Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
Looking around the globe in this week’s Nonviolence News, it’s evident that people are gripped in “struggles of survival”. The demands are sensible, reasonable: people want safety from brutal repression, they want wages that pay the bills, and they want a planet they can live on that won’t poison them with every breath or sip of water. Is that too much to ask?
South Africa is bracing for a general strike over cost-of-living increases. It’s a tactic many countries’ workers could be considering, mobilizing across sectors and tapping into the power of both unions and social activist groups. In South Korea, 400,000 people are planning on joining the upcoming two-week-long general strike. While strikes are usually aimed at business owners, this one is specifically designed to turn up the heat on the government and push back against attacks on labor rights. South Koreans have been increasingly mobilizing around labor, with mass protests extending into other issues, such as the recent large protests over Japan’s plan to release 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools of radioactive wastewater from the tsunami-destroyed Fukushima plant.
After the police murder of 17-year-old Nahel Marzouk, France has been gripped by protests – both largely peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations and riots marked by smashed windows, cars in flames, and clashes with police. The riots have had triggered increasing levels of repression from President Macron, who shut down the internet in the outskirts of Paris and mobilized tens of thousands of police officers to quell the unrest. In a chilling move, he is also threatening to fine the parents of underage protesters up to 30,000 Euros. Meanwhile, in the United States, the #StopCopCity Week of Action is once again showing how dangerous and important it is to push back against the rise of the police state. It’s both a local and a global problem that we should all be working to end.
In other Nonviolence News, Peruvians are preparing for a 10-day struggle against the repressive and discriminatory policies of the Duarte administration. Argentines continue to rise up to defend the right to protest and Indigenous Rights in a region run by a right-wing governor. Thousands of Australians rallied in support of a proposed revision to the constitution that would recognize Indigenous People.
A favorite story this week: Extinction Rebellion shut down a coal plant that is operating without a license, accomplishing something the government and the courts apparently could not. It reminded me of a story from Mexico about how Yaqui women dismantled an illegal pipeline and sold it for scrap metal. This approach uses nonviolent direct action to enforce laws, rather than disobey them. It’s creative, and often quite effective.
There’s power in seeing how people like us, around the world, share similar demands. We have a vision of the world we want to inhabit. It’s beautiful. It’s worth the struggle.
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Judges in Kentucky and Tennessee Block Gender-Affirming Care Bans: Two judges handed down opinions thoroughly debunking anti-trans talking points within hours of each other. Read more>>
Extinction Rebellion Shuts Down UK Coal Mine Operating Without License: “The authorities are missing in action,” said one campaigner. “If they won’t step in to stop illegal, planet-wrecking coal mining, we will.” “We have today done what the Welsh government, the U.K. government, and the local council have failed to do—shut down the operations of the U.K.’s largest coal mine which has been operating without a license since September last year,” Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist Marcus Bailie of Caerphilly said in a statement. Read more>>
‘Huge Victory for Workers’: Judge Excoriates Starbucks for Union-Busting in Pittsburgh: “Time is ticking, Starbucks and the longer you continue your anti-union crusade,” said Starbucks Workers United, “the more the public will learn about your truly heinous actions against workers.” Read more>>
‘Incredible’: Central Park Five Exoneree Yusef Salaam Declares Victory in NYC Council Primary: “I was 15 years old when I was run over by the spiked wheels of justice. And here I am now taking that same platform and turning it into a purpose, trying to take my pain and doing something about it.” Yusef Salaam—one of the Central Park Five teenagers who spent years behind bars before being exonerated for a rape they did not commit—declared victory Tuesday night in his Democratic primary race for a New York City Council seat representing Harlem and other parts of Upper Manhattan. Read more>>
