Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
As tricky as it is to mobilize a nonviolent movement, maintaining the movement’s capacity to follow-through is perhaps even trickier. Around the globe, campaigns are facing challenges in making sure their demands are upheld after they “win”. Sri Lankans (pictured above) ousted their previous president, but they’re facing a new president who may be just as bad and recently had to hold protests against the government’s crackdown on activists. In Sudan, people turned out en masse to demonstrate against the military coup on the one-year anniversary of the regime’s power grab. They’ve been struggling to shift to civilian rule after a nonviolent revolution in 2019 ended 30 years of dictatorship. In the United States, racial justice and anti-police activists are facing set backs as school districts reinstate cops in schools after removing them in the wake of the 2020 George Floyd Protests. Seeing the erosion of hard won gains is a reminder that movements need to organize for the long haul. We need to prepare for the beginning, climax, follow-up and defense of our efforts to secure justice.
Along the way, each gain can be celebrated – so long as we remember to stay engaged. Speaking of such gains, here are a few to lift your spirits: Sysco workers won two strikes, US students are making headway against privacy violations during online exams, and same-sex marriages are legal in all parts of Mexico.
In more Nonviolence News, Swiss construction workers marched for labor rights, Palestinians are holding a general strike to protest the killing of a West Bank man, and Defuse War actions took place in dozens of cities to de-escalate the threat of nuclear war. In Hungary, 80,000 people marched against the far right government, galvanized by teachers who have been protesting for better pay and increased funding in the schools. Indigenous women in Guatemala have been protecting their weaving patterns from cultural appropriation. Afghan women are protesting the expulsion of female students from school.
In Mexico, surfers are trying to prevent “wave extinction”. Like many of us, I’d never heard of this phenomenon, but apparently, it’s a serious problem. When ports or onshore development want to put in “coastal protection infrastructure” (think seawalls, landfills, breakwaters, and jetties), the wave patterns shift. This doesn’t just ruin the surf spots, it also impacts marine ecosystems and ocean currents. So, surfers are teaming up with conservationists to protect the conditions that give rise to great curls and healthy seas.
Here’s a question – is clapping seditious? A Hong Kong judge thinks so, recently sentencing two people for clapping and criticizing him during another trial on a banned vigil in the city. What do you think?
Photo Credit: Sri Lankans hold a protest against government repression of demonstrators.
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Sysco Strikers Reach Deal: This week, two Teamster locals won new contracts with the behemoth food distributor Sysco, ending a nearly monthlong strike that drew national support. In one key victory, Sysco agreed to limit the grueling six-day workweeks and the 16-hour days some drivers spoke of, and dropped a plan that would prevent new employees from taking consecutive days off. Read more>>
Students Are Fighting Remote Exam Surveillance — and Winning: With the explosion of online learning during the pandemic, many universities and colleges increasingly turned to online proctoring as a way to combat potential cheating and to preserve the integrity of the assessments and grades they give students. But students are pushing back against the invasive privacy violations inherent in the system. And some of them are succeeding. Read more>>
Green Schools Start With Greener Lunches: NYC Public Schools Are Plant-Based Leaders: Plant-based advocates refer to meat reduction efforts as a sort of “Green New Meal”—an opportunity to teach students about the impacts of our current factory farm-dominated food system on our health, animals, and the environment. Read more>>
Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal In All Mexican States: Lawmakers in the border state of Tamaulipas voted Wednesday night to legalize same-sex marriages, becoming the last of Mexico’s 32 states to authorize such unions. Read more>>
80,000+ March Against Far-Right Government In Budapest: Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Budapest, Hungary, on Sunday evening to stand in solidarity with the nation’s teachers and denounce the far-right government of President Viktor Orban. With over 80,000 marching in the demonstration it was the largest public display of dissent since Orban’s reelection in April. It is part of a continuing uprising by teachers who are demanding better pay and increased funding for schools. Read more>>
Dozens Arrested In Kyrgyzstan: More than 20 people in Kyrgyzstan were detained on Sunday, October 23, and placed under arrest for 48 hours, after publicly disagreeing with the impending transfer of an important dam to Uzbekistan as part of a border demarcation deal with the neighboring country. Those detained included activists, human rights defenders, bloggers, and politicians. Read more>>
Alabama Prison Strike On Hold After Three Weeks: Prisoners in Alabama announced on Oct. 14 that they had paused their historic three-week work stoppage. The strike, which started Sept. 26, involved thousands of prisoners throughout the state, causing the breakdown of normal operations at most major male prisons this month. According to organizers, the strike’s end was announced following a protest at the state capitol in Montgomery hosted by Both Sides of the Wall. But the strike may only be on pause. Read more>>
