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Social Movements

Women In Nicaragua: Power And Protagonism – Delegation Report-Back

Hailing from all corners of the United States and Canada, 22 delegates ranging from the ages of 10 to 80 traveled to Nicaragua from January 7-16, 2023 to investigate the conditions and the lives of Nicaraguan women on a delegation organized by the Jubilee House Community – Casa Benjamin Linder and Alliance for Global Justice. We had the opportunity to meet with a plethora of community organizers, workers, and public officials: from peasant feminist farmers to self-employed unionists; from urban community health workers to nurses and doctors; from battered women’s program directors to women leaders in the police, National Assembly, and Ministry of Women. We met with Nicaraguans from all walks of life and heard their stories of resilience and empowerment despite two hundred years of imperialist aggression and efforts to undermine their sovereignty.

Building A Global People’s Movement To End US Imperialism

Following a two-year organizing effort, the International People's Tribunal on US Imperialism will launch in New York City on January 28. The People's Tribunal will focus on US sanctions, blockades and coercive measures and how they impact people in the targeted countries. Clearing the FOG speaks with Helyeh Doutaghi, a co-chair of the Tribunal, a doctoral student at Carleton University in Ottawa, and an anti-imperialist activist, about why this is an opportune time to build a global movement focused on the United States, how the Tribunal will be structured and how the testimony will be used to hold the US accountable for its violations of international law. Doutaghi also explains how people in the United States are being misled so they will support the use of these illegal actions, if they are even aware of them.

Environmental Defenders Join Forces Across Argentina To Stop Mining Boom

With the Argentine government recently investing in over 30 new mining projects in the next decade, environmentalists are mobilizing against the country’s expanding extractivist economic model. Environmental groups are coming together to share knowledge, experiences and forms of resistance against these projects, which they say are being driven from the global north. Ever since childhood, Freddy Carbonel, an Argentine environmental advocate, has held a deep connection to nature — from his fascination with trees to hiking in the mountainous province of Tucumán and using his video camera to document snowfall in his town. After the global anti-nuclear push in the 1980s, Carbonel founded an environmental association with a group of like-minded young colleagues called Pro Eco Ecologist Group.

What Next For The Anti-War Movement, With Brian Becker

Brian Becker’s commitment to social and economic justice began at a young age, shaped by his religious upbringing and his desire for fairness and equality for all people. Throughout his career, he has been a vocal critic of U.S. imperialism and the capitalist system, which he sees as inherently exploitative and oppressive. His advocacy for socialism stems from his belief that a socialist system would be more just and equitable for all people. Becker has also been an active voice in the anti-war movement, opposing U.S. led interventions in foreign countries and advocating for peaceful negotiation as a solution to conflicts. He has been a chief organizer of nationwide protests against the endless war state for over two decades, and is considered one of the most experienced activists in the United States. Today, he joins Behind The Headlines host Lee Camp about the history of anti-war organizing in the United States and what is in store for the anti-war movement in 2023.

Chilean Congress Approves Bill To Launch New Constituent Process

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies, on Wednesday, January 11, with 109 votes in favor, 37 against and two abstentions, approved a bill that launches a new constituent process to replace the country’s dictatorship-era constitution. The bill had already been approved in the Senate. On January 3, the upper house of Congress had passed it with 42 votes in favor, seven against and one abstention. Now, it must be promulgated by President Gabriel Boric in order to take effect. After it is published in the Official Gazette, the process to draft a new constitution, one of the fundamental demands of the October 2019 social uprising against inequality, will begin. The bill calls for the creation of a Commission of Experts of 24 members, a Constitutional Council of 55 members, and a Technical Admissibility Committee for redrafting Chile’s new Magna Carta.

Lula: The Coup And The Importance Of Popular Mobilization

The attempted fascist Bolsonarist coup d’état of January 8 in Brasilia is not a merely local event. Everything indicates that it had international sponsorship. It is far from being a spontaneous revolt, as there are countless facts that demonstrate a high degree of organization, coordination and financing prior to the assault and vandalizing of the main institutions representing the three branches of state power in Brazil, no less than the Congress, the Planalto Palace and the headquarters of the Federal Supreme Court. This relationship with the support of an international organization behind the coup attempt and other serious subversive attempts occurring in our region has been pointed out by several analysts but I have not read any as precise as that of the Cuban Hedelberto López Blanch.

Brazil Gets Ready For Lula´s Return

January 1 will be a long-awaited day for Brazil’s progressive movement. On that day, Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva, once and future president, will officially replace the nefarious Latin American Trump, Jair Bolsonaro. With only a few days ahead, the country is already beginning to prepare for this historic day. Hundreds of thousands are expected to gather in the capital, Brasilia, to see the lion of the Latin American left sworn in. The event will take place to the rhythm of samba, the voices of renowned singers, including Pabllo Vittar — Brazil’s most famous drag queen and a favorite target of the defeated right. In October, three years after his release from prison, Lula won a historic presidential election against the fascist Bolsonaro, with close results.