A Cooperative Farm’s Long Path to Liberation for Farmworkers: Tierra y Libertad in northern Washington is the first farmworker-owned co-op in the Pacific Northwest; after years of uncertainty, the group is focused on growing a solidarity economy. Read more>>
Union Wins At New York Farms Raise Hopes For Once-Powerful United Farm Workers: Five hundred farmworkers have unionized – the biggest success in years for the union co-founded by Cesar Chavez. Teresa Romero, president of the United Farm Workers, told the Guardian that the victories were made possible by a four-year-old New York law – the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act – which gives farm workers a state-protected right to unionize prohibits retaliation against farm workers seeking to organize. To ease unionization, the law requires farms to recognize a union once a majority of workers sign pro-union cards. Read more>>
10 Illegal Mining Camps Are Dismantled in the Brazilian Amazon: Justice Minister Dino said that there has been a “continuous operation” against illegal mining since January, resulting in the destruction of 323 camps. On Monday, the Brazilian Federal Police announced that it had destroyed ten illegal mining camps during a four-day operation in the Amazon basin. Read more>>
New York Just Became a Safe Haven State for Transgender Youth and Their Families: The new policy protects trans people from out of state who come to New York to access gender-affirming healthcare. Read more>>
Unions, Native People Fight Mining “Reforms” and Police Repression in Argentina: Indigenous people and workers are resisting a reform which attacks the right to protest. For weeks now, the people of Jujuy, Argentina, have been in the streets resisting right-wing political attacks on wages and the right to protest. In the past few days the conflict has escalated with severe police repression throughout the largely Indigenous and impoverished province. Read more>>
Thousands Of Hotel Workers In Southern California Begin Strike, Demand Higher Pay: Thousands of hotel workers in Southern California went on strike Sunday, calling for higher wages and better benefits in what the union is calling the largest U.S. strike in the industry’s history. About 15,000 members of Unite Here Local 11, which represents over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona, are affected by the strike. Hotel workers are demanding a contract negotiation for higher wages, improved health care benefits, and stronger workplace protections. Read more>>
“Fascists Go Home!” Philadelphians Reject Far Right “Moms for Liberty”: Over 50 local and national organizations joined to counter the harmful messaging from the far right group’s conference. Early on Thursday, June 29, banners were dropped over Interstate-95 coming into Philadelphia that read “Philly Protects Trans Kids” and “Bad Things Happen (to fascists) in Philadelphia.” This very Philly welcoming of the attendees of the Moms for Liberty (M4L) annual conference at the Marriott hotel from June 29 to July 2 set the tone for what would be four days of high-energy protests against the organization for its anti-Black and anti-queer policy agenda. Read more>>
Minnesota Muslims Vow To Continue Call To Prayer Despite Rise In Mosque Attacks: Twin Cities community has long battled Islamophobia, and some say attacks are a backlash to new rule allowing broadcast any time. Muslims in Minnesota have vowed not to stop answering the call to prayer, despite a series of attacks on mosques some believe to be a backlash to a new rule that permits the Adhan to be broadcast at any time of the day or night. In April, Minneapolis made history when it became the first major city in the US to allow mosques to broadcast the call to prayer using loudspeakers at any time. Before the change to a city noise ordinance, it had only been permitted to be put out between 7am to 10pm. Read more>>
‘Stop Cop City’ Week of Action – Cadence Bank ‘Drop The Loan’ Protest And Panel On Overpolicing: The ‘Week of Action’ against ‘Cop City’ continued with a protest outside the offices of Cadence Bank in Midtown Atlanta, which is providing a construction loan to the Atlanta Police Foundation for the building of ‘Cop City.’ Friday evening, a panel hosted by ‘Hip Hop Caucus’ discussed the past and present of overpolicing — from Atlanta’s militarized Red Dog Unit to ‘Cop City.’ Read more>>
Inside The Fight To Kick Out Rochester’s Power Company: In New York’s third-largest city, locals are sick of skyrocketing bills and dirty fuel sources. They’re fighting against long odds for the public to own the grid. On a Tuesday night in mid-March, the streets of downtown Rochester were empty as the remnants of a nor’easter swirled through. But the fourth floor of the county office building was packed. Residents milled outside the chamber doors for close to an hour, then lined up inside for two more to address their county reps. Most were there to complain about one thing: their utility company. Read more>>
