Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
From the nation of Georgia to the US state of Georgia, citizens are mobilizing against two things that squelch movements: anti-dissent laws and police repression.
Mass protests in Georgia (the nation) thwarted a bill that would stifle dissent and limit freedom of the press. The proposed law prompted an outpouring of objection from media, students, and members of civil society. The right to object, dissent, and report on injustice is critically important for all of us – as another story from Great Britain illustrates. There, climate activists with Insulate Britain have been sentenced to seven weeks of prison for simply trying to explain to the jury why they chose to take action.
Another important struggle that impacts social movements is the effort to curtail police brutality. In Atlanta, Georgia, activists who are trying to Stop Cop City were met (again) with heavy repression. A wide range of actions from marches to sit-ins to blockades are taking place. However, when some protesters set fire to construction sites in the proposed tactical urban warfare facility, police retaliated by targeting a family-friendly picnic in another area. Meanwhile, an independent autopsy report has now been released that indicate that Tortuguita (a protester whose murder by police earlier this year has galvanized recent actions) likely had his hands up when police shot him. Cop City is a case study in how the militarization of the police is dangerous for both citizens and movements.
Other notable Nonviolence News stories include Israel’s anti-government protests that are attempting to stave off the threat of dictatorship, how climate activists blocked the doors of an Australian oil exploration agency with lifeboats, and the anti-racism march in Ireland that brought together tens of thousands of people. In addition, women around the world commemorated International Women’s Day on March 8th by taking action to stop gender-based violence, ensure reproductive rights, and demand pay equity. From Afghanistan to Guatemala, their stories are a reminder of how much further humanity must stride in order to end the injustices faced by half the population.
Last but certainly not least, here’s an interesting story that may not have hit your radar: in Azerbaijan, a peaceful protest against illegal mineral mining has been going on for more than 88 days. They face not only their nation’s security forces, but also a Russian unit that has been temporarily deployed.
What was my favorite story this week? An artist in London built a little house inside a dumpster. He plans to live in it for a year to protest the high cost of housing in the city.
Brazil’s First-Ever Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Launched Amid State of Emergency: Among the historic ministry’s first challenges are a large-scale gold mining crackdown and an investigation of genocide against the Yanomami people. Read more>>
Georgia Drops Dissent-Stifling Bill After Mass Protests: Georgia’s parliament voted Friday to drop a foreign agent registration bill after the legislation, which opponents warned could be used to stifle dissent and curtail media freedoms, prompted tens of thousands of protesters to swarm the capital this week. Mate Gabeshia, a student who took part in a Friday rally against the bill, said “the government understood that they had no chance” given the groundswell of popular protest. Read more>>
Under Pressure, Norfolk Southern Agrees to Limited Relocation Plan: Local organizers in East Palestine, Ohio on Monday said their activism has successfully pressured rail company Norfolk Southern to agree to a limited relocation plan for some residents affected by last month’s train derailment, but added they have no intention of backing down from their demand for justice for thousands of people in the area who are struggling in the aftermath of the accident. Read more>>
Nations Agree On Historic Global Oceans Treaty: The Global Oceans Treaty is the biggest conservation agreement in the history of the world. It provides a pathway to establish marine sanctuaries so that countries can turn their commitment to protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 into a reality. Read more>>
Israeli Anti-Government Protests Hit New Heights as 200,000 March in Tel Aviv: For over two months, weekly protests—mostly on the weekends but increasingly during the workweek as well—large demonstrations have taken place in response to Netanyahu and his coalition government pushing a judicial takeover that critics say would curtail democracy. “There’s a great danger that Israel will turn into a dictatorship,” warned one protester. Read more>>
French Strikes Against Pension Reform Continue As Unions Intensify Fight: France was partly brought to a standstill on Tuesday as millions of protesters took to the streets in one of the biggest strike actions yet. Rejecting the government’s proposed pension reform bill, which includes raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, workers across all sectors turned out in force to show their disapproval in nationwide demonstrations. Unions plan to continue the strike. Read more>>
Kenyan Political Campaign Launches Protests: The opposition also launched the Movement for Defense of Democracy against what it termed as the ‘illegitimate regime.’ “We launch a campaign of defiance, peaceful protests and demonstrations. It begins today and now. We urge the victims of the retrogressive policies of this illegitimate regime to join this political revolution. We are stronger together,” he said. The protests are aimed at forcing the President William Ruto-led regime out of power and lowering the cost of living. Read more>>
