Tuesday, March 4, 2014


OMNI NEWSLETTER ON ACTIVISM,  ACTIONS FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND ECOLOGY #8, March 4, 2014.   Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace,   (#2: June 23, 2011; #3 1-1-2012; #4 April 9, 2012; #5 Nov. 27, 2012; #6, March 24, 2013; #7 Sept. 15, 2013)

My Newsletters cover the fields of peace, justice, and ecology.
My Blogs are the newsletters that relate to US empire, militarism, Pentagon, and peacemaking and peacemakers:  War Department/Peace Department.

I am also occasionally filming Short Takes on peacemaking and peacemakers on Community TV, shown also on my Blog.  


My blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes
Newsletters on Peace, Justice, and Ecology:
http://www.omnicenter.org/newsletter-archive/  For an informed citizenry.

Most of OMNI’s newsletters could be filed under ACTIVISM:  Gandhi, MLKJr, nonviolence, et al. etc.  The stories and arguments cover a broad range of striving for world peace, justice, and environmental preservation. The only restriction is the rejection of violence.  See the newsletter on Nonviolence.

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters: http://www.omnicenter.org/newsletter-archive/   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry to recreate the world.  

Activism Newsletter Nos. 3-7 at end

Contents Activism Newsletter #8
Reich, Where are the Ruckus Muckrakers?
Start Your Own Petition
   Move On/SignOn.org, Avaaz
Demand Progress Political Action
Join Hands and Tongue With One of the Thousands
Great Peace Organizations
FCNL Quaker Capitol Hill Lobby
Ganz, Farm Workers’ Movement
Individual Activists
Notable US Peacemakers Rock Happy:   
Dick, Hank Kaminsky’s “Peace Rock”
Moyers:  Dreier, US Activists
Dreier, The 100 Greatest. . .Social Justice Hall of Fame (BillMoyers.com)
Reverend Billy (a Billy in every town?)

Dick, Paul Collier:  Intergovernmental Cooperation Declining, Citizen Cooperation Rising
“Three Figures of Hope”:  Nazi Germany, Papacy, USA
West Bank and Gaza:  Qumsiyeh, In Search of the Wisdom
Mexico:  Gottesdiener, zapatista Movement

Robert Reich | Why There's No Outcry 
Robert Reich's Blog ,Reader Supported News, 26 January 14. 
Reich writes: "Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy. So why isn’t there more of a ruckus?" 


1.                             Start An Online Petition - Petitions.MoveOn.org‎

Start A Petition Online Using The New MoveOn.org Petition Tool

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1.                             SignOn.org | Facebook

SignOn.org is entirely funded by small donations from our members. And unlike other petition sites, we never promote petitions because someone paid us ...

2.                             MoveOn.org - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anna Galland is the executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action and Ilya Sheyman ...On May 16, 2011, MoveOn.org debuted SignOn.org, a non-profit hosting ...

3.                             SignOn.org (SignOn) on Twitter

The latest from SignOn.org (@SignOn). SignOn.org is an online organizing tool launched by MoveOn.org Civic Action as part of our longstanding commitment to ...

4.                             Netroots Foundation | Experts speak: All about SignOn.org | Winning ...

Oct 25, 2012 - Today, we're digging a little deeper into MoveOn's petition tool with Steven Biel, the director of SignOn.org. Can you share a little bit about ...




1.                             Start a Petition - Avaaz

Avaaz Community Petitions site is a new platform that empowers citizen to launch and win local, national, and global campaigns! ... Start your petition. Sign Up ...

2.                             About Community Petitions by Avaaz

Community Petitions by Avaaz empowers people with online tools to help realize the ...people around the world the power to start and win campaigns at the local, national, and international levels. ... With the arrival of Community Petitions, we can all use these online tools to run our own local, ... Setting Your Petition Goal

3.                             Avaaz - The World in Action

Start Your Own Petition. Avaaz's new Community Petitions platform is supporting thousands to start and win campaigns, at the local, national, and international ...

