All News Feeds

The future is in our hands

Peace News -


A report from the Movement Against War youth delegation to the International Peace Bureau Congress on demilitarisation.


Young delegates stop nuclear missile launch at the IPB Congress!

From the 30 September – 3 October, MAW Youth (Jen Harrison, Becky Garnault, Maddy Ridgley) plus 2 competition winners (Ella Johnson and Khem Rogaly) attended the International Peace Bureau world congress in Berlin.

For 4 days we were immersed in fascinating panel discussions and workshops delivered by an impressive collection of academics, activists, writers, politicians and economists. In our spare time we engaged in stimulating, nuanced and informative discussions with fellow attendees of diverse ages and nationalities. Together, we created a breeding ground for progressive ideas and fostered a community intent on building a climate of peace, reducing military spending and challenging the destructive power structures pervasive to our world.

A theme common to many of the plenaries and workshops was the effects and causes of global military spending. Though the strapline to the conference was the “the world is over armed and peace is underfunded” (Ban-ki Moon), the economist Samir Amin pointed out that it would be more appropriate to say that “the West is over armed”, as Western countries account for 75% of the total global military spending ($1.7trillion). This shocking figure is made worse when the huge cuts to social and public services across Europe and the USA in recent years are considered. The speakers emphasised the extent to which war is a systemic problem intimately connected to global capitalism, European colonialism and patriarchy. Over the course of the conference, the nature of militarism as a metastatic cancer, infecting different levels of thought became ever clearer.

read more

Women's March on Washington won't have access to Lincoln Memorial

The Guardian | Protest -

National Park Service documents bar access to key sites aroud time of inauguration, including those celebrated for their role in 1960s protests

For the thousands hoping to echo the civil rights and anti-Vietnam rallies at Lincoln Memorial by joining the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration: time to readjust your expectations.

The Women’s March won’t be held at the Lincoln Memorial.

Related: How to stop Donald Trump: women may hold the solution

Related: Women’s rights groups brace for Trump: ‘We are used to fighting impossible odds’

Continue reading...

Desperate commuters, it’s time for a rebellion the government can’t ignore | Polly Toynbee

The Guardian | Protest -

Southern rail’s appalling service means people are losing jobs, while in the north lines are left to rot. Train users must take action now

Politicians foolish enough to search for “Britishness”, those ineffable qualities and values that define who we think we are, conjure up strings of imagined characteristics, virtually all of which have turned out to be wrong.

No, we are not the tolerant, moderate folk we pretend: the Brexit vote put an end to that notion, as we, the country that has taken a tiny number of refugees, vote to keep out foreigners at any price, however self-harming. As the Germans take a million refugees and the Italians and Greeks absorb thousands a week, imagine the paroxysms of national hysteria if the Isle of Wight suddenly received Lampedusa’s boatloads of migrants every day.

Related: Southern rail strike: Grayling offers to meet RMT union for talks

Related: Southern Railway is failing customers again and again. That’s why I spoke out | David Boyle

Continue reading...

'This is an awakening': Native Americans find new hope after Standing Rock

The Guardian | Protest -

For those who left behind communities ravaged by poverty and substance abuse, their time spent at this historic gathering has been transformational

Frank Archambault’s tent sits on top of a small hill in the middle of Oceti Sakowin, the largest encampment at Standing Rock. It is easy to spot him standing on the small rise, wearing a long black coat, feathered hat, and yellow, red, white and black ribbons on his arm that mark him as a member of Iktčé Wičháša Oyáte – A Common Men’s Society.

Archambault founded Iktčé Wičháša Oyáte shortly after he arrived, with his five children and grandchild, at the “water protector” encampments in August. He saw that there was work around the camp that wasn’t getting done, and he saw that there were men around camp not doing work. Now the group helps run security and coordinates work crews.

I was a bad kid. It’s not hard to be that way when it’s all you see

It wasn’t until I came here that I realized it’s a powerful thing to learn your traditions and ways

Continue reading...

Violence is the reason we have Trump, not the answer to stopping him

Waging Nonviolence -

by Kazu Haga

A protest against Trump at Union Square on Nov. 9. (WNV/Eric Stoner)

What’s next? That is the big question facing this country after the election. And many people have been sharing their thoughts on that over social and traditional media, over dinner conversations, at the office and on the bus with complete strangers. And, as expected, people are all over the map with ideas and strategies.

One developing theme is that we need to escalate — utilize more militant tactics in our resistance movements. Hatred, division and ignorance has escalated, so it is only natural that our response to it has to escalate along with it to match its intensity.