Israeli Military Caught Up In Divide Over Netanyahu’s Plan: (There) is a wave of unprecedented opposition from within the ranks of the Israeli military to a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary. Like Tichover, some reservists are refusing to show up for duty and former commanders are defending their actions as a natural response to the impending change. Read more>>
Jailed Azerbaijani Activist Ends Hunger Strike Amid Exposure Of Intimate Footage: Bakhtiyar Hajiyev is recovering from a 51-day hunger strike, while activists say cybercrime against him has “endangered the lives” of women he interacted with. Read more>>
Stop Cop City Week of Action: All week long, activists and organizers have been camping out in the Weelaunee forest, and taking action all around Atlanta to Stop Cop City. On Sunday night, March 5, there was a peaceful, family friendly gathering and concert in one part of the forest, while in a different area some other groups stormed into the illegal construction area and set buildings and equipment on fire. In retaliation, police in military gear and armed with lethal weapons raided the family-friendly music festival in a public park and arrested more than two dozen people with excessive and extreme force reportedly being used. Some of those arrested on Sunday night have been released. Many are being charged with “domestic terrorism” enhancements that civil liberties and human rights groups have warned us about. Read more>>
Tens Of Thousands Attend Anti-Racism March In Dublin, Ireland: Thousands of people are participating in a march in support of diversity and opposition to racism. The ‘Ireland for All’ solidarity march in Dublin was organised by a coalition that includes community groups, trade unions and political parties. Read more>>
Peaceful Protests Of Azerbaijani Eco-Activists Enter 88th Day: The peaceful protest of Azerbaijani ecologists and young volunteers on the Lachin-Khankendi road passing through Shusha over the illegal exploitation of mineral deposits, especially the Gizilbulag gold and Damirli copper-molybdenum deposits located in the Azerbaijani territories, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily deployed, has been going on for the 88th straight day. Read more>>
100+ Groups Urge Congress to Abandon ‘Carbon Utilization Fantasy’: “Promoting the utilization of captured CO2 in petrochemicals, plastics, and fuels, as your legislation would encourage, will perpetuate environmental justice harms and subsidize the oil and gas industry to do it.” Read more>>
Groups Sue to Stop Biden From Offering 73 Million Acres to Oil Drillers in Gulf of Mexico: “We should be moving away from fossil fuels, not enabling an astounding amount of drilling for more than a generation to come,” said one advocate. Read more>>
Mi’kmaq And Environmentalists Challenge Offshore Oil Megaproject: Nine Mi’kmaq communities and several environmental groups are attempting to stop oil giant Equinor’s Bay du Nord deep sea oil project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Hearings in their legal challenge at the federal court began on March 1. Protests have also been happening on the ground since last year, including at Equinor’s offices in St John’s. Read more>>
#StopWillow: Gen Z Organizes Millions Online to Pressure Biden to Stop Oil Project: Over 2.9 million people have signed a petition calling on President Joe Biden to halt the Willow Project, a proposed oil drilling operation in Alaska. Read more>>
Activists Jailed For Seven Weeks For Defying Ban On Mentioning Climate Crisis: Insulate Britain members have been found guilty of ignoring a judge’s ban on telling a jury why they were protesting. Read more>>
Climate Activists Block Doors With Lifeboats: More than 30 supporters of Extinction Rebellion ACT and Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies gathered at APPEA to disrupt and show solidarity with Lismore’s flood victims — 6000 of whom are still waiting to hear about rehoming, a year on. Activists barricaded the front doors with lifeboats while others dropped a banner which read: “We’re drowning in fossil fuels” and “You can’t offset a climate crisis”. Read more>>
We Need a Climate Movement That Addresses The Trauma of Fighting For a Burning Planet: To build an impactful climate justice movement able to face the challenges ahead, we must first build cultures that care for the people doing the work. Read more>>
Why Temple University’s Graduate Students are Striking: The Temple University Graduate Student Association (TUGSA 6290), a union that represents more than 750 graduate student workers at Temple has entered the second month of their strike. Read more>>
British Wave Of Strike Action Continues Ahead of Budget Day: Teachers are on rolling strikes from February 28 across England, and up to 100,000 unionists from across the public sector are planning industrial action on March 15 (Budget day). Read more>>
Judge Finds Starbucks Violated Labor Laws Hundreds of Times in Buffalo Alone: The judge has ordered Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to read a notice of the numerous violations to employees. Read more>>
From Afghanistan To Guatemala, Feminist Movements Mark International Women’s Day: Across the globe, protests, mass actions, and events pushed for justice at the intersection of gender, race, environment, health, economics, and social justice. Here are a dozen reports. Read more>>
