Incredible Quinceañera Protest At Texas Capitol Against Vile Anti-Immigrant Law


By Rafi Schwartz for Fusion – On Wednesday, a group of 15 teenage girls, dressed in brightly colored gowns, stood in front of the Texas State Capitol to participate in one of Latin American culture’s most cherished traditions: the quinceañera. But this quinceañera was more than simply a coming-of-age celebration. Instead, it was a public protest against one of the most viciously anti-immigrant pieces of legislation in Texas’ recent history: SB4, the so-called “sanctuary cities bill.” SB4—which essentially forces Texas cities to comply with federal immigration law enforcement actions—has been one of the state’s most hotly contested pieces of legislation all year, drawing comparisons to Arizona’s infamous “papers please” law, and prompting massive protests. Dubbed “Quinceañera at the Capitol,” the protest was organized by Latino advocacy group Jolt, which describes itself on Facebook as a “Texas-based multi-issue organization that builds the political power and influence of Latinos in our democracy.”

Military Recruiting And How To Confront It

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By Pat Elder for Popular Resistance. The Pentagon is attempting to recruit somewhere around 227,000 troops this year, and they’re having one hell of a time finding them, even while they enjoy unprecedented physical access to kids in our high schools and equally unprecedented exposure to their minds through popular culture. In 2010 there were 30.7 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 24. 227,000 works out to .73% of prime recruiting age. The revolution we engender must course through the schools. We can no longer afford to cede our neighborhood schools to the corporatists and the militarists. Wars start in our high schools, and this is where we can help to put an end to them. Wars start in our high schools, and this is where we can help to put an end to them.

Fighting Climate Change Can Be A Lonely In Oil Country, Especially For A Kid


By Neela Banerjee and Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – RAYNE, Louisiana—As far back as Jayden Foytlin can remember, her cousin Madison came over to celebrate her birthday. The girls had been best friends since they were toddlers and spent nearly every weekend together, playing video games and basketball in their driveways. This year, things were different. In the weeks before Jayden’s 14th birthday, Madison’s mother stopped arranging get-togethers. She didn’t answer texts inviting Madison to Jayden’s birthday party. “We thought that maybe she was out of town with her family,” Jayden said. “Or I thought that maybe Madison had a sleepover the same day as my birthday.” The text that cleared matters up came on the afternoon of Jayden’s birthday, as she and her family piled into their hybrid SUV to go roller skating. Madison’s mother wrote that her daughter wasn’t allowed to see Jayden anymore. She was keeping Madison away because Jayden is one of 21 young plaintiffs suing the federal government over its alleged failure to curtail fossil fuel development and address climate change.

Indigenous Youth Took Center Stage At People's Climate March

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By Cherri Foytlin for AlterNet – The ceremony, which welcomed the spirits from the four directions, officially opened the People’s Climate March, a massive show of resistance on a day that also marked Trump’s 100th day in office. Within a few hours, the youth would be braving record heat, to take the lead of the 1.5 mile march, which covered eight city blocks and ended near the Washington monument. As participants made their way along the route, gigantic banners, puppets and signs could be seen above the crowd. “Water is Life,” “Native Nations Rise,” “Defend the Sacred,” and “Respect the Rights of Mother Earth,” were some of the messages. As the convoy reached the White House, the crowd sang and native drum lines took to the front. Merlejohn Lone Eagle, from Bridger, South Dakota, was among them. Although he is only 13, Merlejohn is already an experienced pipeline fighter. He said he worked with youth in his community to send videos to President Obama showing their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. He was overjoyed in the fall of 2015 when Obama rejected the pipeline.

Lessons From The Youth Movement Of The 1960s


By Staff of Okland Socialist – In 1964, UC Berkeley exploded around what became known as the “Free Speech Movement.” In a speech at that campus in December of that year, Mario Savio, the best know leader of that movement said, “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

The Vision And Legacy Of Berta Cáceres

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By Beverly Bell for Other Worlds. One year ago today, Berta Cáceres was murdered by the national and local Honduran government and a multinational dam company, with at least the tacit support of the US. Last September, all the evidence Cáceres’ family had collected over many months was stolen, almost certainly by the government. The government has also refused to share information with the family and to allow independent parties like the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to help with the process. Please contact your US congressperson to urge him or her to endorse the Berta Cáceres Human Rights Act, which is being re-introduced today, March 2, 2017. It compels the US government to cut military aid to Honduras until it improves its human rights record.

