Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
Students at John Hopkins University disrupted two meetings in protest of a plan to form a private police force on campus. The project was paused for two years following the George Floyd Protests in 2020, but is now being fast-tracked. By shutting down the two mandatory town hall meetings, activists hope to throw the legal process into uncertainty. Will their strategy work? We’ll be watching.
Here’s some good news: Ethiopia’s warring factions in the Tigray War have signed a deal to stop hostilities. Across the world in Brazil, the recent election of President Lula is a hopeful sign for the whole planet, as his policies on the rainforest – the lungs of the planet – include an 80% reduction in deforestation.
Other struggles continue. Chilean students are back in the streets, pushing for their visionary constitutional revisions to be implemented. Nigerians are organizing to stop religious violence between Christians and Muslims. In Iran, teachers have gone on strike, joining widespread protests for women’s rights. In the Netherlands, hundreds of climate protesters blocked the airport, calling attention to the climate crisis and the excessive carbon pollution of air travel.
Canadian peace activists deserve a special mention this week. Two sets of coordinated campaigns took place in multiple cities across Canada. One targeted major cities with its demands to #FundPeaceNotWar. The other mobilized activists to show up at pension plan meetings throughout the month of October, aiming to get big investment firms to divest from weapons manufacturing.
Take some time to visit the Knowledge Section. You’ll find insightful articles on everything from an update on Iraq’s 2019 protests to how coal miners helped launch the UK’s environmental movement. Don’t miss “Bosses Hate This One Trick” – it highlights a little-known, but often useful nonviolent tactic called working-to-rule.
My favorite story? In Kyrgyzstan, media outlets are facing censorship and having their assets seized. So news and media sites across the country held a black-out day, refusing to post new reports, asking groups to hold off on issuing press releases, and putting up signs that read: No News Today.
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Legal Victory For Arrested Line 3 Pipeline Activists: Opponents of Line 3 on Tuesday welcomed a Minnesota judge’s dismissal of all charges against five water protectors arrested last year for protesting plans to have the tar sands pipeline cross the Shell River in several places. Read more>>
Combatants In Ethiopia Agree To Cease Hostilities: The Ethiopian government and regional forces from Tigray agreed on Wednesday to cease hostilities, a dramatic diplomatic breakthrough two years into a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands facing famine.
Just over a week after formal peace talks mediated by the African Union (AU) began in the South African capital Pretoria, delegates from both sides signed an agreement on a “permanent cessation of hostilities”. Read more>>
What Lula’s Stunning Victory Means For The Imperiled Amazon Rainforest: Under President Bolsonaro, deforestation accelerated, threatening not only wildlife and Indigenous communities but also the global climate. But Lula has promised to give the forest a second chance. Lula often points to his track record to prove he can succeed: During his presidency, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by more than 80 percent, meaning there was less forest loss. An analysis by the climate website Carbon Brief suggests that under Lula’s next administration, annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon could be down by nearly 90 percent by the end of the decade. Read more>>
How a South American Surplus Flooded Philadelphia With Free Avocados: It could have been a food-waste debacle. Instead, a nimble network turned it into a bounty for all — and reinvented a food system. Read more>>
A Microhome Village in Austin Ends Homelessness for Hundreds: It’s billed as the country’s only master-planned development for people coming out of homelessness. Residents call it the best neighborhood they’ve ever lived in. Read more>>
Canceled Hydrogen Project Should Be A Lesson For All Toxic Polluters: A “green” hydrogen plant company withdrew its permit application after climate, health, and social justice groups, including Beyond Toxics, petitioned the Oregon Public Utility Commission to reject the proposal to install a multimillion-dollar electrolyzer to create hydrogen that would have been blended into gas and then piped into a working-class area in Eugene. Read more>>
Students Surge Back to Chile’s Streets: Since Chile’s progressive movement was deflated by the crushing defeat of a proposed new constitution in September, high school students have taken to the streets to rekindle their demands. Read more>>
Kyrgyz Media Outlets Resist Censorship: The Kyrgyz service of RFE/RL, Radio Azattyk, had its website formally suspended by the security services last month, and now its local bank accounts have been frozen. The move against Azattyk sparked an instant reaction of solidarity. On October 28, multiple news outlets downed their tools – a blackout day – in a gesture of protest. Read more>>
