Editor’s Note From Rivera Sun
There’s a lot of good news to celebrate this week! The Hollywood writers’ strike ended after nearly five months, winning a “phenomenal” contract. It includes pay raises, improved healthcare benefits, viewership-based streaming residuals, minimum staffing requirements for television writers’ rooms, and regulations constraining studios’ use of artificial intelligence. The contract goes to a vote with the Writers Guild in the first week of October.
They’re not the only ones celebrating: 550,000 California fast food workers got a raise to $20/hr, Indigenous Peoples saved their lands from Brazil’s legal sleight of hand, and the FCC announced plans to restore net neutrality. On top of all that, French President Macron announced that he will remove their troops from Niger, after mass protests by the Niger people halted colonialist military intervention after a recent regime change.
In other Nonviolence News, Kansas City CVS pharmacy workers held a wildcat strike at 22 locations, walking out without union backing. Their willingness to buck the system is a rising trend in labor organizing in the US South. In North Carolina, where it is illegal for public sector workers to go on strike, bus drivers, sanitation workers and others aren’t letting that stop them. Sometimes, when our right to use the tools of nonviolent action are restricted, we have to defy those unjust laws. In the United Kingdom, after a woman was arrested for holding a sign that alerted jurors to their right to use jury nullification, 200 protesters showed up with copycat signs. (One can only hope the jury will nullify the first woman’s court case.)
In Mexico City, the parents of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College who disappeared in September 2014, demonstrated in front of the Military Camp No. 1. The need to resist police repression and brutality is a shared concern in multiple countries. French activists protested police brutality, both toward people of color and during mass protest events. Kenyans are also in the streets condemning heavy repression. And Zimbabweans are facing a deadly crackdown on opposition candidate supporters in the wake of the elections.
Instead of repressing protesters, powerholders could be showing up in support of their people’s demands. President Biden became the first US president ever to visit a picket line, showing up with striking United Auto Workers. While the cynics among us (myself included) may chalk this up to pre-election optics, it is also a sign of the rising power of the labor movement and the unions. Political contenders need to take workers seriously.
A couple of creative actions caught my eye this week. German anti-racists are abandoning traditional marches and counterprotests in their effort to thwart the extreme right. Instead, they’re throwing loud, colorful dance parties to “Rave Against the Right”. With no signs or political banners, the aim is to get their moms, neighbors, and coworkers dancing in the streets for a culture of acceptance, love, and community. Because if they’re dancing with the Left, they’re not marching with the Right.
Then there were the “Keepers”. In perhaps one of the quirkier protests I’ve seen in a while, five people covered head-to-toe in shaggy moss processed in a slow, silent picket line outside a train station development in New York that will likely evict 2,000 residents and shutter 1,300 small businesses. The demonstration was part art installation, part activism … a blend that could be (should be) the hallmark of this century.
PS Monday, Oct 2 is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the International Day of Nonviolence. Honor the day by sharing Nonviolence News with 10 friends! (And if you’d like to make a donation, we’d be thrilled to have your support in that way, too.)
Honor the International Day of Nonviolence by supporting Nonviolence News!
Thank you. Donate here>>
Brazilian Supreme Court Delivers ‘Historic Victory’ to Indigenous Peoples: The court ruled against the Big Ag-backed “time limit trick,” which would have only recognized Indigenous land claims if the group could prove they were living in a given territory on October 5, 1988. In a major victory for Indigenous rights, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court rejected an argument Thursday that could have forced hundreds of thousands from their ancestral lands. Read more>>
Writers’ Strike Ends After Nearly Five Months as WGA Unveils Tentative Deal: “The WGA appears to have won more than analysts initially believed possible.” “It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.” Read more>>
FCC Details Plan To Restore Net Neutrality: Ars Technica: Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today announced plans to restore net neutrality rules similar to those that were adopted during the Obama era and then repealed by the FCC when Donald Trump was president. Read more>>
Macron Says France Will Withdraw Troops From Niger: French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that French will remove its troops and ambassador from Niger. Mass demonstrations by Niger citizens pushed for France to withdraw instead of fighting a recent military junta. Read more>>
Half A Million California Workers Get A Raise And A Seat At The Table: In a remarkable reversal of fortune, the state’s fast-food worker movement, created and steered by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), has compelled the giants of the fast-food industry (both national stalwarts like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Starbucks and local legends like In-N-Out) to withdraw their opposition to raising their workers’ wages and establishing a statewide labor-business board to deal with industry issues. Read more>>
