Editor’s Note from Rivera Sun
Nonviolence comes in thousands of shapes and sizes. It’s a force, a field of potential, a method of making change, even a way of life. While this week’s headline celebrates the Latin America-wide cacerolazo (pots-and-pans protest), I’m also uplifting a few stories that show the wide-ranging potential of nonviolence, from small acts of kindness to commemorating nonviolent heroes to making radical change. And don’t miss the new section on “Youth Action” – my favorite story this week is a 17-year-old’s impressive circumventing of censorship by using a TikTok make-up tutorial to disguise a global message about the Uyghur detainment camps.
Did you know Nonviolence News has a column you can repost? Yep. Each week, I write great article-length pieces drawing insights from the weekly news. Check out this week’s piece on Waging Nonviolence. (If you wish to repost it, please link back to the original post. Thanks.) What’s the secret to success for nonviolent movements? Try solidarity. Instead of “going it alone,” movements can amplify their message, leverage collective power, and build strength by seeking solidarity from aligned organizations and groups. Read more >>
Building a culture of nonviolence means commemorating and honoring those who wage nonviolent struggle and take nonviolent action. Milwaukee Public Transit System just gave us a great model. For three days around Rosa Park’s birthday, the Milwaukee Public Transit System reserved one seat on every bus as a tribute to Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, and those who strove for racial justice on public transportation. The tribute included a sign to inform riders and a red rose laid on the seat. Read more >>
How else can we foster nonviolence? We can build a school culture that values acts of kindness, peace, and empathy. Many of us have heard or experienced the stories of school bullying, but here’s a report from Ireland that shows another world is possible. This primary school in County Cork has decided to do away with other homework for the entire month of December, replacing it instead with ‘acts of kindness’. Students are urged to “be the reason someone else smiles today”. Note: this school is teaching the “spirit of Christmas”, but this same type of program could be framed differently for a multi-faith or secular school. Read more >>
Here’s an example of what happens when we build a culture that respects human dignity, equality, and inclusion. When the hijab of a Muslim soccer player in Jordan started to come off, several women from the opposing team – who were not hijab wearers – rushed to this player’s side — effectively halting the game — and used their bodies to protect her from the crowd’s view until she was able to fix it. This story isn’t just good sports-woman-ship, it’s a nonviolent action of solidarity and compassion. It’s also a good example of how nonviolence can extend far beyond protests into our everyday lives. Read more >>
From small actions to large interventions, nonviolence takes many forms. As the state of Illinois legalizes marijuana, one city is making sure past harms are addressed by the newly legal industry. Healing systemic and structural violence (like racism, mass incarceration, drug war disparities, and economic injustice) requires systemic and structural nonviolence. In a bold acknowledgement of the racism and injustice of drug policy and current cannabis profiteering, the City of Evanston uses cannabis revenue as a source of reparations funds for African-American residents. Read more >>
Don’t miss this week’s news stories on the COP25 mass protests, the 4,000 Germans who blockaded trains at 3 coal mines, the pots-and-pans banging solidarity protests that swept through 12 Latin American countries, and so much more!
Rivera Sun, Editor
Photo Credit: People bang pans and pots during the ‘Cacerolazo Latinoamericano’ at a concert in support of the strike against the government of Colombian President Ivan Duque, in Medellin, Colombia . This was one of many cacerolazo (pots and pans banging) protests that took place in at least 12 Latin American countries. [Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP]
Here are some recent successes brought about by nonviolence in action.
