May 22nd, 2009
Our newsletter is a weekly review of popular resistance taking place across the U.S. It is important to know we are not alone so we can inspire each other, learn from each other and spread the courage to resist across the country. The newsletter covers people working on a wide range of issues including peace and justice, environmental protection, workers’ and students’ rights, and much more. We see all of these issues connected by our common goal of ending the rule of money, transforming the country and putting people and the planet before profits.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Today, there continue to be struggles for independence in the US and around the world. In the US, as the country celebrates the 4th of July, more are understanding that the so-called “founding fathers” have taken credit for a mass movement of colonists who sought independence, where nearly 100 “Declarations of Independence” were written before the Jefferson version; and where the issues of racism, sexism, and ethnic cleansing of the Indigenous were not recognized. Rather than celebrating the slave-owning plutocrats who hijacked this country we celebrate those who continue the struggle for self-determination here and around the world. The struggle, as we can see in Greece, is against the plutocratic bankers who profit while the 99 percent suffer the consequences of their wealth extraction. True independence is a worldwide struggle that is ongoing.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This week, hidden amidst the news of the massacre in Charleston and the Supreme Court decisions on the health law, fair housing and marriage equality, the Senate passed Fast Track legislation and sent it to the president’s desk to be signed into law. Now the path is clear for the president to push the triple threat of treaties through Congress, unless we resist and stop them. The first one, the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), is expected to come to a Congress this fall. It will be followed by the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade-in-Services Agreement (TiSA). The work to stop the TPP, TTIP and TiSA builds on decades of resistance to corporate globalization and neoliberal policies that exploit the poor and people of color. If we work with intention over the coming months, we could defeat the TPP and reject this paradigm.
Newsletter Arctic drilling, Asian Pivot, BXE, Climate Justice, Criminal Justice and Prisons, fast track, Freedom of Speech, Gas, Housing, Inequality, Net Neutrality, New York City, Pipelines, Police violence, Pope Francis, Privacy, Racial Discrimination, Racism, Rikers, Shell Oil, sHellNo!, South Carolina, Terrorism, TPP, Wars and Militarism
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, www.PopularResistance.org
June 20th, 2015
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report writes that “No justice, no peace” is “a vow by the movement to transform the crisis that is inflicted on Black people into a generalized crisis for the larger society, and for those who currently rule.” In reality, given the violence being inflicted upon people, particularly people of color, whether directly or indirectly through rising poverty, unemployment, homelessness, lack of access to health care and more, and the government’s failures to address these crises and listen to the people, disruption is a necessary element of political change. In 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke outside a prison in California where people were being held for protesting the Vietnam War. In the speech he drew the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the peace movement against the Vietnam War. Today we see the links between racism, inequality, imperialism, militarism and ecocide and his comment on that day continues to ring true: “There can be no justice without peace. And there can be no peace without justice.”
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Last week there was a populist revolt from across the political spectrum. Congress received tens of thousands of phone calls every day from people who are clear which side they are on: they want people and planet before profits; they want an open, transparent democracy not a secretive oligarchy. The campaign to stop Fast Track for corporate trade agreements like the TPP is a clarifying moment. It is democracy vs. oligarchs making decisions for us. It is transparency vs. secret law. It is the people vs. big business. It is a mobilized people vs. big money. These are the issues that unite people into a movement of movements. These are conflicts that let us know who is on the side of the people.
Newsletter #BlackLivesMatter, Coal Mining, fast track, Fracking, Human Right, Human Trafficking, Indigenous People, Militarization, NSA, Patriot Act, Slavery, Solar Energy, TISA, TPP, TTIP, USA Freedom Act, Wikileaks
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese at Popular Resistance, www.PopularResistance.org
June 6th, 2015
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese at Popular Resistance. We are at a crossroads to either a future of global corporate governance or a chance for democracy. As Chris Hedges writes in his new book, “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” a revolution is coming but we can’t guarantee which way it will go. Will you be there to fight for justice? You have an opportunity to do that now. This is the critical week to stop Fast Track legislation from passing in Congress. Fast Track could last for the next six years and would enable passage of not just the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but also the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). There are different ways to define security. Some would say that security means a police or military force to protect people from those who might cause harm. Others would say that security means the government has a responsibility to make sure that the basic needs of its people are met which in itself would reduce crimes and the need for a violent security force. This is your food for thought for this week. How do you define security?
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Popular Resistance was created to help build a broad-based movement that is informed and acts strategically to challenge the status quo. There are so many crises today and we have been focused on trying to stop those crises from worsening (“stop the machine”) while using the fights and partial victories to build capacity for the movement. We have avoided putting emphasis on elections in part because it is important not to get caught up in the electoral cycle which has been nothing more than a periodic horse race between corporate candidates chosen through a rigged system. Instead, we hoped that more people would step out of the electoral cycle and take a longer-term view of the work that must be done to build a movement with real power.
This Memorial Day weekend our thoughts turn to peace and particularly to the courageous women who are working to create peace. These are the people we would like to celebrate as we build a culture of peace and justice to counter our deep heritage of war culture. As we write, thirty women from around the world are meeting with North and South Korean women about ending the Korean War and re-unifying the country. During the trip, they hope to walk across the DMZ. Colonel Ann Wright, who retired from the State Department in opposition to the Iraq War, is with them. Col. Wright wrote Dissent: Voices of Opposition with Susan Dixon to honor women and men like them who resigned and faced retaliation rather than “stand by silently while our leaders were implementing policies destructive to our country and the world.”
