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Invasion Day 'flag burner' charged by Sydney police

The Guardian | Protest -

Man, 20, arrested after a scuffle between protesters and police on Australia Day and charged with assaulting police, malicious damage and resisting arrest

A man who allegedly tried to burn an Australian flag at an Invasion Day march in Sydney has been charged by police.

The 20-year-old was arrested after a scuffle between protesters and police in the inner suburb of Ultimo on Thursday afternoon. He was charged with assaulting police, malicious damage and resisting arrest, and is due to appear at the Downing centre local court on 14 February.

Related: Barnaby Joyce to Australia Day protesters: 'Crawl under a rock'

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‘What’s the LaBeouf?’ Shia takes on the Nazis

The Guardian | Protest -

The actor-cum-performance artist’s He Will Not Divide Us project isn’t exactly bringing harmony to a disunited nation

There’s a new front in the war on Trump, as serially misunderstood performance artist Shia LaBeouf fires up his short-range ballistic art machine once more. The Transformers star last week launched He Will Not Divide Us, a livestream from a camera positioned in front of a New York art museum, to which people are encouraged to flock and chant “He will not divide us” as many times as they feel like. It will, apparently, be broadcast for the entire duration of the Trump presidency, and you can watch it round the clock at

I can’t work out whether I am a total philistine or I just tuned in during a profoundly non-commercial break, because I spent what felt like an age watching three beanie-hatted guys shuffle from foot to foot in the cold while discussing the comparative merits and otherwise of somewhere-or-other’s school system. “I think he went to Forest Hills. No wait – you know, he went to Flushing. Actually – wait. How old is his brother?” [INAUDIBLE]. “OK, maybe it’s a different guy.” “I went to Cleveland. It’s actually not a good school.” “Actually yeah, a guy I know went to [INAUDIBLE].” And so on. Still, by the time I unglazed, at least another 20 minutes of Trump’s presidency had elapsed. Thanks, guys!

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Journalist records inauguration protest moments before arrest – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Footage recorded by the RT America journalist Alexander Rubinstein captures the chaos of the inauguration protests in Washington last Friday. Rubinstein, who was providing live coverage of the protest in a professional capacity, appears to be pushed over by a police officer before his arrest

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Who’s taking the fight to Trump? It’s Dictionary Guy | Emma Brockes

The Guardian | Protest -

While other critics took cover during the president’s first week, the resistance unearthed unlikely heroes – a lexicographer and a park ranger

One of the unexpected, and only pleasures of the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, has been the emergence of some unlikely figures of the resistance. The librarian as hero has a noble lineage going back to the burning of the library at Alexandria, as does the archeologist as hero (not just Indiana Jones, but the real heroism of Khaled al-Asaad in Palmyra two years ago) and, of course, the reporter as hero, from Clark Kent to Carl Bernstein. To that list we might now add two new avengers, the lexicographer and the park ranger.

A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality.

I think I have said this before but Dippin Dots are notthe ice cream of the future

Related: The best way to stomach Trump – chew and swallow 35 sticks of gum | Peter Bradshaw

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Christo cancels artwork to protest Trump – but we need his vision

The Guardian | Protest -

The legendary land artist has wrapped up a Colorado installation after decades of planning in disgust at Donald Trump. But artists must allow their work itself to be the dissenting voice

Christo, the renowned Bulgarian-born wrapper of islands, parks and other landmarks has become the latest artist to protest against Donald J Trump’s presidency. Christo became a US citizen in 1973, and has been working for 20 years to develop one of his most ambitious projects – and that’s saying something – in the American west. He proposed to erect six miles of silver-coloured fabric over a Colorado section of the Arkansas river for two weeks. The immigrant from postwar communist eastern Europe believes in paying his own way, so it was going to cost him $50m. It has been a tough struggle – not least because environmentalists have opposed his plans.

So shocked is Christo by Trump’s election that he has now abandoned his dream of covering up a Colorado river. The artwork would have been put up on federal land; “I can’t do a project that benefits this landlord,” he says, referring to Trump.

