Popular Resistance Newsletter – Celebrating Our First Year
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.
Over 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.”
Another 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 email@example.com.
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.
Mothers 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.
And 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.
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.
Hiding 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.
On 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.
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.
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.
The 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.