radical is the new sensible . . .

Nonviolence News: A Record-Breaking Year

May 11-18, 2019

Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun:

By the numbers, Nonviolence News covers stories that involve millions of people. Civil disobedience arrests are happening by the dozens. Demonstrations involve thousands. Strikes include hundreds of thousands. This week alone, Nonviolence News is covering stories about 100-200,000 French protesters, 300,000 teachers on strike in Poland, thousands of Uber drivers striking while hundreds shut-down the street in front of company headquarters. We have articles sharing hard-won lessons from three recent revolutions: Algeria, Sudan, and Catalonia’s (still underway) independence movement.  In other news, 2018 was a record-breaking year for US strikes and projections indicate that 2019 will meet or exceed that number. And most importantly, nonviolence is working. Private prison companies are warning investors that activists are affecting their profits. Fossil fuel divestment is changing the face of finance and saving the planet. LGBTQ-rights campaigns around the world are making breakthroughs, including the passage by the House of Representatives of the US Equality Act. 

In this week’s Nonviolence News, you’ll find a new feature: Editor’s Notes. Some stories deserve a short commentary to illuminate how and why that news piece is a great nonviolence story. Big, burly, tattooed and scowling members of a motorcycle gang, for example, aren’t your usual suspects for nonviolence … but their effort to stop dog fighting and rescue abused animals is, undeniably, a Nonviolence News story. I hope you enjoy the Editor’s Notes; I enjoy writing them.

The Nonviolence News can be reposted on blogs. Peace and justice websites, personal blogs,  nonviolence-themed sites, resistance journals … you name it. Let’s spread the Nonviolence News far and wide! If you’d like to be included on my growing “Editors & Bloggers List” to receive a version of this enewsletter that’s easy to repost, just let me know. No website is too small or too large. I’m equally delighted to have a personal blog or YES! Magazine or The New York Times carry this weekly post.

Yours toward a nonviolent future,
Rivera Sun, Editor

Sign up here: http://www.riverasun.com/nonviolence-news/


Here’s what you’ll find in this week’s Nonviolence News:

Victory! Success Stories
Recent Actions & On-Going Campaigns
Racial Justice
Peace Action
Climate Action
Constructive Program
Knowledge & Reflection
Learn & Study

Nonviolence News shares recent success stories so we see and remember that nonviolent action is powerful and effective. 

In Paraguay, anti-corruption protests get results.  Read more >>

After being denied a job because of her hijab, a Muslim woman in France posted a video calling for a boycott of the store, sparking an official apology from the company and a broader discussion of racism and Islamaphobia in France. Read more >>

Taiwan passes Asia’s first same-sex marriage bill. After the bill passed parliament, Taiwan’s first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, expressed her support with a celebratory tweet: “On May 17th, 2019 in Taiwan, Love Won.”  Read more >>

US House of Representatives passes LGBTQ Equality Act, which offers non-discrimination protections for 7 million US citizens living in 30 states that lack those laws. Read more >>

After pressure from hunger strikers in the local anti-fracking movement – and committing to a municipal Green New Deal – the Cuomo Administration blocked a New York City Harbor fracked gas pipeline.  Read more >>

Editor’s Note: Success stories are not always “big” changes. Sometimes, a success is as simple – and as profound – as changing one person’s life.  A note from Trans boy told his neighbors how much the Trans Flag hanging in their window meant to him.  Read more >>

Owner of Red Hen Restaurant who asked Sarah Sanders to leave reports that “resistance is not futile” and in the wake of the event, community “pro-cott” brought business in the door, supported the local shelter and food pantry, and local first responders. Read more >>

After a community group mobilized to prevent a bailout, the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant is going to be shut down.  Read more >>

Why the Uber strike was a success.Editor’s Note: “Success” for movements and nonviolent campaigns isn’t always just achieving your stated goals. Some successes are unexpected breakthrough in popular understanding of the problem (such as Occupy’s 1% meme). Others are partial goals for the movement. They are all worth celebrating and understanding.  Read more >>

After Extinction Rebellion actions, The Guardian updates its language in describing the state of the environment, including switching from “climate change” to “climate emergency”.  Read more >>