At the same time, however, I have also seen people suggesting that we need to consider using violent methods to resist Trump and what he stands for — that in this day and age, nonviolence is “not enough.”

While I certainly empathize with the emotions driving that idea, we also have to remember that it is violence that got us here. It is hatred, ignorance, division, intimidation — all manifestations of violence — that brought us Trump.

If we choose to be motivated by anger and hatred, if we choose to divide our communities even more, all we do is continue to feed the exact energy that got us Trump. Even if the anger is towards Trump and his supporters, we are empowering the forces that allowed him to rise to power. We need to be angry, but at the forces of injustice, not its human participants.

In the most thorough study on the subject to date, Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, an academic and author who started as a critic of nonviolence, found that nonviolent movements — even under the most repressive regimes — were statistically twice as effective as violent movements all over the world. They also found (looking at cases where the objective was secession of land or revolution) that movements able to mobilize 3.5 percent of the general population never fail in meeting their stated objective.

Violence breeds patriarchy, which is at the root of so much of the violence in our society. Once you introduce violence to the equation, you limit those who can be on the front lines and those who can lead. Mostly, you limit it to young able-bodied men. And look where that has gotten us as a society. If we are not building a movement with leadership from the most disenfranchised — those who often can’t take up arms — we are fighting a never-ending losing battle. Stephan and Chenoweth’s work also shows that only nonviolent movements have been able to mobilize that magical 3.5 percent.

We also know, however, that simply getting millions of people out into the streets by itself is not enough. If people think that nonviolence is only about getting millions to hold flowers and sing “Kumbaya,” they would be mistaken. Most people forget — or had no idea in the first place — how radical and militant Martin Luther King, Jr. was, and how aggressive a force nonviolence can be. King called for a movement that was just as attention-grabbing and disruptive as a riot.

As a society, we have studied violence for centuries. That’s all we know. So, we assume that’s the only thing that’s going to work, or it’s the most radical thing, or the most effective thing, as a last resort. And that’s because that’s what the state teaches us. We have not studied nonviolence. We do not know what it means or how to use it effectively. We have never given it a real chance, despite the evidence that is out there. We have not invested in it the same way we have with violence.

There is nothing radical about violence. There is nothing revolutionary about a force that has destroyed communities forever, a force that we are all too familiar with and a force that got us into this mess. What is radical and revolutionary is using a tool that is new. If you resist violence with violence, you’re not resisting violence. You’re resisting people, and empowering violence. You are not addressing the root cause.

Violence is the enemy. That idea that we can use force, fear and intimidation to get what we want, to force our will, is what needs to change, not the faces that are in power.

Voting was never going to give us the changes that we need in the first place. We need to organize harder than ever, not just in electoral politics, but in the spaces of social movements. And as we work in our movements, we need to keep in mind that it’s not just systems that we are trying to change, but our culture, our worldview and the ways in which we treat each other.

If you’ve been to a political rally, chances are you’ve chanted something along the lines of “justice for all.” But when we say “all,” do we really it? Or do we mean “all of the people we agree with?” Because that’s the mentality that gave us Trump. Building “beloved community” isn’t about loving those who are easy to love.

So what does it mean to give justice to all people? To validate the real, legitimate fears that drove people to vote for Trump? Their legitimate fears and concerns aren’t racism and sexism. Those are the scapegoats that Trump used to drum up fear. There is real concern about insecurity, of not being able to take care of their families, of an uncertain future, of our values being threatened. And if we can’t find a way to validate those fears that over half of this country has, we will always be divided, and there will always be violence.

This is not about empathizing with the oppressor out of charity. It is about gathering information and understanding the dynamic of the conflict. As Sun Tzu in the “Art of War” taught, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

In the wake of Trump’s election, I am also recommitting myself to taking care of myself, of those around me, and of society at large. We need to take care of ourselves, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, because we have a tough road ahead. With all the forces trying to destroy us, staying healthy is an act of resistance. Honoring ourselves, fighting the internal violence that is so often self-inflicted, telling ourselves that we matter and treating ourselves accordingly is revolutionary.

Exactly a week after the election, in the prison where my organization facilitates nonviolence and restorative justice work, one of my teachers said during his check-in, “Today, I find myself in prison. I don’t like being in prison. But I choose to be happy instead of miserable. Because I have that choice.”

So today, I choose to be inspired. I choose to be motivated. I choose to be committed. I choose to cultivate joy. I choose love over hate.

