Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
Cost-of-living protests continue to grab global headlines. In the United Kingdom, synchronized demonstrations launched the Enough Is Enough campaign, which has five reasonable demands (proper living-wage rises, decent homes for all, higher taxes on wealth and windfalls, and an end to poverty of food and heating). Many groups are part of the effort, including Extinction Rebellion, unions, Just Stop Oil, and a campaign called #Don’tPayUK, which is rallying pledges to refuse to pay energy and heating bills if the government doesn’t rein in profiteering and high prices. Tunisians are also in the streets over the high cost of living. In the Czech Republic, a similar protest mobilized tens of thousands, though it was organized by the far right and included nationalistic overtones. (And, more interestingly, an antiwar message.)
In Iran, a human rights group is reporting that at least 83 people have been killed during the women’s uprising against the morality police and gender-based restrictions. Their uprising may be the most courageous and dangerous resistance, but they’re not alone in pushing back against the patriarchy. (And, one might argue, religious politics.) Thousands of Virginia students stood up for transgender rights, walking out of school in protest. In Cyprus, hundreds of people held a demonstration for gay marriage.
In the Peace Section, you’ll also see a report you’ve all been looking for: what’s going on with nonviolent resistance on-the-ground in Ukraine. Don’t miss the equally interesting articles about draft (aka ‘mobilization’) resistance among Russians. Many are leaving the country rather than be drafted into the war in Ukraine. I’ve also seen reports of Russians burning draft centers amidst the mobilization wave, but since property destruction is a gray area in nonviolence, I’ll let you decide whether or not it’s “Nonviolence News”. A judge in the United Kingdom definitely does not think property destruction is nonviolent. He just ruled that four racial justice activists are guilty of “violence” for pulling down the statue of a notorious slave trader. Whether or not we agree with the ruling, we should know about it. These kinds of decisions influence how protesters are treated when they engage in property damage and destruction. Oftentimes, it backfires on our efforts and comes with harsh consequences.
Here are a few success stories to buoy your spirits: remember the San Francisco airport workers who shut down some terminals? Well, they won a wage increase! Also, California farmworkers succeeded in getting the governor to sign a bill making unionization easier. Immense activist pressure got anti-climate policies taken out of the Inflation Reduction Act. Florida postal workers used direct action to get their Sunday breaks back. In the United Kingdom, campaigners banned the fossil fuel industry from recruiting at a college careers center. Argentina’s oil workers won new safety measures after a strike.
A favorite headline this week? Here’s two: cars are vanishing from Paris streets (thanks to years of efforts to reduce car traffic), and a new underwater alert system sends signals to ships in the San Francisco Bay to help them slow down or change course to avoid whales in the area. So far, it’s working.
Enjoy the news,
Photo Credit: Thousands of people showed up for cost-of-living protests in the United Kingdom.
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San Francisco Airport Workers End Strike After Pay Victory: San Francisco airport workers ended a three-day strike Thursday after reaching a tentative deal that includes “significant” pay increases and improved healthcare benefits. The deal, which still must be ratified by union members, came after around 1,000 restaurant, coffee shop, and bar workers at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) walked off the job to demand better wages and conditions, temporarily shuttering the operations of many of the airport’s food and drink spots. Read more>>
‘Incredible Victory’ – California Gov. Newsom Signs Farmworker Unionization Bill Into Law: After vetoing similar legislation last year and threatening to do so again last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed Assembly Bill 2183 into law, making it easier for farmworkers in the state to participate in union elections. “This is your victory,” UFW president Teresa Romero told those who led and supported the fight for free and fair union elections. Read more>>
‘People Power Has Won The Day’: Manchin Dirty Deal Defeated: The win was the result of “hundreds of national and grassroots organizations, along with concerned Americans from coast to coast, working together for the health and safety of frontline communities and a livable future for the planet,” said one campaigner. Read more>>