4.                             Avaaz - Have a question?

Start Your Own Petition
Have an issue you'd like to get support on? Start your own petition with Avaaz Community Petitions!


1.                           Demand Progress

Paid for by Demand Progress (DemandProgress.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions to Demand Progress are not ...


Our Mission. Demand Progress works to win progressive policy ...


CISPA Is The New SOPA: Help Kill It. Here's their next move: The ...


Stop Censorship. We teamed up with SOPA hero Senator Ron ...

Support "Aaron's Law"

Demand justice for Aaron: Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into ...

Show Your Support For Aaron



URGENT: Congress Wants To Make Streaming A Felony. Tell ...

2.                             Demand Progress - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Demand Progress is an internet activist-related 527 organization, specializing in petitions to help gain traction for legal movements against internet censorship ...
Leadership - ‎Significance - ‎Campaigns - ‎References

3.                             Demand Progress (demandprogress) on Twitter

The latest from Demand Progress (@demandprogress). Demand Progress is an activism organization with over one million members which fights for civil ...

4.                             Demand Progress | Facebook

Demand Progress. 13198 likes · 594 talking about this. Demand Progress works to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing, ...

·                                 Home
·                                 About FCNL
·                                 Governance
·                                 FCNL Policy Statement

The World We Seek: FCNL Policy Statement

The World We Seek, FCNL's policy statement, sets forth FCNL's broad objectives for public policy. The General Committee, or board of governors, revises and updates the statement on an ongoing basis.Legislative priorities for each Congress are drawn from the policy statement. 

The current policy statement outlining the world we seek was approved in November 2013. Download the full document, or read it by section.


Since the early days of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), God’s spirit has led Friends to take action in the world. This Spirit has called Friends to recognize the equality of women and men, challenge hereditary privilege, help end legal slavery, struggle against oppression and reduce suffering inflicted by violent conflict. Since 1943, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has carried on this witness of the Spirit through action on Capitol Hill. Governed by members of the Religious Society of Friends, FCNL acts in faith to create a world free from war, a society with equity and justice for all, a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled and an earth restored.

Part 1: We Seek a World Free of War and the Threat of War

Friends have long found inspiration in George Fox’s invitation to live “in the virtue of that life and power that [takes] away the occasion of all wars.” We believe that peace throughout the world is God’s will and is attainable. True security results from a culture of peace, including a healthy environment, a fair and sustainable economic life, democratic participation, an educated population, personal well-being and healthy families. Peace and security can be achieved only by peaceful means.

Part 2: We Seek a Society with Equity and Justice for All

Friends’ witness calls for right relationships among people and between individuals and God. Governments are instituted, in part, to promote and protect basic human rights. These are rights, not mere privileges subject to easy denial. Friends acknowledge the indispensable role of government in safeguarding the integrity of our society and the essential dignity of all human beings. Citizens have the responsibility to participate vigorously in making government more responsive, open and accountable.

Part 3: We Seek a Community Where Every Person's Potential May Be Fulfilled

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these . . . ye have done it unto me." We believe that God dwells in each human soul, and therefore it is the birthright of all persons to live a life of dignity with access to the basic necessities for human growth and development. Accordingly, we believe that all members of society should take responsibility for each other, not only to provide the essentials of life but also to ensure an opportunity for meaningful work and recreation so that each can contribute to society according to his or her abilities. Society benefits when families and communities make commitments to care for their members.

Part 4: We Seek an Earth Restored

We declare that humankind must respect the ecological integrity and the sacredness of the natural world. All on this earth are interdependent, and we are strongly mindful of the call to be wise stewards of what God has provided. Friends’ testimonies have deep relevance to the global environmental crises we see unfolding around us.



·                                 Overview
Cover for 
Why David Sometimes Wins

Why David Sometimes Wins:

Leadership, Organization, and Strategy in the California Farm Worker Movement

Marshall Ganz.  Oxford UP, 2013.

