jazmin Cazares, whose sister died in the Uvalde massacre. Read more>>
Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Found Guilty: The three white men on trial for killing Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty of murder in the fatal pursuit of the unarmed Georgia jogger. The younger McMichael — who was the one who pulled the trigger — was the only one found guilty on the top charge of malice murder. McMichael’s father, Gregory, was found guilty of the other eight counts. Bryan, the neighbor who joined the pursuit and filmed video of the fatal shooting, was convicted on other charges. Bryan faces a 35 year sentence, the other two received life sentences. Read more>>
Threat of Boycott Secures High School Football Raises For Refs: In Ohio, the pay rate for referees in high school football games has barely gone up in 30 years. That changed after the refs threatened to organize a boycott among athletic organizations. Read more>>
Alabama Town Dissolves Police Department Over Racism: After a 3-person police department shared a racist text, the citizen demanded that they all be fired. Now the police department is dissolving. “I think now the Council, along with the mayor, see that this is totally unacceptable and that the people have said, ‘No more,’” said President of the Shelby county NAACP Reverend Kenneth Dukes. Mayor James Latimer stated that the council has approved a resolution to terminate the police chief and the assistant police chief. Read more>>
Pennsylvania County Bans Fracking in Area Parks: Eight years after allowing a shale gas company to drill beneath Deer Lakes County Park for methane gas, the Pennsylvania county home to Pittsburgh has banned all industrial activity in the area’s eight other parks — despite a veto from the county executive. Read more>>
Amid Protests, Argentina’s Finance Minister Resigns: Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman, the architect of a recent debt deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has resigned. His departure, coming at the end of a week of economic turmoil, sparks more uncertainty in Argentina, Latin America’s third largest economy. The Argentinian peso has hit an all-time low against the US dollar, while inflation is running above 60 percent and truck drivers are staging protests over shortages of diesel. Read more>>
Ivy League University Set To Rebury Skulls of Black People Kept For Centuries: University of Pennsylvania houses human remains at Penn Museum, where they form a collection once used to justify white supremacy. The Morton Collection is acting as a major catalyst of the repatriation movement which eventually involves academic institutions throughout the world. Read more>>
Top Economists Hail Chilean Constitution as ‘New Global Standard’ on Climate, Inequality: “The world has much to learn from the exemplary process of the convention and the visionary product on which Chile will vote in its September plebiscite. For the first time, a constitution recognizes care work, social reproduction, and women’s health as fundamental to the prospects of the economy,” the letter notes. Read more>>
India Farmers In Punjab Protest Lack of Water And High Pollution: Farmers aligned with five different organizations staged a protest against the Punjab and central governments. The protesters accused the governments of not solving a water dispute with other states, leading to water crisis in Punjab. Read more>>
China’s Mortgage Boycott Grows: A fast-growing mortgage boycott across dozens of cities in China has prompted some property suppliers to cease their bank loan repayments, raising fears the escalating situation could trigger a further downward spiral in the sector and even threaten the country’s financial stability. Hundreds of landscapers, sculpture-makers and construction companies have expressed their anger that they have been bled dry because some debt-saddled developers did not pay their bills while they continued to service or help build apartments. Read more>>
Protests Are Growing Worldwide: There is no doubt that the summer months of 2022 have been witnessing increasing protests and strikes. In many countries the protest movement is just another form of popular participation in the governance of a country. The nature and number of protests reflect the relationship between people and the authorities. The character and quality of the government strongly influence the intensity and demand of the protest. Read more>>
Over 800,000 Brazilians Sign Pro-Democracy Manifesto Amid Bolsonaro Coup Threat: “We face the risk of having to live through a dictatorship once again—and this is inconceivable,” one of the proclamation’s authors warned. More than 800,000 Brazilians have signed a pro-democracy manifesto ahead of nationwide demonstrations this Thursday and amid growing fears that right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro—who is trailing by double-digits in recent polling—may attempt a coup if he is not reelected in October. Read more>>