Fossil Fuel Recruiters Banned From College Careers Service Center: Fossil fuel companies have been banned from recruiting students through a university careers service for the first time. The new policy from Birkbeck, University of London, states its careers service “will not hold relationships of any kind with oil, gas or mining companies”. The decision follows a campaign, supported by the student-led group People & Planet, to cut off recruitment pathways to fossil fuel companies. The campaign is now active in dozens of UK universities. Read more>>
Frontier Strikes Get First Aid Kits Updated, Win Back Work: While working without a contract, Frontier telecom workers in California have been out on four unfair labor practice strikes over grievances. They’ve come out of each one with a greater sense of power and solidarity. Read more>>
Argentina’s Oil Workers End Strike After Signing Deal With New Safety Measures: Unions representing thousands of striking Argentine oil workers called off a strike on Friday afternoon that they began the day before after a meeting with business leaders ended in a deal on greater safety measures and training for employees. The workers launched the strike on Thursday after a fire in a storage tank caused an explosion at the New American Oil (NAO) refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul in western Neuquen province. Read more>>
Florida Letter Carriers Win Back Sunday Breaks With Direct Action: USPS management was refusing to let postal workers take their Sunday breaks together—inside, out of the heat. “A simple grievance can take many months to get results. But at the post office where I work, we got fast results defending our breaks with a different approach: direct action.” Read more>>
Cars Are Vanishing From Paris Streets: Under Mayor Hidalgo, Paris has done as much as any city in the world to reduce car traffic and use amid a growing awareness of the damaging impact they have on cities. Over recent years, Paris has implemented an array of measures to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists and transit while bringing car use screeching to a halt. Read more>>
San Francisco Bay Is Becoming a Safe Haven For Whales: So far this year, four whales have been killed by ships near San Francisco, and climate change is forcing new feeding habits that increase the risk of collision. Now, officials are hopeful that such collisions could decline dramatically. A week ago, a high-tech detection system called Whale Safe was switched on in the city’s bay. Powered by buoys outfitted with underwater microphones that send data to satellites, the system alerts ships to whales in the area, allowing them to slow down or alter course. Whale Safe has already been proven to work in the Santa Barbara Channel, where no incidents of ships striking whales have occurred since it began operating over a year ago. Read more>>
Kaiser Permanente Therapists Keep Striking, Citing Dangerous Delays for Patients: Clinicians say patients routinely wait months between appointments, and therapists are given unmanageable workloads. on August 15 — nearly 14 months after their first bargaining session — over 2,000 Kaiser therapists in California went on strike. Nearing two months, it is the longest mental health strike in history. And on August 29, 57 of their colleagues in Hawaii, also NUHW members, joined them. Read more>>
As Public Hospitals Crumble, French Health Workers Demand Action: On September 22, Thursday, health workers and those working in associated sectors in France organized mobilizations and protests as part of a national day of action in different cities across the country. The protesters demanded increased salaries, more staff, improved and safe working conditions, job security, and sufficient funds and other resources for hospitals. Read more>>
Angolans Protest Questionable Election: Thousands of Angolans protested against what they said was a flawed election last month that returned the ruling MPLA to power after nearly five decades of uninterrupted rule. Read more>>
Filipinos In the US Protest Far-Right President Marcos At His UN-Debut: US-based Filipino organizations confront the dictatorial leadership of the Philippines, as President Marcos Jr. encourages US investors to exploit his nation. Read more>>
Tens of Thousands of Czechs Protest Soaring Energy Prices & Membership in NATO and European Union: Far-right groups mobilized tens of thousands of Czechs – across a wide political spectrum – in protest against the government’s handling of soaring energy prices and the country’s membership of NATO and the European Union. The disparate groups involved in the demonstration opposed high prices and involvement in war. Read more>>
Protests Held In Havana Over Blackouts: Cubans protested in the streets of Havana for a second night late on Friday over continued blackouts across several neighborhoods, in some of the largest single rallies in the city since widespread anti-government demonstrations last July. Read more>>
