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Nonviolence News

March 17-23

This project has grown through the inspiration of Nonviolence Now. Learn more about it here.

Each week, Nonviolence News collects dozens of stories of “nonviolence in action” and re-circulates them to illuminate the scale and scope of how nonviolence is actively shaping our world.These stories reflect nonviolent action and nonviolent practices, including constructive programs, alternative institutions, and policies rooted in structural/systemic nonviolence as opposed to violence. 

Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun: Yet another 50+ story week! That makes close to 200 different uses of nonviolence in the past month. I’ve always had a sense that people are using nonviolent action far more frequently than even nonviolence advocates like us suspect. Keeping track of the stories through Nonviolence News each week proves it. If we can make visible to more people how staggeringly robust the uses of nonviolence are in our world, it would go a long way to building the credible track record of nonviolence in the eyes of the general public.

Victory! Recent Success Stories
It’s easy to overlook the victories, and even easier to forget their connection to the years of organizing that led to these changes. In Nonviolence News, we uplift and reconnect those threads.

Local food movement (a form of constructive program for local economy) made a major breakthrough in challenging corporate control of the food system: “On March 20, Boston, MA, became the first on the East Coast to adopt a city-wide Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP) — a groundbreaking policy that helps build an equitable, local, sustainable food system.”  https://popularresistance.org/victory-boston-challenges-corporate-control-of-our-food-system/

1,700 United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) in Erie, Pennsylvania win 90-day agreement after picketing for 9 days in below freezing temperatures, demonstrating a model of the working-class internationalism that can build a more just world. https://popularresistance.org/labor-unions-can-take-on-international-fights-and-win/

KXL Pipeline blocked in court … yet again. The long resistance to KXL has delayed and delayed this pipeline’s construction, pushing it onto shakier ground as the oil and gas industry weakens due to climate justice activism.  https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2019/keystone-xl-pipeline-03-15-2019.php

Oregon House of Representatives approves 10-year moratorium on fracking . . . a significant victory arising from the efforts of both state campaigns and the nationwide anti-fracking movement.   https://www.koin.com/news/environment/oregon-house-approves-10-year-ban-on-fracking-/1858278974

After more than a decade of legal challenges, climate activists win historic “holy grail” of a federal court ruling saying US Government must consider climate change impacts when reviewing oil and gas drilling permit applications. “A judge blocked oil and gas drilling across almost 500 square miles in Wyoming and said the U.S. government must consider climate change impacts more broadly as it leases huge swaths of public land for energy exploration.”  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/citing-climate-change-u-s-judge-blocks-oil-gas-drilling-n985646


Recent News & On-going Campaigns
This week’s news contains numerous examples of nonviolent actions to affirm and support Muslims – and to take a clear stand against White Supremacy and gun violence – in the wake of the Christchurch massacres in New Zealand. Also, this week saw the launch of two new labor strikes and a French unions’ call for a general strike. Four major marches on four different continents challenged everything from labor to Brexit to the right to independence. 

In the wake of Christchurch massacres of 49 Muslims, New Zealand plans to ban semi-automatic assault rifles. 
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm

Man stands outside mosque with sign that reads, “You are my friends. I will stand watch while you pray.” https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/434399-man-goes-viral-after-standing-outside-his-local-mosque-to-keep

Hundreds of New Zealanders form human chain around mosque in Wellington. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-zealand-mosque-prayer-human-chain_n_5c94e9d3e4b01ebeef0e4e5

Akin to NZ’s human chain, allies in Lodi, CA surrounded a mosque with a protective human chain of non-Muslims during Friday prayers, March 15, 2019. Via Haseeb Rana.  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2354259707918103&set=a.412366625440764&type=3&theater

New Zealand pulls Murdoch’s Sky News Australia off air over slanted mosque massacres coverage.  https://thinkprogress.org/new-zealand-pulls-murdochs-sky-news-australia-off-the-air-over-mosque-massacre-coverage-353cd22f86a7/

Women in New Zealand wear headscarfs in show of solidarity with Muslims. https://www.thisisinsider.com/new-zealand-women-wear-headscarves-in-display-of-solidarity-2019-3 