Pakistan – Protests By Families Of Disappeared Met With Intimidation, Harassment And Violence: Pakistani authorities must end their outrageous crackdown on peaceful protests by families seeking justice for the enforced disappearance of their loved ones, Amnesty International said today in a new briefing detailing the state’s violation of the right to peaceful protest. Read more>>
Palestinian Hunger Striker Moved To Hospital: Khalil Awawdeh has refused food for more than 160 days to draw attention to his detention by Israel without charge or trial. Awawdeh now requires a wheelchair and is showing memory loss and speech difficulties, his lawyer said. Read more>>
Shireen Abu Akleh Street Inaugurated In The Heart of Ramallah: A street in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah has been named after slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli forces on May 11, while covering an Israeli raid in Jenin, in the north of the West Bank. Ramallah’s mayor was accompanied by Abu Akleh’s family and Al Jazeera colleagues as he unveiled a stone memorial with a picture of Shireen and key events in her life. Read more>>
‘It’s An Illusion of Choice’ – Why Young Kenyans Are Boycotting the Election: As presidential elections approach, engagement appears low among under-35s – but some see staying away from the polls as a form of protest. “Many young people are saying that they won’t be voting, that elections have not proved an effective way to cause change.” Read more>>
Protest Demands Biden Administration Stop Medicare Privatization: Approximately 75 spirited protesters celebrated the 57th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare here on Friday, July 29, with a picket line and rally outside the Columbia Center chanting, “Whose Medicare? Our Medicare!” and “Medicare is not for profit! Keep your corporate hands off it!” Read more>>
California Fast Food Workers Demand a Seat at the Table: The aim is to create an appointed 13 member fast food sector council responsible for setting minimum industry standards on wages, working hours, and other working conditions related to workers health and safety. Workers are united in protest (and strikes) to press fast food companies and legislators “saying NO to poverty wages, dangerously hot temperatures in our kitchens, and harassment from our bosses.” Read more>>
Police Fire Into Crowd of Economic Protesters In Sierra Leone: Six police officers and at least 21 civilians were killed, the sources said, as hundreds took to the streets in frustration at economic hardship and a perceived failure by the government to cushion the impact of rising prices. The unrest is highly unusual for Sierra Leone, especially in the West African country’s capital Freetown. Read more>>
Mutual Aid Groups That Arose During COVID Gather to Build Power Regionally: More than two years after ad-hoc networks of collective care sprouted from the cracks of state neglect during the pandemic, mutual aid organizers across the U.S. are convening in Indiana this July to prepare these networks to face crisis, disasters and survival for the long haul. Read more>>
‘If They Call It, We’ll Support It’: Major UK Unions Would Back General Strike: #EnoughIsEnough has five demands: “A huge slash in energy bill prices, a real pay rise for all, an end to food poverty, decent homes for all, and greater taxes on the super-wealthy.” It says it will hold large-scale rallies across the country and encourage the public to support picket lines and back workers’ strike funds. 100,000 people signed up to the campaign on its first day on Monday, with so much interest that its website crashed. Read more>>
‘Outrageous’ – Union Is Ordered To Pay Strike Costs To Company: The United Mine Workers of America today made it clear that it will vigorously challenge an outrageous assessment of damages (including lost profit) incurred by Warrior Met Coal because of the strike, as it threatens every American workers’ right to strike. Read more>>
Strikes Spread Across Amazon UK Warehouses: Workers across at least 4 Amazon warehouses in the UK have staged wildcat walkouts to protest pay offers that would raise wages by only 0.35-0.50 per hour. This will amount to a real-terms pay cut as the UK’s inflation is on track to hit 13%. Read more>>
A Chevron Refinery Fire in California Created a Generation of Activists: Ten years after a disastrous refinery explosion in Richmond, California, a group of organizers envisions a just transition from fossil fuels. Read more>>
In Tanzania, Maasai Women Are Resisting Land Grabs: In Tanzania, large corporations have entered the lands of the Maasai people to mine rubies and tanzanite. Also, for three decades, the Maasai of Loliondo have been resisting displacement by a game reserve that will be managed by Otterlo Business Corporation based in the United Arab Emirates, which has alleged ties to Dubai’s royal family. The Maasai can neither assert their rights to the land nor benefit from the mining of these precious resources. Nonetheless, they are resisting. Read more>>