Wealthier Colombians March Against Proposed Tax Reform: Thousands of protesters marched on Monday against economic and social reforms proposed by Colombian leftist President Gustavo Petro – which he says will fight inequality – just 50 days after he took office. Petro has promised to seek “total peace” through deals with rebel groups and crime gangs and asked lawmakers to approve a tax reform which would raise an initial $5.6 billion for social programs next year. Read more>>
Chinese Homeowners Occupy “Rotting” Apartments Left Unfinished: Home buyers around China have moved into what they call “rotting” apartments, either to pressure developers and authorities to complete them or out of financial necessity, as numerous cash-strapped builders halt construction amid the country’s deep real estate slump. Read more>>
Animal Foundation Employees Quit In Protest: Sunday morning, dozens of pet owners were shocked to be turned away at the front doors of the Animal Foundation after finding a letter on the door saying they were closed. More than half-a-dozen employees quit on the spot on Sunday morning, forcing the shelter to close to the public. In a resignation email, the eight employees expressed longtime concerns that led to their decision to leave. Read more>>
Tunisians Protest Against Poverty, High Prices And Food Shortages: Hundreds of Tunisians protested on Sunday night in the capital against poverty, high prices and the shortage of some foodstuff, escalating pressure on the government of President Kais Saied, as the country suffers an economic and political crisis. Tunisia is struggling to revive its public finances as discontent grows over inflation running at nearly 9% and a shortage of many food items in stores because the country cannot afford to pay for some imports. Read more>>
Nigeria’s Striking Lecturers Appeal Ruling Ordering Them Back To Work: Lecturers from Nigerian public universities who have been striking since February appealed a court ruling ordering them to suspend their action, which has kept students away from class for the past seven months. Lecturers from public universities, used by the majority of students in Africa’s most populous country, routinely strike for better pay. ASUU is demanding an increase in pay and allowances and better funding for the country’s education sector. The government wants lecturers to go back to work while negotiations continue. Read more>>
#EnoughIsEnough Campaign Mobilizes Across the United Kingdom: Enough Is Enough has five general aims: proper living-wage rises, decent homes for all, higher taxes on wealth and windfalls, and an end to poverty of food and heating. It promises to mobilize a national network of support for coordinated demonstrations and strike action on these issues, beginning with its first “day of action” on 1 October in towns and cities across the country. Read more>>
New ‘Striketober’ Looms As US Walkouts Increase: Thousands of workers around the US are going on strike or threatening to do so heading into October, amid a recent surge of labor action activity in America and just one month before crucial midterm elections. Support for labor unions in the US has grown over the past year, as a surge in organizing has resulted in workers winning union elections at major corporations. Read more>>
1,000 SFO Restaurant Workers Go On Strike: Restaurant workers at San Francisco International Airport declared a general strike early Monday morning after more than nine months of negotiations with their employers. Unite Here Local 2, the union representing SFO’s food service workers, announced in a press release that 1,000 of SFO’s cashiers, cooks, baristas, bartenders, servers and dishwashers are participating in the strike. The workers are employed by 84 airport restaurant outlets, all of whom are represented by the SFO Airport Restaurant Employer Council. Read more>>
Africa Air Traffic Control Strike Grounds Flights Across Region: An air traffic control strike grounded flights in and out of West and Central Africa on Friday, causing chaos for passengers travelling to Europe, the United States and inside the continent. Staff at the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), which regulates air traffic control across 18 countries, stopped working on Friday during a dispute over working conditions and pay, defying court rulings and government bans barring them from doing so. Read more>>
Alabama Prison Labor Goes on Strike: In Alabama, incarcerated prison workers are on strike throughout the state. The workers say they are protesting inhumane conditions throughout the state, which led the Department of Justice to sue the State of Alabama in 2020. Read more>>
Corn Nuts Workers Are On Day 43 Of Their Strike: They walked out to demand better health insurance after Hormel slashed their benefits. Workers say they’ve been skipping doctors appts—even cancer treatments—because they can’t afford it. Read more>>