South Africa General Strike Called: Cosatu strike to highlight economic crisis. Cosatu parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks said in a statement that Cosatu and all its affiliate unions would embark on a “nationwide socio-economic strike” with marches taking place in major urban centers in the nine provinces. Read more>>
Poverty Is 4th Leading Cause of Death in U.S. As Calls Grow for Third Reconstruction: Bishop Barber. Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, says it’s “grotesque and immoral” that poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, higher than homicide and respiratory illness, citing recent findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This weekend, the Poor People’s Campaign led a Moral Poverty Action Congress in Washington, D.C., focused on ending poverty in the United States. Read more>>
Super-Rich Warned of ‘Pitchforks And Torches’ Unless They Tackle Inequality: Global elite told at London’s Savoy hotel of real risk of ‘civil disruption’ if more is not done to help struggling millions. In the ballroom of the five star Savoy hotel on the Strand in central London, the super-rich and their advisers were this week advised that they may soon need to watch out for people with “pitchforks and torches” unless they do more to use their fortunes to help the millions struggling with the cost of living crisis. Read more>>
Biden Accused of ‘Stabbing Student Debtors in the Back’ With Response to SCOTUS Ruling: Biden’s so-called Plan B “buys time for more baseless, bad faith, billionaire-backed lawsuits to get lined up with rogue judges eager to block anything that helps working people,” fumed the Debt Collective. Debt Collective called Biden’s so-called Plan B “worse than this morning’s Supreme Court ruling.” Read more>>
South Korea KCTU Announces 400,000-Strong General Strike Protesting Yoon Administration: The confederation said it would be launching a two-week general strike on July 15. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) on Monday announced it will be holding a two-week general strike. In the face of attacks from the administration, the ruling People Power Party (PPP), and the business world describing the action as a “political strike,” the KCTU emphasized its intent to take the battle to the administration. Read more>>
University of California Workers Arrested on Felony Charges for Writing “Living Wage Now” in Chalk: The arrests are “clearly an intimidation tactic,” one union member said. Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) were arrested at their homes last Thursday by campus police in the most recent escalation of the university’s aggressive anti-union campaign. Read more>>
Advocates from Across the Country Rally in Chicago for Coal Ash Rule Reform: More than 100 coal ash sites sit within two miles of the Great Lakes, a drinking water source for 30 million people. Community groups called on the EPA for stricter regulation. Environmental advocates and community members from 21 states and Puerto Rico rallied here Wednesday in support of reforming rules on coal ash disposal. The rally took place near an EPA hearing where about 100 witnesses testified on a new draft rule. Read more>>
Protests Break Out in South Korea Over Fukushima Plans To Release Waste Water To Ocean: ‘The ocean dumping of the contaminated waters from the crippled plant will pose a threat to all oceans’. South Koreans poured onto the streets on Thursday in protest against Japan’s plans to release treated radioactive water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima power plant into the ocean. The UN watchdog on Tuesday green signaled Japan to release more than 1 million metric tons of water into the Pacific that was used to cool damaged reactors at the power plant hit by an earthquake and a tsunami in 2011. Read more>>
360+ Groups Asked Biden to End Oil and Gas on Public Lands by 2035. His Answer? No. Campaigners blasted the rejection of their petition as “beyond disappointing” and “an appalling abdication of climate leadership.” As U.S. President Joe Biden seeks reelection as a climate and environmental justice champion, his administration on Thursday officially rejected a petition from over 360 organizations to phase out oil and gas extraction for public lands and waters by 2035. Read more>>
Youth Climate Activists Turn Up The Heat: A look inside a ballsy new climate org and their latest actions. Climate Defiance, a new youth-led org that’s bringing disruptive, direct action to our nation’s most influential leaders and fossil fuel enablers. Read on for a look inside their movement and why it has a real shot at facilitating change. Read more>>