Breastfeeding mothers hold a “nurse-in” at Tulsa, OK municipal court to breastfeed in public after another mother was asked to leave the building for nursing her child.  https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/nursing-mothers-rally-at-tulsa-municipal-court-after-woman-asked/article_05e4fa1f-f0a6-54c1-a93b-edc21c39163e.html

A new generation of politicians and movements are challenging inequalities and standing up for human rights under Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency. https://inequality.org/research/hope-brazil-ocupa-politica/?source=newsletter

Haunting red dresses hang from trees outside National Museum of the American Indian as a protest – and memorial – for missing and murdered Indigenous women. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/these-haunting-red-dresses-memorialize-murdered-and-missing-indigenous-women-180971730/

Global activist reflects on contemporary movements throughout Africa: “I have hope for the year ahead of Africa. It began with unions in Sudan and Zimbabwe putting old and new authoritarian regimes respectively to the test. Togo stands on the brink of ending a half-century of family rule, and Algerians continue to flood the streets against their despot, who was just forced to concede his candidacy for a fifth term. Anti-government protests in Ethiopia have pushed a traditionally regressive regime into taking steps toward democracy, which its new leaders are doing.”
https://wagingnonviolence.org/2019/03/prospects-for-revolution-in-africas-54-countries/

Teaching Assistants go on strike at University of Illinois at Chicago.  
https://popularresistance.org/teaching-assistants-go-on-strike-at-university-of-illinois-at-chicago/

UCLA union workers go on strike. Bernie Sanders joins them. “The Independent senator from Vermont spoke at a rally in Los Angeles, standing in solidarity with about 40,000 University of California (UC) workers who staged a one-day statewide strike after months of failed contract negotiations for pay raises and better benefits.”
 https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/21/decrying-war-being-waged-against-working-people-sanders-joins-striking-union-members

French unions call for general strike. Over 100 demonstrations have been planned across the country in favor of better pay, improved purchasing power, retirement protection, gender equality and a fairer education system. https://popularresistance.org/french-unions-call-general-strike-for-better-pay-retirement-education/

Connecting the dots between many levels of Starbuck’s supply chain, United Farm Workers Union protested Darigold at Starbuck’s shareholders meeting. They carried signs that showed the supply chain pyramid from cows to dairy workers to milk to Starbucks cups. The slogans read: sexual harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, labor abuse: This Is A Grande Problem. 
https://www.facebook.com/unitedfarmworkers/photos/a.10156187219581547/10156188327471547/

Venezuelans march to celebrate victory over electric sabotage. 
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Venezuelans-March-To-Celebrate-Victory-Over-Electric-Sabotage-20190316-0015.html

Supporters of Catalonia’s Independence hold historic march during the trial of movement leaders, holding banners that read, “Self-determination is not a crime” and “Democracy is about deciding”. 
https://popularresistance.org/independence-trial-protest-organizers-celebrate-a-historic-march-in-madrid/

1 million people marched in London and other cities to demand that #Brexit be put to a People’s Vote. 
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/23/put-it-people-one-million-march-uk-demand-brexit-rethink

After a surge of anti-fascist organizing, Amazon quietly purges dozens of far-right books. https://truthout.org/articles/after-activist-pressure-amazon-purges-dozens-of-far-right-books/



Haunting red dresses hang from trees outside National Museum of the American Indian as a protest – and memorial – for missing and murdered Indigenous women. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/these-haunting-red-dresses-memorialize-murdered-and-missing-indigenous-women-180971730/

Global activist reflects on contemporary movements throughout Africa: “I have hope for the year ahead of Africa. It began with unions in Sudan and Zimbabwe putting old and new authoritarian regimes respectively to the test. Togo stands on the brink of ending a half-century of family rule, and Algerians continue to flood the streets against their despot, who was just forced to concede his candidacy for a fifth term. Anti-government protests in Ethiopia have pushed a traditionally regressive regime into taking steps toward democracy, which its new leaders are doing.”
https://wagingnonviolence.org/2019/03/prospects-for-revolution-in-africas-54-countries/

Teaching Assistants go on strike at University of Illinois at Chicago.  
https://popularresistance.org/teaching-assistants-go-on-strike-at-university-of-illinois-at-chicago/

UCLA union workers go on strike. Bernie Sanders joins them. “The Independent senator from Vermont spoke at a rally in Los Angeles, standing in solidarity with about 40,000 University of California (UC) workers who staged a one-day statewide strike after months of failed contract negotiations for pay raises and better benefits.”
 https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/21/decrying-war-being-waged-against-working-people-sanders-joins-striking-union-members