SOS – Teen Paints Murals to Save Our Salmon: Austin Picinich is a 17-year-old senior at Juanita High School. He dedicates dozens of hours to raise awareness for salmon restoration in Washington creeks. One paint brush at a time, Picinich has turned blank concrete barriers over McAleer Creek in Lake Forest Park to giant murals. Read more>>
The Climate Movement Was Built For a World Before Climate Change — It’s Time For a New Approach: We need a mass movement that can deal with climate disasters. That means training people to both protect and mobilize their communities. Read more>>
The Rights Of Nature Movement Cannot Be Stopped: From the Navajo Nation to a small town in Pennsylvania to Ecuador, then across the world, the idea of enshrining the rights of nature is only growing. Read more>>
Eight Arrested As Earth Quaker Action Team Challenges Vanguard: This fall, EQAT and other members of the Vanguard S.O.S. campaign are taking action to challenge Vanguard on its stewardship hypocrisy, highlighting the ways the asset manager has failed to act on its own stated values. Read more>>
Divest From Violence Opposes Weapons & Fossil Fuels: Bringing together anti-war and climate justice efforts, this group pushed corporate banks to just ‘divest from violence’ by ditching financing for fossil fuels and weapons manufacturing. Read more>>
Mutual Aid Emerges As a Critical Survival Tool In Puerto Rico After Hurricane Fiona: Puerto Rican mutual aid groups are not only helping people meet basic needs after Hurricane Fiona, but building community power in the face of U.S. imperialism. Read more>>
At Least 83 People Killed In Feminist Protests In Iran: Protests continued in several cities across Iran on Thursday against the death of young woman in police custody, state and social media reported, as a human rights group said at least 83 people had been killed in nearly two weeks of demonstrations. Read more>>
Cyprus LGBT+ Pride Marchers Seek Equal Family Rights: Hundreds of activists turned streets of the Cypriot capital into a sea of rainbows on Sunday on a pride march in a push for equal rights irrespective of sexual orientation. “Marriage for all” was the slogan of a parade through Cyprus’s capital Nicosia. Marriage of same-sex couples is not permitted in Cyprus, while same-sex civil partnerships with a limited set of rights are legal. Read more>>
Thousands of Virginia Students Protest Anti-Trans Rules: Crowds of students have begun to walk out of Northern Virginia schools on Tuesday in protest of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed restrictions on transgender students’ rights. More than 90 schools are set to participate, including 59 in Northern Virginia, and thousands of students are expected to join the demonstrations. Read more>>
Drag Queen Story Hour: When an LGBTQ-friendly reading event was targeted with hateful rhetoric, locals drowned out the protesters with a message of love and acceptance. Read more>>
What’s Happening In Ukraine? Nonviolent Actions On The Ground: A recent summary report highlights over 235 nonviolent actions held in Ukraine to resist war and work for peace. By engaging in 55 interviews with Ukrainian leaders, the researchers found that nonviolent resistance has hindered some of the long-term military and political goals of the Russian authorities, such as the institutionalization of the military occupation and repression in the occupied territories. Nonviolent action has protected many civilians, undermined the Russian narrative, built community resilience, and strengthened local governance. Read more>>
Palestinian Prisoners Go On Indefinite Hunger Strike: On Sunday, September 25, 30 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails started an indefinite hunger strike to protest the Israeli policy of administrative detention without charge or trial. The strike demanding an end to this policy has been organized under the slogan: “Our decision is freedom..our strike is freedom.” The prisoners issued a joint statement before the formal commencement of their strike which was read outside the Israeli Ofer prison by their family members along with members of Addameer and other prisoner solidarity groups. Read more>>
Kazakhstan Rents Skyrocket As Fleeing Russians Push Up Demand: Russia’s war is coming to Kazakhstan in droves, again. Rents have shot up by a third in areas near the Russian border, as the housing market reacts to increased demand from Russians crushing in to avoid mobilization. Yesterday Kazakhstan’s president pledged unspecified assistance for Russians fleeing a “hopeless situation.” Read more>>
Global Women Activists Call For Removal of US From the UN Security Council: At a gathering of the World Women’s Conference, delegates from 42 countries adopted a resolution challenging U.S. imperialism and militarism. Read more>>
Building the UN Culture of Peace and Nonviolence: United Nations Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury discusses the UN Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, its history and the challenges it faces. Read more>>
