Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
Workers are fed up with low wages, high costs of living, and terrible working conditions. From the United Kingdom’s massive, multi-industry strike wave to the largest academic strike in US history, workers are organizing for change. At 100+ Starbucks locations, baristas and servers organized strikes as part of the Red Cup Rebellion against union-busting tactics. In China, workers at the electronics manufacturer Foxxcon’s megafactory hopped over the fence and headed home to avoid getting covid, prompting a strike. Now, the Chinese government is trying to mobilizing cadres to replace the striking workers.
Italy’s students are in an uproar over the right-wing President Giorgia Meloni’s plans to gut education. They organized a #NoMeloni day that turned out thousands across the country. In Egypt, though COP27 failed to adequately respond to the climate crisis, activist groups managed to rein in a few of the summit’s worst ideas on biomass and rainforest deforestation. This week’s Nonviolence News also shares new reports from Nigeria and Kenya about how people are striving for peace despite the challenges. Ethiopia signed a peace deal in the Tigray War, though many are wary of its details.
Speaking of peace, a peace group has subpoenaed weapons manufacturers for war crimes, calling them to appear at the People’s War Tribunal. The group is taking the action to hold these weapons companies accountable for atrocities, even if governmental bodies will not. All this talk of peace makes some people ask: are there really any alternatives to war? There are many. One list we’re sharing in this week’s Nonviolence News has 89 examples of times people could have gone to war, but chose nonviolent struggle or peace strategies instead. (It’s pretty darn inspiring.)
A favorite read this week was a glimpse inside Uganda’s disability rights movement. The rising strength of the movement draws from creativity, radical change, and the undaunted affirmation of people with disabilities.
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One State Mandates Teaching Climate Change in Almost All Subjects – Even Physical Education: New Jersey’s teachers are now required to teach climate change beginning in kindergarten, and across most subjects, including art, social studies, world languages and PE. Supporters hope the lessons will spread. Read more>>
How Workplace Activism Is Winning Campaigns At Google: In forcing one of the most powerful companies in the world to change its policies, Google workers offer key lessons for the labor movement. Read more>>
Corvallis, OR, Unanimously Passes Resolution Prohibiting Investments in Weapons: On Monday, November 7, the Corvallis City Council unanimously passed a resolution to prohibit the city from investing in companies which produce weapons of war. The resolution passed following years of advocacy work by the Corvallis Divest from War coalition, which represents 19 organizations including World BEYOND War. Read about this exciting campaign success, & learn more about WBW’s divestment work. Read more>>
Indigenous Resistance And The Roots Of Ecuador’s National Strike: Runaway gas prices helped spark the recent 17-day national strike In Ecuador, but rampant neoliberalism, environmental devastation, and centuries of anti-Indigenous racism are at the heart of this struggle. Read more>>
Iranians Strike To Mark 2019 Protests In Fresh Rebuff To Ruling Clerics: Iranians went on strike in several cities on Tuesday to commemorate the 2019 protests over fuel prices, a display of dissent that was crushed by security forces in the bloodiest crackdown in the history of the Islamic Republic. The move will add to pressure on Iran’s clerical rulers, who have been battling two months of nationwide protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police. Read more>>
Thousands of Italian Students Declare ‘No Meloni Day’ to Protest Far-Right Government: Streets in cities and towns across Italy were filled Friday with university and high school students who marched against Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s plans for the country’s education system, saying the far-right leader and her fascist Brothers of Italy party are intent on discriminating against students. Read more>>
Why Foxconn Workers In China Walked Off The Job: Last month, dramatic images of Chinese workers jumping over fences at the electronics giant Foxconn’s factories and walking home grabbed headlines. Despite China’s lack of independent trade unions, the workers took collective action and refused to work. Read more>>
The Biggest Academic Strike in US History Is Underway at the University of California: Four different unions representing forty-eight thousand graduate student workers and academic researchers across the University of California system went on strike. Organizers are saying it’s the biggest academic strike in US history, and it’s one of the biggest strikes, period, in the last few years. Academic workers say they’re striking against the UC’s unfair labor practices and its refusal to bargain in good faith over new contracts. Read more>>
‘Red Cup Rebellion’ – Workers at 100+ Starbucks Locations Strike to Protest Union Busting: Thousands of unionized Starbucks workers at more than 100 locations across the United States are walking off the job Thursday to protest the coffee giant’s refusal to engage in good-faith negotiations with stores that have voted to organize. Workers United, the union representing thousands of Starbucks employees, dubbed the nationwide day of action the “Red Cup Rebellion,” a pro-labor counter to Starbucks’ annual “Red Cup Day.” Read more>>
HarperCollins Workers Are Demanding Murdoch’s News Corp Pay Them a Living Wage: HarperCollins’ unionized workers began an open-ended strike in protest of management’s refusal to agree to a fair contract. This open-ended strike comes a few months after a one-day strike the workers held this past July. Employees at one of the world’s largest publishing houses have been without a contract since April, and they have also filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. Read more>>
Doctors Finally Join The Labor Movement: A challenge to Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx by a broad coalition of its own workers is a frontline struggle against the most exploitative tendencies of the whole industry. Read more>>
Strike Wave Rocks Britain Amid Cost-Of-Living Crisis: Recently, national votes for strike action have been won by 70,000 University and College Union members and 100,000 civil servants belonging to the Public and Commercial Services Union. Most dramatically, the 465,000 nurses of the Royal College of Nursing—the largest nurses union in the world—have voted to strike for the first time ever. Read more>>
