Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun
When you’re scanning Nonviolence News, what should you look for? With 30-50 stories each week, we can watch brewing trends, rising campaigns, and get a bird’s eye view of nonviolence in our world today. Nonviolence News’ weekly round-up offers us not just individual headlines, but a chance to see nonviolence on a whole other level, in a whole new way. Here are some of the patterns and trends I watch in each week’s newsletter:
Size & Scope: How many people are taking action this week? Nonviolence is something millions of people use each week. It’s not a “fringe” thing that only activists do. My rough estimate of the number of people involved in this week’s Nonviolence News is over 12 million.
Location & People: Check out how many countries are in this week’s Nonviolence News. Nonviolence is being used all over the world. It’s a global field. Our strategies, tactics, practices, and solutions are created from all walks of life. We have stories this week from West Papua, Denmark, Peru, Pakistan, Ireland, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, Mozambique, Japan, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Canada, the United Kingdom, and United States.
Trending issues: Look for what campaigns are on the rise. What are people striving for around the world? Each week, this changes. Some issues erupt with actions while others (like climate justice) have held steady for months. We also include surprising stories of people who are pushing for changes we might never have dreamed about. Reading Nonviolence News expands the scope of what we think is possible.
Victories & Successes: How and where is nonviolence succeeding in making change? In August alone, we’ve shared 23 victory and success stories. Since I started Nonviolence News six months ago, we’ve also seen some major changes, such as the nonviolent revolutions in Algeria and Sudan, and the resignation of Puerto Rico’s governor.
Creative actions: What are the most creative, unusual, and effective new actions that people are inventing as they strive for social justice? (Like the involuntary walkathon that forces neo-Nazis to raise money for causes they hate.)
Strategies YOU can use: What ideas can you borrow from another movement? What tactics can you pick up from people also working on (insert your issue here)? What pragmatic solutions can you try implementing in your community?
Beyond protests: Nonviolence is a vast field. It includes a LOT more than just protests. What ways are people transforming violence – physical, systemic, structural, cultural, etc – without using violence? The answer is almost infinite. Each week, we cover a wide range of stories that present nonviolent alternatives, solutions, and transformational efforts.
Opportunities: Learn more about nonviolent practices. Take action with movements and campaigns. We share opportunities to learn and apply many aspects of nonviolence.
These are just some of the many patterns, trends, and themes you can pick up from Nonviolence News. It’s an amazing view of the world. Someday, years from now, I’d love to hear from readers about what stories changed their lives, what bright ideas they put to use in their own communities, and how reading Nonviolence News inspired them to take action.
Last, but not least, don’t miss my special report on “How Movements Pass On Sparks of Inspiration” with examples drawn from recent stories shared through Nonviolence News. These mid-week essays are shared with thousands of readers via nearly a dozen journals around the world.
Enjoy this week’s collection. It’s amazing.