Reimagining Safety and Liberation Without Police: Night Out For Safety & Liberation invites us all to expand our definitions of freedom and public safety by seeing the intertwined nature of both the challenges of violence that happens in our communities and the solutions to keep each other safe from state violence and the systems that harm us. Read more>>
How Indigenous Taiwanese Are Fighting Corporate Domination: Taiwan’s indigenous people have long been subject to mistreatment by companies seeking to extract resources from their land and integrate Taiwan into the world capitalist system. Now their resistance takes a new form: an organized political assembly. Read more>>
Racial Justice Activists Tore Down A Statue. A UK Judge Ruled It Violence. Activists tore down a statue of a notorious slave trader in the United Kingdom. The judge described the toppling of Colston’s statue in protest against racism as a “violent” act, despite the protesters’ intentions. All four were acquitted of causing criminal damage in January, and while today’s decision does not overturn that verdict, it will affect similar cases in future. Read more>>
How a Wisconsin Autoworker Dodged Death Threats to Grow a Fighting, Multiracial Union: Jon Melrod was part of a wave of student radicals who took jobs in factories in the 1970s. He spoke to Jacobin about life in working-class Wisconsin, becoming a workplace leader, and how to merge shop-floor fights with a broader left politics. Read more>>
Two Powerful Unions Come Together to Push Back the US Right-Wing’s Attacks: Bills to restrict the freedom to teach and learn have sparked outrage — and organizing — on campuses throughout the country. In addition to increased COVID-inspired health and safety concerns and an ever-increasing spike in the number of low-paid contingent laborers, it is not surprising that campus workers are mobilizing in every region of the U.S. and pushing for a New Deal for Higher Education. The effort is being led by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), two groups that entered into a permanent affiliation agreement. Read more>>
Support Ukrainian Peacebuilders & Nonviolent Activists Resisting Russian Occupation: Here is a streamlined way to provide resource support for Ukrainian peacebuilders and nonviolent activists resisting Russian occupation as well for Russians resisting the war in Russia. Learn more>>
October Month of Action To Diffuse Nuclear War: Say NO to NUKES This October, as we demand attention be paid to the very real threat posed by nuclear weapons. (Oct 14 & 16) Learn more>>
Voluntary Simplicity: From Gandhi to Thoreau to Thich Nhat Hanh to Wally and Juanita Nelson, voluntary simplicity runs through the heart of nonviolence. In this 6-week course, we will examine how—and why—simplifying our lives supports nonviolence as a way of life. We will also address how voluntary simplicity is an act of resistance to the many violences inherent in our economy, society and culture, and the war industry. We will draw from examples of nonviolence practitioners from around the world and find inspiration from many spiritual traditions. (Oct 12-Nov 16) Learn more>>
Writing Nonviolence: In this 6-week course with award-winning author Rivera Sun, you will explore how to write about all things nonviolence. We’ll look at op-eds and editorials, articles and blogs, and even social posts. We’ll also get creative, exploring story and poetry, looking at novels and fictional portrayals of nonviolence. This course is for everyone, whether you think of yourself as a “writer” or not. If you love fiction, join us. If you gravitate toward journalism, join us. If you’re not sure, join us. We will have a lot of fun in this welcoming, encouraging, and empowering online community. (Oct 13-Nov 17) Learn more>>
Gun Violence Campaign Organizing Meet Up – On Earth Peace: The goal of this campaign is to move into direct action to reduce gun violence in the United States. If you have been active, we want to hear your stories so others can learn from your experience; if you are recently fired up we want to offer community and place to connect. For all of us, we want to build capacity and commitment and see the way forward. (Oct 14) Learn more>>
Say No To US Wars: Stop endless wars: Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, everywhere. Join us in protest during the week of Oct 15 – 22. Organize an action in your local area or join one. (Oct 15-23) Learn more>>
From Separation to Connection – (Environ)mental Health & Youth Work: This training project explores the separation and move to re-connection, with psychological, personal, collective and practical approaches, to become healthier as a person and as a community. We’ll draw from Gestalt Therapy, Deep Ecology and Buddhism. (Nov. 5-13) Learn more>>
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