Tens of Thousands Protest In Sudan On One Year Anniversary of Coup: Tens of thousands of Sudanese protesters on Tuesday marked the first anniversary of a coup that halted the country’s transition towards democracy in the largest demonstrations since mass marches in January. The protesters faced heavy tear gas and stun grenades as they marched towards the presidential palace in Khartoum and in Omdurman across the Nile. Read more>>
Sri Lankans Protest Government Crackdown On Demonstrations: Thousands of Sri Lankans marched in the capital on Thursday to urge the government to halt its crackdown on protests against an unprecedented economic crisis that has engulfed the Indian Ocean nation for months. Trade union and civil rights activists, university students and others marched in the streets and then joined a rally in Colombo condemning the government’s moves to intimidate protesters and its failure to ease people’s economic woes. Read more>>
Hong Kong Residents Found Guilty of Sedition For Clapping: Two Hong Kong residents, including a pastor, were found guilty of sedition and sentenced to jail Thursday for clapping and criticizing a judge during a previous trial over a banned vigil in the city. Read more>>
Some School Districts Are Bringing Police Officers Back: Dozens of school districts across the country severed their relationships with local police or committed to removing armed officers from campus in the wake of the 2020 racial justice protests. Youth leaders hoped to build on that momentum and get more schools and districts to follow suit, while replacing the money they spend on policing with mental health and other support services for students. But now, some school districts have changed their minds, often in response to calls from parents to ramp up school security as student misbehavior surged last fall when kids returned to campuses. Read more>>
‘Polluters Are Not Role Models’ – CEO Award Draws Protest: An award was given to the CEO of a company that contaminated the watershed with PFOs. The award is an insult, say people who drank the Wolverine company’s contamination as well as activists who spent years helping uncover the company’s secret. Read more>>
Prime Week Walkouts Hit Amazon, From Air Hub To Delivery Station: Amazon’s swift delivery network takes a million people to run. Last week workers took aim at disrupting this symphony of human capital with walkouts at four distinct warehouse types in the company’s logistics chain—a cross-dock near Chicago, a delivery station and a fulfillment center near Atlanta, and in Southern California, one of the company’s large air hubs. Read more>>
The Saga Of Amy’s Kitchen Workers: Organic convenience foods brand Amy’s Kitchen maintains a carefully constructed image of ethical consumption and saving the planet, one vegan frozen burrito at a time. But workers are organizing against dangerously fast lines, lack of access to restrooms and drinking water, locked fire exits and managers who are unresponsive to safety concerns. They’re also opposing low wages and prohibitively expensive health insurance. Read more>>
Construction Workers Protest In Switzerland For Rights And Dignity: On October 17, Monday, construction workers marched in the Swiss town of Bellinzona, protesting the apathy of employers and the state towards the pressing needs of the workers in the sector. More than 2500 people participated in the march called by the trade union Unia Ticino. Protesters denounced the attack on the rights of workers. Read more>>
Starbucks Pin Protest: A growing number of Starbucks baristas are wearing a suicide awareness pin at work — an act of defiance and solidarity after a union leader in Buffalo, N.Y., says he was fired for wearing it. Baristas at cafes in Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Vermont, Kansas, New Jersey and Tennessee have been wearing the pin, according to Starbucks Workers United (SBWU). The subtle protest comes as the coffee giant continues its relentless onslaught of union busting against SBWU, which has successfully unionized some 250 cafes since December 2021. Read more>>
Cancer Alley Activists Hold DC Funeral March Asking Biden to Declare Climate Emergency: Environmental justice activists from Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” on Monday held a funeral procession in Washington, D.C. to remember victims—overwhelmingly Black people—killed by petrochemical industry pollution and to demand that U.S. President Joe Biden declare a climate emergency and do more to stop deadly fossil fuel projects. Read more>>
Meet the Surfers Fighting ‘Wave Extinction’ in Mexico: “Wave extinction” is an actual problem, caused by onshore development and coastal protection infrastructure (which, in the case of Todos Santos Bay, is largely protecting ports and a gas company.) That’s why conservationists and surfers joined forces to successfully lobby for a state park to preserve the ecosystem that keeps their surf break intact. Read more>>
Why We Need To Expand Our Circle Of Care During Hurricanes: Only through direct action and standing up for our environment can we truly protect where we live from being destroyed. Read more>>
Native Americans & White Farmers Oppose Carbon Dioxide Pipeline: A huge new pipeline that would transport carbon dioxide across five Midwestern states — Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. The project will sprawl 2,000 miles across the five states, capturing carbon dioxide before it is released into the air by 32 producers of ethanol, a biofuel made from fermented corn. Pressurized and liquified, the carbon dioxide will flow through the buried pipeline to storage reservoirs several thousand feet underground at various locations in western North Dakota. Read more>>
