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Antiwar Message Is Raised At Norfolk’s Annual NATO Parade

The North American Treaty Organization, or NATO, has two Strategic Commands - one in Belgium, the other in Norfolk, Virginia. And every year Norfolk holds a NATO Festival, complete with a parade, to honor the U.S-led military alliance that supported Portugal in its wars against African anti-colonial liberation movements; led the destruction of Libya and the former Yugoslavia; played leading roles in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and helped provoke the present war in Ukraine by expanding eastward to the very borders of Russia. This year, the festival took place on Earth Day - totally ironic, since militaries are the greatest polluters on the planet. But along with the thousands who came out  to watch the parade was a small band of antiwar activists holding a bright yellow 5-foot by 10-foot canvas banner that read “Fight Poverty, Racism + Global Warming, not  NATO’s Wars!”

Self-Emancipation Continues To Rise At The St. Louis City Justice Center

In the early morning hours of April 4, 2021, a day that many Christians recognized as Resurrection Sunday, detainees, at the St. Louis City Justice Center moved in the spirit of insurrection to challenge their oppressors and well documented repression at the jail. After the first major rebellion at the jail grabbed national attention on February 6, 2021, government bureaucrats in collaboration with “activists” of the social justice state scrambled to mystify what is really happening to detainees at the city’s jails through sham reports and pseudo-independent investigations.  The attempt to paper over the status quo of cruelty and inhumanity exacted on detainees in the aftermath of the February 6th jail uprising has proved unsuccessful.  

Nightly Rally To Seattle’s West Precinct Takes Detour, Shuts Down I-5

Every night around 7 pm, demonstrators now march from the Capitol Hill Organized Protest to the Seattle Police Department's West Precinct. The downhill rally culminates with a handful of speakers who speak out against police brutality. Tonight, the rally ended with an unexpected detour—onto I-5. Speakers spoke on the steps of the West Precinct on Virginia Street for around 30 minutes. There were no police in sight, only a barricade set up in anticipation of the rally. Demonstrators spoke on a bullhorn about SPD's use of tear gas, calling it a war crime and demanding justice. Organizer David Lewis talked about being "pepper-sprayed and gassed for two weeks for this change with you." "It is your voice, it is your feat, it is your bodies that has earned us an audience with the mayor on a weekly basis," he continued. "A lot of the voices here are demanding for change and we will have it."

Martin Gugino – The “Buffalo Protestor” And Our Friend

Martin Gugino worked together in Witness Against Torture for years, a close-knit group dedicated to closing the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo and opposing torture. Our community is beside itself. None of us is surprised that it was Martin meeting the police line in a posture of non-violence. Martin is gentle, principled, and undaunted. Allied with the Catholic Worker tradition, he is also deeply committed to a tapestry of causes, from fair housing to immigrant rights. Guiding his activism is belief in the sacred power of non-violent resistance to injustice. If that makes him an “agitator,” as Buffalo’s police chief slandered him, then the world needs more agitators.

The Problem Of “Peaceful Protesters”

Across the world and across history, oppressed, marginalized, poor, and working-class people have used a variety of tactics to further their goals and fight back, and this includes things that could be considered violent. Overall, this means that when people refuse their roles within society and instead force the system into a state of crisis, that’s when we can create a situation in which we can forward our own agenda. This often means that people refuse to do the things that allows the system to reproduce itself. In the case of workers, people strike. In the case of renters, they go on rent strike. For the poor, they refuse to be passive: they riot. In the case of all, they defend themselves against the violence of State repression and the police: they fight back. 

Pandemic: Protecting Public Health And The Right To Free Speech And Assembly

New Yorkers are allowed and encouraged to go out in the street with masks and stay at least 6 feet apart, as long as it is to stand in line to go shopping or to sit in a park, but if they are adhering to those requirements and they say something about an issue of public concern (similar to what members of Reclaim Pride did) that speech will make the speaker subject to arrest on the specious basis that speech is a public health risk. Banning that speech/protest while permitting the same activity without speech is unconstitutional. The president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association recently wrote to the police commissioner stating that: “This week the mayor announced an end to public protests in the city….the SBA believes that such a sweeping prohibition against the rights embodied by the First Amendment is glaringly unconstitutional.”

How Do You Protest When You Can’t Take To The Streets?

Coronavirus and quarantine measures have posed significant challenges for social movements at a time when governments are taking important decisions on people’s lives as well as living conditions. Citizens experience high degrees of anxiety and uncertainty, brought on by risks to health and economic well-being. As governments scramble to respond to the pandemic, its unequal impact on citizens becomes ever more visible, as do the discrepancies between different nations’ government strategies, their effectiveness, and the degree of legitimacy they elicit from their publics. Whereas New Zealand’s Covid-19 response met with great public support and was extremely effective, the UK witnessed a seriously delayed and chaotic response, and extremely high infection and death rates, with 66% of the public feeling the government took too long to react.