Immigrant Women Workers Are Fighting to Close Disney’s Gender Pay Gap: Unionized workers say traditionally “feminized” jobs such as costume-making pay significantly less. Read more>>
California Plans To Cuts Ties With Walgreens Over Abortion Pills Issue: California will not do business with Walgreens said Governor Gavin Newsom days after the pharmacy chain said it would not dispense abortion pills in some Republican-dominated states. A spokesperson for the governor said “all relationships” between Walgreens and the state were now under review but declined to detail how business ties might change. Read more>>
Artwork Referring To Abortion Removed From Idaho Public College Exhibition: Six pieces removed from show about health issues after school officials were given legal counsel about state’s abortion ‘gag rule’. Read more>>
In First-of-Its Kind Legal Challenge, Texas Women Say State Abortion Ban Endangered Their Lives: The state ban that took effect last year ostensibly allows pregnant people to obtain care if their life or that of their fetus is at risk, but one critic said the suit shows that “there is no such thing as an abortion exception.” Read more>>
End Violence Against Women, Say Unionists On International Women’s Day: First Nations elder and Palawa woman Aunty Lyn McInnis spoke about women’s strength to resist. After a minute’s silence for women killed from family violence, GWUN co-convener Adele Welsh reported on the high rate of domestic violence in Geelong. She said paid family and domestic violence leave (FVL) is essential Read more>>
Groups Tell UN Experts That Overturning of “Roe” Violates International Law: Nearly 200 organizations and individual advocates asked for the UN to take immediate action. Read more>>
Feminists Say NO! To War In Ukraine: In Chicago, in honor of International Womens Day, CODEPINK, Chicago Peace Action and PSL Chicago united to call for peace and negotiations that the people and the planet need so desperately. Read more>>
Governments Criticized For Keeping Women From Peace Talks: On the eve of International Women’s Day, leading women’s rights campaigners at the United Nations and the African Union and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate criticized male-dominated governments for excluding women from peace negotiations. Read more>>
Jewish New Yorkers Rally to Demand ‘End to All US Military Funding to Israel’: “As Jews who support freedom and dignity for all people, no exceptions, we will not just sit in horror as the state of Israel carries out ethnic cleansing in our names.” Read more>>
Global Environmentalism As a Peacemaker in the South Caucasus: “There is no shortage of conflicts in and around the Caucasus. But for nine days last summer, beneath the frozen peaks in Racha and Svaneti, I saw what peace looks like.” Michael Kiel discusses the conservation volunteers driving international cooperation. Read more>>
A Mass Wave of Army Refusal Offers a Transformative Moment for Israel: A new movement of Israeli army refusers has put the government in a crisis, presenting an opportunity for those fighting the occupation of Palestine. Read more>>
Artist Moves Into Dumpster House In Protest At ‘Crazy’ London Costs: An artist has built a home in a rubbish skip (dumpster) in London and plans to live in it for a year, seeking to draw attention to the “crazy” price of renting a room in Britain’s capital during a cost of living crisis. Read more>>
Haymarket Books Fights Back Against Republican Attacks on Educational Freedom: This lefty publisher is giving out censored books for free in Florida. We know that books in and of themselves don’t change the world. But people reading together, learning together, organizing together; people coming together to know these ideas, and to think about how our side wins is actually dangerous. Read more>>
Uzbekistan: TikTok Parody Sparks Indignation Of Prim Officials: The teen creators of the video have got the backing of at least one senior official though. Read more>>
Judy Heumann, ‘Mother Of Disability Rights Movement,’ Dies At 75: “Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things we need to lead our lives—job opportunities or barrier-free buildings, for example,” Heumann told one reporter. Read more>>
Happy International Women’s Day: A look back at over a century of the global fight for justice and equality. From New York to Beijing, women have been demanding their rights on 8 March since 1908. Much remains to be done, say activists, but there is reason for celebration. Read more>>
Lessons From The Campaign That Ended Fracking In Ireland: The successful Irish anti-fracking struggle offers key insights on community power building for anti-extraction movements all over the world. Read more>>
Resisting Ecofascism: Join Quinton Sankofa of Movement Generation with our guest presenter Hilary Moore, political educator and co-author of No Fascist USA!, for a free webinar on ecofascism. (March 28) Learn more>>
Art For Climate Justice: Between April 15th and 25th, Stop the Money Pipeline and People vs. Fossil Fuels will use art to demand climate justice and urge Wall Street and the federal government to end fossil fuel expansion. Activists will organize pop-up art shows at bank branches, use art in direct actions, and organize mass wheat pasting actions that paper entire cities in climate movement art. (April 15-25) Learn more>>
Saving the World From Nuclear War: Vincent Intondi’s new book examines how the June 12, 1982, rally for nuclear disarmament paved the way for a new generation of activists. Join the webinar and reading. (May 13) Learn more>>
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