·                                 Description
·                                 Table of Contents
·                                 Author Information
·                                 Reviews and Awards

Ganz, because of his long leadership role within the UFW, is unusually well placed as an insider, organizer, and later as a scholar, to write a moving narrative history of this remarkable movement.
·                                 Presents an original argument that an organization's ability to devise good strategy - driven by leadership - translates into an ability to take advantage of opportunities and with it the likelihood of success.
·                                 The topics encompassed by the movement - immigration, Mexican-American politics, the struggles of labor unions, a living wage and benefits for working class families - still resonate in today's political climate.


By Dick Bennett

   Hank Kaminsky's "Peace Rock'' (1998) adorns the hillside back yard of the residence of James Richard (Dick) Bennett, who commissioned the sculpture in 1997. The sculpture names thirty United States peacemakers.
   The oval sculpture --17 inches wide, 40 inches long, and 19 inches tall-is eloquent in its function. In bold raised letters at the top the sculpture spells out PEACE, while the names of the peacemakers, also in raised letters, surround the sides.
  Three features of the sculpture deserve special comment. First. it is shaped and colored dark brown to appear from a distance as a large stone, to suggest a connection between peace and the evolving earth and humankind. Second, the letters of PEACE are designed to contain soil for growing moss and ferns. to suggest the connection between the ideal of peace and the tranquility of plants, in contrast to the machines of death machine guns, planes, nuclear bombs. The quest is for peace not only among humans but between the human-made techno-sphere and the natural ecosphere. Among the planet's greatest problems perpetual wars, nationalism imperialism, hunger and malnutrition, the global war between the rich and the poor, nuclear holocaust--ecological destruction surely ranks high in urgency. Third, the name\ of the peacemakers are not always immediately discernible because, in contrast to the Vietnam Memorial Wall's incised clarity for quick identification, the sculptor wished to involve viewers in the peacemakers search for peace. The incompleteness of the names Thoreau and Rukeyser share the subsidence of the letter E, to suggest the perpetual danger of the collapse of peace into war.
   All of the names are inscribed horizontally to suggest time and the equality of these peacemakers in time. who are placed in random order up and down, left and right. The sculpture rests in a setting of flowers. shrubs, and trees. It can be seen on eye-level from the residence's deck at a distance of 30 feet.
 The United States is a war-making nation. It has fought a dozen wars since 1 94 1, most of them not defensive. (despite its name-change, the Department of Defense remains the old Department of War.) It has invaded a dozen countries during the second half of this century, in violation of international laws and treaties, illegal acts of aggression against sovereign nations which opposed us, were defined as "enemies.'. expressed a different ideology, or simply stood in our way to some national goal (Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Libya, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Iraq). The United States glorifies war; ceremonies and symbols and monuments of warriors pervade national life: and terrorism comes always some from some other nation or group. From childhood, we are conditioned to accept aggression and war and the violence essential to war-making.
   Many methods exist for diminishing nationalistic, conditioned aggression. One is to increase the ethos of peace and of peacemaker models for our youth by building memorials to peacemakers in peaceful and beautiful landscapes. Our children know the names of our warriors, who are celebrated in countless ways. They do not know the names of our peacemakers. So we must begin at our homes to instill the values of beauty, peace, and just law by celebrating the peacemakers by naming them. Just as citizens have always expressed their patriotism by erecting a flag in their yard, or by setting aside a place in their home to remember loved ones who served or were killed in war--the home as a war memorial, privately reinforcing the legitimacy of the war-making nation---, we can also transform our homes into peace memorials.to honor those who sacrificed for peace and imagined a peacemaking nation.