Rivera Sun, Editor
Thank to everyone who donated last week! It means a lot and keeps me going! If you’d like to make a donation, here’s where to do so:
Here’s what you’ll find in
this week’s Nonviolence News:
Victory! Success Stories
Knowledge & Reflection
Learn & Study
Pundit Lara Spencer apologized for dissing ballet and male dancers. To celebrate, 300 dancers danced in the streets of New York City. Read more > >
Peru has committed to ending palm oil-driven deforestation by 2021. The National Wildlife Federation named the move a “momentous win” for wildlife and sustainable agriculture. Read more > >
Johnson & Johnson must pay over $572 million for its role in the opioid crisis. Read more > >
The Church of England voted to divest from companies that aren’t pulling their weight on climate action. Read more > >
Scotland generates twice its energy consumption in wind power. Read more > >
Denmark runs on 42% wind power. Read more > >
Denmark is also retiring its last four circus elephants. Read more > >
Tlingit carver’s “shaming” totem helps pressure Alaskan governor to back off on his budget slashes – including cuts to Native programs. Editor’s Note: some nonviolence practitioners do not view shaming as nonviolence. This is the word used by the Tlingit carver to describe the carving, so I chose to keep that wording. The carving calls attention to the inhumanity of the governor and president’s policies, and appears to shame their actions, not them, which is in keeping with Dr. King’s maxim to “oppose injustice, not people”. Read more > >
After 30,000 petitions and bi-partisan objection, Trump backs off plan to slash $4 billion from humanitarian aid, human rights funding, United Nations support, and other foreign aid programs. Read more > >
As Amazon fires become global crisis, Brazil’s President Bolsonaro is forced to reverse stance. Editor’s Note: we’re still a long way from dealing with the Amazon fires, but this is an important shift to notice. Read more > >
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in highland areas of West Papua, one week after violent demonstrations flared across Indonesia’s easternmost provinces, leaving one dead and dozens injured. Read more > > And, a third wave of protests was met with deadly repression, leaving 7 dead. Read more > >
Thousands of Pakistanis protest over India’s treatment of Kashmir. Read more > >
Ireland’s meat packing plants shut down amidst farmer protests over beef pricing. Protesters say that the deal favors big companies at the expense of farmers and consumers. Read more > >
Hong Kong’s Tank Man uses unarmed interpositioning to stop police from shooting protesters with live ammunition. Read more > >
Multi-island paddle-out protest brings together 500 surfers in support of the Indigenous-led Mauna Kea protests against a giant telescope. Read more > >
After mass protests, Puerto Rico shifts to people’s assemblies in the struggle for popular democracy. Read more > >
Dominican Republic releases Gandhi stamp to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his birth. Read more > >
India’s restaurant owners launch #logout boycott of WhatsApp in opposition to the food delivery service industry’s forced discounts. Read more > >
Two universities sign historic agreement on slavery reparations in the Caribbean. Read more > >
Protests break out across the UK against Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament. Thousands marched in London. Read more > >
20,000 AT&T workers walked off the job in protest of management’s behavior during negotiations. Read more > >
Newark Water Coalition disrupted the MTV awards to decry the poisoned water in their city. Read more > >
Two hundred people swarm New York governor’s office protesting his failure to open promised drug overdose centers and safe injection centers. Read more > >
US teachers prepare to make 2019 an even bigger strike year than 2018, pushing for wider gains and preventing authorities’ attempt to renege on their deals. Read more > >
Kansas University’s Gender and Inclusion group protests the “Chick-fil-A Coin Toss” at sports games and the expansion of the fast food chain. The company has faced numerous boycotts due to its anti-LGBTQ stance and opposition to gay marriage. Read more > >
Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives in the United States after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to climate talks in New York City. A fleet of boats with climate justice sails met her in the harbor – and hundreds of youth activists protested outside the United Nations with her. Read more > >
“Heathrow Pause” campaign announces upcoming toy drone flight action that may ground planes for days at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom. Read more > >
Diné woman completes 330-mile run on behalf of Mother Earth. Read more > >
New Zealand is planting a billion trees to fight climate change. Read more > >
New electrified rail line opens in the United Kingdom is the first to be powered by a solar farm. Read more > >
Leather and fashion are also fueling the Amazon fires . Studies show that they are a problem in their own right – not just as a by-product of beef. This indicates a backslide from the previous decade’s efforts to stop the industry’s negative impact on the Amazon. Learn more and find out what you can do here.