Mining Giant Rio Tinto Hit By Legal Battle Over Sacred Apache Site At Oak Flat in Arizona: Oak Flat is at the centre of a dispute between the Apache tribe and Rio Tinto. The project is now expected to be at the centre of a Supreme Court ruling. Locals also say the waste from the project will imperil the state’s resources and destroy a sacred site. Read more>>
Tribes And Water Protectors Ward Off New Black Hills Gold Rush: The moment the U.S. Forest Service posted its July notice of a draft decision to permit gold prospecting at Jenny Gulch here in the Black Hills, tribes, water protectors and treaty rights defenders turned out in droves to ward off the project and others like it. Read more>>
Disrupting Tour De France, Stopping Pipelines In the Congo – Extinction Rebellion’s Global Newspaper: From students in Goma to Maasai herders, people across Africa are mobilizing to stop fossil fuels. Hear their stories in Extinction Rebellion’s newsletter, along with reports of disrupting the world’s most famous bike race, a die-in at Picasso’s Guernica, and more. Read more>>
Activists Cheer LA Times Editorial Board’s Call for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency: “There’s little chance we’ll look back decades from now and say the president did too much, or that our alarms about the imperiled planet rang too loud,” the board warned. “We’ll only regret that we didn’t act more aggressively or sooner.” Read more>>
Akron Arrests Continue To Target Racial Justice Demonstrators: It has been several weeks since the police execution of Jayland Walker, 25, in Akron, Ohio on June 27. Tensions remain extremely high in Akron due to the continuing anger and disgust at the shooting. Mayor Daniel Horrigan declared a state of emergency while numerous people have been arrested and charged with serious crimes for merely exercising their democratic rights to assembly and speech. Read more>>
Black People In Los Angeles Face ‘Whiplash After Whiplash’ of Losing Safe Housing: The Los Angeles City Council got an earful from protestors opposing an expansion of LA Municipal Code ordinance 41.18, the city’s controversial “anti-camping” law that has been maligned by activists for unfairly targeting unhoused people. The law will now include a ban on sitting, laying, or sleeping within 500 feet of schools or daycares. Read more>>
Restoring A Culture – One Indigenous Leader’s Fight For Her People: Cheryl Seidner has helped the Wiyot tribe reclaim their land and ceremony decades after a massacre stole both. The Wiyot tribe has lived in the Humboldt Bay region of northern California for thousands of years, since time immemorial. Read more>>
Native Americans Urge Boycott of “Tone Deaf” Pilgrim Museum: Native Americans in the U.S. state of Massachusetts are calling for a boycott of a popular living history museum featuring colonial reenactors portraying life in Plymouth, the famous English settlement founded by the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower. Members of the state’s Wampanoag community and their supporters say Plimoth Patuxet Museums has not lived up to its promise of creating a ‘bi-cultural museum’ that equally tells the story of the European and Indigenous peoples that lived there. Read more>>
Heat, Fiery Speeches Kick Off Farmworkers’ 24-Day ‘March For The Governor’s Signature’: Showered with encouragement from United Farm Worker leaders and shouts of “Sí Se Puede,” about 250 marchers left the historic Forty Acres Wednesday morning on their 335-mile march to Sacramento in an effort to persuade Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign a bill that will make it easier for farmworkers to vote for union representation. With temperatures hitting 100 degrees, marchers protected themselves with umbrellas and clothing that left little exposed to the sun. Read more>>
Immigrant Detainees Strike Over $1/Day Pay, Working Conditions: At two federal detention centers in California, more than 50 immigrant workers are on strike over unsafe working conditions and low wages. “We are being exploited for our labor and are being paid $1 per day to clean the dormitories,” said strikers at a central California detention center in a June statement received by public radio station KQED. Read more>>
NYPD Violently Arrest Five Abortion Rights Activists Doing Clinic Defense: On Saturday, five people were violently arrested protecting abortion access in NYC while NYPD protected anti-choicers attempting to harass patients. On every first Saturday of every month, anti-abortion protesters gather to harass patients at the SoHo Planned Parenthood in the heart of New York City, supposedly a “safe city” for abortion rights. In response, local activist group NYC for Abortion Rights organizes a monthly clinic defense and counter-protest. The police arrested them violently. Read more>>
Argentina’s Indigenous Women Gather To Stop Terricide: The Parliament of the Indigenous Women’s Movement for Good Living (Movimiento de Mujeres Indígenas por el Buen Vivir), gathered to lay out plans of action to confront terricidio—a word they’ve coined that in English would be “terricide,” the murder of the Earth—as well as the widespread sexual violence against Indigenous women and girls.
