Plus: Plastic Bags & No Flying Movements Grow
June 15th, 2019

Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun:

This week’s Nonviolence News features a new iconic image of nonviolence. The “Shield Girl” photo comes out of Hong Kong’s recent mass protests against the Extradition Law (to mainland China). A few weeks ago, we shared this story of 53 powerful photos of women in protest. Perhaps they need to add a few images! I’d say “Shield Girl” is #54; along with #55, the “Sudanese Statue of Liberty” in Sudan. They join the images such as the “Girl in the Red Dress” at Gezi Park in Turkey, Ieshia Evans in Baton Rouge facing down a line of cops in a flowing dress to protest for Black Lives Matter, the Indigenous woman kneeling with a feather at the anti-pipeline blockade with Elsipotog First Nation, Bree Newson on top of the flag pole dropping the Confederate Flag, and so many more. These photos capture the strength and courage of nonviolent struggle, evoking a different sense of “power” and the ways in which our human vulnerabilities can become our saving graces in making transformative change.

Nonviolence is full of surprises. Two years ago, hardly anyone would have guessed that the effort to ban single-use plastics would be sweeping the globe. Or that the anti-flying movement might pick up enough steam to impact the European airline industry. Or that Extinction Rebellion would manage to break through the nonsense of climate denialism and silence powerfully enough to make even US Republicans break ranks over the climate issue.

In this week’s news, you’ll find lots of other great stories. US embassies worldwide defied President Trump’s ban on Gay Pride Flags to fly the rainbow proudly. A new study shows that arts education increases compassion, lowers bullying, and improves writing skills. Arizona jurors acquitted an activist who left jars of water in the desert for migrants. Mass protests continue in Haiti, France, and Honduras.

Thanks for sharing these stories far and wide. I hope they inspire you to pick up the many tools and practices of nonviolence and use them in your life,
Rivera Sun, Editor

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

Victory! Success Stories
Recent Actions & On-Going Campaigns
Racial Justice
Climate Action
Women’s Rights
Creative Action
Knowledge & Reflection
Learn & Study

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

Hong Kong’s leader, yielding to protests, suspends Extradition Bill. (Find other stories on this in the Actions & Campaigns section.)  Read more >>

Extinction Rebellion’s tactics are working, piercing the bubble of inaction built by climate denialism.  Read more >>

A Netflix show  helped activists pressure the Central Park Five prosecutorLinda Fairstein. She relinquished her position on the boards of Vassar College and charities.  Read more >>

Maine becomes first state to ban styrofoam.  

Canada bans single-use plastics, joining the growing global movement.  Read more >>

Editor’s Note: “Poverty is the worst form of violence,” said Gandhi. Ending poverty, therefore, is an act of nonviolence. As are the many forms of systemic and structural changes it will take to end poverty. In this story, San Francisco lifted off a major barrier for poor people: suspended licenses due to unpaid parking tickets and traffic violations fines.   Read more >>  

New York City housing rights advocates win best tenants protection laws in 25 years.  Read more >>    However, wealthy property owners are pushing back against this victory … learn more here.  

Arkansas shuts down mega-hog farm to protect the local Buffalo National River & bans future hog farming in the watershed!   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. 

Millions of Sudanese join general strike in protest of military crackdown that left more than 100 dead.  Read more >>

Sudanese suspend civil disobedience in exchange for the release of political prisoners. Read more >>

More than one million marched in Hong Kong against extradition to China law.   Read more >>   The police used violent repression of the protesters.  Read more >>    But, a powerful photo of a meditating young woman won millions of hearts and the nickname “Shield Girl” as she sat in front of a row of riot police with plexiglas shields.  Read more >>

Massive protests paralyze Haiti, demanding president’s resignation.  Read more >>   

Youth movement in the Philippines calls for new People Power Revolution style mass actions to stop Duterte’s regime.  Read more >>

What’s at the roots of the massive, two-week long (and counting) nationwide strike in HondurasRead more >>

Using social media as resistance reporting, an Australian newsperson live tweets as Australian Federal Police raid the ABC News’ Sydney headquarters.  Read more >>

Seeds of Resistance: Ponca corn planted in the path of the KXL pipeline on land donated back to the tribe.   Read more >>

Atlanta, GA plans the nation’s largest food forest.   Read more >> 

Doctors and nurses demand the American Medical Association get out of the way of Medicare For All legislation.   Read more >>

US activist who left water in the desert for migrants on the US-Mexico border is acquitted by hung jury. Read more >>

Wabanaki Water Walkers march from New Brunswick, Canada, to Maine to protect the water.  Read more >>

US judge denies Cancer Alley marchers permission to cross bridges into Mississippi as they protest toxic plants.  Read more >>

US Net Neutrality advocates protest on the anniversary of the repeal of Internet equality protections. Read more >>   They also delivered 3.5 million petition signatures to US Congress.  Read more >>

US embassies around the world defied President Trump‘s ban of gay pride flags, raising the rainbow flags and even using light projections to celebrate and support Gay Pride Month.  Read more >> 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ plans to colonize space were put on the spot at a space tech conference by an animal rights activist protesting Amazon’s chicken suppliers. Read more >>

Activist walks from Sweden to Palestine to protest occupation.  Read more >>   

Iraqis prepare a Carnival of Peace as the US prepares for more war. Read more >>  

People are organizing for racial justice in communities all over the world. Here are some stories of how they are using nonviolent action in those campaigns.