Companies Are Helping Their Workers Commute Sustainably: Businesses are rewarding employees for leaving their cars at home, handing cities a powerful new tool in their quest to reduce car use. Read more>>
Huge UK Public Support For Direct Action To Protect Environment: A large majority of the UK public supports nonviolent direct action to protect the environment, according to an opinion poll. Seventy percent of people also strongly backed solar power on farmland and opposed fracking. Read more>>
Climate Activists Occupy Parliament After Sunak Announced As New PM: Dozens of climate and energy crisis activists have occupied the Central Lobby in the Houses of Parliament, hours after Rishi Sunak was named the UK’s new prime minister. Activists from Greenpeace and Fuel Poverty Action caused live interviews with MPs to be shut down and unfurled a banner reading: “Chaos costs lives”. Read more>>
Portland 4 the Planet Takes Action: With a little support and a lot of determination, this citizens group is doing what the city council should – but seemingly can’t – do on climate action. Read more>>
Penn Students Storm Franklin Field For Climate And Community Justice: Penn’s band was wrapping up its halftime show, and moments before the third quarter was set to begin, protesters rushed the field, holding three banners: “Save The UC Townhomes” “Divest from Fossil Fuels” “PAY PILOTs” The protesters occupied the center of the field while security guards swarmed around them. At the top of the stadium, another group of students held a banner where Yale fans sat that asked: “Which side are you on?” Approximately 75 student protesters, members of the Fossil Free Penn organization, planned the action. Read more>>
On The Other Side of Reparations: One of the main reasons why reparations and other worldmaking projects do not receive a critical mass of attention and funding is due to society’s disappointing inability to view our current reality as something that can be reconstructed. As a collective, we need to cultivate the imagination to realize such projects. Read more>>
Palestinians Observe General Strike To Honor Young Man Killed In West Bank: Heeding a call from nationalist factions, Palestinians observed the one-day general strike on Thursday to pay homage to Udai Tamimi, who was gunned down during a reported firefight with the Israeli forces at the entrance of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim in the east of the holy occupied city of al-Quds on Wednesday. Businesses, schools and different facilities shut down their doors in different areas of the West Bank and al-Quds. The strike also included public transportation. Read more>>
The Rise Of The Land Back Movement: For generations, Indigenous-led actions have been pushing for the return of traditional lands across the US and Canada. Riley Yesno explores how that spirit has been turned into a movement – embodied in schemes to redistribute wealth from non-Indigenous hands. Read more>>
Los Angeles Council Censures Members Amid Racism Scandal: The Los Angeles City Council formally rebuked two members and its former president Wednesday for their involvement in a racism scandal that has led to days of protests, police and state investigations and shaken public faith in City Hall. Earlier, the council meeting was called into recess to allow police to clear chanting protesters. A small but noisy group crowded into the main aisle of an otherwise mostly empty chamber, banged water bottles on a lectern, whooped and shouted in what appeared to be an effort to shut down the meeting. Read more>>
Women’s Movement in Iran Has Already Secured a Major Victory: Through their fight, women in Iran are building solidarity that transcends national, class, racial and religious lines. Read more>>
Afghan Women Protest Expulsion of Female University Students, Curbs on Education: A large group of women activists in Afghanistan’s capital Tuesday staged a protest rally against the expulsion of dozens of female students from a Kabul University hostel by Taliban authorities. The demonstrators, including students, gathered outside the university campus, chanting, “Education is our red line” and “silence is treason.” Rally participants accused the Islamist Taliban-led ministry of higher education of expelling at least 40 female students over the past few days from the school, one of the country’s oldest and most revered institutions. Read more>>
South African Women’s Rights Groups Outraged Over Dropped Charges In Rape Case: Women’s rights groups in South Africa expressed outrage and criticized police for perceived failures after charges were dropped against 14 men accused of gang raping and robbing female members of a film crew at an abandoned mine in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg. Read more>>
Thai Transgender Activist Buys Miss Universe Organization For $20M: A Thai business tycoon and transgender activist has purchased the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million, her company announced Wednesday. Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathib, who controls JKN Global Group Public Co. Ltd., is a celebrity in Thailand who has starred in reality shows and is outspoken about being a transgender woman. She helped establish a nonprofit group, Life Inspired For Transsexual Foundation, to promote trans rights. Read more>>