Building Bridges on the Path to Justice: Nonviolent Action to End Religious Violence in Nigeria: Nonviolent action provided an opportunity for the major two religions of Nigeria (Christian and Muslim), to unite in charting a course against religious violence—a scourge that has eaten deep into the societal fabric of Nigeria. Had the Christian community responded to the killing with violence, it would have been unlikely, perhaps even impossible, to win over key members of the Muslim community. After all, the goal of the campaign was to end violence—regardless of who was perpetrator and victim. The Christian minority’s nonviolent response ultimately paved the way for the Muslims to join in actions against violence. Read more>>
100,000+ Sign Letter Demanding Global Moratorium on Sale of Invasive Spyware: More than 100,000 people as of Friday have signed an Amnesty International letter calling upon United Nations member states to “urgently address” government abuse of spyware by enacting a moratorium on its sale, transfer, and use. “We are witnessing a global spyware crisis in which activists, journalists, and lawyers are targeted with invasive surveillance as a means to silence and intimidate them.” Read more>>
Demonstrators Call For End To Blockade On Cuba: Large demonstrations on the east and west coasts of the US took place yesterday calling for the end of the Blockade of Cuba as the annual vote in the General Assembly of the UN approaches this week. Read more>>
Call Center Workers Strike Over Pay And Working Conditions: Workers who handle calls about Medicare and Affordable Care Act health plans walked off the job in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia today, demanding better pay and a less stressful workload. Read more>>
Starbucks Workers at the NYC Roastery Strike Against Unsafe Work Conditions: Striking workers have had to endure a bed bug infestation in their break rooms and mold in their ice machines. Read more>>
Oakland Port Workers Walk Off the Job: In Oakland, port workers shut down much of the Port of Oakland after walking off the job yesterday to protest not being paid. It prompted a domino effect at the normally bustling port. Many parts of the port went silent Wednesday morning, with gates closed and piles of containers and trucks waiting to be loaded. Read more>>
Orange County Bus Mechanics Strike: Finally, in Orange County, over 150 transportation mechanics are on strike this week over the refusal of the Orange County Transit Authority to bargain in good faith over healthcare costs. Read more>>
Hundreds of Climate Activists Block Airport: Hundreds of climate activists swarmed a private jet section of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Saturday as part of a day of demonstrations in and around the airport. The activists stopped several aircraft from taking off by sitting in front of their wheels. Commercial flights were not delayed as of early afternoon. The environmental groups Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion organized the demonstrations to protest the aviation industry’s pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as local noise pollution, according to the organizations. Read more>>
Professor Resigns Over Partnership With Oil & Gas: An Italian social scientist and professor, Marco Grasso, has resigned from his post as director of a research unit at Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB) in Milan, Italy, over the academic institution’s partnership with oil and gas major Eni. He says the partnership gives fossil fuels “social license” to destroy the planet. Read more>>
Egypt Arrests Hundreds in Crackdown Ahead of COP27 Climate Summit: Egyptian authorities have arrested hundreds in a crackdown on dissenting voices ahead of COP27, the U.N. climate conference which starts Sunday in Sharm El-Sheikh. Fifteen Nobel laureates have signed an open letter asking world leaders to pressure Egypt into releasing its many political prisoners, including human rights activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who plans to intensify his six-month hunger strike by forgoing water on the opening day of the climate summit. Read more>>
Why Glue Your Head To a Painting? The recent climate actions targeting museums are themselves a form of participatory, socially-engaged art with a long history in the contemporary art world. Read more>>
Why Grassroots Activists Are Turning To The Wonky World of Monetary Policy To Fight For Economic Justice: Determined to challenge the all-encompassing threat of private banks, a small group in Ohio is leading a campaign to put monetary reform on the national agenda. Read more>>
NDN Collective Officially Opens Doors of Oceti Sakowin Community Academy: On Wednesday, September 7, NDN Collective officially opened Oceti Sakowin Community Academy, the first Indigenous-led school designed specifically for students in the Mni Luzahan (Rapid City) area. A community grand opening occurred on Tuesday, September 6 at the location of Camp Mni Luzahan, where prayer and drum songs opened the occasion, followed by a line-up of speakers to welcome students and families, an introduction of the inaugural kindergarten class, classroom visits, and more. Read more>>