Editor’s Note: Nonviolence comes in a thousand forms. Here’s one story  that shows a practical, nonviolent movement that protects lives. In Virginia, a retired man mobilized an effort to make people safe while biking in his city.  Read more >>

Editor’s Note: While many motorcycle gangs – and maybe even this one – aren’t known for their nonviolence commitments, this story does exemplify how even people who aren’t willing to commit to a nonviolent life can still work for nonviolent practices in our world. Biker gang rescues abused animals and stops dog fighting rings. Read more >>

Around the world, people are launching nonviolent campaigns
and/or using principled nonviolence to transform their communities
and fight injustice. Here are a few recent stories. 

Apple Computer company boycotts grow in China due to US trade war.  Read more >>

The rise of youth protest in Afghanistan … and its challenges.  Read more >>

Sweden grants refugee status to Chinese Uighurs.Read more >>

Chobani Yogurt company and a community GoFundMe team up to retire student lunch debt.Read more >>

Thousands march in Cardiff, Wales for independence from the UK. Read more >>

Holding 150 protests throughout France, 100-200,000 French citizens protest public sector job cuts by Macron government.  Read more >>

2018 was a record-breaking year for strikes in the US … but 2019 is keeping pace and poised to exceed last year’s record.  Read more >>

LGBTQ people in Brazil are resisting Bolsonaro’s repressive politics with art.  Read more >>

In India, where same-sex relations remain illegal, the “Gay Prince” invites the LGBTQ community to live in his palace as a refuge from persecution and discrimination.Read more >>

The Teachers’ Revolt is global. Last month, 300,000 Polish teachers conducted a 17-day national strike. Over the last 16 months, educators launched strikes in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mexico, Argentina, France, the Netherlands, the United States and many other countries.  Read more >>

Activists stage protest on the subway ride to the Whitney Museum against donor Warren Kanders. The campaign has used 10 weeks of artful, creative, and targeted protests, mobilizing an inclusive group and broadening to include many allies.  Read more >>

A protest of several hundred Uber drivers took over the street in front of the company’s San Francisco headquarters to demand fair pay, benefits, and greater transparency from the rideshare giant.  Read more >>

Private prison company GEO Group admits that activists pose a threat to their bottom line.  Read more >>

Inmates hold hunger strike in Santa Cruz County Jail to protest conditions.   Read more >>

Over 300 US community members protest Danish Rockwool insulation factory, taking their concerns over toxic air and water pollution straight to its gates. 24 were arrested but local police barred the press and legal observers from video taping or photographing the arrests. Watch a video here >>   Find more info on the backstory here >>

Miami Herald newspaper prints the names of the 1000+ kids who have been killed by gun violence since the Parkland shooting.  Read more >>

John Hopkins University launches online course on gun violence prevention to aid young activists.   Read more >>

Sparking both applause and concerns over censorship, Tech giants pledge to fight extremist content online.  Read more >>

Israeli and international activists block the entrance of the #Eurovisionopening event in Tel Aviv in protest of the Israeli military occupation and colonial policies, and in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. Watch this video by Keren Manor & Oren Ziv >>

Struggles for racial justice are happening around the globe, many of them using nonviolent action to achieve changes in policing, economic justice, clean and safe environments, immigrant and migrant justice, and much more. 

Burlington, VT holds speakout against police brutality. Watch a video here >> 

Black Lives Matter protesters block FDR highway as disciplinary trial begins for Officer Panteleo over the chokehold in Eric Garner’s death.  Read more >>

Five ways to fight back against ICE.Read more >>

Around the world, people are using nonviolent action to de-escalate conflicts, intervene in brewing wars, and wage peace. Here are some of their stories. 

