Popular Resistance Newsletter – Celebrating Our First Year

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Tomorrow, June 1st, is the 1st anniversary of Popular Resistance.

The goal of Popular Resistance is to help grow a mass movement for social, economic and environmental justice. We do this by covering the wide range of both protest movements and those working to create alternative systems in the US and around the world; connecting issues (or sub-movements) so we become a ‘movement of movements’; and providing tools and information for everyone who seeks to participate in this movement.

1tpp1Over the year we’ve also launched issue campaigns such as Flush the TPP which has helped to stall the dangerous TransPacific Partnership, Clean Up the Mines which is helping to educate and organize around the human and environmental costs of Uranium extraction, Creative Resistance which is a place for activist artists to meet and share their work and most recently Occupy the FCC. We’ve supported the new media through Clearing the FOG Radio, Dennis Trainor Jr.’s Resistance Report and highlighting new writers. And we are working to support the new democratized economy through It’s Our Economy.

The work for justice has many moving parts. Recently an activist shared this article which provides theories to help understand the complexity of transformation.  Kevin Zeese added this forward to it:

“This is complex stuff, but worth the effort to understand, as realizing the challenge of what we are trying to do will give us the humility we need to face it, as well as eliminate the fear of mistakes and the ability to learn from our errors, and to recognize to achieve the change we seek, we need each other as no one mind is capable of dealing with the complexity of the reality around us.”

1hchrAnother important article on the way forward is this one by activist Henia Belalia on the necessity of understanding and including intersectionality in our work. Belalia writes, “On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face.”

We are all in this together. We want to thank you for your participation in Popular Resistance. Please help us celebrate by growing the movement – share Popular Resistance with your friends and family. Consider using the articles for discussion groups. Use the tools and information on the “Organize” “Strategize” “Resist” and “Create” pages. And use Popular Resistance to share your work, tools and events by emailing info@popularresistance.org.

Here are some of the actions that took place this past week and upcoming events.

Mothers taking stands

Last Saturday, millions took to the streets to protest Monsanto in the largest global March against Monsanto yet. That was followed by an action at the Environmental Protection Agency by Moms Across America to call for a ban on the herbicide RoundUp. Another group of Moms disrupted the McDonalds shareholder meeting to protest their unhealthy food and targeting of children.

1walmartMothers who work at Walmart are organizing actions in 20 cities to protest working conditions. Another group of Walmart workers are calling for the chair, Rob Walton, to be replaced citing unethical practices and labor complaints. These labor practices are not unique to Walmart. A new international report shows that the United States only abides 4 out of 97 indicators of worker rights, ranking us poorly in the world.

Climate justice spurring new tactics

Organizers of the Tar Sands Healing Walk planned for June 28 say this will be the final walk, that it has served its purpose and it’s time to move on to new tactics. The walk has raised awareness of the Alberta Tar Sands and brought concerned people together. The US is about to see its own tar sands excavation/devastation site. Activists have been fighting a permit in Utah for years. Legal and other avenues have failed so this week they set up a permanent camp at the site which is on public lands. We hope you’ll join and support them.

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 9.51.02 AMAnd look for another climate justice walk, the Great March for Climate Action, to come to your area as around 40 people make their way across the United States. They hope to reach new people and raise awareness of the urgent need for action.

The fight to stop the extraction economy that exploits people and the planet is a global struggle that has many common themes. This week we featured articles on the ways these struggles in Latin America and the Dominican Republic in particular are broadening the discussion and making connections to other areas of struggle such as racism and economic oppression. Grassroots movements are developing informed political analyses and taking action to build alternative systems based on their values of solidarity and equality. Similar efforts are rising in the United States such as the awakening in North Carolina. Here is a report from the recent economic democracy conference in Baltimore.

Kmxt7L8etlBQy7-tvJ-jnkn0gMEgJugeWNgKOXsQhRGnHfOuRkFYNeyVFcKlI8uAxi6qXNYFMYEeiZQzGoERDgJeGR5VoU0pL8nQQG8GabOUBIQrMl3K9Q1P-Ub_Z4lUgQIt’s time to end violence

Communities are also taking stands to end the violence inflicted upon them and others. A conference was held in Chicago calling for the police to stop being abusive and to have greater accountability to communities. Activists in Philadelphia won the right to sue the police over inappropriate action they took during Occupy.

New Yorkers continue to work for greater accountability, but certainly face an uphill battle with the new commissioner Bratton. He was in Israel this week at a security conference calling the US and Israel ‘great democracies’ (guess he didn’t read the Princeton study) and saying their top priority was ‘public safety’ (read as protecting plutocrats).

One role that citizens can play to demand greater accountability is to understand our rights when serving on juries. Judges usually hide the power of jury nullification from jurors. Please understand and share this article to spread awareness of the power to not convict.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 3.58.08 AMHiding information is a powerful tool of social control and that is why the work to expose the truth is critical. Activists with Iraq Veterans against the War, Civilian Soldier Alliance and others released over thirty testimonies this week by soldiers and their families. The exploitation of military personnel mirrors what is done to others and needs to be added to public dialogue.