   John Ruskin in The Seven Lamps of Architecture argued that architecture, as the art of edifices that contributes to our "mental health, power, and pleasure." is an index of a nation’s values. Throughout our history, warriors have appropriated this domain of public good. But a counter-movement is rising of beautiful monuments dedicated to peace, especially in landscaped places. We must know and remember peacemakers, not warmakers and killers, if we are to have peace. The plastic arts and literature provide us with memory.  Ruskin: "it is well to have, not only what men have thought and felt, but what their hands have handled, and their strength wrought, and their eyes beheld, all the days of their life.”

  This sculpture is a measure of our culture's struggle with violence.  In conception, design, and execution. it offers "health, power, and pleasure.'  And it benefits from the spiritual and sensory power of the landscape, both of` which are to be discovered by the inquiring visitor. In contrast to the immensely successful conditioning of` soldiers to kill by the U. S. Army, and the apparently successful conditioning of the population to be violent by our culture---in films, television, computer games--. sculpture and place invite non-violent reflection and behavior.
   It is hoped that this private place for peace will inspire the creation of more private peace memorials. and Iead outward to more public peace memorials. We should strive to create not only private places of peace. but also to create peace parks and gardens and sculptures in our towns, cities and countryside, if we are ever to evolve into a nation and world dedicated to peaceful rather than Pentagon values.

   Biographies of all of the peacemakers named on Kaminsky's sculpture (except for one) may be found in books by Michael True: Justice-Seekers, Peacemakers: 32 Portraits in Courage (1985) and To Construct Peace. 30 More Justice Seekers and Peacemakers (1990). True has also written An Energy Field More Intense Than War: the Nonviolent Tradition and American Literature (l995).

     A note on heroes. Our genuine heroes are less well known than the false heroes used to sell products. Our society is saturated with meretricious celebrities pushing commodities. Celebrity names sell; celebrity makes money. What kind of person the celebrity is or what relation the celebrity has to the product sold matters little. But the heroes listed on Hank Kaminsky's engrossing “Peace Rock” possess authentic identity as seekers for a peaceful world.

  Hank Kaminsky was born April 3, 1939. He is married to Jo Ann Burton Kaminsky and has two sons. Jesse and Daniel. He was educated at Queens College (Flushing, NY), the Art Students League, the New School for Social Research, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the University of Arkansas. His most well known work is the World Peace Prayer fountain on the downtown Square of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Some of his other sculptures are: "The Miracle of the Double Helix,'' University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock; a Set of Communion Vessels and Candle Fixtures for the First United Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville; "Islands in the Sea" for Temple Shalom, Fayetteville; “Yahrzeit" for Temple B'nai Israel, Little Rock; and "Eternal Light" and "Words for Healing" at the Washington Regional hospital in Fayetteville.. His works have been shown widely in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Birmingham, AL, and throughout Arkansas. He has taught widely from Dallas to New York City to Branson, including the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art, University of Arkansas. Fayetteville. "Since 1971 I have been working with a technique which I call 'Sand-Matrix Design.'' The latest example of this technique can be seen in the sculpture series he is working on now  called "The Sacred Ground Project,"  a collection of concrete sculptures designed for the garden.


The Peacemakers celebrated on the sculpture, all from the United States, are:

Jane Addams(1860-1935), co-founded the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. opposed   U.S. entering WWI, "one of the great leaders in the American tradition of nonviolence."
Joan Baez(194I-), human rights activist, jailed twice for demonstrating against the Vietnam War and U.S. interventions in Southeast Asia, supported war tax resistance and political prisoners.
Adin Ballou(l803- 1890). founded the Hopedale Community utopian experiment. significant adherent of Christian non-resistance and nonviolence, influenced Tolstoy and Gandhi.
Daniel (1921) and Philip (1923-) Berrigan. leaders of the Catholic non-violent anti-war and anti-nuclear   movement, both often imprisoned. Philip and his wife, Elizabeth McAlister. founded the resistance center, Jonah House, and the publication, Year One, and have been active in Plowshares actions.   Daniel has won many literary prizes for his poetry and play, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine.
Elise (1920-) and Kenneth (1910- 1993) Boulding, founders of the International PEACE Research Association (PRA) and its North American Affiliate, the Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and
Development (COPRED) he authored Stable Peace, she Building a Global Civil Culture Randolph Bourne ( I 886-1918), socialist, fervent opponent of U.S. intervention in WWI and the war-making state.
Elihu Burritt (I8I0-I879). founded the first International Peace Society (1854). edited the Advocate of Peace and Universal Brotherhood for the American Peace Society which anticipated the League of  Nations and the World Court.
Cesar Chavez(1917-I923), with Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers, both committed to nonviolence.
Noam Chomsky (1928-), anarchist and socialist opponent of U.S. imperialism and the
  military/ndustria/media/university complex of war-making
Maura (:larke ( 1 ')3 1 - 1980), member of the Maryknoll order, friend to victims of repressive governments.
  murdered by the El Salvadoran military.
Frances Crowe (1919-), Quaker, anti-war (Vietnam) and anti-nuclear activist, anti-draft counselor: prisoner, recipient of awards from Catholic, Protestant, and other groups.
Dorothy Day (1897-1980), Catholic, war-resister, defender of the poor. civil-disobedient. writer, founder (1933) of The Catholic Worker, "the most remarkable person in the history of American Catholicism
Eugene Debs (1855-1926), five times the Socialist Party's nominee for president of the U.S.. imprisoned for opposing W.W.I.. defender of the poor, co-founder of the I WW.
David Dellinger (lS,IS-). imprisoned for conscientious objection during WWII. edited Liberation after the war, a journal of radical pacifism, co-chair of the New Mobilization committee to end the war in  Vietnam, one of the Chicago 8.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890- 1964), communist, chair of International Labor Defense, co-founder of the   ACLU, victim of Red Scares of 1919 and McCarthyism, imprisoned 1955-57: she was the "rebel girl of Joe Hill's song.
Allen Ginsberg (l925-l 997), poet, opposed the Vietnam War (the only person on the sculpture not in either of True's books; a favorite peacemaker of the sculptor).
Martin Luther King, Jr. ( I 929-1968), Baptist minister, advocate of non-violence. writer, orator; leader of Civil Rights Movement I950s- 1960s, opponent of Vietnam War, prisoner.
Kathy Knight ( 1938-), a leader of Catholic non-violent peace movement against the Vietnam War.
Meridel LeSueur ( 1900- 1997), writer, socialist, blacklisted during McCarthy era. opponent of nuclear  weapons, feminist.
Denise Levertov (1923- 1997) opposed the Vietnam War and wrote numerous poems on war and violence.
Mennonites, one of the three historic peace churches (with Quakers and Brethren), oppose war and killing as contrary to the gospel.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist monk, urged nonviolent social change among Catholics, edited  Breakthrough to Peace and Thomas Merton on Peace.

Quakers, the Society of Friends, one of the three historic peace churches, helped develop principle of conscientious objection, committed to nonviolence.
Muriel Rukeyser (l9l3-1980). prize-winning poet, imprisoned for opposing Vietnam War draft and nuclear arms, as president of PEN (international organization of poets, essays, and novelists) traveled the world to protect imprisoned writers.
Mulford Sibley (1912-1989), teacher, writer (The Ouiet Battle, 1968, The Obligation to Disobey. 1970). war resister, pacifist.
William Stafford (1914- 1993), imprisoned in Arkansas for conscientious objection to WWII, became an award-winning writer and lifetime war resister.
Lucy Stone (l818-1893), abolitionist and women's rights activist.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), jailed for "civil disobedient" tax resistance against the U.S. invasion of Mexico ( I846), author of “Civil I Disobedience.” one of the most influential critics of unjust state violence.
Annabel WoIfson (1915-I983) opposed war, conscription, imperialism.
Howard Zinn (1902-), historian:  SNCC: The New Abolitionists (1964), A People`s History of the United States (198O), war protester.