Will Poland’s Police Repeat Crackdown On Anti-Abortion Protests? It’s two years since hundreds of thousands of people – mostly women – joined protests in Poland against a near-total ban on legal abortion. Police used violence to disperse rallies and detained thousands of protesters. On Monday, protesters in Warsaw, at the Constitutional Tribunal, plan to mark the second anniversary of the tribunal’s ruling with another rally, outside the Constitutional Tribunal, which approved the near-total ban. They say they will repeat their demands on the government to decriminalize terminations and to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all. Read more>>
Three Women Arrested At Creech Drone Base: Anti-drone activists, in Nevada for a week-long protest at a U.S. assassin drone base north of Las Vegas, continued their resistance on Wednesday morning, October 19 with a nonviolent blockade of the entrance road into Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs. After nearly two hours, three protesters were arrested. Dozens – maybe hundreds – of vehicles were stalled on the highway trying to enter the base. Protesters hope to motivate Air Force personnel involved in the U.S. drone program to follow their conscience and no longer participate. Read more>>
Manufacturing Crisis In Haiti: If you live in the United States, you probably believe that the problems in Haiti are cholera and gang violence and that the Haitians need our help in the form of a multinational military force to ‘restore order. Black Alliance for Peace’s Haiti/Americas Team talks about the bigger picture of the United States’ long term interference in Haiti to suppress social movements and install US-friendly regimes. Read more>>
Veterans for Peace Group Protests As Part of ‘Defuse Nuclear War’ Campaign: Protesters said not enough is being done to de-escalate tensions between nuclear superpowers. “I just think it’s important to build a movement, an anti-war nuclear movement in times like this when, in my opinion, it seems largely absent from the national stage in the past couple months,” demonstrator Adam Schendel said. The group is also asking local elected officials to halt plans to bring nuclear-capable F-35 warplanes to Madison. Read more>>
Indigenous Women In Guatemala Are Defending Weavings From Cultural Appropriation: By pushing for intellectual property legislation and documenting the disappearing meaning of their designs, Indigenous weavers are challenging the tourism industry. Read more>>
Emmett Till Movie Shines: Mamie Till-Mobley was a visionary. She understood the power of an image, and her use of it—specifically, the image of her lynched son’s mutilated body—changed the course of American history. Her story and legacy are captured in the new film by Clemency writer-director Chinonye Chukwu, Till. The film tells the story of Emmett Till’s 1955 summer vacation to Mississippi, where, after an interaction with a white woman who ran a store, he was hunted down and lynched. Read more>>
#EndSars – Remembering A Massacre: Two years on from the Lekki toll gate shooting, this article explores the legacy of Nigeria’s youth-led movement against police brutality and speaks to survivors about their quest for justice. Read more>>
How We Are Winning Teacher Strikes With Social Justice Unionism: By studying the history of nonviolent struggle, the Red for Ed movement is strong and growing in California’s wine country. Read more>>
Do Radical Protests Turn The Public Away From A Cause? Here’s The Evidence: After Just Stop Oil’s tomato soup and Van Gogh action, many people are worrying that such tactics will reduce support for the climate movement. A cognitive psychology professor digs into the research to see if that’s true. Read more>>
Swapping Stories At the Alabama Troublemakers School: Numerous unions and organizations were represented, with the Communications Workers (CWA) and Raise Up the South in particular showing up in a big way. There were some familiar faces from the Professional and Technical Employees, Hometown Action, the Mine Workers, Retail and Department Store Union, Birmingham Democratic Socialists of America, Starbucks Workers United, United Campus Workers, and more. In how many other spaces will you find worker-led discussion and workshops with participants ranging from line cooks to rocket scientists in the same room? Read more>>
Zinn Education Project Releases Curriculum Toolkit On Rosa Parks: Rosa Parks is one of the most well-known U.S. women of the 20th century and yet much of what has been taught about her is narrow, limited, and at times wrong. Zinn Education Project gives you tools to correct the narrative. Read more>>
War In A Changing Climate: Wars are raging and the climate is collapsing. Is there something that can be done to address both problems at once? Join this webinar with Dr. Elizabeth G. Boulton, Tristan Sykes (Just Collapse), and David Swanson, with Liz Remmerswaal Hughes moderating, to hear some new ideas and ask questions. (Nov 9) Learn more>>
Solidarity With Railroad Workers, An Online Panel Discussion: Join a panel of rank-and-file railroad workers for a discussion of one of the most important struggles in recent labor history. The rail industry has seen massive deregulation, lean production, and persistent undermining of working conditions that have made the work all but intolerable. Despite enormous political pressure, railroad workers are fed up, evidenced by the sections of workers who are voting NO on a Tentative Agreement that they feel doesn’t address the base safety and quality of life issues they are willing to strike over. (Nov 1) Learn more>>
#DivestFromDeath Week of Action: Join Dissenters for the #DivestFromDeath Week of Action by hosting actions and events against war and militarism in your community. The group is demanding that institutions divest from endless wars and reinvest in the life-giving resources that communities actually need to be safe. (Nov 7-13) Learn more>>