New Zealand passes law to put the climate crisis at the front and center of all policy considerations. Read more >>
In a “visionary” measure to reduce inequality, Kansas City, MO, becomes first place in the US to offer free public transportation to all. Read more >>
World’s second-largest ferry operator is switching from diesel to batteries in preparation for renewable transition. Read more >>
Striking Better Wharf Hotel workers win concessions on sexual assault protections, immigrant rights, and racial justice in hiring. Read more >>
While Greta Thunberg warned COP25 protesters that “we haven’t won anything until emissions are reduced”, it’s important to track the milestones toward meaningful change. Here’s one such piece of information: in just a few short years, US opinions on climate change have shifted. Two recent polls suggested over 75% of Americans think humans are causing climate change. This is an increase from only 60% just a few years ago. School climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests, national governments declaring a climate emergency, improved media coverage of climate change and an increasing number of extreme weather events have all contributed to this shift. Keep up the pressure, everyone. Read more >>
Here’s how people are taking action this week for a wide range of causes.
Cacerolazos – pots and pans banging protests – erupt in 12 Latin American countries to demonstrate international solidarity for protesters. Read more >>
Colombia’s national civic strike is paving the way for a rural-urban coalition of protesters and movements that together can take on President Duque’s right-wing government. Read more >>
Teachers and public workers in Argentina have held four months of strikes and pickets. Read more >>
In the nation’s largest public-sector strike in decades, hundreds of thousands of workers—from teachers to air traffic controllers to rail workers—took to the streets across France and effectively brought large swaths of the country to a stand-still Thursday to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to overhaul the pension system. Read more >>
Thousands of people packed a central square of Verona, Italy, in the latest rally by self-styled “sardines,” a grass-roots protest movement that is targeting Italy’s rising far-right politician, Matteo Salvini, whom they say is fomenting hate. Read more >>
UK commuters protest shoddy rail service by picketing the company headquarters. Read more >>
Healthcare workers in Northern Ireland are on strike over pay and staffing. Read more >>
Museum workers are unionizing in a rapidly growing movement that’s been years in the making. Read more >>
Some 4,000 angry protesters in Malta who want the prime minister to immediately step down briefly blocked him and his party’s lawmakers from leaving parliament on Monday, amid high public pressure over an investigative journalist’s car-bomb murder. Read more >>
Palestinians resume weekly Gaza border protests after 3-week pause during Israeli military attacks. Read more >>
A grassroots movement is growing to take on Amazon. Read more >>
Amazon workers march on Jeff Bezos’ house on Cyber Monday, the biggest sales day for the online behemoth. Read more >>
12 people were arrested for gluing their hands to store windows in Black Friday protests in Montreal. Read more >>
Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) sneaks into factory farms to record cruelty to animals and conditions that are hidden from the public eye. Now they want to be put on trial in order to force the footage into public scrutiny. Read more >>
Google employees were fired for labor organizing … here’s how they’re pushing back at the giant company. Read more >>
More than 100 demonstrators, many of them senior citizens, want the mayor to allocate a half a billion dollars toward affordable housing subsidies for seniors who cannot afford to rent their apartments in San Francisco. Read more >>
Protesters lock down to Geo Group offices in Boca Raton, FL, protesting the company’s involvement in family separation and child detention centers. Read more >>
Nonviolence towards the Earth is nonviolence toward humanity. Here are ways people are working to save the planet . . . and our species.
Between 1,000-4,000 green activists made their way past police lines and blocked trains at 3 important coal mines in eastern Germany. Read more >>
Tens of thousands of protesters, primarily in Europe and Asia, hit the streets on Friday to make a fresh call for action against global warming, hoping to raise pressure on world leaders days before a UN climate summit. Read more >>
Red Brigade Funeral Procession catches the eye and attention during Vancouver, BC, Black Friday climate action protests. Read more >>
Indigenous women use tiny homes to block Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada. Read more >>
Climate resistance is imperative. Here’s how people are taking powerful action to propel governments, organizations, and institutions to change. Read more >>
Youth have always been leaders in nonviolent action. Lately, we’re seeing more and more children and middle-high school students join in with the masses of college-age students who have historically taken action. Here are some stories of youth action to give a sense of the creativity and scope of youth efforts.