True discusses many other peacemakers in his two books. For example, he says of Ammon Hennacy (I893-1970): “the one man revolution." draft resister who served many years in prison during WWI, arrested 32 times for civil disobedience against nuclear weapons, war, and capital punishment.

Recommended reading:
Ackerman, Peter, and Jack Duvall.  A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict.   St. Martin’s, 2000.
Adolf, AntonyPeace: A World History.  Polity, 2009.
Commoner, Barry. Making Peace with the Planet. New York: Pantheon, 1990.
Gay, Peter. The Cultivation of Hatred. Vol. III of The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud. New
  York: Norton, 1993.
Grossman, Dave, Lt. Col. On Killing The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.
  Boston. Little, Brown, 1997.
Hanh, Thich Nhat. Peace Is Every Step, the Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. New York: Bantam.
McKean, John. Places for Peace, London: Architects for Peace, 1989.
McSorley, Richard.  New Testament Basis of Peacemaking. Herald, 1985.
Mosse, George, Fallen Soldiers. Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars, New York: Oxford UP. 1990.
Polner, Murray and Thomas Woods, Jr., eds.  We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now.  Basic Books, 2008.
Sharp, Gene.  The Politics of Nonviolent Action.  Porter Sargent, 1973.
Smith-Christopher, Daniel, ed.  Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions.      Boston Research Center, 1998.
Winter, Jay. Sites of memory, sites of mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History. CambridgeCambridge UP, 1995.                                                     Dick Bennett


Peter Dreier on a New Generation of Activists

October 25, 2013
Historian Peter Dreier shares why he’s optimistic about America’s future, including dynamic grass-roots initiatives around the country and, believe it or not, the radical politics of Dr. Seuss.


·                                 19 Young Activists Changing America
·                                 Video Report: An Oasis in a Food Desert
·                                 Millennials March for Climate Justice
·                                 Activists Confront Financial Titans Larry Fink and William Gross


Visit our take action page to see what you can do to create change and get inspired by our interviews with activists.


§                                 Full Show: Saving Democracy is Up to Citizen Activists
§                                 Peter Dreier on a New Generation of Activists


§                                 The American Heroes of Social Justice
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Peter Dreier on a New Generation of Activists

October 25, 2013  [Oct. 27, 2013, AETN]
In his interview with Bill this week, historian Peter Dreier shares why he’s optimistic about America’s future, shining a spotlight on grass-roots initiatives around the country that remind us of our collective capacity to make a real difference. Dreier, author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, also explains why the radical politics of Dr. Seuss, the late children’s book author and illustrator, is a source of inspiration.
“The message that Dr. Seuss is sending in his books to young people is to stand up to arbitrary authority and take back your own life and be a fighter for justice and for your own integrity,” Dreier tells Bill. “I think that Dr. Seuss would be very pleased with a lot of the movements today because these are people standing up to authority and big power and trying to take the country back.”

Interview Producer: Gina Kim. Editor: Sikay Tang.

Peter Dreier on a New Generation of Activists

BillMoyers.com-Oct 25, 2013
See how it happens in Peter Dreier's most recent book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20thCentury: A Social Justice Hall of Fame. Peter ...

The Hebrew Hammers

Huffington Post-Oct 5, 2013
Peter Dreier teaches politics at Occidental College and is the author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of ...

Peter Dreier: Californa city aims to buy mortgages from banks that ...

Anchorage Daily News-Oct 3, 2013
Peter Dreier: Californa city aims to buy mortgages from banks that .... Metropolitics for the 21st Century" and "The 100 Greatest Americans of the ...


A look back: Celebrating the city's social justice greats

Pasadena Star-News-Oct 13, 2013
We had the opportunity recently to hear Occidental College Professor Peter Dreierdiscuss his book, “The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th ...