French Police Attack Rallies in Memory of Nahel in Nanterre: Peaceful march in Nanterre, France, June 29, 2023. On Thursday, thousands of French people took to the streets of Nanterre to protest the death of 17-year-old teenager Nahel, who was killed by a police officer who shot him in the chest during a traffic check. In an attempt to contain the later protests, the Interior Ministry has decided to deploy 40,000 agents to the streets. Read more>>
Thousands Rally Across Australia In Support of Indigenous Reform: Thousands of people have rallied in cities and towns across Australia to back a campaign to recognize the country’s Indigenous people in the constitution in advance of a referendum later this year. Read more>>
Peruvians Call For 10-Day Struggle Against The Boluarte Government: On July 1 and 2, various social organizations and trade unions from the 25 regions of Peru held the First National Meeting of Regions and Organized People in the capital Lima to unite forces against the de facto government led by Dina Boluarte. During the two-day meeting, the Indigenous, peasant, social and union leaders agreed to organize 10 days of continuous social protests to demand Boluarte’s immediate resignation, closure of right-wing dominated Congress, new general elections, a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution, freedom of those arrested during protests and justice for those killed by the Army and the Police in the mobilizations. Read more>>
Stop Cop City Week of Action Showed Movement’s Strength Amid Rampant Repression: Police sought to repress and intimidate protesters during the week of action, but the movement only emerged stronger. Read more>>
Protests Against Anti-Immigrant Laws to Continue: Protests and calls to boycott the Sunshine State continue to grow since the passage of SB1718, Florida’s anti-immigrant legislation. Recent protests and boycotts in response to anti-immigrant legislation in Florida are having lasting impacts on communities upheld by undocumented immigrants. The June 1st labor strikes coordinated by Latino organizers on TikTok made a statement not just on the seriousness of the immigration debate but by showing how much support immigrants have across racial and ethnic lines. Some weekend demonstrations have carried on for weeks in many Florida cities. Read more>>
How Europe’s Broken Legal Migration System Produces Its Border Crises: The boats keep coming. Despite the deterrent of increasingly stringent border security laws, the criminalization of solidarity, illegal and violent pushbacks, and the mounting number of deaths at sea, ‘illegal’ migration to Europe shows no signs of abating. Read more>>
Growing Protests Over Anti-Immigration Laws In Kansas, Texas, And Florida Take Place Across The Country: In Florida, protests are taking place to mark the beginning of an immigrant labor stoppage that is scheduled to last until at least July 3rd. Large crowds are being reported in Orlando, Tampa, and various areas in South Florida and as far away as Chicago and California. Read more>>
Protesters Say No To Tamil Refugee Deportation: Fifty people protested at short notice outside the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) in Broadmeadows on July 3 in support of Dixtan Arulruban, a Tamil refugee threatened with deportation to Sri Lanka. Read more>>
‘Pinkwashing’: Just Stop Oil Blocks London Pride Parade in Sponsorship Protest: ‘These partnerships embarrass the LGBTQ+ community at a time when much of the cultural world is rejecting ties to these toxic industries’. Just Stop Oil protesters temporarily blocked London’s Pride Parade Saturday afternoon to protest the event accepting sponsorship money from “high-polluting industries.” Read more>>
A First For Korea, Lesbian Couple Announces Pregnancy At Seoul Pride: The theme of this year’s Seoul Queer Culture Festival was “Bloom, Queer Nation.” It shared a message expressing the hope for and commitment to equal rights and human rights for LGBTQ people. Read more>>
Worldwide Survey Kills The Myth of ‘Men Hunt. Women Don’t.’: Women hunt in vast majority of foraging societies, upending old stereotypes. A study published today in PLOS ONE flatly rejects a long-standing myth that men hunt, women gather, and that this division runs deep in human history. The study is a first-of-its-kind global view of women hunters, reviewing accounts penned by scholars who study culture, known as ethnographers, as well as those by observers between the late 1800s and today, the researchers found that women hunted in nearly 80% of surveyed forager societies. Read more>>
Pro-choice Catholics Fight To Seize The Narrative From the Religious Right: For one organization the belief in individual reproductive rights comes as a result of the Catholic faith, not in spite of. With more than 1,500 politicians – mostly men – helping ban abortions since Roe fell, Catholic and pro-choice organizations are increasingly trying to carve out space for themselves in the nationwide dialogue to center their own messaging: that being Catholic and pro-choice are not mutually exclusive. Read more>>