#No2Hijab Protesters Forced To Make Confessions: Since 1978, it has been against the law in Iran for women to appear in public without a hijab. Women who defy the law as part of the #No2Hijab campaign are being arrested and forced to make confessions and apologies on public television. Read more>>
Should Doctors Break The Law? As abortion bans compel them to endanger patients, some are considering civil disobedience. Almost all obstetrician-gynecologists detest these bans and envision no end to them. They also know that their own action or inaction may spell the difference right now between their pregnant patients’ security and poverty, safety and domestic abuse, health and impairment, life and death. Read more>>
Nonviolent Peace Force Shares Annual Report: Full of stories from Myanmar, South Sudan, Philippines, and the United States, this report shows the power and possibility of unarmed civilan protection. Read more>>
Peace Education And Action For Impact: Sustainable peace is dependent on our ability to work inter-generationally and cross-culturally, and to create opportunities for youth-led efforts. There is, however, a lack of understanding about what youth-led, intergenerational/cross-cultural peacebuilding looks like in practice – and specifically what it looks like on a large scale, in the digital age, during COVID. Read more>>
Dublin Demonstration – Ireland Stay out of NATO: Members of Ireland’s Russian community supported by Irish Republican groups, Republican Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Socialist Party, held a protest in Dublin against the current trajectory that the 26 County State appears to be taking in regards to joining NATO. Read more>>
Ukraine – Global Unions Call On Zelensky To Veto Anti-Worker Laws: International trade unions are calling on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to veto two anti-worker bills that were recently passed by parliament amid Russia’s invasion. Critics of the bills, such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), say they will leave workers “deprived of protection of their wages, conditions and safety”. Read more>>
Joy As Part Of The Activist Toolkit: With music, art, and an element of theater, climate organizers are making joy part of their toolkit. Joy “is in direct opposition to the people who want us to just give up and go home.” Joy-as-resistance is a technique that goes back thousands of years. Beyond providing catharsis and strengthening group bonds, activists see it as necessary to advance their ultimate goal — a just, livable future — by keeping advocates engaged and attracting more people to the movement. Read more>>
Painting Records Nonviolent Resistance of Breastfeeding Mother: When her father was sentenced to death by starvation, a young mother took action. Infant in her arms, she finagled her way into visitation rights, and fed the father breastmilk when the guards weren’t looking. When the ruse was discovered, her compassionate courage moved the authorities to pardon him. Read more>>
Speculative Fiction Writes Oral History of the Future: In a new book of speculative fiction, Everything for Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052-2072, the authors imagine themselves as researchers in the future. Their future selves interview 12 fictitious people who played different revolutionary roles in recreating the world, including sex workers, scientists, student organizers and freedom fighters. In this future world, money, nation-states, prisons, militaries, police, borders and families as we know them are no more. Instead, people organize themselves through communes, councils and free assemblies. And it is beautiful. Read more>>
Little Leaguer Shows Compassion, Forgiveness To Opponent Who Accidentally Hit Him In the Head: A batter was hit with the ball by the pitcher. He got to walk to first base. But then, seeing that the pitcher was feeling terrible, the batter called a time out, went to the mound and gave him a hug. Read more>>
