Nonviolence News: April 7-13, 2019

Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun:  
This week’s Nonviolence News is celebrating how Algeria and Sudan toppled their dictators amidst massive protests. In Sudan, “The Woman in White” captured worldwide media attention . . . but their movement isn’t over yet. Pro-democracy organizers are pushing for an immediate democratic transition rather than the military rule that is trying to ban protests and elections for two years. Stay tuned. We’ll update you on these unfolding stories next week.

In this week’s news, you’ll find stories of victories and on-going actions for an amazing broad range of issues. Tech workers are organizing to halt AI ethics violations and rein in the surveillance state. Mongolian herders stopped a corporate behemoth from stealing their land. Gamers are upending industry conferences as they organize for a union. Stop & Shop grocery workers are on strike in the northeast United States. Student climate strikes and Extinction Rebellion are driving climate justice forward around the world.

With this much happening, I was delighted to learn that the Dalai Lama proclaimed the 21st century the “Century of Nonviolence”. Is it any coincidence that two countries ousted their repressive leaders this week? I don’t think so. Nonviolence is literally changing our world . . . and at a much faster rate than anyone suspects (except maybe the Dalai Lama). Let’s prove his predictions and hopes true, shall we? You can help foment nonviolence by sharing the Nonviolence News e-newsletter with friends and posting it on social media.

Here’s to the Century of Nonviolence!
Rivera Sun

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

Victory! Success Stories
Recent Events & On-Going Campaigns
Climate Action
Constructive Program
Creative Action
Knowledge & Reflection
Nonviolence History

Nonviolence News uplifts and celebrates
the victories won through organized nonviolent action. 

Algeria’s longtime dictator resigns amidst massive protests. 

Sudan protesters oust 30-year long repressive president, but continue to protest against military-rule during the transition.  Read more >>   Curious about the women organizers? Check out the women of the Sudan Uprising. Read more >>

The Dalai Lama says the 21st Century will be the Century of Nonviolence.  Read more >>

Mongolian herders win against corporate mining behemoth.

South Africa’s Nedbankbreaks away from financing coal-fired power plants. The move comes after years of campaigning from local groups, and makes it the first such commitment for an African bank. Read more >>  

“Worker Power Wins”: Google scraps controversial AI ethics board after widespread company outrage. “Employees, tech experts, and the public protested the appointments of The Heritage Foundation president and a drone company’s CEO.” Read more >>

In the wake of widespread citizen action and civil disobedience, US Federal Court rules “Homeless Hate Laws” unconstitutionalRead more >>

“After an outcry by a Seattle nonprofit and questions from state lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee, corrections officials Wednesday ended ban against organizations mailing books to prisoners.” Read more >>

Gardendale, Alabama holds “Amnesty Week” as part of a settlement over their private probation scam in a lawsuit brought to court by Southern Poverty Law Center. People facing multiple charges have a chance to clear their cases. Read more >>

Did you miss this one? We just caught reference to this amazingly successful strike in 2016: A strike organized by Familias Unidas por la Justicia—and a federal class-action lawsuit resolved in 2015—afforded farm workers more benefits, including paid rest breaks, and propelled Sakuma Brothers workers to secure a union contract in 2016 that improved their working conditions and led to farmworkers getting paid a minimum of $12 per hourRead more >>

Reparations Movement gains a victory: Georgetown University (built by enslaved Blacks) Students okay a $27 per student reparations fee.  Read more >>

Gainesville, FL reduces juvenile arrests by 75% after implementing powerful restorative justice and peacebuilding strategies, along with social justice policy changes. 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. 

Woman in white becomes “Image of Revolution” and is called the “Sudanese Statue of Liberty” after photo goes viral during a protest against the repressive regime of President Omar al-Bashir.  Read more >>

Indigenous Activists Set Up Protest Camp at South Texas Cemetery to Stop Trump’s Border Wall. Environmentalists, veterans of the Standing Rock protests and Carrizo/Comecrudo tribal members are vowing to stare down the president’s bulldozers. Read more >>

McGill University in Montreal, Canada, has announced it will change the name of its men’s varsity sports teams — the Redmen — after calls from Indigenous students, faculty and staff saying the name is discriminatory. Read more >>

Brussels says no to 5G, citing health concerns. “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit,” says Environment Minister Céline Fremaul. Read more >>

Poor People’s Campaign marches through Sacramento, CA.