Groups Challenge New Felony Protest Law

Louisiana - Environmentalists and activists arrested for protesting around the Bayou Bridge pipeline have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law passed last year that allows law enforcement to charge protesters as felons. The new law, which changed the definition of "critical infrastructure," is intended to protect sensitive areas such as power plants, petrochemical facilities and water treatment sites. Pipelines and pipeline construction sites were added to the critical infrastructure list, making it a felony to trespass at the pipeline as of last August.

Women’s March On The Pentagon: We Refuse To Pay To Protest

The day before Thanksgiving, Cindy Sheehan, co-coordinator of the recent Women’s March on the Pentagon* (WMOP) was presented with a $540 bill for “police escort” by the Arlington County (Virginia) Police Department (ACPD). eginning in July, leadership of WMOP began taking steps to secure permits from the two jurisdictions that the WMOP would take on October 21st (51st anniversary of the March on the Pentagon during the Vietnam War): Arlington County (brief march) and the Pentagon.

Protest War And Racism, In Chicago, On August 25th

In calling for this demonstration, the Chicago Committee Against War and Racism declares that in many respects we are confronting worse evils today than we were 50 years ago — but we are still confronting the same institutional barriers to peace and progress. Just 11 days ago, U.S.-led coalition warplanes in Syria conducted intensive airstrikes near Abu Kamal in the Deir ez-Zor province, with estimates of civilian casualties ranging from 30 to 54, the higher estimate coming from The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. All too typically, this received little media attention. It was not part of the so-called “national conversation.” But acts like these, occurring on a regular basis, need to become part of the national conversation, and that is part of what motivates us to call for this protest. These acts of aggressive war are not somehow magically transformed into moral acts simply because relatively few U.S. personnel are at risk of harm.

We Must Be Strategic To Win Social Change

We have more power than we think. But we’ve got to go beyond the “protest-petition-call officials-vote” routine. Think outside that box, and you’ll find a world of creative solutions and strategies to tap into. I’d like to issue a challenge to all of our nonprofits and organizing groups to at least employ a one-for-one strategy. If you’re going to ask people to call public officials or join a large protest, add a second strategy that uses an organized, sustained, and strategic act of noncooperation and/or intervention targeted at a second group of power holders. The time has come to double down on strategy and make great strides toward change.

Adani Activists Stop Coal Train Before Being Arrested

ACTIVISTS have halted a train carrying hundreds of tonnes of coal headed for the Abbott Point Coal Terminal. Anti-Adani protest group Front Line Action on Coal reported two activists climbed on top of a coal train and hung a banner across a 15-metre-long carriage. After over three hours occupying the coal train, Anna Hush and Gareth Davies were arrested at 10aam. Anna Hush said: "I am stopping this coal train today because I believe coal has no place in our future. The destruction of land and water for corporate profit is deeply exploitative, and ecologically devastating" Another of the climate activists, environmental consultant Gareth Davies said: "Adani is just one part of this struggle - if this rail line is built, there are a whole bunch of companies ready to begin mining the Galilee Basin.

Vindictive Prosecution: Activist Who Laughed During Hearing

ByAndrea Germanos for Common Dreams. CODEPINK activist Desiree Fairooz, who was arrested after laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing, will face a second trial this fall after she rejected a plea deal on Friday. "I still cannot believe the government refuses to drop this. Vindictive!" she wrote on Twitter, while CODEPINK called it "ridiculous." She was convicted in May of disorderly and disruptive conduct during the hearing. While Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) argued that Sessions' record of "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented," Fairooz, who was in the hearing room, laughed. She held up a sign that read "Support Civil Rights; Stop Sessions" as she was placed under arrest and taken out of the room.

A Crackdown On Our Right To Stand Up

By Nicole Colson for Socialist Worker - Nicole Colson explains how Republican-led legislatures are trying to push through laws to criminalize dissent--in the hopes of stopping the growing fight against the right. LESS THAN three weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump is clearly what George W. Bush once claimed to be: "a uniter, not a divider." Only he's been uniting many hundreds of thousands of people in protest and many millions in outrage at his bigoted, right-wing actions since taking office. But Trump's right-wing admirers around the country have seized on a strategy to push back against mass protest--by criminalizing it. Lawmakers in multiple states are proposing measures explicitly designed to curtail dissent.

From An Atlantic Victory To A Gulf Protest

By David Helvarg for National Geographic - Proposed Atlantic Drilling has gone the way of the Keystone Pipeline – bad ideas whose time has passed. President Obama’s decision to cancel his own proposed lease sales for oil and gas along the Southeast Atlantic coast on March 15 was a clear victory for grassroots activism up and down the eastern seaboard. Seaweed (marine grassroots) activists by the millions signed petitions, passed town and coastal city resolutions, mobilized small businesses, demonstrated and spoke out along with their elected officials of both parties and together they turned the tide.
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