Undaunted By Fines, Massachusetts Teachers Defy Strike Ban: Two more illegal strikes have hit Massachusetts! On October 14, members of the Haverhill Educators Association voted to strike. Malden educators voted to strike just a few hours later. After four days out, Haverhill educators won their demands for school safety and commitment for diverse hiring; those in Malden settled their contract with a one-day strike. Read more>>
1,000+ March for Climate Justice at COP27: Hundreds of people rallied Saturday at the United Nations COP27 summit in Egypt to demand the fundamental political-economic transformations required to achieve climate justice. According to the latest data, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—the three main heat-trapping gases fueling global warming—hit an all-time high in 2021, and greenhouse gas emissions have only continued to climb this year. Read more>>
Climate Change Survivors Confront World Leaders at COP27: Climate chaos is destroying these people’s communities. They traveled to COP27 to demand justice for loss and damage. Rising sea levels and more frequent and intense cyclones, floods and droughts are causing annual disasters on Rabi. The risk of losing their land once again is a constant threat for Banabans and their representative, Rae Bainteiti, has come to COP27 seeking help from the big emitting countries in the form of a “loss and damage” fund. Read more>>
How Young Climate Activists Built a Mass Movement To Be Reckoned With: Whatever comes out of this week’s UN climate talks won’t be as important as the next steps of a youth-led movement strengthened by two decades of transformative action. Read more>>
Ethiopian Peace Agreement Receives Cautious Welcome Amid Concerns Over Western Pressure: While the agreement, in which TPLF has accepted disarmament, has been welcomed for bringing the civil war to an end, critics warn of the dangers of concessions made to the rebel group by the federal government. Read more>>
Beyond Victims or Peacebuilders – Women’s Participation in Security in Mathare, Kenya: In Mathare, the largest informal settlement outside of Nairobi, women identify key security concerns connected to socio-economic conditions and participate in a wide range of security activities, despite obstacles to their participation. When women’s contributions are overlooked due to an overwhelming focus on men’s security activities, “gendered political participation, social relations and socio-economic inequalities” are also overlooked as key components of security. Read more>>
The Role of Community Gender Norms and Relations in Both Mobilizing and Preventing Violence in Jos, Nigeria: Everyday gender relations and norms in their communities can directly influence individuals’ decisions to fight or not. Different norms of masculinity, and the broader community’s cultivation of these, as well as women’s roles in encouraging or mitigating violence, significantly influence whether a community will mobilize for violence or resist participation in violence amidst communal conflict. Read more>>
‘Subpoenas’ Served on US Weapons Manufacturers: These four corporations are representative of the modern-day piracy that is the U.S. war industry, a corporate capture of U.S. foreign policy, the Congress, the Departments of Defense and State, and the U.S. economic system. Read more>>
89 Times People Had The Choice of War Or Nothing And Chose Something Else Instead: Here is a growing list of successful nonviolent campaigns already used in situations in which we’re often told war is needed: invasions, occupations, coups, and dictatorships. If we were to include all variety of nonviolent actions, such as diplomacy, mediation, negotiations, and the rule of law, a much longer list would be possible. Read more>>
Veterans Day Is a Reminder That Wars Must Become Unthinkable: With every war that breaks out, we should realize the need to double down on learning and practicing nonviolence. Read more>>
Uganda’s Diverse Disability Movement Offers Lessons for an Ableist Global Philanthropy: Ugandan advocates are reminding everyone that disability is diversity. Disability rights are interlinked with climate justice, queer liberation, and livelihood dignity. Intersectional giving must apply a gender-transformative approach that recognizes the leadership and advocacy of disabled human rights defenders. Read more>>
Bike Libraries Are Boosting Access To Bikes Across The US: At Madison, Wisconsin’s nine public libraries, residents can check out books of all kinds, from hardbacks and paperbacks to ebooks and audiobooks. They can check out movies as DVDs and Blu-rays. And since last year, library card holders can also check out electric bicycles. Madison’s public libraries are part of a growing number of bike libraries in cities and towns from coast to coast. A list of U.S. bike lending libraries curated by StreetsblogMASS reporter Grecia White documents 35 such programs, from Vermont to Texas. Read more>>
Unhoused Individuals Plan To Build Rent-Free Permanent Housing: It’s been a long-term problem addressing the homeless crisis in Oakland and now those at the center of the fight are trying their own solutions. A group of unhoused individuals are buying land and building their own community to get people off the street permanently. Read more>>
A Trauma-Informed Healing Approach to Urban Gun Violence: A public health-informed approach acknowledging racial trauma and emphasizing individual healing is a promising way to address urban gun violence. Deploying formerly incarcerated community members as street outreach mentors to interrupt violence and target influential individuals most involved in gun violence is key to violence reduction. Read more>>
Resisting Authoritarianism In The US: Tune in to the recent podcast interview with Maria Stephan on the Difficult Conversations Podcast where she discusses the US’s long history of authoritarian tendencies, exactly how those tendencies are manifesting today, and how the tools and strategies of nonviolent action can be used to effectively counter them. Read more>>
The Pillars of Support Project: This new initiative compiles research and makes recommendations for engaging different pillars within society that are positioned to either incentivize pro-democracy behavior or continue to prop up an authoritarian system. There are many excellent organizations working within these pillars, such as faith communities, the private sector, organized labor, and veterans’ groups to name just a few. Read more>>
Send a Note of Solidarity To XR’s Roger Hallam: Roger Hallam was arrested this week and charged with criminal conspiracy because of his involvement with Just Stop Oil highway blockades. Everyone who is locked up appreciates words of support and love, including Roger. Here’s what you can do>>
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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