California bans state-funded travel to South Carolina over SC’s anti-LGBTQ laws. Read more >> 

About 200 protesters gathered in Midtown, NYC outside the Birthright Israel North America offices. Some blocked the entrance and staged sit-ins over a two hour periods, 15 people were arrested, police said. Demonstrators were criticizing a program that gives free tours of Israel to young American Jewish people, claiming that the tours ignore the oppression of the Palestinians and the continued occupation of the West Bank. Read more >>

400 people march in Montana for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Read more >>

Airbnb bans users headed to White Nationalist conference in Tennessee. Read more >>

Traditional Indigenous stewards of the land resist Adani Coal MineRead more >>

In memory of Philando Castile (murdered by cops in 2016), school kids set up “Philando Feeds Children Fund” to end student lunch debt in ALL St. Paul, Minnesota schoolsRead more >>

#NoNATO activists “unwelcome” NATO in DC. “Peace and justice activists held a week of action in protest, disrupting meetings, shutting down an entrance to the State Department and taking the streets.” Read more >>

On the East Coast, US students lead the movement to restore prisoners’ voting rights. Read more >>

Thousands of Stop & Shop workers go on strike for better wages and benefits in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Read more >>

Remember that story about video game developers shutting off the lights during a conference talk until the speaker acknowledged unions? Well, the gaming industry’s pro-union organizers are back! This time, they used a wide variety of tactics at an industry conference to promote unionization. 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. 

Remember that story on Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund divesting from fossil fuels? Well, they’ve just gone a step further. They’re going to invest in renewables. Even more interesting, this article also mentioned that Saudi Arabia’s fund sold off its last oil and gas assets. Change is happening! Read more >>

Sacred Headwaters Summit plans how to protect Amazon watersheds. “In March, nearly 100 indigenous representatives from the Achuar, Shuar, Wampis, Awajun and Kichwa people gathered in a historic summit in Peru to start planning how to permanently protect the Sacred Headwaters region of the Amazon rainforest.” Read more >>

The New Yorker reports on “Renegade Nuns” who took on a pipelineRead more >>

3 arrested at Alton Gas site in Canada as police dismantle a roadblock. Read more >>

26-year old in India revives 10 lakes in his home town from polluted messes into functional ecosystems. Read more >>

California wildfire survivors help each other find hope and healing along the way. Read more >>

Activists showed up at the global bank HSBC’s annual general meeting in the United Kingdom. They’re building on a long standing campaign to push HSBC to commit to stop investing in all coal and arms. Read more >>

In India, Brazil, the UK and other countries, school strikes continued in a big way this week. Responding to the strikers’ call to action, parents are finding more and more ways to support.  Read more >>

Edinburgh Science Festival is underway – and just last week after a year-long campaign, they banned fossil fuel sponsorshipRead more >> 

Constructive Programs and alternative institutions build the strength and resilience of the community while weakening reliance on systems of oppression.

Great Green Wall holds back desertification and poverty in 12 African nationsRead more >>

Washington State berry farmworkers created an organic co-op that guarantees fair wages and healthy working conditions while preserving indigenous heritage. Read more >> 

How Seoul is confronting its deadly isolation epidemic with sharing.  Read more >>

Nonviolence is full of creative actions that use art, humor, and innovation to make change. Here’s a couple of examples. 

Naila and the Uprising streams on PBS. “When a nationwide uprising breaks out in 1987, a woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family, and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three.” Read more >>

Anti-Trump protestors gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border with a “Baby Trump” balloon ahead of the President’s visit Friday. Read more >>

Debt strike! With the nation’s household debt burden at $11.85 trillion, even the most modest challenges to its legitimacy have revolutionary implications. Read more >>

Bronze Age Jubilees restored economic justice in ancient times. Should we do the same in ours?  Read more >>

A police officer shot elementary school cafeteria worker Philando Castile at a traffic stop in 2016. His mother has teamed up with a prosecutor and others to help police assess their preparedness for responding to crises after a police shooting. Read more >>

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.

