We were extremely frustrated, outraged, and sad to learn that our Aug. 2 New York City screening of Life Is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara was canceled at the last minute. The event was to be hosted by the Arab American Association of New York but was canceled due to the objection of board members who considered our film too political. Unfortunately, this cancellation is part of a pattern, as the government of Morocco has lobbied strenuously to prevent the public from viewing our film and other media critical of its occupation of Western Sahara. Although Western Sahara has been promised a referendum on self-determination for decades, the referendum has yet to occur.
It was an amazing day yesterday that began at 7:30 am as we vigiled in the cold and snow in front of the Sagadahoc County Courthouse in Bath for an hour before we had to go inside for the start of our Aegis 9 trial. One of the defendants, Mike Tork from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, could not make it as he had medical issues which did not allow him to travel. Mike is a Vietnam War veteran and and very active member of Veterans For Peace. Pro bono attorney Logan Perkins, from Belfast, Maine, represented three in our group with the rest of us defending ourselves. The state opened the trail by claiming to the jury that it was a simple case of the defendants illegally attempting to "enter the event" which was a 'christening' ceremony for a new Aegis destroyer built at Bath Iron Works, owned by General Dynamics.
By Rob Hunter for The Guardian, The US supreme court announced on Monday that it will decide on the legality of Donald Trump’s travel ban. It also partially stayed injunctions against the ban, meaning that the administration can impose 90-day bans on people traveling from six Muslim-majority countries (unless they have a “bona fide relationship” with someone in the US), and that it can bar refugees from entering the US for up to 120 days. It’s likely that the court will eventually uphold all or part of the ban as an appropriate exercise of the president’s powers. Only mass confrontational politics can prevent that from happening, or undo it if it does happen. It was direct action, not legal argument, that stopped the administration from implementing the travel ban in its entirety earlier this year. The original ban quickly faced stiff protest in January. Rapid mass mobilization, combined with the organizing skills of activists and immigration advocates, produced the thrilling spectacle of large-scale direct action in some of the most heavily policed spaces in the country: airports. Federal judges responded to the pressure by issuing orders blocking removals under the ban, and later preventing enforcement of the ban’s provisions. Injunctions were also later issued against a revised ban that was reworded to be less transparently Islamophobic.
By Jamila Raqib for Medium - There’s a lot of debate in the United States about the direction of the country. People are realizing that simply putting faith in their elected leadership or in existing institutions to solve problems in their communities is not adequate. They also realize that on its own, protesting policies they don’t agree with does little to change them fundamentally, if these actions are not part of a larger strategy. Recognizing that weak and fragmented people cannot be expected to act effectively on social and political issues, they’re increasingly organizing in ways that actually build their power capacity. So, in addition to holding large protest rallies and marches, they’re working to create networks of people — usually small groups of 10 to 15 who meet periodically in living rooms, workplaces, classrooms, and places of worship across America
By Editor of Counter Currents - Since the Reagan administration’s ascent to power in 1981, thousands of American citizens have engaged in various forms of non-violent civil resistance activities in order to protest against distinct elements of U.S. foreign policy that violate basic principles of international law. These citizen protests have led to numerous arrests and prosecutions by federal, state, and local governments around the country. The author has given advice, counsel and assistance to individuals and groups who have engaged in acts of non-violent civil resistance directed against several aspects of the U.S. government’s foreign policy: the Nuclear Freeze Movement, the Sanctuary Movement, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Plowshares, and the Pledge of Resistance, among others
By Bethany Woolman, ACLU of Northern California. Fifty-five years ago this January, the ACLU of Northern California was busy filling orders from across the country for copies of its recently produced film, “Operation Correction.” The film was a response to a piece of Red Scare propaganda, “Operation Abolition,” which was produced by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and depicted civil liberties activists in San Francisco as violent “communist agents” bent on destroying the fabric of America. In those days, the federal government was deeply concerned with the political affiliations of ordinary Americans — if those affiliations were left-leaning. My own grandfather, who was a World War II veteran and affiliated with the Communist Party in San Francisco, was under FBI surveillance.
By Dariel Garner for Popular Resistance. Imagine eating at a sumptuous private banquet every night that the whole society has paid for, while most people are too stressed from overwork and worry to do more than grab some fast food on the way home and others can only hope to find some moldy food in a dumpster. There is no fairness in that. No equality. No justice. Indeed, it is shameful. Recognizing that the wealth was created by the society, not by me, meant that I held riches that were not mine but belonged to the people and to the Earth. My first reaction was guilt, but all that did was make the thousand dollar bottles of wine go down faster. My second reaction was sorrow and eventually that made me change my life. I couldn’t go on as I had. I turned my back on wealth. I lost it, I spent it like water and finally I gave it all away. I have never been happier.
For the first time, a New York judge gave judicial notice to the realities of climate change as he exonerated ten protesters on freedom of speech grounds. Judge Robert Mandelbaum found the Flood Wall Street Ten not guilty, commending the climate activists’ protest as “honorable.” This landmark decision could not only have resounding implications for the growing environmental justice movement — it could also potentially thaw the iron-fisted policing that has come to be routine in the United States, especially in New York. “The importance of judicial notice is that the judge accepted climate change and the need to do something about it as a fact without the necessity of any evidentiary support or proof at trial,” Martin Stolar, an attorney for the defense, told MintPress News. “To the best of my knowledge, this is unprecedented and has significance for future litigation involving climate change.” The legal recognition of man-made climate change as an indisputable fact sent shockwaves through the environmentalist movement both on the streets and in the courts, allowing the Flood Wall Street case to be cited by protesters, academics and lawyers alike.