This week, activists also used public art to raise awareness of the US’ training of assassins who have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Six activists were arrested and they are asking for your support. The action was organized by School of the Americas Watch which is also helping to organize a conference of young leaders to fight militarism. They are looking for sponsors to provide travel funds.

The US has an extensive history of militarism as chronicled in this impressive, yet incomplete, list of interventions over the past century. Our interference in Africa is currently growing.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 8.52.04 AMOn a positive note, the campaign to ban nuclear weapons is gaining momentum. And we learned this week that while we were remembering our veterans in the US, in Australia they hold a National Sorry Day to raise awareness of the treatment of Indigenous Peoples by settlers. Perhaps we can hold similar actions on Indigenous Peoples Day in October. Awareness is also growing about the human cost of the World Cup. A diverse coalition against the World Cup is developing including local police and airport workers that threatens to shut the city down.

Net neutrality is in our grasp

We want to remind you that we are in the public comment period on net neutrality. The actions of hundreds of thousands of people put the real solution, reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier so that it can be regulated in the public interest, on the table. Step 2 is to file a public comment demanding reclassification. We make it easy – click here for information.

Tom Wheeler holding a honk for open Internet sign at the FCC encampment.

Tom Wheeler holding a honk for open Internet sign at the FCC encampment.

Here is an article explaining that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair, Tom Wheeler, is saying one thing about net neutrality and doing another. And this article explains why just the threat of losing net neutrality is causing harm. We plan to continue to build pressure on the FCC. Join us on Monday afternoons in June (from 4 to 6 pm) at the FCC in Washington, DC to picket and flier or organize an action at your local FCC.

More actions

Remember that June 5 is Reset the Net – a day to take action to decrease the NSA’s ability to spy on us. There is something that each one of us can do.

You are invited to submit art on the theme “We All Live in Bhopal” to highlight environmental injustice.

The Common Bound new economy conference is in Boston June 6 to 8.

The Highlander Center is teaching a course “Confronting Class” June 13 to 15.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 11.46.01 AMThe Montreal Student Movement Convention is June 19 to 22.

And Freedom Summer – a conference in Mississippi takes place June 25 to 29 to mark the 50th anniversary.

There is a lot going on and a lot to do, but we know we are in a movement because so much is moving. The potential for transformation is tremendous. Please help out in any way that you can – spread the word, volunteer or donate. We are hopeful for continued action in the next year of Popular Resistance.

  • cruisersailor

    I’m very glad that this service exists. It helps me to keep informed.

  • Congratulations Popular Resistance! It’s all the news I need.

  • Southernfink

    Congrats indeed, a fine year and another brilliant article.

    Hope the site will find more like minded people…

  • From “Marx’s theory of history” (Wikipedia):

    “Marx saw that each stage or epoch created a new class or invention that
    would lead to its downfall. However the downfall would not be an
    automatically negative event, since with each step humanity at large
    would benefit. Each passing stage would therefore raise the standard of
    living of the masses while at the same time be doomed to its own
    downfall because of internal contradictions and class conflicts.”

    The stages were:
    1. Primitive communism
    2. Slave Society
    3. Feudalism
    4. Capitalism
    5. Socialism
    6. Communism (stateless)

    “After the working class gains class consciousness and mounts a revolution against the capitalists, socialism, which may be considered the Fifth Stage, will be attained, if the workers are successful.”

    “In the view of classical Marxism, the struggles of the working class
    against the attacks of the capitalist class lead the working class to
    establish its own collective control over production – the basis of
    socialist society. Marx believed that capitalism always leads to
    monopolies and leads the people to poverty; yet the fewer the
    restrictions on the free market, (e.g. from the state and trade unions)
    the sooner it finds itself in crisis.”

    “Some time after socialism is established society leaps forward, and everyone has plenty of personal possessions, but no one can exploit another person for private gain through the ownership of vast monopolies, and so forth. Classes are thus abolished, and class society ended. Communism will have spread across the world and be worldwide. Eventually the state will “wither away” and become obsolete, as people administer their own lives without the need for governments or laws. Thus, stateless communism or pure communism, which may be considered the Sixth Stage, is established…”

  • Southernfink

    All the more reason why education is so important and must be freely available to all !

  • Our job is clear:
    Educate the working class to achieve class consciousness.

    P. S. Your image didn’t work.

  • Southernfink

    Exactly, the free education system is vitally important.

    Yes it was a copy, still working on that…

  • A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it’s going to get. —Ian Williams Goddard

  • Southernfink

    You could easily replace Society with The world and still be correct, with the hundreds of channels of info-tainment to choose from it will be hard to distinquish the various different trees making up the forest, but that’s what I like about Popular Resistance, you will read something and come to the conclusion that it was the unbiased truth.

  • …but that’s what I like about Popular Resistance, you will read something and come to the conclusion that it was the unbiased truth.

    I’m sure conservatives say the same thing about Fox News. 😉 I think we call that confirmation bias…but I know what you mean.

    P. S. I made the Rise Up picture above my desktop background!

  • Southernfink

    I ran into a fox viewing conservative the other day, while we agreed on many thing’s the poor thing didn’t have a clue what’s really happening out there.