Banner drops in NYC outside Grand Central Station call for justice for Eric Garner during “show” trial for the cop who strangled him.  Read more >>  

On Father’s Day, hundreds march to shut down migrant child detention center.  Read more >>

Migrant child detention and family separation policy opponents protest at Homestead Detention Center’s hiring event, seeking to cut off access to workers.  Read more >

Chilling replicas of children in cages protest migrant detention and family separation on the streets of New York City. Read more >> 

Latino doctor provides medical sanctuary for migrant fieldworkers. Read more >>

Teachers in Rochester, NY, work to divest pensions from private prison and immigrant detention centers. 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. 

 Cheyenne River Sioux tribe forces Trans Canada to leave their nation.   Read more >>

Kroger – the US’ largest grocery store chain – agrees to phase out plastic bags, eliminating 6 billion bags per year.  Read more >>

Two Greenpeace activists off the coast of Scotland stall an oil drilling rig bound for the North Sea, declaring a climate emergency.  Read more >>

India commits to electrify 100% of its rail lines by 2022, paving the way for renewable energy-based rail transit.  Read more >>

Anti-flying movement grows large enough to impact European airplane companies.  Read more >>

Migrant justice is climate justice: four activists explain.  Read more >>

Climate activism pressures US Republicans to break with climate denialism and call for conservative solutions to the climate crisis.  Read more >>

Direct action shut down Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline in Minnesota.  Read more >>   

When people think of Women’s Rights, they think of abortion (see our editorial remarks on that subject in the May 25th issue),  but Women’s Rights covers a much wider territory of issues. Here are a few stories on some of those themes. 

“No More Stolen Sisters” plan 1200 mile ride to highlight the need for action on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women.  Read more >>

Indigenous communities show the way forward in dealing with toxic masculinity. Read more >>

Women across Switzerland go on strike for equal rights.  Read more >>  

40 state and local prosecutors say they won’t enforce abortion bans.  Read more >>

Human beings are endlessly creative … and nonviolence helps that creativity shine. Here are some bold actions that tap into art and creativity to make change.

British Columbia grocery store prints embarrassing ads on plastic bags to nudge people to choose the non-plastic options. The bags say, “Colon Care Co-op” and “Wart Ointment” to discourage people from wanting to carry them.   Read more >>  

Study discovers that arts education not only boosts writing scores, it increases compassion and reduces bullying. (Editor’s Note: And, thus, increases nonviolence.) Read more >>

US veteran Rudy Stolfer “drums for a cause” from coast to coast to call attention to the dire need for climate action.   Read more >>  

This group converts retired school buses into tiny homes for the unhoused.  Read more >>  

Gaza artist transforms destroyed homes with murals.   Read more >>  

Father of slain Parkland High School shooting teen creates “Museum of the Incomplete” to show the loss of mass shooting victims. Unsent emails, lost sneakers, lost dreams: the exhibit mourns the tragedy of mass shootings.  Read more >>  

Faced with a ransom from hackers, the legendary rock band Radiohead instead opted for rebellion, releasing 18 hours of unheard material in an album online and donating the proceeds to Extinction Rebellion.  Read more >>  

As the use of light projections as protest increases, so does the repression of them.  Read more >>

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

Nonviolence Radio explores: How does nonviolence work? Is it the opposite of violence? What is the purpose of an ideal in nonviolence? What about skepticism? Find these and other insights and lessons drawn from the theory and practice of nonviolence on this episode.  Read more >>

The Paradox of Repression: how violence backfires against the person(s) that uses it. Read more >>

How Oxnard stopped a toxic power plant. Roughly 30 youth activists shut down a California Energy Commission (CEC) meeting in Oxnard by standing up and chanting “No more power plants; we say no,” until officials from the regulator and NRG left the room, local outlet VC Star reported. Read more >> 

Why does ritual matter for social change?

Freedom Summer of 1964 turned students into revolutionaries. Read more >> 

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

Metta Center announces new online course on Nonviolence and the New Story. 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 >>

Peace Power Training in Greece, July 26th-Aug 24th. Apply by June 10th.  Learn more >>

New Delhi to host international conference on nonviolence education and training, December 2019.   Read 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:

About Nonviolence Now

Our sister project, Nonviolence Now, collects and shares true, inspiring stories of nonviolence in action. They place ads in unusual places – like in Newsweek Magazine, online websites promoting violence, and public transit buses – to promote the effectiveness and versatility of nonviolence. Find out more about them at