Substitute teacher chastises boy for being “grateful that his two dads were going to adopt him”. Three fellow students stood up to her lecture, ultimately walking out of class to get the principal. The teacher was escorted off campus. Read more >>
Feroza Aziz, 17, made headlines earlier this week after posting videos detailing the treatment of Uyghurs by the Chinese authorities. She sought to sneak through TikTok’s content moderation system by disguising the clips as “makeup tutorials.Read more >>
Climate change activism improves mental health for students. Read more >>
Youth hold powerful silent sit-in at COP25. Read more >>
Oklahoma students plan to walk out for better climate action policies. Read more >>
The struggle for racial justice takes many forms. In schools, workplaces, politics, society, and culture, people are demanding changes that ensure racial justice. Here are some of their stories.
Inside #NotAgainSU and the 10 days that shook Syracuse University. In the wake of hate and racist graffiti and incidents, students held a radical and heated sit-in campaign for racial justice. Here’s what we can learn from it. Read more >>
Rosa Parks statue unveiled in Montgomery, AL, to honor the Civil Rights Movement hero. Read more >>
Eight-hundred organizers from 28 states gathered last weekend at the Chicago’s teachers union hall to “re-found” the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. They are organizing for community control of the police. Read more >>
Around the world, struggles for gender justice are demanding equality, ending gender-based violence, sexual harassment and assault, and more. Here are a few stories about those struggles.
Young women in the Hong Kong protests are decrying the police’s sexual assaults and harassment, misogyny, and more. Read more >>
Harvard College graduate workers are striking over medical debt and sexual harassment. Read more >>
Nonviolence unleashes our human creativity. Here are some ways creativity and the arts merged with social action this week.
Janitor’s photographs of migrants’ belongings seized by ICE go viral as news media picks up the story of the heart-wrenching images. Read more >>
Over 1,000 artists have signed a pledge refusing to participate in Intersect Music Festival or any other Amazon-sponsored event. Read more >>
City Hall was a circus Thursday as a group of Coney Island sideshow “freaks” rallied against hefty rent hikes in the neighborhood’s famously odd amusement district. A throng of carnivalesque characters — including woman on stilts, a sword-swallower and a bundled-up mermaid — waved signs and chanted to protest rent increases of up to five times the current rate for small businesses near the boardwalk. Read more >>
We are fortunate to live at a time when there is so much knowledge about nonviolence available to explore. Here are some articles that invite us to dig deeper.
Organizers and activist Starhawk corrects the record on what really shut down the World Trade Organization during the Battle of Seattle. (Hint: nonviolent direct action.) Read more >>
Ken Butigan shares lessons from the Battle of Seattle for today’s activists. Read more >>
Learning from the historic gains of the Chicago Teachers Strike in 2019. Read more >>
Here are a few upcoming actions inviting your participation and support.
UN Women’s annual global 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE campaign from November 25th to December 10th. Read more >>
Join #FireDrillFridays with Jane Fonda in Washington, DC, to oppose militarism and the climate crisis. Read more >>
Sunrise Movement offers chance to get skills to make your next strike, rally, or sit-in visually stunning and ready to capture attention in the media. Apply to join the Sunrise Action Art Skills Training, December 13-15 in Kansas City, Missouri. Read more >>
Apply now for ICNC’s free 2020 Participant-Led Online Course: “Civil Resistance Struggles: How Ordinary People Win Rights, Freedom, and Justice.” Read more >>
Sign up for World Beyond War’s 6-week course starting in January, War Abolition 101: How Do We End War? Read more >>
Feb 3-7, 2020, Black Lives Matter At School Week – engage your local school in participating! Read more >>
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Author/Activist Rivera Sun has written many books and novels, including The Dandelion Insurrection and The Way Between. She is a nationwide trainer in strategy for nonviolent movements and her essays are published in journals across the country and around the world. www.riverasun.com
Nonviolence News is a sister project to Nonviolence Now. The Nonviolence Now campaign is intended to introduce and share stories of nonviolence, and to ignite the potential of principled nonviolence globally.