Let’s start of course with #IdleNoMore, without whom we can be sure the northern part of Keystone XL would have tar sands and mystery chemical soup flowing through it right now. Worldwide, indigenous movements are building alliances and other power. To stop KXL, Native Americans worked with other landowners and Bold Nebraska, including the Cowboys & Indians alliance and made history. A global indigenous people’s movement, teaming up with others in many areas who also care about the earth and all her peoples, should have everyone’s attention.
Or consider the DREAMers, who have gone around seemingly-impossible Congressional headwinds to get substantial executive action, and keep the attention and pressure on:
Or maybe you could look here:
That’s a two-fer, because the tweet above is also commenting on this tweet:
And of course also last month, in D.C.:
Meanwhile on April 14, Fight for 15 reminded us all why raising the minimum wage continues to make such amazing progress:
Yesterday, the new Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls (anyone think that would exist today without #BlackLivesMatter?) heard from Geneva Reed-Veal (Sandra Bland’s mother), who gave them some sense of the scale of the work ahead of them:
She told the Congressional Caucus that during July 2015 six other women died in police custody.
“And nobody knows their names. That’s a problem,” she said.’
Reed-Veal said she’s angry and she plans to make people understand the other mothers who, like her, are not otherwise heard.
“I don’t come to sit and be a part of a caucus where we talk and do nothing,” she said. “Movements move. Activists activate. We have got to stop talking and move. So I will leave you with: it is time to wake up, get up, step up or shut up.”
Phew, that’s a lot, we must be ready to take a rest or something, right? Nope, in less than a week #BreakFree actions begin all over the country & the world protesting for a faster transition from fossil fuels to less destructive ways of producing energy. If that’s not enough for you, after a number of recent worker strikes in some prisons, a nationwide prison strike is being called for September 9, the 45th anniversary of Attica. I’m sure something else will be going on in July and August.
Of course for every person in the street doing civil disobedience, or hold a sign in protest or on the picket line, there are many others who write letters to the editor, lobby their representatives, research, write legislation, instigate court cases, make sure people are fed, take care of the kids, etc.
Mind you, all of this is happening with a hand tied behind our backs, because so much time and money from many of the same kinds people is going into Bernie’s campaign. In other words, the movement is capable of sustaining a viable grassroots presidential campaign, and other grassroots actions on many issues across the country (and I know I am missing many issues — pay equity & choice, GLBTQ, the unraveling drug war, etc., please add recent actions and successes you know about in the comments!). The point is, once this campaign season is over, we can work on a lot more downballot races, and continue this in-the-streets grassroots energy, directing some of it at specific Congressional and local races as 2018 approaches, and as relevant issues highlight how ill-suited so many incumbents are to represent the country (and as we find better candidate to put forward!).
Some will say, “But these things haven’t won anything/everything yet.” To which I can only reply: local minimum wage laws, no to KXL & new offshore drilling, SOPA/PIPA, and yes, of course we haven’t won everything yet, we have not had leaders in positions of great power who will actively work with us! (Did Obama credit us when he rejected KXL? No. Did he initially prioritize working with the GOP, over working with the grassroots to back his agenda? Yes.)
You can wait to join in until we’re winning clearly across the board, and we will still welcome you with open arms, but you will have missed being part of getting things to a critical mass. The push to elect Bernie is a push to have someone at the highest level on the inside who gets how this all works, and will work with us to get things done.
Where do you go to follow this sort of news? (Off the top of my head I try to follow good local community media, lean that way in my Twitter followees, and check in on sites like resilience.org and popularresistance.org and earthfirstjournal.org.)