Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
Protests have erupted in Sudan, once again, after a new power deal was brokered against the will of the 5,000 Resistance Committees who earlier rejected a power-sharing deal with the military. Citizens have been consistent in demanding a full civilian government since they ousted a 30-year-long dictatorship in 2019. Meanwhile, in other Nonviolence News, thousands marched in Morocco to protest worsening economic conditions. Haitians protested racist deportations from the Dominican Republic. Black, Queer athlete Brittney Griner has been released from Russian prison. In the United States, migrant justice activists halted the formation of an ad hoc “wall” made of shipping containers.
Indigenous Peoples across the globe are struggling to protect land, water, and sovereignty. The Koi and San communities in South Africa are resisting the construction of a new Amazon facility on a sacred site. Argentine Indigenous are pushing back against a lithium mine they identify as a form of neo-colonialism. Meanwhile, the months-long Indigenous-led Thacker Pass campaign against lithium mining has kicked out the environmental group Deep Green Resistance over the group’s anti-trans beliefs and the advocacy of extreme tactics. On a hopeful note, however, a school district that implemented Santee Dakota cultural classes is seeing high numbers of Native youth graduate from high school. And, in Australia, Indigenous Munupi from the Tiwi Islands won a legal battle to delay a massive gas project in the Timor Sea.
The shocker of the week: a photo in an article about the US military’s PSAs contamination in Okinawa. The image shows a foam filled street with suds nearly covering a car. The caption reads: ‘A teaspoon of this foam is believed to be powerful enough to poison a city’s drinking reservoir.’ A citizen initiative tested the blood levels of 300+ people and proved that the “forever chemicals” used by the military to put out fires from fighter jets is poisoning local residents.
In the Knowledge Section of the round-up, you’ll also find some interesting reads, including a piece on why singing is making a comeback in the movements, how activists sailed into a war zone to galvanize the anti-Vietnam War Movement, what’s driving dissent in China, and how the ‘youth activist’ label can be a burden for young people.
Lastly, here’s interesting – and important – endeavor that caught my eye this week: There’s an initiative underway to train a team of unarmed peacekeepers to go to a nuclear plant in the war zone in Ukraine to form a protective presence aimed at preventing nuclear disaster. Power outages, occupations, and fighting have put the plant at risk of nuclear meltdown several times. So far, 38-40 people are training in preparation. The organizers are looking for additional courageous activists. Find out more here.
Photo Credit: Protesters march during a rally against a signed framework deal between political parties and the military that provides for a two-year civilian-led transition towards elections and would end a standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021, in Khartoum, Sudan December 8, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
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Indigenous Australians Win Legal Fight Against Gas Project: A group of Indigenous Australians hailed a “historic decision” by the country’s Federal Court on Friday to delay plans for a massive gas project in the Timor Sea. Dennis Tipakalippa, a Munupi clan elder from the remote Tiwi Islands, has been fighting a legal battle against oil and gas producer, Santos, who has been drilling for gas off northern Australia. Read more>>
How A Reservation School Graduates 100% Of Students: Kids in the hallway smile more than they have in the past. Laughs are a little louder than they once were, teachers say. Student pride – and the graduation rate – are on the upswing at Santee’s public school. School leaders trace that success to a new effort to teach the tribe’s culture – the very thing that the education system, generations ago, banned Santee Dakota students from learning. Now, a new cultural program immerses students in the tribe’s language, history and customs for as long as an hour each school day. Read more>>
Abusive Migrant Detention Center To Be Shut Down: The closure is big news for all the advocacy groups that have fought the battle against the county and federal officials, as well as for all asylum seekers who no longer have to fear being held in that facility. Read more>>
Barbados Plans To Make Tory MP Pay Reparations For Family’s Participation In Slavery: The government of Barbados is considering plans to make a wealthy Conservative MP the first individual to pay reparations for his ancestor’s pivotal role in slavery. The Observer understands that Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, recently travelled to the Caribbean island for a private meeting with the country’s prime minister, Mia Mottley. Read more>>
Car-Free Streets Are Here To Stay: During the Covid-19 pandemic, cities around the world closed down streets to cars and opened them up for people. Over two years later, some of these experiments were so popular that they are here to stay. Here are four car-free streets that are still going strong or just getting started. Read more>>
After Months of Advocacy, Brittany Griner Is Released From Russia: After 10 months of uncertainty, WNBA champion Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian prison in a 1-for-1 prisoner swap. According to CBS News, a deal to exchange the basketball star for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout was made on Dec. 1. The swap took place on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates. Read more>>
Sudan’s Revolutionary Forces Reject Transition Deal, Vow To Continue Resistance: United under the slogan “No Negotiation, No Partnership, No Compromise,” the over 5,000 Resistance Committees in the country vehemently rejected any sort of power-sharing arrangement with the military. They have pushed for a complete overthrow of the military junta, and for the generals responsible for committing atrocities to be brought to justice. Read more>>