The anger, fear and anxiety that we all feel is legitimate, and we can’t ignore them. We actually need to feel them to the fullest degree. I have real fear for people I love who live in Trumpland. But the best way to protect those we love is to win over those who hate them.

We need to find safe places to feel and release the anger and the fear, so that we can uncover — underneath all of that — an undying yearning for love and connection. That’s what needs to motivate us moving forward. Love can be sweet and sympathetic, but it can also be aggressive and assertive. It is that type of love that we need moving forward.

I will feel that anger, but I refuse to feel desperate, hopeless or apathetic. Those are acts of violence that we do to our own soul, and it is violence that got us to where we are today.

Instead, I will organize harder, protest harder, build harder, train harder, and love harder than I ever have before. And I will always keep in mind these words from King: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Public Enemy – 10 of the best

The Guardian | Protest -

From the anthemic to the polemic, here are some of the most influential songs by the self-proclaimed ‘Rolling Stones of rap’

What made Public Enemy so different from their contemporaries, according to Russell Simmons of Def Jam Recordings, was that “Public Enemy didn’t rap about partying … Public Enemy talked about the state of black America, and how every black kid in America was a public enemy.” But leader Chuck D had yet to perfect his fiery blend of rhetoric and polemic on the 1987 debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show, which – the storming Rightstarter (Message to a Black Man) aside – often avoided explicit politics in favour of boasting about their rides (You’re Gonna Get Yours), bigging up their crew (Too Much Posse) and occasionally slipping into ugly sexism (Sophisticated Bitch). Miuzi Weighs a Ton was the genesis of Public Enemy at their apex, however, with Chuck’s extended machine-gun metaphor talking up the firepower between his ears, while the stone age drum-machine beats and sonic-boom scratches and samples were muscular and heavy. A sly tempo change between verse and chorus, meanwhile, suggested that production team the Bomb Squad – Eric Sadler, and brothers Hank and Keith Shocklee – had ambitions beyond early hip-hop’s sparse, simple template.

Continue reading...

Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark sells out after Trump victory

The Guardian | Protest -

Feminist activist’s manifesto for ‘an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists’, originally published in Bush years, sees huge rise in sales

Rebecca Solnit’s political manifesto, published to encourage activists while George W Bush waged war in Iraq, has enjoyed a huge resurgence in sales since the election of Donald Trump as the next US president.

Hope in the Dark by activist and writer Solnit was published in 2004, but an updated third edition published earlier this year sold out in the US after the poll result, and digital downloads have topped 33,000, reports Publishers Weekly.

Related: ‘Hope is a​n embrace of the unknown​’: Rebecca Solnit on living in dark times

Related: Books to give you hope: The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit

Continue reading...

Dakota Access company takes its battle to finish oil pipeline to court

The Guardian | Protest -

Move comes after Energy Transfer Partners was denied a key permit to drill under the Missouri river, and as Standing Rock leader urges protesters to go home

Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, has responded to the Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of a key permit by asking a federal judge to allow it to drill under the Missouri river immediately.

The court filing came as thousands of activists remained at the Standing Rock encampments, despite being buffeted by a blizzard and a plea from a tribal council leader for them to return home.

Related: The light from Standing Rock: beautiful struggle shows the power of protest

Related: Dakota Access pipeline: the who, what and why of the Standing Rock protests

Continue reading...

Insurrection – the board game? Bloc by Bloc brings uprising to your living room

The Guardian | Protest -

Bloc by Bloc pits players against the authorities and aims to use a classic board game format to show the impact of gentrification and the power of protest

In Oakland’s commercial district, a diverse coalition of insurgents relieve shops of goods and light storefronts ablaze. Newly flush with fancy clothes, a group of workers evade marauding riot cops. Nearby, freed prisoners and neighboring citizens barricade the streets surrounding an occupied stadium. The military is expected to arrive in just a few days to decisively crush the rebellion.

This is one of the scenarios that plays out on the board of Bloc by Bloc, a cooperative tabletop strategy game that pits players against the authorities in a struggle to liberate the city. The “insurrection game”, as the creators, Rocket Lee and Tim Simons, bill it, is a not-for-profit project aimed, they say, at undermining imperialist themes in strategy games – and perhaps radicalizing unsuspecting players.

Related: LA's black enclave buffeted by police pressure and tech-driven gentrification

Related: Virtual realty: can a computer game turn you into an ‘evil’ property developer?

Continue reading...