Tom Hayden’s Prescient & Still Relevant Port Huron Statement

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By G. Pascal Zachary for Alternet. The Port Huron statement, named after the city in Michigan where SDS leaders met in June 1962, presented a sharp break with political dissent in America. For the entire 20th century, leading up to the 1960s, radical politics in America was chiefly derived from European formulations. Left-wing Americans were deeply shaped by European socialism and Soviet (i.e., Russian) communism. As in 1962, our moment doesn’t seem auspicious. Again, the words from Port Huron ring true today: humanity “desperately needs revolutionary leadership,” and “America rests in national stalemate, its goals ambiguous and tradition-bound instead of informed and clear, its democratic system apathetic and manipulated….”

Young Jews Supporting Black Lives Matter

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By Ally Little and Michelle Weiser for The Forward. we see and affirm the Jews of color in our community, and we proudly and unequivocally support the Movement for Black Lives Platform and Black Lives Matter. We recognize the call for freedom and dignity of black lives as intricately linked to our call for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians. As members of IfNotNow, we are part of a movement of young Jews working to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation of Palestine. Guided by the lessons of our own Jewish history, we cannot remain silent in the face of injustice. Leo Ferguson recently wrote about his experience as a black Jew participating in a NYC Black Lives Matter march: “As Jews, we know what it means to fight for our survival while those around us do nothing. And as a Jew of color, I am tired of feeling abandoned by my friends and my larger Jewish community when they sit on the sidelines rather than fighting for my safety and full humanity… If the Jewish community isn’t part of the solution, then it is part of the problem.”

Naples Rising: Rebel Youth Movements Buzz In The Old City


By Jasper Finkeldey and Mauro Pinto for ROAR Mgazine – The buzz of Naples’ squares and bars at night is electrifying. Public life reaches its high after sizzling hot afternoons. The Southern Italian regional capital of Campania has become a frontrunner of social movement mobilization. At present more than 20 buildings are occupied throughout the city with a vibrant activist scene organizing cultural events, political discussions, free health care, and language classes for immigrants — providing an alternative vision of the city. People who have lost their homes in the economic crisis take refuge in occupied spaces.

Youth Secure Second Win In Climate Trust Litigation

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By Andrea Rodgers for Our Children’s Trust – Seattle, WA – Today, in a surprise ruling from the bench in the critical climate case brought by youths against the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology (“Ecology”), King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill ordered Ecology to promulgate an emissions reduction rule by the end of 2016 and make recommendations to the state legislature on science-based greenhouse gas reductions in the 2017 legislative session. Judge Hill also ordered Ecology to consult with the youth petitioners in advance of that recommendation.

She Helped Save Her Town. Then She Finished High School.

Erica Fernandez in 2007 | Photo: Brower Youth Awards

By Chris Clarke for KCET – Residents along the Ventura Coast are no strangers to oil and gas development. Oil drilling has been a part of life along the Santa Barbara Channel since 1896, with gigantic oil rigs sprouting offshore in the late 1960s. But when an Australian energy company proposed to build a floating terminal 13 miles off Point Dume into a massive terminal for imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and send the gas through the working-class community of Oxnard via a 36-inch pipeline, that was a step too far.

How Group Of Boston Teenagers Organized Massive District-Wide Protest

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By Allison Pohle for Boston Globe – Hours before more than 3,500 of their peers would march out of their classrooms toward Boston Common, a small group of high schoolers was glued to a group chat on their phones. It was 3 a.m., and they needed to make sure everything was ready for the district-wide protest they’d spent the past week organizing. Were the posters finished? Yes. Was the meeting place finalized? Yes. Did they all promise that, no matter what, they would leave their classrooms at 11:30 a.m.?

Wheaton College Students Rally In Support Of Professor On Leave

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By Ehab Zahriyeh for Aljazeera – Dozens of students at Wheaton College in suburban Chicago protested on Monday against the school’s move to terminate an associate professor who said Christians and Muslims worship the same God — a statement she made while wearing a hijab to show solidarity with women who face Islamophobia. Students filled the steps of the school’s Edman Memorial Chapel chanting “Reinstate Doc Hawk,” a nickname for Larycia Hawkins. The Protestant evangelical college said in a Jan. 5 statement on its website that its provost had begun a process for terminating her.

Confronting University Racism Requires Acknowledging History Of Segregation

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By Cary Fraser for Truthout – The idea that leaders at all levels of the US educational system need to be trained to recognize and combat racism is finally receiving renewed attention within academia, thanks to the intensity of the protests that erupted on streets and campuses across the country in 2015. The protests that spread to university campuses across the country following the student protests against a racist campus climate and an unresponsive leadership at the University of Missouri-Columbia have again forced Americans to confront the recurrent failures of their higher education institutions…