 Police raid Venezuelan Embassy in DC and arrest Embassy Protectors. Activists say the effort is not over, just entering phase two. A rally has been called for Saturday, May 18th.  Read more >>

National Lawyers Guild condemns Secret Service involvement in crackdown on US peace activists at the Venezuela Embassy in DC.  Read more >>

Know your opponents. The Venezuela Embassy Collective digs into just who were those virulent pro-Gauido supporters heckling and attacking them … and finds some surprising answers. Read more >>

Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The role of unarmed peacekeeping in global survival.   Read more >>

International participants in unarmed peacekeeping training share their experiences and reflections … and demonstrate how unarmed peacekeeping has a profound role to play in de-escalating violence and waging peace. Read more >>

New video from Nonviolent Peaceforce shows how, in times of rising violence, nonviolence can interrupt and transform dangerous escalation cycles.  Read more >>

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. 

10 female climate activists who are saving the planet.Read more >>

UK jury acquits Extinction Rebellion founder using the Necessity Defense. Read more >>

“For the Love of Our Children”: Mothers rise up for climate action on International Mother’s Day.  Read more >>

Germany opens first electric highway for trucks.Read more >>

Divestment works: The world’s biggest investors back fossil fuels … but activists are changing that. Read more >>

Backbone Campaign holds Solutionary Rail demonstration at Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ meeting. See photos here >>

 Constructive Program is a term coined by Gandhi to describe efforts that build the self-reliance of the people, advance alternatives to problems, and strengthen the resilience of communities. Here are a few examples we found this week.

Puerto Ricans transform closed schools into community centers.   Read more >>  

ACTS buys Milwaukee houses at auction and sells them to the “unbankable”, swapping high mortgage payments for “cost of repairs” price tags. Read more >>  

Community-led solutions in the US housing crisis.  Read more >>  

How an Arts and Culture Economy rebuilt a former coal town. Read more >>  

Here are a few recently posted articles that provide insight and reflection on the art and science of waging nonviolence. 

The 3.5% rule: how nonviolent struggle wins.  Read more >>

The resurgence of peaceful protest in New ZealandRead more >>

Heard about the Algerian Revolution? Here’s a closer look at what happened, why, and how the mass movement successfully ousted a decades-old dictator.  Read more >>

The role of labor in the Algerian RevolutionRead more >>

Learning from the Catalonia Independence Movement.Read more >>

How can civil resistance and social work integrate to promote social change? Read more >>

The Woman Who Desegregated a School: Yvonne Odom was one of thousands of students who quietly did the civil rights work at schools across the country.  Read more >>

Here are some upcoming opportunities to learn more about organizing, nonviolent action, creative tactics, and nonviolent solutions. 

A Quick Intro to Restorative Circle Practices: These free downloadable slides are designed especially for K-12 teachers and students who want to bring Restorative Practices into their classrooms and communities.  Learn more >>

The pro-democracy movement in Sudan: Strategies, Achievements, and Prospects. May 22nd by ICNC. Learn more >>

Organizing for Social Change course being offered June 3 – 7, 2019, at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute.  Learn more >>

How to Create Social Movements: Momentum Training hosted by East Point Peace Academy, June 21-23, Oakland, CA.  Learn more >>

Training in Restorative Justice by the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, Gainesville, Florida, June 24-25.  Learn more >>

Fierce Vulnerability Seabeck Conference, June 28-July 1st, Washington State. Learn more >>

Like Nonviolence News? Support us! Each week, Rivera Sun pours love, focus, time, and passion into these emails. You can donate to the effort here.

Nonviolence Now & Other Creative Collaborations

Nonviolence News supports creative collaborations. We are a sister project to Nonviolence Now, a global endeavor to collect and share true, inspiring stories of nonviolence in action. Nonviolence News shares 14 stories each week with Nonviolence Now, including examples for Nonviolence Now’s Map of Stories. These stories are also circulated on social media. You can check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!

In addition, Nonviolence News offers a dozen news items each week to Popular Resistance’s Daily Digest. At the same time, we collect stories via this great journal. Another area of collaboration for Nonviolence News is with the Global Nonviolent Action Database. We send 6 or more stories each week to the students at Swarthmore College who compile the articles in the database.  As mentioned in the Editor’s Note, we also encourage people to repost Nonviolence News. Special thanks goes out to Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence for posting last week’s Nonviolence News on their website.

With Nonviolence Now, we’re excited to support the ever-growing movement for a culture of active nonviolence. Got ideas for us? Let me know! (rivera@riverasun.com) Thanks!


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