A Coal Mine Turned Garden Feeds 2,000 Texans Every Month: The 1-acre garden in Texas, situated in the middle of a 35,000-acre former mine, supplies thousands of pounds of fresh produce to families in three counties that have few grocery stores. Read more>>
Kenyans Condemn Police Brutality: Africans Rising for Unity, Justice, Peace, and Dignity condemned police brutality in Kenya against protesters who took to the streets to demonstrate against the imposed tax hikes following the recently passed Finance Act, 2023. Read more>>
Hundreds Copy Trudi Warner’s Jury Nullification Banner In Backlash Against UK Solicitor General: With Trudi Warner facing up to two years in jail for holding a sign, over 200 people have turned up at courts around England with the same banner. “In 2023, telling the truth is being treated as a criminal act with people prosecuted for displaying facts in public.” Read more>>
Actors, Activists, LaVar Burton Fight Against Book Bans: Just in time for National Banned Books Month in October, Reading Rainbow’s Lavar Burton has partnered with public advocacy organization MoveOn Political Action on a campaign warning of the dangers of censorship—and they’re urging creatives to get in on the fight. Read more>>
Parents Of Disappeared Ayotzinapa Students Begin Indefinite Sit-In: On Thursday, September 21, parents of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College, who disappeared in September 2014, demonstrated in front of the Military Camp No. 1 in the capital Mexico City. Carrying large banners that read “Where are our children?”, “We are missing 43”, and “Because they were taken alive, we want them back alive,” among others, the parents demanded that the Mexican Armed Forces hand over all available information about the mass kidnapping and disappearance of their loved ones. Read more>>
Zimbabwe’s Contentious Election Is Deadly For Opposition Supporters: Just 72 hours following an underwhelming inauguration on September 4, attended by only a few heads of state, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission contentiously declared Mnangagwa the winner over Chamisa of the newly named Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). Soon after, reports of violence against human rights defenders, lawyers, and opposition supporters began surfacing in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. Read more>>
Film Documentary Takes On Youth Gun Violence In Youngstown, OH: An award-winning, grant-funded short film created in Youngstown is poised to make an impact on the choices young people will make when faced with violence. The professionally filmed video, called “Give Me The Gun,” follows a young man named Trey, whose older brother was killed by gun violence and who nearly made the decision to take revenge. But the persistence of an uncle and Trey’s friends help Trey let go of his anger and move on with his life. Read more>>
WhatsApp Is Preventing Child Marriage in Rural India: The messaging app enables activists to swiftly stop illegal weddings, helping kids to stay in school — and stay kids. Read more>>
Workers In The South Aren’t Letting Anti-Labor Laws Stop Them: Even though strikes are illegal for public sector workers in North Carolina, the difficult and sometimes dangerous work — coupled with low wages and the rising cost of living — led Perry and his co-workers to refuse to get in their trucks to pick up trash on September 6. The action reflects growing labor agitation in the South — a region where union organizing and striking are exceptionally challenging, but workers are nevertheless coming together to improve their working conditions. Read more>>
Fighting Back In Flatbush, Tenants Take On One of New York’s Most Notorious Property Companies: Flatbush residents in a building which has over eighty units across six floors have been asking for adequate living conditions for years. In late spring, twenty-five tenants from a Flatbush prewar apartment complex gathered in the building’s ornate lobby. Months earlier, one of these tenants, Natalia Marques, had gone door-to-door with a survey about health and safety issues. Read more>>
Biden Just Made History by Becoming the First U.S. President To Join Striking Workers on the Picket Line: “The most union-friendly president in U.S. history” may be a low bar, but Biden took another step toward clearing it today by standing with Michigan autoworkers out on strike. Read more>>
Students Occupy Brighton University Campus In Solidarity With Staff: Across higher education, the University and College Union (UCU) has been fighting back against management imposing pay cuts, as well as the dire working conditions its members have to tolerate. Since April 2023, actions have included a Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB), strike action (with an indefinite strike currently in its 12th week at Brighton), occupations, and large-scale protests. The UCU has also announced that staff at 140 universities will strike from 25 to 29 September. Now, students have started another occupation. Read more>>
Pharmacists Hold Wild Cat Strike At 22 CVS Stores: CVS pharmacists are fed up. They’re understaffed, overloaded with patients, and some report having to give 125 covid boosters in one day, on top of their other work. So last week they staged walkouts at 22 stores in Kansas City. Read more>>