‘Gay Furries’ Group Hacks Agencies In US States Attacking Gender-Affirming Care: A group of self-described anti-US government “gay furries” have distributed hacked materials from agencies in six US states in recent days, citing legislative attacks on gender-affirming care as their motive. The data released by the group includes South Carolina police files, a list of licensed therapists in Texas and contact details for court officials in Nebraska. Read more>>
Thousands Demonstrate In Ramstein, Germany, Against US Military Hegemony: Thousands gathered in the southwestern German town Ramstein to protest against US military hegemony and demanded the US military withdraw from Germany. About 1,500 people joined in the march holding banners that read “No weapon transportation to Ukraine” and “Americans go home.” Many participants delivered speeches denouncing US military hegemony in front of the US air force base in the town. Read more>>
Hiroshima Survivors Decry US-Japan Agreement Equating Pearl Harbor With Atomic Bombing: “The historical backgrounds of the two parks will forever be different,” said one survivor and peace activist. Representatives of hibakusha—the Japanese community of survivors of the United States’ bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945—are denouncing an agreement between the U.S. and Japan that equates the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians with a World War II attack on a key U.S. naval base. The Biden administration last week signed an agreement with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui establishing a “sister-park” relationship between the Japanese city’s Peace Memorial Park and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. Read more>>
NSW Teachers Federation Deepens Opposition To AUKUS, Militarism: The $368 billion for AUKUS nuclear submarines could be better spent on funding education. The New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF) decided at its annual conference on July 3 to deepen its stand against AUKUS, the military pact between Australia, Britain and the United States. The pact allows Australia to purchase eight nuclear submarines for at least $368 billion and makes it the first non-nuclear weapon state to manipulate a loophole in the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection system. Read more>>
Caribbean Immigrant Savings Plan Celebrated at Bank of England Museum: When people came from the Caribbean last century and were turned away by UK banks, many relied on communal trust and creative savings programs. Read more>>
Public Banking Efforts Gain Momentum In California: From Los Angeles to the East Bay, major public banking plans are emerging from California cities. Each proposed institution has a slightly different framework and focus, but all of them aim to help everyday people gain financial security and opportunity. Read more>>
Sub-Reddit Protests Over API Feud: The protest being waged by popular subreddits over Reddit’s API (application programming interface) access changes continues, and this week it’s taken a NSFW twist. On Monday, r/pics — a massive community with over 30 million members — officially marked itself NSFW (not safe for work), meaning Reddit is no longer able to show advertisements alongside posts appearing in the subreddit. Redditors are angry about the Twitter-like changes, which have now led to third-party apps like Apollo — which couldn’t afford the fees — having to shut down. Read more>>
Science Activism Is Surging – Marking A Culture Shift In Science: Hundreds of scientists protested government efforts to restrict educational access to Western science theories, including Darwin’s theory of evolution, in June 2023 in India. Similarly, scientists in Mexico participated in a research strike in May 2023 to protest a national law they claimed would threaten the conditions for basic research. Read more>>
New Book The Art of Protest Explores The Artwork of Activism: Everything from nuclear disarmament to civil rights and climate change is featured in the book, which uncovers the multitude of posters produced in response to social and environmental issues around the world. It’s also a record of more temporary artwork made by activists on the ground, which up until now would generally be unrecorded. Read more>>
