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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.

Newsletter Archive

Newsletter – Five Years Later

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This will be a brief newsletter this week because we are both on the road. Margaret is running for US Senate for Maryland, Green Party, and she is touring the state to spread the word about her and meet voters. Kevin has taken a temporary leave of absence from Popular Resistance to work for the Jill Stein campaign as a senior adviser. Five years ago we organized the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC with a goal of raising awareness that the problems we face in the US are systemic and that we must build a social movement and the culture of resistance if we are to solve them. We didn’t expect to get involved in electoral politics, but the time has come when majorities of people in the US are sick of the corporate parties and are ready for a change. We believe that there needs to be a political party that reflects the values of the movement and so we are working to build it.

Newsletter - Don't Be Fooled By Profiteers Option

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. ‘Progressive’ senators and organizations launched an effort to revive the ‘public option’ this week to salvage the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is critical, if we are to solve the ongoing healthcare crisis in the US, that we are not fooled by what is actually the Profiteer’s Option that will be another gift to the insurance industry. We must unite instead and fight, just as we fight to stop pipelines and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for the solution, national improved Medicare for All, a single payer system that nearly two-thirds of people in the US support. The public option not only adds more bureaucracy it results in patients who need healthcare going toward the public option, while the private insurers use their marketing propaganda to keep wealthier patients and healthier patients in their system. In that way the private insurance takes in more money in premiums and has to pay out less for healthcare. So, while this is sold to us as a step toward single payer, that is false propaganda. The public option is really the Profiteer’s Option.

Newsletter - On 9/11, Facing The Truth

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centers in New York where 3,000 people died. The immediate responses to the attack were panic, grief and ultra-nationalism, followed by illegal attacks on Afghanistan and then Iraq. Perhaps now that 15 years has passed, we should look back at the events and review decisions that were made in hopes of avoiding mistakes in the future. The leading presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, seem stuck on the same path we have been on for 15 years — is more militarism the right path? Have war and military attacks made the region more stable, the United States more secure, reduced terrorism, prevented instability in Europe due to the refuege crisis? Or, has the path of militarism made all of this worse?

Newsletter: Labor Day Time To Build Worker Power

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Private-sector workers who are members of a union have fallen from 1 in 3 workers in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today. Politics is about power and the loss of organized worker power has meant a loss in political power for all workers and a loss of wealth, income and benefits. In recent years, there have been strong signs that labor is getting more organized and militant in fighting for worker rights. They have linked worker issues to other issues, e.g. racial injustice, climate change and creating stronger communities; and are showing signs of resurrection. Recent years have seen aggressive attacks against workers: pension funds are raided, health benefits are cut or ended, the right to collective bargaining is destroyed and social services are cut. This is dramatic and needs to be reversed.

Newsletter: Standing For Justice, Unity For Power & Inspiring Each Other

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The latest chapter in the US war against Indigenous Peoples of this land is being fought by more than 90 tribes in North Dakota against a pipeline that threatens water, air and land, including sacred sites. Indigenous Peoples understand that the environment is to be respected and that to destroy it for corporate profit goes against nature and against ourselves. People’s Climate March indigenous @Peoples_Climate People’s Climate March indigenous @Peoples_Climate Indigenous Peoples have lived in what is now called North America for more than 10,000 years. They were the first human inhabitants. In comparison, the United States is not even 250 years old. Ever since colonizers from Europe came to these lands 600 years ago, Indigenous Peoples have paid a heavy price.

Newsletter: #NoHoneymoon, A Presidency Of Protest

Stage on first day of Occupy Washington, DC at Freedom Place, October 2011.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The task of the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice is much bigger than the presidential election. Our job is to build people power to ensure that no matter who is the next president, the people’s voices are heard and our demands are part of the political agenda. We urge organizers and advocates across the nation to begin to plan a campaign beginning in early 2017 and carrying on through the inauguration to ensure that right from the beginning the people’s voices are a dominant narrative. The #NoHoneymoon campaign will take various forms in communities across the country. Talk to your networks of activists and plan what would work best in your community. The creativity and energy that comes from diverse leadership has surprised the nation before and can do so again.

Newsletter: On To The General Election, Surprises Ahead

Hillary has blood on her hands protest DNC from PhillyMag

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The make-up of elections are almost complete with only a few primary races and the Green Party National Convention (August 4-7 in Houston), where Jill Stein’s running mate will be announced, remaining. Otherwise we know the candidates that will be with us for the next three months and the potential presidents who will almost assuredly be the focus of mobilizations for the next four years. While Bernie Sanders is no longer running for office and has shifted his energy to working to elect Hillary Clinton, many in the Bernie or Bust Movement have shifted to Jill or Bust, with the initial goal to get Jill Stein into the highly restrictive (and anti-democratic) debates.

Newsletter - Afromation Is A Response To Black Deaths

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Baltimore, where we live, is a deeply segregated city with a stark wealth divide. For decades, police have routinely patrolled black neighborhoods where they harass and arrest people of color without probable cause. This practice escalated when Martin O’Malley was the mayor and was running for governor. In order to beef up his record of addressing crime, police under his command arrested tens of thousands of young blacks and held them overnight in jail for no reason, then released them without any charges. It has created generations of black Baltimoreans who are traumatized by police and have lost opportunities to advance in their lives as a consequence. It has also created a police culture that continues to abuse communities of color. Remember, Freddie Gray was chased by police without any cause and it resulted in his death. In response to this environment, black youth in Baltimore organized an action called ‘Afromation’ to raise awareness and to celebrate Assata Shakur’s birthday.