    Nice picture, I would have to wear sunglasses for a desktop like that.

  • Pingback: Popular Resistance Newsletter – Raising Our Voices With Confidence | PopularResistance.Org()

  • Southernfink

    Looks like the commenting system has changed ;>(

  • I saw that. Too bad…

  • Veri1138

    Noticed that, also. Comments don’t update properly when clicking on earlier links and replies.

  • Veri1138

    There, I tend not to agree with Marx… only in part. It would be more appropriate to say “middle class” instead of “working class”. Traditionally, in revolutions, it is the middle-class who provide the leadership for revolutions, using the poor to do the fighting. If the revolution is successful, the middle-class supplants the upper-class to become the rulers. The poor tend to stay poor.

    We see this in nominally Communist systems when Soviets fought to maintain their power from their subordinates; subordinates who were incentivized by human nature to supplant their bosses.

    Point 6. is interesting because a Stateless system is what Capitalists are currently working for in the form of governing supra-national corporations (bureaus in the Soviet sense). End stage Capitalism, such as we are witnessing, is only different in the appearance of structures that govern.

    In essence, both arrive at the same end using different methods. Both purport to uplift the masses while neither achieves the goal.

    Also, working class and capitalist classes are too ambiguous. Capitalist class also includes workers. Now, if we were to say blue-collar, white-collar, and rentiers; the meaning becomes totally different.

    Pure Communism does not work. Pure Socialism does not work. Capitalism does not work. On their own.

    Marx’s Theory of Labor Value, however, is spot on.

    Now, Communism for our needs – that the state controls absolutely such as governing bodies. Socialism where Capitalism provides the tools to a Socialist bureau to maintain needed systems – transformers for the electric grid for instance. Capitalism for our wants which the State does not control, only regulates – iPods.

  • This whole capitalism thing where people sell themselves for money/wages is new to mankind. In the beginning of free enterprise we grew, built or made things and bartered or sold them to others. Since the industrial age, we now sell ourselves. It’s really a form of slavery. Those that work in the factories ought to own them and collectively decide on the decisions of that factory in a democratic way.

    Chris Hedges, who has spent all his energies lately studying revolutions, has found that the real danger for elites comes from, ” déclassé
    intellectuals, those educated middle-class men and women who are barred
    by a calcified system from advancement. Artists without studios or
    theaters, teachers without classrooms, lawyers without clients, doctors
    without patients and journalists without newspapers descend
    economically. They become, as they mingle with the underclass, a bridge
    between the worlds of the elite and the oppressed. And they are the
    dynamite that triggers revolt.” —http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/colonized_by_corporations_20120514

    Re: “Also, working class and capitalist classes are too ambiguous.”

    Probably. I like working class which has become the working poor. I like capitalist class or maybe elite class whose bank accounts are followed by nine zeroes. I think what’s missing is the professional class which operates the country and enables the elites to exist. Something that Hedges has also referred to. In 1984, Orwell called it the outer government.

  • Southernfink

    We get used to one commenting system and it’s replaced, your reply to me is still not showing but on the dash, after re-reading an older comment I wanted to edit a single word–vamoose–the update never showed.(till now)

    Looks like they could be scrutinizing everything before deciding if it will appear on the board.

  • Southernfink

    It’s not an improvement for DQ users, unfortunately the site’s comment board never got real busy.

    There are certain aspects of DQ that have always been user unfriendly,f.e. everyone can be easily be monitored, single comments offer a definite advantage when it comes to matters relating to privacy and civil rights.

    Then there is the latest ploy for certain well known authorities to monitor global opinion as explained on the Voltaire network. Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.

    (Links now go automatically into moderation)

  • kevinzeese

    Just so people know, we did not change our system. Disqus issued updates which we were required to accept to keep using the system. We are trying to figure out how to deal with the changes. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Southernfink

    Thanks for that clarification, what strikes me is that out of all the sites that I frequent, Popular Resistance appears to be the only one right now with these temporary characteristics.

    Ps–Love the informative articles and admire the passion and dedication !

    Here is the latest, petition Obama for 100% renewable energy…

  • Veri1138

    The methods are new. Money, for instance. Before that, the money was what you had in real terms – chickens, cows, goats, labor, sex, furs, etc.

    Money is normally supposed to be a means of facilitating trade. Money that represents something real. Which is why we had the gold standard. Now, money is mistaken for real wealth – land, furs, sex, oil, etc. because it can be used to buy those luxuries. When it really means debt. And thus, it is hoarded and locked away.

    The middle-class is who provides the leaders for the revolutions, in most cases. The poor do tend to do the dying. Does not mean that the poor don’t get some steak every once in awhile.

    Within each class exists subsets. Professionals. Clergy with a God-given agenda. Righties. Lefties.

    With the Ruling Clique of the upper-class, plutocrats, their exist the same. Except that they have to band together every once in awhile to keep the lower classes from taking their stuff. While being content to use divisions to divide the lower classes. Since there are fewer of them, it is easier for them to cooperate, when not squabbling about how the pie should be divided.

  • Veri1138

    That is about the gist of it. Caught it over at nakedcapitalism .dot. com.