By Editors of Solidarity, Right here and now, the urgent necessity for the army of Sanders supporters must be not to give up the fight. The results of the primaries and the delegate count are important, but not decisive in shaping the future. Don’t take the dead-end corporate politics of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party as “the best we can do.” Mass action can get results, whether it’s at home in the progress of the Fight for $15 campaign — or abroad, where street protests forced out the prime minister of Iceland over the Panama Papers revelations of offshore accounts and monstrous tax evasion by the global one-tenth of one percent. And could there be any clearer demonstration of the rigged system that Bernie Sanders is talking about? The “normal” pattern of the U.S. political cycle is that election years derail social movements, draining their energies into whatever looks like the lesser evil. Perhaps this most abnormal of elections will prove to be an exception.
Jadaliyya Reports for Bahrain Center For Human Rights - Five years ago this week, hundreds of thousands of people rose up in support of democracy and human rights in Bahrain. After enduring decades of structural inequalities, corruption, and repression, nearly half the country’s population gathered to demand reform. The government responded swiftly, and severely. Riot police flooded the streets, employing excessive and indiscriminate force to disperse the demonstrations and suppress the movement.
The critical moments are early Friday morning and next Monday morning, because both are working days. The police are now looking for a "reason" for repression, and the protesters’ violation of the law is already being mentioned. Student organizers claim they will take action soon and occupy the government headquarters. If this happens, it could legitimize repression. Repression could also occur if the protesters become divided and their numbers thin out because they are too tired or frustrated. Some activists from Hong Kong think that if they remain peaceful, it is less likely that the People’s Liberation Army will be mobilized, because it concerns the international image of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The use of tear gas by police at the beginning of the Occupy event was widely condemned, as it already had a substantial impact on Hong Kong’s image, with lots of pictures in the international press.
On Acronym TV this week, two individuals working to fix our Democracy in crisis. Christina Tobin is the founder and chair of Free & Equal. She has a long history of supporting ballot access, having gathered and defended over 1 million signatures for the Green Party, Constitution Party, Republican Party, Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, Socialist Equality Party and independents. Free & Equal Elections Foundation is a non-partisan grassroots organization, whose mission is to shift the power back to the individual voter through education. Their motto, “More Voices, More Choices.” Daniel Lee is a lifelong activist. He serves on the national leadership team for the group Move to Amend, which is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy; Move To Amend is calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.
Our movements are revolutionary; their manner of collaborative, horizontal organization is the most natural, organic system on Earth. We terrify the empowered elite because we reflect, in our very structure, the most powerful force on the planet: Life. In what they call our disorganization, we embody the natural systems that the patriarchal, Puritanical European colonizers have been trying to repress and control for thousands of years. Our movements are as frightening to them as a liberated woman, or the pagan religions of old Europe that succumbed to the first invasion of the mentality that now engulfs the empowered elite around the globe. We are organic and uncontrollable . . . and we are, ultimately, unstoppable. Instead of codifying our movements under one name, we must learn to recognize who and what we are. We are a movement of movements, a great multiplicity of motion. We are a thousand points of light. We are Life, itself.
Last week, hundreds of millions of Chinese traveled home to be with their families to ring in the Year of the Horse. The two-week new years celebration is filled with fireworks and food, a tradition in China that many still cling to as the country grows increasingly urbanized and commercialized. But this year, a group of activists were missed from their families’ festivities. The Chinese Communist Party scheduled the majority of trials for some 20 participants ofthe New Citizens’ movement for the week preceding the new year celebrations, hoping that the overlap would diminish public awareness of the trials. The New Citizens’ movement is a multi-issue campaign for systemic change that has gained prominence in China over the last year.