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Case against Sheffield tree protesters is dropped

The Guardian | Protest -

Jenny Hockey, 70, and Freda Brayshaw, 72, say they are relieved but angry after prosecutors drop public order charges

Two pensioners who were arrested after a standoff with police over the controversial chopping down of trees in Sheffield have said they feel “relief, grief and anger” after prosecutors dropped the case against them.

Jenny Hockey, a 70-year-old retired university professor, and Freda Brayshaw, a 72-year-old retired teacher, were held for eight hours in police cells following a dawn raid on their quiet residential street in November.

Sheffield trees: the moment Jenny Hockey, 70, and Freda Bradshaw, 72 today, emerged from court after controversial charges dropped

Ex-Green leader Natalie Bennett joins rally outside court as two pensioners appear over Sheffield trees protest

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Protest v parenthood: how the children of political activists suffer in silence

The Guardian | Protest -

The ascendance of Trump has renewed political resistance. But many children of past activists say their parent’s choices made them feel secondary to the cause

As a little girl, Rachel Fast’s parents took her to a Christmas party in the basement of the famous married couple, WEB Du Bois and Shirley Graham, both writers and activists. A giant Christmas tree stood in the corner, music tinkled happily, and the adults milled around drinking. But Fast, the daughter of prominent novelist and then communist activist Howard Fast, was not amused: the children of the Rosenbergs were at the party. Their parents were in prison awaiting execution. “It was imminent,” Fast remembers.

Rachel Fast’s parents had been involved in trying to save the Rosenbergs, who were convicted of espionage, from execution. But the demonstrations, meetings and letter-writing had all failed.

Related: Munira Ahmed: the woman who became the face of the Trump resistance

A lot of my needs as a young person were not fully seen and addressed, or considered as important as the movement

I remember father spreading out the New York Times and we’d read the newspaper together, and he’d point out all the lies

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Britain accused of letting down Hong Kong democracy activists

The Guardian | Protest -

Chris Patten says Britain has prioritised trade deals with China over defending freedoms guaranteed in 1997 handover

The UK is guilty of a dereliction of its duty to Hong Kong and is “selling its honour” to secure trade deals with China, the territory’s former governor Chris Patten has warned.

He said Britain had let down pro-democracy activists who have been fighting to maintain freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong as part of the deal to hand the territory back to China after more than a century of British rule.

Related: Hong Kong human rights situation 'worst since handover to China'

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Patriarchy is the sea in which Trump and his sharks gather

The Guardian | Protest -

The​ far​ right ​wants to return to a time when men were men​,​ and women were sanctified mothers or whores.​ Let’s call​ this by its proper name

If someone declared publicly that some of their best friends were racists, there would surely be a sharp intake of liberal breath – even if they were to follow it up with the “I just like to get out of my echo chamber and have friends of all political persuasions” argument. Tolerance has it limits. Being openly racist is at that limit. Being openly misogynistic, however, is apparently fine. How else can we have TV host and blancmange of smugness Piers Morgan boasting of his friendship with Donald Trump while declaring himself a feminist and a supporter of women’s rights? As Trump – surrounded by his consiglieri, the newly made men, nervous of their Twitter-y boss – signs an executive order that will result in the death of women, I care not for an explanation of how Trump isn’t as bad as he seems. He is.

I care not for these delusional men crawling out like woodlice from under a rotting log. In turn, they each tell us they support feminism while doing it down. There is a slew of them everywhere you look. Conservatives posing as radicals. They often claim to love women, but are impelled to impart common sense; the segregated golf-bore wisdom of “funny chaps, women”. They know what women want. They are all for equality, just not extremity. They laud each other for saying dull things routinely deemed “unsayable”. This is wit, we are told, this predictability – iconoclasm even – this grey, elderly skewering of liberalism. It is enlivened only when one of these primates lamps another.

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Greenpeace activists hang giant 'Resist' banner over White House

The Guardian | Protest -

Demonstrator condemns Trump’s moves on reproductive rights and environment from 300ft in the air as she supports 70ft banner

Activists from Greenpeace unfurled a 70ft banner inscribed with the word “resist” near the White House on Wednesday morning.