‘Whatever It Takes’: Students At 50 US High Schools Launch Climate Initiative: Students at more than 50 high schools across the US are proposing a Green New Deal for Schools, demanding that their districts teach climate justice, create pathways to green jobs after graduation and plan for climate disasters, among other policies. The campaign, coordinated by the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate justice collective, is a reaction to rightwing efforts to ban or suppress climate education and activism at schools. The national effort could include teach-ins and walkouts, as well as targeted petitions to school boards and districts in the coming weeks. Read more>>
Two More Countries Join Growing Bloc of Nations Calling for a Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty: Two island nations on Saturday joined the growing bloc of countries endorsing a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty amid a worsening climate emergency and continued inadequate action by the larger and wealthier polluters most responsible for causing the planetary crisis. “The endorsement of the fossil fuel treaty proposal by Antigua and Barbuda and Timor-Leste… shows who are the real climate leaders,” said the initiative’s political director. Read more>>
‘War Is Not Green’ Photoessay & Film Gallery: Codepink joined the climate march on September 17th, carrying posters, banners, and wearing tee-shirts that make the link between militarism and environment. Codepink is campaigning to end militarism in the face of climate emergency. Read more>>
French Activists Protest Racism And Police Brutality: The protesters’ demands include tougher rules limiting the use of firearms by police; an independent body to replace the internal agency tasked with investigating police abuses; and massive state investment in low-income neighborhoods. More than 100 marches were planned around France. Read more>>
Progressive NY State Lawmakers Join 250+ Jews Protesting Netanyahu’s UN Speech: “As Jewish New Yorkers committed to racial justice, we believe apartheid is indefensible,” said one protester. “Palestinians deserve to live with dignity and freedom.” A pair of democratic socialist New York state lawmakers joined more than 250 Jewish demonstrators and allies on Friday afternoon outside United Nations headquarters in Midtown Manhattan to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech defending his far-right government’s apartheid policies. Read more>>
They Halted A Pipeline; Now Can They Get Clean Drinking Water? In 2019, energy companies announced a plan to route a major crude oil pipeline through Boxtown and other mostly Black communities in southwest Memphis. In 2021, a powerful grassroots movement shut down the pipeline, which would have been built through a historic neighborhood founded by emancipated people and atop the world-famous Memphis Sand Aquifer. Now, two years later, the same activists are working to get reliable drinking water. Read more>>
German Anti-Racists Get Creative With ‘Rave Against the Right’: Leftist organizers in Germany’s far-right stronghold are building a larger base of resistance by ditching stale counter-protests for loud, colorful dance celebrations. Read more>>
France Out Of Africa, US And NATO, Too: Activists Picket The United Nations GA: On Tuesday September 19, the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly, anti-imperialist activists rallied outside the UN Headquarters in New York City. Not only did the activists present oppose France’s neocolonial grab for control over the African nation, many also expressed opposition to the ways in which the United States continues to exploit and oppress the African continent. Activists picketed in front of the assembly to chants of “France out of Africa, US and NATO too!” Read more>>
‘The World Is at Stake’: Defuse Nuclear War Kicks Off Nationwide Week of Action: “The need for action to curtail the possibility of nuclear conflict could not be more urgent,” said the campaign’s organizer. Activists from the Defuse Nuclear War coalition on Sunday launched a week of action to demand the U.S. government take steps to reduce the existential threat of thermonuclear annihilation, including by reinstating arms control treaties, shutting down hair-trigger missiles, and engaging in “genuine diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine.” Read more>>
Global Days of Action To End War In Ukraine: Between Sept. 30-October 8th, dozens of groups are joining with others in the United States and Europe to march, protest, petition, vigil, banner and push elected officials to publicly advocate for a mutual ceasefire, peace negotiations and weapons freeze. Read more>>
Americans Do Talk About Peace − Just Not The Same Way People Do In Other Countries: Instead of using the word peace, Americans are more likely to say that they care deeply about safety and security and issues like terrorism, crime, illegal drugs and immigration. But they still care about the same things people in places that have faced war are focused on. Read more>>
Local Peace Agreements As A Means To Dissolving Armed Conflict: Examining local peace agreements on their own terms highlights how they can help dissolve armed conflict and address everyday security and well-being concerns of affected populations. Such agreements fulfill three kinds of functions: “Connecting and strategizing” (on the part of warring parties trying to gain advantage), “managing and mitigating” (to minimize the harmful effects of armed conflict), and “disconnecting” (“to end the armed conflict in a specific area”). Read more>>