French unions call for general strike. Over 100 demonstrations have been planned across the country in favor of better pay, improved purchasing power, retirement protection, gender equality and a fairer education system. https://popularresistance.org/french-unions-call-general-strike-for-better-pay-retirement-education/

Connecting the dots between many levels of Starbuck’s supply chain, United Farm Workers Union protested Darigold at Starbuck’s shareholders meeting. They carried signs that showed the supply chain pyramid from cows to dairy workers to milk to Starbucks cups. The slogans read: sexual harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, labor abuse: This Is A Grande Problem. 
https://www.facebook.com/unitedfarmworkers/photos/a.10156187219581547/10156188327471547/

Venezuelans march to celebrate victory over electric sabotage. 
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Venezuelans-March-To-Celebrate-Victory-Over-Electric-Sabotage-20190316-0015.html

Supporters of Catalonia’s Independence hold historic march during the trial of movement leaders, holding banners that read, “Self-determination is not a crime” and “Democracy is about deciding”. 
https://popularresistance.org/independence-trial-protest-organizers-celebrate-a-historic-march-in-madrid/

1 million people marched in London and other cities to demand that #Brexit be put to a People’s Vote. 
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/23/put-it-people-one-million-march-uk-demand-brexit-rethink

After a surge of anti-fascist organizing, Amazon quietly purges dozens of far-right books. https://truthout.org/articles/after-activist-pressure-amazon-purges-dozens-of-far-right-books/

Climate News
Living sustainably and protecting our planet are forms of “nonviolence toward the Earth”, which is inseparable from embodying nonviolence toward ourselves and all others. Here are recent stories of nonviolent climate action. 

Oil and gas stocks decline in the wake of Norway’s trillion-dollar divestment. The sovereign wealth fund — a state-owned investment fund — recently announced it was divesting from oil and gas exploration companies around the world, trigging a wave of stock declines for fracking, tar sands, and global oil exploration. 
https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-03-20/what-norways-big-divestment-decision-means-for-fracking-tar-sands-and-global-oil-exploration/

Why Students of Color are stepping up to lead climate justice efforts:  “Students have stepped up to lead climate strikes everywhere from Anchorage, Alaska, to Houston. The group represents Native, Black, island, immigrant, and refugee communities. For many of them, climate change isn’t the first environmental threat they’ve faced.”  https://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/climate-strikes-led-by-students-of-color-20190313

Global Student Climate Strikes … 1.4 million students in 130 countries.  https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/15/global-climate-strike-pictures-millions-students-walk-out-demand-planetary

Protesters demand an end to Mariner East Pipeline cutting through Pennsylvania.  https://www.wgal.com/article/protesters-demand-end-to-natural-gas-pipelines-through-pennsylvania/26873618

Farmers are suing to remove Lake Eerie’s recently won Rights of Nature. Now, Lake Eerie – the actual body of water – has asked to be let into the lawsuit as a defendant.
https://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/2019/03/lake-erie-yes-the-body-of-water-asks-to-be-let-into-lawsuit-over-bill-of-rights.html

Taking a progressive stance on climate action, all mosques in the city of Jordan are 100% solar-powered and the imams preach on the need for environmental protection. They generate so much power, they sell it back to the national grid.  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/with-green-mosques-and-schools-amman-pushes-for-zero-emissions

Thanks to Food and Water Watch Europe activists, EU considers banning Exxon lobbying due to the oil company’s climate deception. https://www.climateliabilitynews.org/2019/03/21/eu-parliament-exxon-climate-deception/

Peace Action
Nonviolence News lifts up peace action stories to show how people are waging peace, challenging war hawks, and resisting militarism around the world.