Speaking from a crane 300ft in the air, where she was holding a rope keeping the banner up, Pearl Robinson, 26, described her view to the Guardian: “I can see the White House, where we now have a president who doesn’t have the interests of the majority of the people.”

Related: Keystone pipeline will create just 35 permanent jobs. Don't believe the lies | Congressman Raul M Grijalva

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Greenpeace activists scale Washington crane in protest – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Greenpeace activists scale a crane in Washington on Wednesday and unveil a banner which reads ‘Resist’. The protest comes a day after president Donald Trump signed executive orders to allow the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines

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The urgency of slowing down

Waging Nonviolence -

by Kazu Haga

Embed from Getty Images

On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech in Harlem’s Riverside Church. In it, he spoke of being confronted with “the fierce urgency of now.”

He went on to say that, “there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time … We must move past indecision to action.” He warned us that if we do not move into action, “we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”

Almost 50 years later, this country is once again faced with the “fierce urgency of now.” Within hours of his inauguration, Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin the process of repealing Obamacare, and the White House website was updated to reflect his administration’s views: the site’s sections on climate change, civil rights, disabilities and LGBT issues were removed.

And many around the country have feared what this administration is going to mean for our Muslim friends and others of Middle Eastern descent, immigrant communities and those who are already marginalized. What will this administration mean for the movement for black lives, for Standing Rock, for our struggles against patriarchy, income inequality and so many critical issues of our time?

Yes, we are in an urgent moment in history, and we need to respond accordingly. We need to organize harder than ever, mobilize more people than ever, knock on more doors than ever, and fight like we’ve never fought before.

And that brings us to what I believe is a critical question for our movements to answer today: As we confront the urgency of the moment, how do we ensure that we are not organizing from a place of panic?

Oftentimes, when we get caught up in momentum and the urgency of the moment, our energy begins to shift and we enter a frenzied panic state. And organizing from that place can deeply impact both our external work as well as in our internal process through which we do the work.

I can still hear the voices of the elders at Standing Rock, reminding us that we need to slow down. That for indigenous peoples, struggle is nothing new. We’ve been here before. That for them, everything they do is ceremony, prayer, ritual. And those are not things that you rush. You do it with intention, with all of the time and respect that it deserves.

When we move from a place of panic, our work happens with less mindfulness. We miss steps. We don’t have the right information. Our strategies aren’t as tight. We react as opposed to respond. We aren’t as prepared. We are easier to counter. We make mistakes.

We also are much likelier to perpetuate the same systems of violence that we are trying to resist when we work in a frenzied pace. Those with the loudest voices tend to take over, and we often lose the voices of those who are marginalized. We are more likely to emphasize actions over process and relationships, and we begin to distrust each other. Newer activists have a harder time finding a way in, feeding the exclusivity of activism. We are less careful with our messaging, which can turn potential allies away.

The work of social change is stressful enough on its best days. But if we are moving without intention, without mindfulness and without awareness of how we are moving, it can easily add to what is already a challenge.

So we need to learn to slow down, while acknowledging the urgency of this moment.

There is no doubt that this is not a moment to procrastinate, but a time to act, as King reminds us. But the frenzied pace that we do our work in is oftentimes a habit that has been ingrained in us by a capitalist system functioning with a different time frame than we do.

We have always known that this was a long-term struggle. The struggle towards social justice is not one of multiple election cycles, but of multiple generations.

Another piece of wisdom from our indigenous teachers reminds us that the work we do is not for ourselves, but for the seventh generation that will come after us. And the work we do now stands on the shoulders of the seven generations that came before. That is a lot of wisdom, and a lot of time.

It is with that long-view approach that we need to tackle the urgency of today. Trump and his agenda is one urgent thing that we need to resist. But the tendency to come from a place of panic and move too fast is, ironically, just as urgent of an issue that needs to be addressed.

We need to act, but addressing this crucial moment cannot come at the expense of strategy, process, intention and remembering to slow down enough to breathe.