The light from Standing Rock: beautiful struggle shows the power of protest

The Guardian | Protest -

It is not a final victory, and there is much to fear from pipeline investor Donald Trump, but much will come of this gathering and its vision, tactics and power

No one saw it coming. But on a Sunday, word came that the US Army Corps of Engineers was withdrawing permission to build the Dakota Access pipeline under the Missouri river, just above the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

What do you do with a victory? Many on social media cautioned that this was not the Santa-is-real everything-is-OK-forever victory and we should not celebrate. If we waited for that, we’d never celebrate. But the people most involved seemed to realize that this is not the end of the story, but a really nice chapter.

Related: Standing Rock activists stay in place, fearing pipeline victory was a 'trick'

Continue reading...

Saudi artist shows solidarity with the Standing Rock protesters – video

The Guardian | Protest -

After the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river, Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater joins protesters at Standing Rock to celebrate their victory. This is the fifth episode in our Crossing the line series, in which a group of Middle Eastern artists embarks on a US road trip exploring common concerns

Continue reading...

UN fears Chinese human rights lawyer has been 'disappeared' by authorities

The Guardian | Protest -

Jiang Tianyong, who met UN official earlier this year, has not been seen since 21 November

United Nations human rights experts are demanding answers from Beijing over the disappearance of a prominent Chinese lawyer they fear has been targeted by authorities in reprisal for meeting a UN official earlier this year.

Jiang Tianyong, a 45-year-old Christian lawyer known for defending a number of prominent human rights activists, has not been seen since 21 November. Relatives and supporters believe he has been taken into secret custody by security forces.

Related: Shanshan's Year: anguish of jailed lawyers' families laid bare in Chinese film

Related: 'I want to rescue my dad': children's heartbreak for the lawyers China has taken away

Continue reading...

Israel refuses visa to theologian over boycott and divestment activism

The Guardian | Protest -

Isabel Phiri, of World Council of Churches, is first foreigner denied entry specifically for involvement with BDS movement

Israel has denied entry to a prominent African theologian and academic for her alleged activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – the first time officials say a foreign national has been refused entry for that reason.

Isabel Phiri, who is an assistant general secretary with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and Malawian by birth, was refused a visa at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on Monday afternoon.

Related: Star authors call for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue rather than boycotts

Continue reading...

Standing Rock: blizzard hits protesters as controversial pipeline halted – in pictures

The Guardian | Protest -

Over the weekend, military veterans joined Native Americans and activists at the camp in North Dakota – now amid heavy snow – where they’ve spent months trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Then, on Sunday, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced it would not allow the pipeline to run under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation. It remains to be seen whether the decision will be reversed next year when Donald Trump becomes president. The proposed 1,172-mile-long pipeline would transport oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois.

Continue reading...

Standing Rock celebrates victory while pondering the struggle ahead

Waging Nonviolence -

by Sarah Aziza

Embed from Getty Images

After months of peaceful resistance, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies scored a historic victory on Sunday, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it would deny construction permits for a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The announcement essentially halts the project, while also highlighting the power of the sustained resistance movement by Native Americans, environmental activists and thousands of allies.

The stand-off at Standing Rock began months ago, when several dozen Native demonstrators formed a peaceful “prayer camp” in the path of the impending 1,172-mile oil pipeline. As news of the project spread, the self-described “water protectors” attracted widespread international attention, sparked nationwide action and drew thousands of supporters to Cannonball, North Dakota. While confrontations with law enforcement resulted in some injuries on the part of demonstrators, the organizers at Standing Rock continued to emphasize the importance of “acting at all times in a peaceful and prayerful manner,” according to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

The movement never sacrificed this spirit of fierce open-heartedness, which made the victory a deeply meaningful one to organizers of all stripes. Environmental activist and author Bill McKibben said he “never saw a better example of how to organize.” In a story for the Guardian, he wrote that the #NoDAPL struggle “managed to build not just resistance to a project, but a remarkable new and unified force.” Meanwhile, Naomi Klein, who covered the story for The Nation, explained that unlike most victories, which “usually come incrementally … and at some delay after mass action,” the one in Standing Rock is “bright and undeniable.” What’s more: “It shows people everywhere that organizing and resistance is not futile.”

Others involved in the movement stressed the importance of intersectional solidarity. “We have more allies now,” tweeted Daniel Health Justice, a member of the Cherokee Nation. “Our intersectional struggles are shared.” Standing Rock Tribal Councilman Cody Two Bears told The Nation he sees the #NoDAPL struggle as part of a larger movement for sustainability, led by indigenous people. “The first people of this land have to teach this country how to live again,” he said. “By going green, by going renewable, by using the blessings the creator has given us: the sun and the wind.”