10,000 Okinawans rally to urge the Japanese and U.S. governments to scrap a plan to relocate a controversial U.S. air base within the southern prefecture.  https://popularresistance.org/okinawa-rally-urges-japan-us-govts-to-scrap-base-relocation-plan/

Veterans call on US Troops to refuse orders to invade Venezuela.  
https://popularresistance.org/veterans-call-on-u-s-troops-to-resist-illegal-orders-to-invade-venezuela-in-response-to-trump/

Supporters around the world rally for Venezuela, crying #HandsOffVenezuela https://popularresistance.org/supporters-around-the-world-rally-crying-hands-off-venezuela/

Peace advocates in Washington, DC occupy the Venezuelan Embassy to the prevent the illegitimate opposition from taking it over. #HandsOffVenezuela   https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1222405947928570&set=a.113314402171069&type=3&theater

US Veterans For Peace, arrested in Ireland for peace action, are refused bail. The two US veterans were arrested at Shannon Airport on 17 March for entering the airfield to inspect and investigate an OMNI Air International plane on contract to the U.S. military. 
https://popularresistance.org/two-u-s-veterans-for-peace-refused-bail-in-ireland/

Veterans demand Congress end “Forever Wars”. “Antiwar activists gathered on March 19, 2019, outside 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan for a rally on the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The rally was followed by a march on several military recruiting offices along Chambers Street and to Borough of Manhattan Community College to oppose the United States’s endless cycle of war and militarism.” https://truthout.org/articles/veterans-demand-congress-end-the-forever-wars/

Creative Action
Nonviolence unleashes humanity’s abundant and evocative creativity. While war and violence repeat the same-old, same-old horrifying stories of death and destruction, nonviolence engages art, expression, creativity. Here are some examples.

Afghan women weave horrors of modern warfare into ancient tradition of rug-making, Artsy.net reports. The war’s “effects impacted everyday life so deeply that women in Afghanistan and those living as refugees in Pakistan and Iran began to incorporate icons of war into their carpets.”
 https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-lessons-afghan-women-weave-modern-war-ancient-tradition

Same Planet, Different Worlds video highlights contrasts between war zones and places of relative peace, illuminating the humanity of those struggling in the dangers of war.  
https://www.facebook.com/sivilfarkindalik/posts/2159934140756921

3-D Printers can print guns … so the Non-violence Project Sweden and a Stockholm agency called Animal are trying to flood the torrent sites (download sites) with blueprints of the famous knotted gun statue.   https://youtu.be/Pfp1Uoi838E

How technology is shaping creative activism in the 21st Century: 
 https://wagingnonviolence.org/2019/03/how-technology-is-shaping-creative-activism-in-the-21st-century/

Sidewalk Talk offers free listening stations on the street, providing empathy and space for people to feel heard while countering what’s becoming known as the “Loneliness Epidemic”, which is leading to depression and suicide.  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/these-volunteers-are-fighting-the-loneliness-epidemic-with-street-listening

John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City displays 51 prayer rugs on its steps to honor the 51 lives lost at Christchurch massacre.  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=139120390468675&set=a.105178410529540&type=3&theater

Constructive Programs & Solutionary Actions
Constructive Programs and alternative institutions build the strength and resilience of the community while weakening reliance on systems of oppression. Here are a few examples that recently came up in the news. 

In Rochester, NY, alleged vandals of a Frederick Douglass statue met with creators of statue in a restorative justice program called for by statue creators. https://13wham.com/news/local/group-behind-douglass-statues-alleged-vandals-meet-through-restorative-justice-program

In Detroit, MI, the first urban “agrihood” feeds 2000 households for free.  https://wisemindhealthybody.com/trueactivist/first-urban-agrihood-america-feeds-2000-households-free/

Monsanto losses millions of dollars as Indian farmers’ movement switches to indigenous seeds.  https://www.nationofchange.org/2017/03/09/monsanto-loses-millions-dollars-indian-farmers-switch-indigenous-seed/

Elkin, North Carolina, shows how to reinvent a rural economy in just and sustainable ways.https://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/how-to-reinvent-a-rural-economy-100-at-a-time-2019030

Standing Rock medical bus is now a traveling decolonized herbalist pharmacy. https://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/standing-rock-medic-bus-is-now-a-traveling-decolonized-pharmacy-20180727

Berkeley, CA sets the bar for cooperative standards. “Last month, Berkeley City Council unanimously adopted a set of recommendations provided by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (Law Center) and a coalition of worker coop members and advocates. In doing so, Berkeley became a national leader in supporting worker cooperative businesses.” 
https://popularresistance.org/berkeley-sets-the-bar-for-municipal-support-of-worker-cooperatives/

Calls-to-Action & Upcoming Events:
This week’s collection of ways to get involved includes internet actions, constructive programs, learning opportunities, strikes, and creative action. 