Radical Grandmas – A Story Of Resistance. A Fight For Reparations. This collective of grandmas are fighting restoration of not only the environment disrupted by gold mining, but also community relationships, mental and physical well-being, and economy. The effects of mining and the trauma from over a decade of protest has left scars on the community, both tangible and intangible. Acknowledging that the closure of the mine marks a new phase of the struggle, rather than its end, the community is beginning the multifaceted process of healing. Although the community has won their legal battles, justice will not truly be served until the community is given the resources to heal. The Na Nong Bong community deserves the right to enjoy their land and connect with each other outside of the struggle. Read more>>
Damning Report Shows Unions Have Plenty Of Money To Organize —They Just Don’t Spend It: Many people who are passionate about the labor movement have long had the vague but haunting sense that the most powerful institutions in the union world are not doing enough to stem the bleeding that has been sucking power from unions for decades. Well, there’s good news and bad news on that front. The bad news is: that sickening feeling was correct. The good news is: now we can put some numbers on it. Read more>>
Sri Lanka’s Protesters Succeeded Despite State Disinformation Campaign: The resignation of Sri Lanka’s president was the culmination of a financial crisis, mounting public criticism, hundreds of days of protests and an information war, in which state-sponsored media cast doubt on the legitimacy, viability and safety of the protests, at times under the guise of support. Read more>>
How Activism Labor Defies Capitalism: Even though many activists are not paid wages, their efforts still count as labor that benefits society. “People would drive by us and yell, ‘get a job!’” Grove said. “That’s the biggest insult they could think of throwing at us, that we’re not currently contributing to colonial capitalism. We thought that was hilarious because we actually do have a job. We’re just not getting paid in money.” Read more>>
Latin America’s New New Left: The recent election in Colombia has produced new hope for the country–and for the whole region. Perhaps the most radical statement from Gustavo Petro, the newly elected president of Colombia, has been his promise to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Petro has said that he will not issue any new licenses for hydrocarbon exploration, will stop fracking pilot projects, and will end the development of offshore drilling. Petro has called for “a transition from an economy of death to an economy of life,” saying that “we cannot accept that the wealth and foreign exchange reserves in Colombia come from the export of three of humanity’s poisons: petroleum, coal, and cocaine.” Read more>>
Protecting Water Is Never Terrorism! Support Valveturner Jessica Reznicek, who is facing 8 years in prison for “ecoterrorism” when she turned off an oil pipeline. Here’s how you can help. Learn more>>
Howard Zinn Centennial: Throughout the week of the 100th anniversary of Howard Zinn’s birth on Aug. 24, 1922, there will be events for educators, archivists, and the wider community to learn from Zinn’s life and work — and to share the many ways that people continue to document and teach people’s history. All centennial events are free and online. (Aug 24) Learn more>>
Migrant Justice Webinar: Join On Earth Peace on September 7 for a panel and discussion on migrant justice. We will use this panel discussion and online conversation to fuse our efforts in helping those who risk their lives for a safe place to work and call home here in the U.S. This is an opportunity to connect with other advocates and activists to share local, regional, and national ideas. (Sept 7) Learn more>>
The Singing Revolution Screening & Discussion: Most people don’t think about singing when they think about revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. The Singing Revolution is an inspiring account of one nation’s dramatic rebirth. It is the story of humankind’s irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination. (Sept 10) Learn more>>
Campaign Nonviolence Action Days, Sept 21-Oct 2: From Sept 21 to Oct 2, 2022, (Int’l Day of Peace to Int’l Day of Nonviolence) join tens of thousands of people in calling for a culture rooted in nonviolence. From renewable energy to housing for all, we’re connecting the dots between the issues and proposing a bold vision for nonviolent solutions to our pressing crises. Learn more>>
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