Archambault issued a statement of thanks immediately following yesterday’s news, expressing gratitude to “the tribal youth who initiated this movement” and to “the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us.” Archambault also stressed the fact that the movement had insisted upon a “nation-to-nation relationship” between tribes and the Obama administration. He lauded Obama for the “courage” to engage in this way, adding, “Treaties are paramount law and must be respected.”

Nevertheless, most organizers are already looking ahead to the next steps in the struggle to preserve both indigenous rights and environmental resources. Many expressed their anxiety that the incoming Trump administration will prove far more resistant to issues of indigenous rights or environmental protection. In a press conference Monday afternoon, Trump reiterated his support for the pipeline’s construction. Not long after, reports emerged that Trump was selling his stake in Energy Transfer Partners, the company overseeing the pipeline.

It also remains unclear what may come of the Army Corps of Engineer’s promise to explore “alternative routes” for the pipeline — a point on which many are raising the call for sustained vigilance. “We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development or national security,” said Archumbault. “But we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our indigenous peoples.” The Indigenous Environmental Network remains hopeful, if cautious, tweeting, “The fight is not over, but we are winning.”

Amsterdam: New from Wijde Heisteeg 7

House Occupation News -

We, the living group of Wijde Heisteeg 7 are facing the court case against our evection. This is a call out for everybody to come and show support on the 8th December at 09:30 at Parnassusweg, for the court case of Wijde Heisteeg 7 against the state.
The O.M. decided that we should leave the house, for the very important reason of putting antikraak inside. We kind of disagree with this idea of being on the street just because, so we will go to court.
If you want we can meet at 08:45 at Wijde Heisteeg 7 Amsterdam, to go together.


The Hague: Legal Team information Fight Repression demo 19th November 2016

House Occupation News -

Saturday the 19th of November a demonstration should have taken place at the Kerkplein in The Hague against the repression of anarchists and anti-fascists in The Hague and elsewhere. On the order of Hague mayor Jozias van Aartsen the police made the demo impossible through repression and violence.
The demonstration ended in a kettle and the violent mass arrest of 166 people. In our opinion this is completely unjustified. That’s why we have started to collect complaints about the actions of the police, which we want to submit collectively. If you were arrested, or were mistreated by the police in any other way, fill in the attached form and mail it to arrestantengroep070 [at] riseup [dot] net.

Did you not reveal your identity during your arrest? Then you can still file a complaint. In that case you can skip the personal questions, but fill in a made up name so we can easily distinguish the anonymous complaints. It is also possible to send the complaint via PGP. Send us a message with your PGP key and we will send you ours.

As far as we know no one has received a fine or subpoena until now. If you do receive anything by the police, please let us know asap via arrestantengroep070 [at] riseup [dot] net.

If you have any other questions concerning the above, then please contact us.

Legal Team

Fight Repression Demo:

Yarl's Wood demonstration draws up to 2,000 campaigners

The Guardian | Protest -

Hundreds march around detention centre perimeter to denounce rise in hate crime in wake of Brexit vote

The largest protest staged against Britain’s most notorious detention centre has taken place, as up to 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside Yarl’s Wood to denounce “immigrant bashing” in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Campaigners from across the UK protested at the Bedfordshire immigration removal centre on Saturday, demanding that the facility, which mainly houses women, is closed immediately.

Related: Yarl’s Wood is symptomatic of Britain’s paranoia about migrants | Ellie Mae O’Hagan

Continue reading...

Kinder Morgan pipeline: Canadians intensify huge opposition to expansion

The Guardian | Protest -

Trudeau’s approval of project some find analogous to Standing Rock incited thousands of activists, politicians and First Nations members to increase action

Opponents of a contentious Canadian pipeline project are preparing for a lengthy, multifaceted battle that will see thousands take to the country’s streets, courts and legislatures to contest the government’s recent approval of the project.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that the Liberal government had cleared the way for Kinder Morgan’s C$6.8bn Trans Mountain Expansion project. Designed to transport Alberta’s landlocked bitumen to international markets via Vancouver’s harbour, the project will expand an existing pipeline to nearly triple capacity on the artery to 890,000 barrels a day.

Related: North Dakota oil pipeline protesters stand their ground: 'This is sacred land'

Related: Big oil v orcas: Canadians fight pipeline that threatens killer whales on the brink

Continue reading...