Gaining Power In The Struggle For A Better World

Prolific academic Vijay Prashad is the Executive Director of Leftword books, a publishing house out of India. Recently he published a book with Noam Chomsky, “The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S.” Vijay collaborates with social movements on an international level, including with the leadership of many left-wing Latin American governments. On the subject of censorship, the conversation naturally turns to the cancellation of RT, including shows hosted by Chris Hedges and Lee Camp himself. Vijay points out that many liberals who claim to champion free speech are making an argument based on politics and not principle, as evidenced by their lack of outrage over me and Chris. Claims that we are Russian propagandists are thrown around, when, in reality, Lee was never told what to talk about.

Meeting Labor’s Moment

In my thirty years in the labor movement, I’ve never seen a moment quite like this one. We’re living through a pivotal moment for America’s working class and for the future of U.S. labor, but it’s more than that. This is a major shift in the social and economic order. In order to see the path forward, we have to consider what’s different from the system we’ve operated in for the last 40 years. The last time we saw such a shift began in the 1970s, when markets-are-always-right thinking eclipsed New Deal ideas that prioritized checks and balances on capital. Now market-centric neoliberal thinking is weakening.  The pandemic is key. There’s far more public awareness about how poorly workers have been treated, and this has driven up public support for unionism.

Prefigurative Societies In Movement

Something new is happening – something new in content, depth, breadth and global consistency. Societies around the world are in movement. Since the early 1990s millions of people have been organizing similarly, and in ways that defy definitions and former ways of understanding social movements, protest and resistance. There is a growing global movement of refusal – and simultaneously, in that refusal is a creative movement. Millions are shouting No!, as they manifest alternatives in its wake. What has been taking place in disparate places around the world is part of a new wave that is both revolutionary in the day-to-day sense of the word, as well as without precedent with regard to consistency of form, politics, scope and scale. The current frameworks provided by the social sciences and traditional left to understand these movements have yet to catch up with what is new and different about them.

Peru Rises Up After Coup Against Elected President Pedro Castillo

Peru’s democratically elected left-wing President Pedro Castillo was overthrown and arrested in a coup on December 7 by the right-wing-controlled congress, which has an approval rating of between 7% and 11%. Castillo is a humble teacher and union organizer from a rural, indigenous-descent community in a country whose political system has long been dominated by racist elites. As soon as Castillo entered office at the end of July 2021, far-right elements in the congress, loyal to the US-backed former dictator Alberto Fujimori, constantly tried to overthrow him and destabilize his government. Multipolarista editor Ben Norton interviewed Peruvian activist Daniela Ortiz about the protests going on across the country calling for a new constitution and demanding that Castillo be freed from prison.

Radical Tactics Are Likely To Help The Climate Movement, Not Hurt It

Radical actions across the climate movement are gaining popularity. From Just Stop Oil in the U.K. to Save Old Growth in Canada to Letzte Generation in Germany, there is a wave of activists employing increasingly disruptive tactics to demand climate action. These tactics include throwing soup at a Van Gogh painting, going on a hunger strike and blocking motorways during rush hour. Why are people resorting to these tactics? The common view among activists is that conventional methods have failed to bring about any meaningful change on climate issues. Report after report outlines how we’re on track to overshoot globally agreed targets of 1.5 degrees Celsius, and will quite likely go above 2.5 C. This means catastrophic consequences for millions of people around the world, like we’re already seeing with floods in Pakistan or extreme heatwaves in India.

Sudan’s Revolutionary Forces Reject Transition Deal

On Monday, December 5, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FCC) in Sudan, a coalition of centrist and right-wing political parties, signed an initial deal with the military junta as part of a political framework arrangement. The agreement will pave the way for a two-year “civilian-led” transition towards elections, a year after the military led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan staged a coup on October 25, 2021. “The Agreement is a critical first step towards the restoration of a sustainable transitional period and the formation of a credible, civil, democratic, and accountable government,” the Trilateral Mechanism comprised of the United Nations Integrated Assistance Mission in Sudan, African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development said in a statement.

A Report-back From The COP27: Building A People’s Movement To Solve The Crisis

Clearing the FOG speaks with Kali Akuno, who is a member of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the It Takes Roots delegation to the recent COP27, about what happened at the meeting and how they are building a growing global movement to address the climate crisis. Akuno talks about how this COP compared to previous meetings such as the greater influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, repression of political expression, preventing access to movements on the front lines and the destructive influence of the United States' representatives. The COP process is failing and in response, people are creating alternative spaces for strategy and organizing.

Why Movements Need To Start Singing Again

Social movements are stronger when they sing. That’s a lesson that has been amply demonstrated throughout history, and it’s one that I have learned personally in working to develop trainings for activists over the past decade and a half. In Momentum, a training program that I co-founded and that many other trainers and organizers have built over the last seven years, song culture is not something we included at the start. And yet, it has since become so indispensable that the trainers I know would never imagine doing without it again. The person who taught me the most as I came to appreciate the impact that song can have on movement culture is Stephen Brackett, an activist and hip-hop MC known on stage as Brer Rabbit.
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