Anti-Police Activists In Baltimore Protest New University Police Force: Students at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and community members in Baltimore protested against the creation of a private university police force by disrupting two town hall meetings on September 22 and September 29. The creation of a university police force – the Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD) – was postponed for two years in response to the anti-police brutality protests of 2020. Now the university is fast-tracking the process with minimal input from students or the community. Read more>>
Palestinians Work to Cultivate Food Sovereignty in the Face of Israeli Apartheid: For Palestinian farmers, cultivating the land goes hand in hand with protecting it from colonial confiscation. Read more>>
Australian Athletes Stand Against Racism and Fossil Fuels: A number of Australian athletes and sporting fans are taking a stand against racism and fossil fuel corporation’s sponsorship of sports. Noongar netball player Donnell Wallam, who is only the third First Nations woman to play for Australia. She was seeking an exemption from having to wear the corporate logo of Hancock Prospecting in protest at the racism of the company’s founder. Read more>>
Protesters Campaign To Save Murujuga Rock Art: Protesters took a letter to Australian federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek on October 21, demanding she intervene to save the Murujuga rock art from being destroyed by the Perdaman fertilizer plant in the Burrup Peninsula in a World Heritage-listed area in Western Australia. The Murujuga rock art is one of the oldest Indigenous rock art in the world. Read more>>
Reparations As A Construction Project: A Georgetown University assistant professor is laying out a firmly future-oriented vision that reframes reparations for the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism as a forward-looking climate justice project. Making reparations, he has said, “means remaking the world.” Read more>>
Students in Tehran Protest Gender Segregation in University Dining Hall: Students in Iran are fighting to reclaim everyday life by resisting state-imposed gender segregation on campus. Read more>>
Iran Protests Continue, Spread To Teachers Strike: Iranian teachers staged a two-day strike and sit in on October 24, as anti-government sentiment continues to grow. Trade unions also launched strikes in the food and oil industries. Read more>>
The Role Of Social Media Images And Videos In The 2022 Iranian Movement: Since the Iranian protests began on September 16, 2022, social media has been inundated with images and videos of women bravely confronting over four decades of authoritarian control over their bodies by cutting their hair, burning their mandatory hijabs, and remaining steadfast in the face of batons and bullets attempting to force them into submission. For people outside this context, digital visual content has been their first point of contact with this movement. Read more>>
The Prospects Of a New Iran: The 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the monarchy of Iran, and an Islamic dictatorship was established in its place. Over the ensuing four decades, people have nonviolently defied the regime and challenged its policies. However, because of the lack of communication channels with the free world, combined with the military power of the regime, the people have not been able to spread their voices. Until now … Read more>>
The Struggle for Abortion Access in Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland has a history of grassroots campaigning for the legalization of abortion and the advancement of reproductive healthcare rights. Read more>>
Protestors Take to the Streets in 9 Cities Across Canada, Demanding #FundPeaceNotWar: From October 15th to 23rd, at least 11 actions took place in 9 cities including Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Waterloo, Ottawa, Hamilton, South Georgian Bay, Winnipeg, and Montreal. Activists demanded that Canada withdraw from wars, occupations, economic sanctions, and military interventions, and choose to reinvest billions of dollars of military spending in life-affirming sectors including housing, health care, jobs and climate. Read more>>
War in the Name of Peace – Toxic Media Narratives and How to Spot Them: Amid the horror and uncertainty of war, concerned world citizens flock to the media. We cling to our screens, apps, papers, and radios to make sense of astonishing tragedies, to know how to respond, and for reassurance that things will be under control soon. In such moments, it is vital that we not suspend our critical assessment of the stories we are sold. Read more>>