On April 6th, 1930 at 6:30am after morning prayers, Mohandas K. Gandhi raised a lump of salty mud and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” The Salt Satyagraha took off.Read more >>

On this day, April 9, 1947, the “first Freedom Ride” was launched by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Co-organized by FOR members Bayard Rustin and George Houser, the group of black and white people launched a two-week itinerary to test whether racial segregation on interstate busing could be effectively challenged, as had been mandated by a Supreme Court ruling the previous year.  Read more >>

From Pam McAllister: On April 9, 1939, African-American Marian Anderson sang in front of 75,000 (with millions more listening on the radio) at the Lincoln Memorial, after the Daughters of the American Revolution told her she couldn’t sing at Constitution Hall because of her race. Thousands quit the DAR, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Anderson opened with “America.” From every mountainside, let freedom ring. Indeed!

From Pam McAllister: A “Lucy Stoner” was the nickname given to 19th century women who kept their names after marriage. Lucy Stone (1818-1893), an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, cut her hair short, founded the “Woman’s Journal,” and did lots of other daring things. I’m thinking about her today because it’s tax season. In 1858, she and her husband refused to pay their taxes to protest that women didn’t have the right to vote. Read more >>

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

As teachers across the United States have shown recently, mass strikes are the key to winning progressive victories. Read more >>

Tips for activists on receiving critical feedback. 

Tenants’ rights movements use cartography technology to track bad landlords and fight gentrification. “In social justice cartography, the technology is being harnessed for activism as it becomes more accessible.” Read more >> 

Here are a few upcoming campaigns asking for your support and inviting your participation. 

Extinction Rebellion International plans worldwide actions starting April 15th. Here’s an example from XR London: “We will peacefully block traffic around the clock. This will be a full-scale festival of creative resistance, with people’s assemblies, art actions, stage performances, talks, workshops, food and family spaces.”  Find out more >>

Julian Assange arrested. Take action now.

20 years after Columbine shooting, Episcopal groups plan Gun Violence Action Weekend in Columbine, CORead more >>

What are you doing for Global Homelessness Day on May 5thRead more >

A Webinar on State & Gender Violence in Black Communities 
Join Black Youth Project 100 for a virtual political education session on state and gender violence impacting Black communities as a part of the launch of their She Safe, We Safe campaign. BYP100 believes that by centering the experiences of violence that uniquely impact Black women, girls, femmes, and gender non conforming people, we will be able to build solutions, outside of police and prisons, that will keep all of us safe. (April 11 – Online Webinar) Read more >>

2020 Divestment Day National Escalation Call
Fossil Free Future and Divest Ed are hosting an open discussion call to talk about coordinated national escalation for National Divestment Day, February 13th, 2020  Join to learn how to get your campus involved, and how to get involved in planning the national escalation. (April 17 – Online) Read more >> 

2019 Spring RootSkills Workshop Series
The RootSkills series is about building networks and strengthening movements by making powerful, intersectional connections between a broad spectrum of participants all working towards a common goal. The workshop agenda and learning objectives are co-created by a planning committee. An open call for workshop sessions has resulted in offerings that are about helping grassroots organizers develop their own solutions to complex environmental and social justice issues that affect where they live. Workshop sessions are both process- and issue-based. This event will focus on racial and economic disparities to consider in/equity in rural, New England communities. (May 18 – Brattleboro, VT) Read more >>

Restore and Repair: A New Social Contract to Decolonize Our Institutions
How do we tackle the devastating harms of criminalization imposed on communities of color that continue, among other things, to prevent us from creating an inclusive democracy? The movement for restorative and transformative justice in schools offers a path forward. Parents and students have built an alternative framework to repair and restore relationships and decolonize how our institutions work. Please join this conversation with The New School on how we can move from social control and criminalization to inclusive democracy and liberation. (April 17 – New York, NY) Read more >>

Metta Center for Nonviolence offers online courses for everyoneRead more >>

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About Rivera Sun, Editor: Activist/Author Rivera Sun is a nationwide speaker and trainer in strategy for nonviolent movements. She is the author of nine books and novels focusing on nonviolence, including The Dandelion Insurrection, The Roots of Resistance, and The Way Between.  For four years, she cohosted nationally-syndicated radio programs on nonviolent struggle. Rivera Sun has worked for Campaign Nonviolence, Metta Center for Nonviolence, and Nonviolence Now, among other groups. Find out more about her work at:

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