Adapting the Cure Violence Approach to Prevent Political Violence: In 2021, CVG was awarded a two-year federally funded innovation grant to apply its public health approach to the realm of violent extremism in the Pacific Northwest. Acts of violence inspired by hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs are on the rise. The Pacific Northwest has been a hotbed for this type of violence for more than a century, and in the last few decades, there have been a growing number of individuals involved in groups dedicated to extremist ideology. Read more>>
Japan, China, Tunisia, Brazil – World Centers Are Rising Up. Here’s Why. Here’s a quick glimpse at a half-dozen movements around the globe, and the reasons why they’re taking action. Read more>>
Incarcerated Activists Resist Deadly Prison COVID Policies: Amidst tangled webs of bureaucracy and dangerously inadequate pandemic policies, a nonprofit organization called the Danbury 100 led a coordinated resistance for freedom and fairness that has developed into a vibrant and effective form of self-organization that extends beyond prison walls. Read more>>
Thousands March In Morocco To Protest Worsening Economy: Thousands of people gathered at the Bab Al-Ahad Square in Moroccan capital Rabat on Sunday, December 4, as part of a national march against “high prices, political repression, and social oppression.” The action was organized by the Moroccan Social Front (FSM), a coalition of left-wing political parties and trade unions, with support from leading human rights groups as well as various political, civil society, and sectoral organizations and unions. Read more>>
Protesters Across UK Demand Government Address Fuel Poverty Crisis This Winter: People in dozens of cities across the United Kingdom hit the streets on Saturday to demand immediate government action to prevent thousands of struggling workers from freezing to death in their homes this winter. Demonstrators drew attention to the worsening crisis of fuel poverty and called on lawmakers to pick up more of the tab for skyrocketing bills, fund home insulation, and accelerate clean energy production — all of which would be made easier by enacting a stronger tax on oil and gas corporations’ windfall profits. Read more>>
The Grassroots Are Growing—And Reimagining What’s Possible: The Fight for $15 and a Union has shown that to effectively challenge the stranglehold of the neoliberal political economy, interventions must come from the bottom up, reflecting the genuine voices of workers and their communities. Read more>>
Food Not Bombs Santa Cruz Passes 1,000 Days of Compassion & Pandemic Relief: While city services and nonprofits shuttered their doors during the pandemic, Food Not Bombs rallied community groups to make sure the poor and unhoused still had access to food and care. Read more>>
Haitians Protest Against Racist Deportations From Dominican Republic: On Tuesday, November 29, hundreds of Haitians protested in Port-au-Prince against the mass deportations of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic. The protest was called by the Haiti chapter of the Assembly of Caribbean People (ACP). The protesters gathered in front of the embassy of the Dominican Republic in Port-au-Prince and demanded that Dominican authorities end the indiscriminate deportations and the inhumane treatment of Haitians on the other side of the border. Read more>>
South African Indigenous Resistance to the Amazon Corporation: In Cape Town, developers are determined to develop a new Amazon facility on a site that is sacred to the Indigenous Khoi and San communities. Learn more about the Khoi and San’s generations long struggle to protect this land, and how they’re building international solidarity to fight these acts of neo-colonialism. Read more>>
Protests Along Arizona Border Halts Construction Of Governor’s Wall: Former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery and current Republican Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, is attempting to flood several miles along the Arizona-Mexico border with shipping containers, citing an “invasion” from asylum seekers. The haphazard wall of trash has generated both protest and condemnation from local residents, tribal governments, environmentalists, and anti-border activists. Read more>>
Indigenous Argentines Resist Neo-Colonialism: The “solution” to global warming in the Global North comes down to electrifying the economy, in general, and switching our current gas vehicles for electric cars. Although there is no doubt that we need to decarbonize the economy and end our oil dependence as soon as we can, the proposed solution risks repeating and intensifying the old colonial dynamics of extraction and dispossession that have defined Latin American economies from 1492 onwards. Read more>>
Nigerian Climate Action Group Trades Trash for Cash: In Nigeria, companies like Ecobarter pay people to collect garbage and recycling. The country’s disposal, recycling, and waste-management system is inefficient and insufficient, with 70% of plastic and non-plastic waste ending up in sewers, beaches, water bodies, or landfills, where it is often burned. Read more>>
Are Radical Tactics Hurting The Climate Movement? Not According To New Research: While radical nonviolent protesters are often ridiculed and hated, there is little evidence that their tactics have negative consequences for the overall movement. Read more>>
No Climate Justice Without Trans Rights: The discovery of an anti-trans group’s involvement in an Indigenous-led land defense battle highlights the dangers of binary thinking. As tribal organizers break ties with the group, it’s a reminder of why the climate movement must center the voices of queer, trans, nonbinary, and two-spirit people. Read more>>
Lessons From Latin America’s Abortion Victories: For more than 20 years, Mexican feminist group Las Libres has worked to end violence against women and expand access to sexual and reproductive health services in Mexico. In January, the group formed a cross-border network with activists in Texas, helping people obtain medication for self-managed abortion. Once Roe was overturned, the network expanded to build alliances in states where abortion is now banned or severely restricted. Read more>>