Fight for the Future plans massive #NetNeutrality protest to livestream Congress’ decision. https://popularresistance.org/the-whole-internet-is-watching-internet-protest-planned-ahead-of-key-net-neutrality-vote-next-week/  Sign up and join in here:  https://www.battleforthenet.com/#watch 

May Day 2019 launches national day of action by Immigrant Solidarity. “We are calling a national day of multi-ethnic unity with youth, labor, peace and justice communities in solidarity with immigrant workers and building new immigrant rights & civil rights movement”. 
https://popularresistance.org/may-day-2019-national-mobilization-for-immigrant-workers-rights/

Likhts’amisyu Spring Construction Camp constructs new resistance camp buildings in the pathway of oil and gas pipelines being put in unceeded Wet’suwet’en land. APRIL 28, 2019 – MAY 18, 2019 “The Likhts’amisyu Clan is about to embark on a Spring Construction Camp. We will be building permanent buildings on our territory in an effort to assert our precolonial rights and jurisdiction on our lands. We will be asking for help from volunteers to assist in fundraising, building a cabin, a kitchen dining and a bunk house, and also the associated outbuildings.”  https://itsgoingdown.org/help-build-new-resistance-camp-wetsuweten/

May 5th is a day of action for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls campaign. They ask for people to wear red or a red dress, or to hang a red dress outside their home or workplace.   https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2088173261301391&set=a.107384822713588&type=3&theater

Campaign Nonviolence announces dates of 2019 Week of Actions:    www.paceebene.org/action-week

Fellowship of Reconciliation Northwest announces dates and themes of June 28-July 1, 2019 Seabeck Conference on “Fierce Vulnerability”:   
http://www.seabeck.org

Nonviolent History
Know your history … when we better understand the length and breadth of how/where/when nonviolence has been used, we better understand how to use it in our current times.

Why you should commemorate St. Patrick’s Day with boycott’s not beer.http://www.riverasun.com/celebrating-boycotts-on-st-patricks-day/

The Irish Revolution’s overlooked history of nonviolent resistance.  https://wagingnonviolence.org/2019/01/irish-revolution-overlooked-history-nonviolent-resistance/

Teaching for Change releases curriculum based on Black NBA player’s refusal to stand for the US national anthem in 1996. “This lesson, drawing on the story of NBA basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf who refused to stand for the U.S. national anthem in 1996, gives participants the opportunity to hear diverse Muslim perspectives within a U.S. context.”  https://www.teachingforchange.org/black-athlete-protest-mahmoud-abdul-rauf

History Theater features the four Minnesota sisters who all became nuns and “made a habit” of organizing for peace and justice together. “They chained themselves to Honeywell in Minneapolis during the Vietnam War to protest the company’s involvement in making weapons. They spent time in jail. They were regulars at the weekly peace protest on the Lake Street Bridge.” Learn more here: https://www.twincities.com/2019/03/21/minnesota-sisters-who-became-sisters-made-a-habit-of-fighting-for-peace-and-justice/

Resources:
The movement for active nonviolence and creative resistance offers numerous resources for learning more about how to use nonviolence in action. Here are a few recommendations.

Metta Center for Nonviolence’s bi-weekly radio program offers the Nonviolence Report (News and Analysis) and an interview with two artists and conflict resolution specialists. Zann and Craig Jacobrown are the authors of the workbook, “The Ancient Art of Conflict Resolution,” which draws inspiration from activities/practices/belief systems of the indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest’s conflict resolution teachings. https://mettacenter.org/ppr/nonviolence-radio-march-15-2019/

Campaign Nonviolence’s Veronica Pelicaric writes on civil disobedience.   https://wagingnonviolence.org/cnv/2019/01/civil-disobedience/

Metta Center for Nonviolence launches Peacemaker Family program. “The more families can practice nonviolence, the greater potential we all have for experiencing lasting peace as a global human family.”  https://learn.mettacenter.org/p/peacemaker-family


Activist/Author Rivera Sun has written numerous novels featuring nonviolent struggle, including The Dandelion Insurrection. She is a nationwide trainer in strategy for nonviolent change and has written hundreds of articles on movements for journals across the country. www.riverasun.com

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