Popular Resistance Newsletter – A Sizzling Summer of Actions

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When Popular Resistance started nearly a year ago, we sought to cover the growing resistance in the US and around the world. Now there is so much going on, that it is difficult to cover it all. This week we’ll focus on some key themes and upcoming events.

1cpcnEscalating actions for environmental justice

Driven by greater awareness of the urgency needed to mitigate climate change, the pressure is growing to stop extreme energy extraction and it’s having an effect. In particular, pipelines are being slowed and popular action is causing a big economic hit to extractors. In Canada, a new group “Coule Pas Chez Nous!” is taking on the Eastern pipeline that plans to carry tar sands bitumen.

Protests are also bringing out the truth. It was revealed this week in California that the amount of gas available through fracking is only 5% of what the industry was reporting. And an energy corporation executive admitted that fracking increases the risk of climate change. We also learned that the recent report by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was watered down by countries that produce fossil fuels.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 4.59.28 AMThe pushback against climate change is coming from new directions. A major insurance company in the US filed suits against local Illinois governments for not taking appropriate action to protect against the effects of climate change. This may inspire others to do the same. And in the UK, a talented group is using the arts to expose BP’s sponsorship of cultural institutions in an attempt to put forth a positive public image. We urge you to check out their great videos.

A wide-scale creative action is being built in preparation for the COP21, a climate summit in Paris planned for December, 2015. The COP summits have become an environmental joke and communities are deciding to take action on their own by building alternative villages called Alternatibas. You are invited to do the same.

And TPP’s twin sister, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TAFTA) is being negotiated.  Leaks reveal that the EU is pushing the US to do more fracking and oil drilling. Groups are warning about TAFTA’s harmful environmental impact. And protests were held during meetings in the EU and US.

Responding to the economic crises

New reports verify what we already know, that things are getting worse. Employment is down for all age and education levels. One out of three homeowners is trapped in debt. Tent cities are on the rise, and what do towns like New Haven do? Tear them down.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 10.36.13 PMIn response, people are fighting back through protest and creating new alternatives. Moral Mondays in North Carolina have restarted even though new restrictions were placed on protests. And conferences were held this month in both Jackson, MS and Baltimore, MD to build new economies that are based on greater participation by the community in making economic decisions and that keep wealth in the community. Both conferences recognized that democratized economies are essential to achieve racial and economic justice. One aspect of this injustice is gentrification which is on the rise. Daniel Jorge Older writes that gentrification is a form of structural violence. He states, “With gentrification, the central act of violence is one of erasure.”

Similar struggles are taking place across the world. In the EU, days of action against austerity started on May 15 and in Australia, protests are being held this month in capitals across the country.

It’s almost funny that the Democrats in the US have come up with a New DEAL. Only it isn’t at all like FDR’s. This New DEAL is a way for Big Business to continue to fund Democratic candidates who are loyal.

1netmarchFree speech rights are under attack

In the 21st century, our ability to share information and to express ourselves freely is highly dependent on access to the Internet. As you’ve no doubt read in our last few newsletters, net neutrality – equal access to content on the Internet – is about to be a thing of the past. We made some progress over the last few weeks by getting our demand that the Internet be reclassified as a common carrier and treated as a public utility on the agenda of the FCC. Now we are in a public comment period for two months and it is imperative that we all let the FCC know that the public doesn’t the Internet to go the way of cable TV where people only have access to what they can afford. Click here to take action. We’ve tried to make it easy for you.

And you may have been following the case of Cecily McMillan, the young woman who was attacked by NYPD and she was the one charged with assault. She was sentenced to three months in jail. Chris Hedges wrote a beautiful piece about his visit with her. You can show your support for her by writing her a letter. Click here for more information about how to do that. This past week was a national week of action against the incarceration of youth.

War on Drugs is a war on usActions and Events

Here are some ways that you can get involved:

  1. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki has a new short video on ending the drug war. Please take three minutes to view and share it. It tells you how to take action.
  2. Professor Michael Nagler has a new short handbook on nonviolence that has useful tips for everyone. Click here to learn more about it.
  3. May 24 is the global March Against Monsanto.
  4. Next weekend, a traveling music and arts festival for immigrant rights called Undocunation kicks off in Atlanta, GA.
  5. A walk to protest drones is wrapping up in Northern California and another is beginning in June in Illinois.
  6. June 5 is Reset the Net.
  7. Join us at the international conference in July in Mexico to learn more about the new economy. It’s called Moving Beyond Capitalism and it’s being organized by the Center for Global Justice.
  8. Long time peace activist David Hartsough invites you to join the World Beyond War abolition movement that will be launched in September.
  9. Plans are being made now for a month of action in October to stop America’s shameful mass incarceration epidemic. Click here to get involved.

We live in an exciting time. Remember, you are Popular Resistance. Please send information about activities that you are doing for social, economic and environmental justice to info@popularresistance.org so that it can be shared with others.