Activists Dominate Canada Pension Plan Meetings Across the Country: Throughout the month of October, dozens of activists showed up across the country at the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment’s biannual public stakeholder meetings. Activists in at least six cities (Vancouver, London, Halifax, St. Johns, Regina, and Winnipeg) argued that the Canada Pension Plan’s investments in arms manufacturers, fossil fuels, and companies complicit with international law violations destroy our future, rather than secure it. Read more>>
How Incarcerated Peace Activists Use Their Privilege For Good: Despite the real dangers of using privilege in solidarity actions, those engaged in prison witness see the potential benefits as worth the risks. Read more>>
No to Nuclear Exercises on Belgian Territory! October the 19th, the Belgian Coalition Against Nuclear Weapons demonstrated against the military nuclear exercise ‘Steadfast Noon’ that is taking place on Belgian territory. The coalition went to the NATO headquarters in Brussels to express their outrage. Read more>>
On Nov 11th, Remember That Armistice Day Means Peace: On Nov 11th, WWI was ended. This day is called Armistice or Remembrance Day and should be a day of mourning the dead and working to abolish war. But the day is being militarized. Read more>>
Three Years Since 2019 Protests In Iraq, Most Demands Remain Unfulfilled: Before the global COVID-19 outbreak forced them to end, the protests were successful in forcing the then government led by Adil Abdul Mahdi to resign, putting the ruling classes on the defensive and pressing for reforms. Three years down the line and with a new government on the horizon, none of the promises made after those protests have been met. Read more>>
Anatomy of a Union Organizing Drive: Unions aren’t just vehicles for transforming society — they also transform lives, as workers and organizers learn how to build an organization that can overthrow the authoritarian dictatorship of the boss and create a beloved community. Read more>>
How Can Donors Best Support Nonviolent Movements? Why does such a small percentage of human rights funding support grassroots organizing and nonviolent movements? Why and how have some donors chosen to support the work of grassroots organizers and nonviolent social movements? What can we learn from their experiences? Read more>>
Ten Years Ago, Occupy Sandy Helped New Yorkers and Redefined Disaster Relief: Rooted in Occupy Wall Street, the relief effort showed how mutual aid groups can step up when government aid is lacking. Read more>>
How Coal Miners And Factory Workers Helped Found The Environmental Movement: From smelter workers to coal miners, the environmental movement’s history in the United Kingdom and the United States is more varied than we know. Read more>>
Abled-Bodied Groups Cannot Abandon Disabled Solidarity To “Move On” From COVID: The CDC switching its easiest-to-find map from the accurate community transmission map to one that shows the whole country in (fake) happy low-risk green. Biden saying offhandedly that “the pandemic is over” even as thousands of people die every week and groups like Long COVID Justice and #MEAction organize — from bed and in die ins in front of the White House — demanding that the U.S. declare long COVID a public health emergency. The state is acting like a bad boyfriend, a gaslighting partner telling you that nothing you remember is real. That’s not new, but the intensity level has reached a new high. Read more>>
Bosses Hate This One Trick: Work-to-rule has been deployed successfully across industries throughout the decades, especially when traditional strikes aren’t an option. In 1938, French railway workers barred from striking instead seized on a law requiring train engineers to consult crew members if there was any doubt about a bridge’s safety. Crew members began scrutinizing every bridge, incurring massive train delays and therefore gaining negotiating power. Read more>>
Make The Military Comply With Climate Action: Governments are hearing our demand! We protested outside the COP26 meetings. At COP27 there are three official events planned on the topic of militarism and climate within the conference. That’s a result of your efforts! Now is a time to further build the demand for action. Learn more>>
Call On Vanguard To Stop Financing Petroperú’s Human Rights Abuses: For decades, the Indigenous Achuar and Wampis peoples of the Peruvian Amazon have fought back against oil companies attempting to drill on their territories. The most recent of these attempts is being made by the state-owned oil company, Petroperú. This destruction wouldn’t be possible without the financing of asset management firm Vanguard, which is actively buying Petroperú bonds and selling them to customers in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 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>>
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>>
Nonviolent Conflict Transformation: It is important for would-be peacemakers to explore systematically the theories, methods, dynamics, and strategies of nonviolence movements. Join Professor Mary King for this course. (Jan 16-Feb 26) Learn more>>
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