So, what is our work moving into 2017? Organize, breathe, repeat. Organize, breathe, repeat. Organize, breathe, repeat.

Minnesota bill would make convicted protesters liable for policing costs

The Guardian | Protest -

  • Protesters who violate law could be sued for full cost of police response
  • GOP lawmaker: ‘You break the law to make a point and you pay the penalty’

Minnesota lawmakers are advancing a bill that would allow cities to sue protesters who violate the law for the cost of the police response to the demonstration. The bill is one of several being introduced across the US that seek to penalize protesters.

Both critics and supporters of the controversial bill agree on one thing: it is a response to Black Lives Matter-inspired protests in the Twin Cities area over the last two years, particularly after an officer shot and killed Philando Castile in July. The officer who shot Castile, Jeronimo Yanez, has since been charged with second degree manslaughter.

Related: Black Lives Matter: birth of a movement | Wesley Lowery

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Protest songs: soundtracking Trump's first 100 days with the National, Bon Iver and more

The Guardian | Protest -

The Secretly Group will release a song a day for Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House, to raise money for those who might suffer under him

The whereabouts of modern protest music has been questioned so frequently that it has spawned its own Tumblr, a glorious repository for all the articles wondering whether political music still exists, whether Donald Trump’s America can expect a punk renaissance, whether the real protest musicians are now more commonly found in hip-hop and grime than in the guitar-led music of yesteryear, and whether we will ever again revel in a politically charged music scene to rival the glory days of Red Wedge and Rock Against Racism.

At the risk of joining those articles, I note that in the days since the US election, we have seen a resurgence of musical protest, both direct and indirect. Fiona Apple’s mesmerising anti-Trump track Tiny Hands is a minute-long incantation of the lines “We don’t want your tiny hands / Anywhere near our underpants”, while Arcade Fire and Mavis Staples’ song I Give You Power is a spirited show of unity, with proceeds donated to the American Civil Liberties Union. And a benefit concert held after the Women’s March in Washington, DC featured performances from Sleater-Kinney, the National, Dirty Projectors and others.

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Australia Day is 'dickhead day': year-long visceral backlash over chalkboard message

The Guardian | Protest -

For Matt Chun, the national ritual is fraudulent and indefensible and he wants visitors to his cafe in the coastal town of Bermagui to know it

When Matt Chun displayed a chalkboard sign labelling Australia Day “national dickhead day” outside his New South Wales coastal cafe a year ago he didn’t anticipate the visceral backlash, including dozens of death threats, his words would incite.

But on the eve of the next Australia Day and amid heightened debate about the national holiday marking European invasion, occupation and settlement, Chun is defiant, resilient – and neither repentant nor regretful.

Related: NSW cafe's 'National Dickhead Day' sign sparks death threats and vandalism

Related: The Guardian view on Australia Day: change the date | Editorial

The last voicemail threat was only a few days ago

The status quo is a deliberate, annual reassertion of colonialism

Related: Why Australia Day and Anzac Day helped create a national 'cult of forgetfulness' | Paul Daley

My relationship with my town has changed irreversibly

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Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest

The Guardian | Protest -

A documentary producer, a photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted

Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

Related: Trump bans agencies from 'providing updates on social media or to reporters'

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Nova Scotia village with 65 residents holds one of smallest Women's Marches

The Guardian | Protest -

Two women of Sandy Cove recruited 15 people to walk along major highway in Canada in solidarity with millions who participated around the world

When Melissa Merritt and Gwen Quigley Wilson decided to join millions around the world and organise a Women’s March in the tiny fishing community in eastern Canada, they knew it would not be large.

But the closest protest to Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia, (population: approximately 65) was in Halifax – about a 2.5 hour drive away – and the two women felt they had no other choice.