Newsletter BXE, Chile, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice and Prisons, Economic inequality, fast track, FERC, Finance and the Economy, Freedom of Speech and Assembly, Greece, Homelessness, Human Rights, Inequality, Injustice, Living Wage, Obama, Police violence, Racism, TPP, UK, Urban decay, Walmart, Water, World Economic Forum
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, www.PopularResistance.org
May 16th, 2015
Instead of taking action to prevent or mitigate the next crisis, politicians are causing more harm as they work hand in hand with the wealthy elites who are trying to grab even greater power and extract even greater riches. Maryland’s governor was quick to bring in the National Guard and militarized police, but just cut Baltimore education funding by $11.6 million to fund pensions, while last week the state approved funding for a youth jail the people in Baltimore don’t want. This article provides five key facts about Baltimore and a graphic that shows how the United States built its wealth on slavery, Jim Crow and racially-based economic injustice and kept African Americans from benefiting the economy. Also, as a special addition to recognize BB King, he sings “Why I Sing the Blues” describing the history of African Americans from slavery until today.
Chelsea Manning writes this week about the lack of transparency and declining press freedom in the United States. Transparency and press freedom are fundamental to democracy. Manning also connects these issues to our right to criticize our government without fear. Assata Shakur, who is currently living in exile in Cuba, says something we’ve been hearing a lot lately: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
The announcement by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby that the six officers involved in the murder of Freddie Gray will be prosecuted was welcomed with cheers at City Hall and in Freddie Gray’s community, car horns were honked in celebration. The welcome announcement is a first step toward justice for the family of Freddie Gray and a hopeful beginning for the kind of accountability that has been missing in Baltimore when it comes to police violence. This would probably not have occurred without an urban revolt in Baltimore. We won’t know is it was the mass protest marches of thousands of people or the anger boiling over into rage that led to property damage or both that pressured leadership to press charges. Mosby said to the protesters: “I commend your courage to stand for justice” and “I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.” And, to the youth who led the protests she said: “To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf; this is a moment, this is your moment. Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause, and as young people, our time is now.”
After a more than three year campaign, the moment has arrived, now is the time. We are at the key battleground that will determine whether the TPP and other corporate trade agreements will become law. Fast track trade authority, as expected, passed the two committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate. The next step is where we have always expected we could stop them, the full US House of Representatives. We must maintain our pressure on them to vote “No” on fast track. We urge you to continue to call your member frequently. You can use www.StopFastTrack.com to do that. And we urge you to organize actions in your local district during the next recess from May 2 to 11. This is a critical recess, if our support grows during the recess, it is unlikely they will be able to achieve majority support. Join the next weekly National Fast Track Resistance call on Wednesday, April 29 at 9 pm EDT/6 pm Pacific.
On Tax Day, April 15, 61 year old Doug Hughes, a mailman from Florida, landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn to deliver 535 letters to members of Congress in order “to spotlight corruption of Congress and to present a solution to legalized bribery.” Hughes told the Tampa Bay News that “I’d rather die in the flight than live to be 80 years old and see this country fall.” He has been released on bond with home detention and returns to court on May 8th to face charges of operating an unregistered aircraft and violating restricted airspace, facing a total of four years incarceration. On Saturday, April 11, 22 year old Leo Thornton shot and killed himself in front of the Capitol. He had a sign taped to his hand that read, “Tax the 1%.” The media ignored him, some called him an extremist and did not report his “radical” message of fair taxes. Protests by individuals and groups become impactful when they ignite others to join, to mobilize in support of the call. We urge you to support protests by participating, spreading the word and mobilizing in whatever way you can.
An ambitious young journalist who wanted to speak truth to power, Matt Kennard, was writing for the Financial Times. He quickly learned the corporate media was not the place to tell truths that the power structure did not want to hear. Now he has written a new book, “The Racket: A Rogue Reporter Takes on the Masters of the Universe,” which does speak truth to power.Time for Truth Kennard describes the racket as the “global elite’s prolonged war on the people of our world with the sole aim of pumping up their bottom line.” That ‘war’ has come home and is being waged against people. Just as Matt Kennard shook off the hypnosis and saw reality, we must not be afraid to see the truth around us. Once we do the root causes of the crisis become evident. And, in the end we must fight for a revolution of values; values that end the violence of militarism, racism and capitalism; lead to cooperation between people working together for social, economic and environmental justice. And, when we seek that we will quickly recognize we are not alone, millions are already on that path with us.
Last week, we wrote about the epidemic of neoliberalism. This week, as major protests erupt in Canada, Mexico and Belgium, we discuss its sister, austerity. In neo-liberal economics, wealth is funneled to the top through increasing privatization of the public and cuts to social services. This can only occur if those who are not at the top are subjected to austerity measures. Those at the bottom are squeezed, suffer financial insecurity and the inability to meet basic needs. Rather than these realities weakening our ability to stand up we must stand together in solidarity to take care of each other and build our power in the struggle. People are becoming more aware that their individual struggles are against system-wide problems and are seeing that when the people are united, they can win. Let’s keep building solidarity and unity of action so the muscle of people power grows.
Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk of The Rules write in “Capitalism is Just a Story and Other Dangerous Thoughts” that our system of neo-liberal capitalism is one story that is told about the way the world works. In this story, natural resources are turned into commodities so they can be monetized. As in the feudal age, the wealthy few are taking more and more, cutting the rest of us off from the treasures we once shared and expanding the wealth divide so that more of us become ‘serfs’. 1neofeudalLadha and Kirk go on to say, “our only absolute limitation is our collective imagination, expressed through our will to change the mythologies that hold this house of cards together.” For once we see neo-liberalism and its related “isms” of colonialism, imperialism and racism for what they are and what they do, we are closer to being free of their grip and creating a new story.
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