Saturday, 01 March 2014 07:53
Why Are the Advocates Trying to Save the Planet Prosecuted While the Plunderers Walk Free?
Anti-Fracking activist Vera Scroggins is under virtual house arrest in PA. (Photo: James Pitarresi)
It seems every week or so you can hear language borrowed from the War On Terror, the Salem Witch Hunts and the McCarthy hearings. Some prosecutor is hurling invective at fossil fuel resisters, who sit in the courtroom with their pro bono lawyers, staring with the disbelief of newcomers to the evils of the plunderers of our Earth -- and the collusion of our government with them.
We know that there are heroes like the Sea Shepherd sailors, the Arctic 30, and Tim "Bidder 70" DeChristopher. Although some of these activists are young, we tend to think of them as veterans who are making a stand for the rest of us. But an increasing movement seems to be building, in which the heroes are people who might be described as local activists. These are volunteer citizens who oppose fossil fuel projects near where they live - who resist with their bodies because they don't have the money to pull the strings in government like the fossil fuel industry. Something about these under-equipped protesters is making Big Oil go crazy.
Three Michigan women - Lisa Leggio, Barbara Carter, and Vicci Hamlin - chained themselves to an excavator in the little town of Mason. They were polite in that Midwestern way throughout their protest of Enbridge, the Canadian firm that leaked 800,000 gallons of oil in their community, and can't seem to clean it up. After the conviction was read, Judge William Collette, a Republican and former bomber pilot, marched the ladies - one of them a great-grandmother - straight to jail from their defense table, despite their intentions to appeal.
Here we have a signature tactic of fossil fuel injustice. Call it "overcharging," accusing nonviolent defendants of felonious crimes that will later be dropped, but meanwhile holding them in prison because the bail is too high. In this way, the personal turmoil in the families of the accused is maximized. Also, this is how the government and its partner corporations cast a pall of guilt on the innocent, making them look dark and dangerous on the local evening news.
Over-charging can quickly slide into creative charges that re-write the law. Our American alphabet soup of security, the DHS, NSA, FBI and TSA - is using a new charge on banner-droppers in Oklahoma City. Two activists in the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance are facing charges on perpetrating a "Bioterrorism Hoax" at the headquarters of extraction giant Devon Energy. This is a strange charge - that we cannot take an action that we are entitled to under the Constitution. When some cheap glitter shook from one of the banners, the police reasoned that this might be chemical warfare. Stefan Warner and Moriah Stephenson face ten years in prison.
Over-kill is easy when you're Enbridge and Devon Energy, companies whose assets are in the $30 to $45 billion range. Behind the front line of fossil companies are the banks that finance them, such as Bank of America and Chase, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland. The fossil-fuel-investing banks are bigger than most countries, with assets measured in the trillions. When these giants look over the shoulders of prosecutors and see someone everyone seems to know, who lives over on Elm Street, standing up to them - was anything more outside their business plan?
Even with the corrupting consultation of Big Oil, much happens in these courtrooms that seems unintended. The efforts to cast these home-made activists as dark assassins often backfires.
Vera Scroggins lives in a heavily hydrofractured area near the town of Montrose, in northeastern Pennsylvania. She has nonviolently but flamboyantly opposed the oil companies, even organizing a rally with Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon. The Cabot Oil and Gas Co., now owns much of property rights in and around Montrose, with a tangle of difficult-to-understand leases and easements, as well mineral rights beneath the homes of long-time citizens. Cabot is so upset with Ms. Scroggins, a 63 year old grandmother, that they persuaded a judge to issue an injunction that forbids her from walking anywhere on the 312 square miles around Montrose that Cabot somehow controls. This puts her under virtual house arrest. After being tailed by police for a few days, she realized that she couldn't figure out where it was legal for her to go. She couldn't walk to the pharmacy or her favorite diner. Scroggins has, surreally, asked the court for a map with legal trails through her own hometown.
The more innocent the protesters, the more terrified the billionaire's men.  Grandmother Scroggins was given 24 hours to appear in court, and she came without a lawyer to represent her.  Cabot was ready to lay their trap, with three lawyers.  They exiled her from her own Main Street.
Do they really believe that will be enough? Doesn't Vera Scroggins resemble the citizen volunteers who showed up early in the civil rights, the peace and gender rights movements? Isn't this entrenched power's historical nightmare - returning again to haunt them? The willingness to risk injury, jail or worse have made "ordinary people" into legendary figures. And these folks have kids and grandkids. What if these citizens really listen to what the scientists are saying, and realize that they nothing to lose but their loved ones - won't this make them the fiercest warriors of all?
You can't stop Vera Scroggins, or the Enbridge Three, or the Oklahoma City glitterati. You can't stop the families who overran the fracking equipment in West Sussex. You can't stop Bo Webb, the ex-marine in the coal-blasted mountains of West Virginia. You can't stop Idle No More, the natives in Canada and Utah blocking tar sands equipment from their sacred lands. You can't stop the young UK activists who climbed EDF Energy's smokestack and stopped those emissions for a week. You can't stop Grace Cagle from living in the pipeline-blocking treehouse.
You can't stop Drew Hutton and the Lock the Gate ranchers in Queensland and New South Wales. You can't stop the Grandmothers Knitting Against Gas; or Wahleah Johns and the Navajo community trying to go solar; or Yvon Raoul in Alberta, playing bagpipes against tar sands; or the Liberate Tate museum-invaders, trying to pry big oil from the prestige of fine arts. 
The efforts to save planet Earth are on the rise locally and globally.
There are too many Vera Scrogginses to chase down, and too many to publicly defame, and too many to lock up. In the coming years, the irresistible force of the changing Earth and the supposedly immoveable object of the fossil fuel industry will have a fight to the death.
Whatever sort of apocalypse we're in for, the Earth will survive, and in the end I bet that Vera walks whereever she wants to.
Rev. Billy Talen preaches at the church of "Stop Shopping" online and on the streets of New York and throughout the US.  He is the author of "The End of the World."