Newsletter: US Racism Is Killing Us

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. This was a traumatic week. Two more unjustified killings of black men were caught on video and shared widely. Mass protests erupted throughout the country. And then, at the end of a Dallas protest against police violence, a lone gunman shot 12 people, killing five police officers. A graphic video shows Baton Rouge police shooting Alton Sterling outside of a convenience store where he was selling CDs. Two police have him on the ground, then shots ring out and Sterling is dead. Forty-eight hours later in Minnesota, Philando Castile is shot dead at a traffic stop while he is reaching for his wallet. In the aftermath of Castile’s fatal shooting, a video made by his girlfriend from the passenger seat is posted on Facebook and goes viral. Police violence is a growing public heath threat that is wounding, traumatizing and killing people.

Newsletter: The Real History Of July 4th Builds Our Power

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Official holidays in the United States tend to reinforce false historical narratives. The Fourth of July is one of those holidays and what the official story misses is the reality that must be told. During the decade before the Revolutionary War, colonists ran one of the most effective nonviolence resistance campaigns against corporate power in history. Rivera Sun describes this campaign of nonviolent actions by showing that many of the tactics people attribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other modern activists were used in an effective campaign by the colonists including boycotts of British goods, replacing them with their own goods; refusing to cooperate with unjust laws, non-payment of taxes, the development of parallel governments and local assemblies as well as rallies, petitions, marches and protests.

Newsletter: Brexit Backlash Against EU, A Revolt Against Elites

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The globalized economy is not working for most people of the world. International trade agreements and new government structures like the European Union serve corporate power and put the people and planet aside to ensure profits continue to come first. They undermine democracy and national sovereignty, leaving people feeling more powerless. By pushing austerity and commodification of public services, people are now more economically insecure with less wealth and lower incomes. The response of many is anger. Some protest austerity, others blame people of a different skin color, heritage or ethnicity. The surprise vote in the UK to leave the European Union is the latest, and perhaps the biggest, example of the blowback economic and political elites are getting for their actions. Brexit shows we have our work to do to educate people that this is not about racism and anger at ethnic groups, but is really the battle between the people and the elites. It is a conflict over whether we the people will have the power to decide our futures, whether we can create a fair economy that serves more than the 1% and whether we can act in ways that are consistent with the needs of the environmental crisis we face.

Newsletter: Making Protest Personal; Take It To Their Homes

BXE protest at Norman Bey home by Jimmy Betts

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Protests at homes of public officials and corporate CEOs is a common tactic used widely because it can be very effective. The response of Barrasso shows it is working and should continue. As Saul Alinsky, author or Rules for Radicals, pointed out “any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.” Such protests have to be nonviolent and conducted in a way that does not inconvenience neighbors but educates them about why the protest is occurring. These tactics seek to personalize the issue, to make it less abstract than a federal agency. The campaign should keep their focus on the people responsible, not let up, continue to escalate and make the person isolated and unpopular. The goal is to maintain constant, escalating pressure so the official pays a heavy personal price for their actions.

Newsletter: Creating "Positive Peace"

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This weekend the Bilderberg Group is holding its secretive annual retreat in Dresden, Germany. The invitation-only gathering of elites from North America and Northern Europe includes heads of finance and industry, heads of state and intelligence officials. Who knows what schemes they’ll cook up? They don’t keep minutes or allow the press in and attendees can’t quote what was said. It can’t be good for the people or the planet. The Global Peace Index was just released for 2016 and it shows that the decade-long trend of increasing violence is continuing. Of note, the inequality between countries is growing; the most violent countries deteriorated by a greater degree than in the past. Countries that are the most peaceful also have the greatest resilience.

Newsletter: US Democracy Crisis Creates Illegitimate Political System

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Two years ago we wrote that the task of the movement is to build national consensus. We have shown in previous articles that national consensus is being reached on many issues, but the government is not responding to the public consensus. We have also reported on research that shows the US is really an oligarchy operating in the worst democracy in the western world. The government’s lack of responsiveness to the people and elected officials who fail to represent the people’s views are resulting in a crisis of democracy. This week the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs reported on that crisis. They found the legitimacy of US government has disappeared

Newsletter: Memorial Day Lesson - End War

We say No to War sign seen at a 2007 anti-war protest. (Photo by Thiago Santos on flickr)

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Memorial Day has become a holiday that celebrates war and treats soldiers as heroes, rather than respecting its roots as a day to mourn the personal costs of war. Instead of being a time of reflection on the truth about wars, the US Empire’s war culture is on full display over the Memorial Day weekend perpetuating the myths that being in the military is both patriotic and heroic, when in truth many US wars are unnecessary and violate international law. It is up to us to examine the hypocrisy of US foreign policy and work toward ending war as a tool of foreign policy. Instead of repeating the mantra that war is good or patriotic, let’s have an honest discussion about the reasons behind wars and the damage that wars wreak in numerous ways. It is time for all of us to build a people’s movement for a world without war.