Rights of Nature, Self-Owning Land, And Other Hacks On Western Law: The idea that the Ganges River in India or the Amazon Basin in Brazil should have “legal personhood” – and thus be able to defend its interests in court – was considered zany only ten or fifteen years ago, at least in Europe and North America. Now this once-fringe legal concept is going mainstream. Legislatures or courts in twelve countries have recognized the “rights of nature” at the state, local, and/or national levels in a dozen nations. In the United States alone, some three dozen communities –from Pittsburgh and Toledo to Orange County, Florida (population 1.5 million people) – have enacted such laws, often with overwhelming public support. Ecuador now has a constitutional provision recognizing the rights of nature. Read more>>
In France, Macron Shuts Down Internet And Fines Protesters’ Parents: France’s government is targeting parents of minors and the internet to contain a people’s uprising. French President Emmanuel Macron decided to cut internet access in different locations on the outskirts of Paris starting on Monday, July 3. In another controversial move, French Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti reported on Saturday that parents of minors participating in anti-police protests in France could face prosecution. Read more>>
1,500 Big Oil Lobbyists “Double Agents” for Supposed Climate Champions: Even groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council have hired lobbyists with fossil fuel clients. According to a new database published by divestment advocacy group F Minus on Wednesday, there are over 1,500 state-level lobbyists who are working as lobbyists for fossil fuel companies while being employed by a wide variety of state and municipal governments and progressive, climate and research groups. Read more>>
Unions, Strikes, and the Labor Movement: This episode of The Response Podcast looks at how the strengthening of the labor movement through unions, strikes, and other workplace actions, is serving as a response to not only the harms inflicted by neoliberalism, but also how these institutions and actions can serve as direct responses to climate change-fueled disasters. Read more>>
500 Peace Actions : This summer CODEPINK and allies are uplifting peace by expressing peace through peaceful means. We invite you to join us to participate in our summer of peace by signing a pledge to peace, contributing to our 500 peace actions, and answering our cultural call for peace. Learn more>>
Tell Christina Aguilera – Don’t Play Israeli Apartheid: Pop icon Christina Aguilera announced that she will perform in Israel on August 10. Aguilera, known for her fierce LGBTQ and feminist advocacy, needs to hear from us that there is No Equality, Justice or Freedom under apartheid. Will you leave Aguilera a polite and clear message on her Instagram post telling her to cancel her Israel show? If she is “a passionate advocate for equality” that should include equality for everyone. Learn more>>
2-hr Intro To Kingian Nonviolence: Join this overview of Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation at 2pm ET / 1pm CT / 11am PT on July 18, 2023. Kingian Nonviolence is an approach to conflict and community leadership that offers values and methods useful for anyone who wants to use conflict constructively in your personal life, in group settings, or in community issues and building a reconciled world. (July 18) Learn more>>
Gender Justice & Nonviolence: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held that nonviolence is “a way of life for courageous people.” This “way of life” includes all of who we are and who we are becoming, including our beautiful and diverse gender identities and expressions. As more and more people are targeted in our society because of their gender, faithful and strategic nonviolence is needed. Our trainers, Rev. Lauren Grubaugh-Thomas and Rev. Jerry Monroe Maynard, will lead us in exploring nonviolence as a powerful lens for gender justice in our churches, social circles, and global human family. You’ll come away with practical tools rooted in proven strategies and informed by lived experiences. (July 27) Learn more>>
A World of Change: Summer Film & Discussion Series: Films. Friends. Fantastic stories. Fascinating conversations. Join Pace e Bene’s six-week summer film series featuring A Force More Powerful on the power of nonviolent action in South Africa, Poland, Chile, India, Denmark, and the US. In each of these six sessions, we will watch and discuss one of the incredible 30-minute documentary video segments on a classic nonviolent struggle for change. (July 27-Aug 31) Learn more>>
March To End Fossil Fuels: People are taking action building up to the March to End Fossil Fuels in New York on September 17th. On that date, the United Nations Secretary-General is hosting a first-of-its-kind Climate Ambition Summit to demand that nations stop the fossil fuel expansion that is driving the climate emergency. Thousands of us will march to demand President Biden take bold action to End Fossil Fuels. (Sept 17 – NYC) Learn more>>
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