Related: ‘Millions have done something together’ – why the Women’s March will spark the resistance

Related: ‘Keep campaigning and stay plugged in’ – what next after the Women’s March

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Trident misfire spotlights the danger of fat fingers on nuclear buttons | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

Governments must keep some things secret, but Michael Fallon’s refusal to acknowledge any problem with the Trident missile, when news of it is reported across the globe, is risible (Fallon defends keeping MPs in dark over Trident misfire, 24 January). A broad explanation about whether the malfunction was caused by human error or faulty directional data could provide reassurance that a failure is acknowledged, lessons have been learned and corrective action taken. The pretence that there is nothing to cause any concern simply guarantees the outcome described in Richard Crossman’s 1971 New Statesman article “The real English disease”: “One result of this secrecy is to make the British electorate feel it is being deliberately kept in the dark and increasingly to suspect the very worst of its rulers.”

Related: Committee chair attacks government for Trident malfunction secrecy

Related: Theresa May knew about Trident failure before renewal vote

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Standing Rock Sioux pledge to fight executive order: 'We can't back down now'

The Guardian | Protest -

Donald Trump’s revival of the Dakota Access pipeline is a stunning twist of fate, but the tribe and its supporters say now is the time to show strength

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters are vowing to resist Donald Trump’s executive order to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline with legal action, civil disobedience and a return to the “water protector” encampments.

“President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process,” said Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault, who called Trump’s action “politically motivated”.

Related: Resurrection of Keystone and DAPL cements America's climate antagonism

We need mass civil disobedience. Trump is sparking a revolution that makes us stronger than we ever were before

Related: How Keystone XL and Dakota Access went from opposition to resurrection

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Active bystander training key to building culture of solidarity

Waging Nonviolence -

by Laurna Strikwerda

Participants in a nonviolence and active bystander training in Washington, D.C., on January 20. (Swamp Revolt)

On Jan. 21, millions of men and women marched in cities around the world for women’s rights and a vision of justice and equality. The march in Washington, D.C., was one of the largest the city has ever seen, and it demonstrated that there is tremendous energy in speaking up for social justice. Since the march, activists and writers have grappled with the question of what to do with that energy. Many have rightly pointed out how essential it is to translate  passion into political will. Key legislation and elections matter. But in order to build a movement for the next four years and beyond, we cannot overlook the importance of building a culture of solidarity.

I experienced this personally the day before the women’s march, when more than 1,500 individuals from all walks of life gathered in churches, synagogues, mosques and community centers around the Washington area to learn about the basic principles of nonviolence and being an active bystander. The trainings were organized by Swamp Revolt, a Washington-based community group, and the Christian social justice organization Sojourners.

“Being an active bystander is what ‘love your neighbor’ looks like in action,” said trainer Rose Berger, which is especially relevant in a situation where a person is a victim of aggression based on their identity.

Active bystander intervention is the practice of supporting the person who is being targeted without engaging the aggressor and escalating conflict. We trained for this by alternately playing the roles of aggressors, targets and bystanders. In doing so, we learned to respond to conflict in a new way, by directly engaging the person being targeted, and asking them what they need — a basic act of solidarity. This act not only supports those being targeted, but can also transform the perspective of the bystanders, particularly those occupying positions of privilege.

“I was tempted to simply be an onlooker,” said Sandra Moore, who was a participant in one of the trainings. “But for those of us who have the privilege of avoiding hatred on a daily basis, it was valuable to be confronted with it and learn to take action.”

Repeated action can generate and reinforce norms, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s six principles of nonviolence, which in turn can sustain the solidarity required to organize for the long haul. All too often in our political culture, which constantly uses the language of battle, war and defeat, the interests and ideas of people affected by the policies under debate — on issues like health care, immigration and police violence — are not heard. Practices like being an active bystander can be powerful ways of concretely supporting the vulnerable and demonstrating that they matter. Learned through training and sustained by repetition, these principles can help maintain a foothold for solidarity in an often ugly political culture.

Practicing solidarity is not easy; it certainly does not come naturally to me. Without training, without a chance to actually “practice” it, I wouldn’t honestly know how. Over the coming years, we will need communities and institutions that can reinforce what solidarity means, and how to practice it. That will require time, energy and sacrifice. But it is one profoundly important way to build a larger community we all want to live in.