A teachable moment: why teachers should go on strike with their students. Read more > >
Indian residents boycott government meetings and protest with black gags over their mouths after officials refuse to explain why a massive, government-funded tree planting program has failed to plant trees. Read more > >
What 500,000 US flood survivors can teach the rest of us about climate action. Read more > >
Community defense patrols organize people on foot or bicycle into rapid alert systems to let vulnerable community members know that ICE is in the area. Read more > >
Hillsborough citizens build rapid alert phone system to call together counterprotesters whenever alt-right or KKK protesters show up. Read more > >
Over 1,100 congregations agree to provide sanctuary to migrants. Read more > >
Mexico’s Glitter Revolution rises up against unabated sexual violence toward women. Read more > >
#1000BlackGirlBooks challenges race and gender inequalities in the literary canon. Read more > >
#MeToo backlash cuts down on opportunities for women because of men’s anger and fear. Men report being unwilling to hire attractive women, work with a woman in certain situations, and be alone in a meeting with a woman. Editor’s Note: Just to be excruciatingly clear here: this is not the way to respond to sexual harassment and assault. The responsible options might include: restructuring work environments so that women, men, and non-binary persons feel safe in all aspects of their workplace; open meetings in visible spaces, women co-teams, accountability practices, and trainings on what is and isn’t sexual harassment. Read more > >
Baltimore Museum of Art dedicates a year of exhibitions to women. Read more >>
Amid divisions and disagreements, Mozambique signs third peace agreement, ending the 16-year civil war at least momentarily. But many people feel too disaffected, discouraged, or distracted to cheer. Read more > >
“Girl of Peace” Statue causes uproar in Japan. Claiming the statue – part of The Lack-of-Freedom-of-Expression Exhibit: Part II – is offensive, Japan’s ultranationalists shut the art exhibit down after only 3 days. Read more >>
Promoting peace through art: does peace art really make a difference? (Hint: yes!) Read more >>
“Lesbians Who Tech” group ditches Palantir’s sponsorship over the company’s human rights violations. Read more >>
While on active duty, Lt. Susan Schnall dropped antiwar leaflets over five military installations and an aircraft carrier from a small plane, held a press conference, and lead a mass peace march while in uniform. She’s been resisting war ever since. Read more >>
Pianos For Peace places 88 hand-decorated pianos throughout Atlanta, GA. Read more >>
Zimbabwe’s “Offers and Needs” sharing market at leadership camp shatters gender stereotypes. Read more >>
The Armenia Tree Project helps reverse desertification and provide livelihoods for war refugees. Read more >>
Gender Adventures summer camp opens space up for gender and identity exploration for Canadian youth. Read more >>
How to start an anti-racist student group in your school. Read more >>
Sparking Change: How Movements Pass On Inspiration by Rivera Sun. Read more >>
Two years after Charlottesville, NC, “Unite the Right” rally, how have activists, policy-changes, and the legal system reined in hate? Reports show that participants in the Unite the Right rally have lost jobs, been sent to jail, been de-platformed, refused service, banned from traveling, and lost friends and family. Read more >>
How soccer/football inspired Algerian revolutionaries to continue pushing for political change. Read more >>
Sept 10th, 8pm ET, FREE webinar on how to start a World Beyond War chapter in your town. Read more >>
Visionary Organizing Lab presents a month-long webinar series on “Dialectical Humanism: The Thought of James and Grace Lee Boggs”. Wednesdays, Sept 11-Oct 16. Read more >>
Sept 12, Asheville, NC “Stories from the New Economy: Building from the Bottom Up”. Read more >>
Sept 20-21, New York City, NY, 7th Climate Justice Youth Summit. Read more >>
Oct 18-20, Baltimore, MD, Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. Read more >>
Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions September 14-22, 2019, Everywhere. Host or join a march, rally, protest, or other event or action for a culture of peace and active nonviolence. Learn more >>Sept 20-27th, join the Global Climate Strike. (It’s not just for the kids, any more. Get ready to go on strike.) Read more >>
Shut Down DC on Sept 23 as part of the Global Climate Strike. Learn more >>
World Beyond War Learn more about the conference and rally planned for October 5-6 in Limerick, Ireland. Learn more >>
Oct 5th is a Day of Action Against Domestic Violence. Hold or join a 2-min die-in protest. Learn more >>
Oct 7th is a Day of International Rebellion for climate justice organized by Extinction Rebellion. Learn more >>