Gender Peace Champions of Basilan: Despite living in a conflict-affected area on the island of Basilan, a group of Gender Peace Champions have been instrumental in creating a more nurturing space within their community. These Champions have participated in Nonviolent Peaceforce trainings to strengthen their abilities to engage in conflict prevention and protection of women’s rights. They’ve also sharpened their skills in unarmed civilian protection (UCP), and Early Warning Early Response (EWER). Now, they’re sharing their learnings with their community. Read more>>
Counter Recruitment Group Wins US Peace Prize: The 2023 US Peace Prize was awarded to the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) “For National Efforts to Stop U.S. Military Influence on Young People, Saving Lives Here and Abroad.” NNOMY was selected unanimously by the Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. Read more>>
Moss-Covered Activists Protest Penn Station Neighborhood Over-Development: A proposed plan to expand the train station and “revitalize” the Midtown area would evict hundreds of residents, activists say. In the early morning hours of Friday, September 22, the “Keepers” — silent, slow-moving, moss-covered beings that maintain the sacred balance of nature — appeared on West 32nd Street outside culturally significant sites. Read more>>
What Does Peace Mean To You? On the International Day of Peace, September 21, CODEPINK displayed works of art that answered the prompt “What does peace mean to you? The collection highlights Palestinian liberation, imagines an end to borders, and uplifts community. Read more>>
Activists Light Up Skyscraper To Call Out Nestle’s Greenwashing: Mega polluter Nestle decided to greenwash its climate reputation by sponsoring #ClimateWeekNYC, so climate activists decided to remind them to #CutMethane and call out their #Nestlies in the city that never sleeps. They plastered the side of a skyscraper with a light show. Watch the Twitter video here>>
Rev. Lawson’s Strategic Wisdom Never Grows Old: As Rev. James Lawson, a core strategist for the civil rights movement and subsequent labor struggles, turned 95, progressive leaders in Los Angeles honored the role he played in training a new generation of activists to apply the civil rights movement’s lessons to the 21st century. Read more>>
How Ideology Can Help (Or Hurt) Movements Trying To Build Power: Compared to other nations, community-based activist groups in the US traditionally emphasize staying away from abstract ideology and instead adopting what they saw as a more pragmatic approach: listening to the demands being expressed in a community and organizing around those issues, rather than bringing in any outside agenda. Read more>>
‘Peace Is Only a Thought Away’ — What Neuroscience Tells Us About Nonviolence: Nonviolence Radio interviews neuroanatomist and author Jill Bolte Taylor on the brain, nonviolence, the meaning of life and her latest book “Whole Brain Living.” Read more>>
Paying It Forward — Mutual Aid Keeps Violence At Bay In Morro Bay: Faced with increasing violence, a coastal community in California turns to mutual aid to meet needs and make everyone safer. Read more>>
Amazon Is Not Invulnerable. Nor Are Other Giant Corporations. Over the past several years, grassroots movements have emerged to disprove Amazon’s claims that its too big to criticize. Local communities, independent small business associations, and workers across the United States are creating new conditions of possibility for organizing within and against Amazon. Read more>>
How Sharing a Meal Cuts Through Prison Violence: Sharing a meal allowed us to drop the bravado and the layers of emotional protection we placed around us and simply exist as human beings who needed to eat. As a result, we found ourselves greeting as we passed by each other and smiling occasionally even in the midst of the coldness and steel of prison, and the loom of violence all around. Read more>>
Tell Costco To Drop Dirty Citibank As Its Credit Card Issuer, For Communities And Our Climate: Costco has a credit card partnership with one of the dirtiest banks in the world. Citi is the second-largest funder of fossil fuels in the world, the largest American funder of coal, and one of the largest funders of projects that violate human rights and Indigenous sovereignty. Tell Costco to drop Citibank. Learn more>>
Pledge To Resist the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit: Local Bay Area climate justice organizers are part of a large coalition of labor, trade, diaspora, student, local communities and climate groups organizing to say NO to APEC’s corporate agenda. In an act of global solidarity, as part of that history of mass resistance, we will take action at the APEC Summit in San Francisco during the week of November 11-18. Can you pledge to resist APEC’s corporate agenda in November? Learn more>>
All Out For Assange – Emergency Actions: It is time to start planning now in your organization or community for emergency actions as soon as Julian Assange is being extradited (if there is a warning) or as soon as he is on his way (if it happens without warning). Learn more>>
This week, we’ve not only delivered dozens of stories to thousands of readers, we also gave three talks featuring Nonviolence News stories. As one participant said, “It’s eye-opening and exciting!” Help us keep doing this good work. Donate here>>