The Men De-Radicalizing Other Men On Reddit: Volunteer-run online spaces are combating the rise in incel extremism by offering an alternative for men to find healthy community. Read more>>
Is Iran in the Midst of a Feminist Revolution? The protests and some strikes have spread to many cities and rural areas around Iran and include all the national and ethnic minorities. Many of Iran’s most vocal feminists are languishing in prison. Feminists worldwide should push for their release. Read more>>
Activists Prove That The US Military Is Poisoning Okinawans: An Okinawan group of activists and physicians known as the Liaison to Protect the Lives of Citizens Against PFAS Contamination has taken the extraordinary step of collecting and analyzing blood samples from 387 residents of the tiny island who live near several U.S. military installations. The results confirm the worst fears of Okinawans regarding the military’s reckless use of PFAS over the last 50 years. Read more>>
A Mediator’s Guide to Peace in Ukraine: The Ukraine War is an extremely dangerous war between nuclear superpowers in a world desperately in need of peace and cooperation. Read more>>
Local Capacities for Preventing and Rejecting Violent Conflict: The very existence of peaceful societies, zones of peace (ZoPs), and nonwar communities demonstrates that communities have options and agency even in the broader context of wartime violence, that there are nonviolent approaches to protection, and that there is nothing inevitable about being drawn into cycles of violence despite their strong pull. Read more>>
Why Movements Need To Start Singing Again: Music is making a comeback in movement spaces, as organizers rediscover how song culture strengthens the capacity to create social change. Read more>>
How Activists Sailed Into a War Zone And Helped Build the Mass Movement Against the Vietnam War: At a time when Americans had little interest in the Vietnam War, a small peace group decided to stir people to action by sailing past the military to deliver needed medicines. Read more>>
How Nonviolence Can Reshape Our Practices of Religion And Economics: Religion scholar Francesca Po explores the concept of self-religion, while Jared Spears and David Fix of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics discuss peaceful economies. Read more>>
Protest & Dissent In China: Looking at historic trends around dissent gives insight into the current protests over COVID-19 policies. Read more>>
On the Frontlines of AIDS Activism In 1990s New York: As the AIDS crisis escalated, this photographer stood on the frontlines shoulder-to-shoulder with activists, chronicling the radical actions at political funerals, marches, protests, parades, and community centers that helped to change the course of public health. Read more>>
“Young Activists” Label Can Be a Burden for Youth Organizers: The “youth” label opens up larger questions about the commodification of youth, how that pressure impacts social justice or political work, and the ways in which it affects the identities of young people working to change the world at the same time they’re trying to grow up in it. It’s a byproduct of a society that demands much of young people, and steals even more. Read more>>
Once Upon a Time the US Taxed the Rich: A little history might just inspire us to try that taxing again. Back at the tail-end of that era, in the early 1960s, America’s richest faced a 91 percent tax rate on income in the top tax bracket. That top rate had been hovering around 90 percent for the previous two decades. Read more>>
Remembering Fred Ross Jr., One of Nation’s Leading Labor and Social Movement Organizers: “So, fighting and organizing for racial and economic justice is in my DNA,” Ross said on many occasions. He acknowledged that he had gotten into a fair amount of trouble doing his organizing work — “good trouble, as John Lewis used to say”. Read more>>
Community #EndGunViolence Vigils: Host a community vigil to commemorate the victims of gun violence, as part of the #EndGunViolence week of events. This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown CT (Dec. 14, 2012), and these vigils will be hosted by congregations and community groups nationwide. (Dec 7-14) Learn more>>
Christmas Truce In Ukraine: “As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine. In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through supporting calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world’s ecosystems and annihilate all of creation.” Sign on>>
2,200-mile Journey for Justice Pilgrimage On U.S.-Mexico Border: Witness at the Border is currently leading a 16-day journey in honor and remembrance of the lives of all migrants and asylum seekers who have suffered and even perished at the U.S.-Mexico border. “We travel in the spirit of the holiday season and in the Mexican tradition of pidiendo posada, seeking shelter among strangers. We travel to elevate the tireless work of our borderlands communities of welcome. We travel to call for change in our immigration policies. We travel by caravan at our own expense and welcome invitations for refuge.” The pilgrimage began December 2nd and will conclude on Dec. 18th: International Migrants Day. Learn more>>
Vanguard SOS – Demand Vanguard Get On-Board With Climate Policies: In a cowardly and short-sighted move, Vanguard showed its true colors by dropping out of the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative yesterday. This proves that Vanguard is clearly not about its climate ‘commitments’, and more work needs to be done to make their leadership listen to the experts on climate risk. That’s why we’re sharing this ask from our friends at Vanguard S.O.S and asking you to call Vanguard directly RIGHT NOW and help us make as much noise as we can. Learn more>>
No Power Cuts This Winter: Millions of Europeans could have their heating and electricity cut off this winter – because they can’t afford to pay the skyrocketing energy bills. Join us in calling on the EU Commission to make sure no one is left in the cold this winter. Learn more>>
Cop City: The Wrong Response to Racist Police Violence: Join in this discussion on policing, racist police violence and the fight to prevent a Cop City in Atlanta, GA. (Dec 12) Learn more>>
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