“Yet while the ability of governments to cooperate has declined, the ability of citizens to coordinate action. . .has increased” (especially via Internet 234).  “It may be that cooperation at the level of civil society can be a substitute for that between governments in introducing common responses to global problems” (239).

Thomas Cahill ends Heretics and Heroes with three brief profiles of three Christians—a German Lutheran Protestant, an Italian Catholic, and a U.S. Episcopalian--who represent some of the best in Christianity.

“Christians must not only ‘bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam the spoke in the wheel itself.’”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, qtd. By Thomas Cahill, Heretics and Heroes (307, referring to Hitler’s Nazis).

Pope John XXIII believed that “Jesus came to break down barriers [between people]; he died to proclaim universal brotherhood; the central point of his teaching is charity—that is, the love that binds all human beings to him. . . .” (308).

Muriel Moore organized free meals for the poor and treated all the same.  “’We are all the same.’  That was Muriel’s credo.” (310).

COMMON MORALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS by Mazin Qumsiyeh.  Sept. 23, 2013

It is very hard sometimes to go on “having joyful participation in the
sorrows of this world” (The Buddhist motto) when we witness so much
injustice, so much poverty, so many deaths, and so much hypocrisy.
The key word and the most difficult is “participation”.  How do we
participate in a meaningful moral way in such a world?  How do we know
if we are doing something to make a difference, or we are unable to
make a difference?  “God grant me the courage to change the things I
can, patience for those I can’t change, and wisdom to know the
difference.”  How can we find this wisdom to know.  We struggle with
these questions daily because we see so much destruction, death,
hypocrisy, and stupidity.  ….
More text including actions to take by going to this link

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Laura Gottesdiener | Now You See Me - A Glimpse into the Zapatista Movement, Two Decades Later 
Laura Gottesdiener, TomDispatch 
Gottesdiener writes: "Thousands are clustered in this muddy field to mark the 20-year anniversary of January 1, 1994, when an army of impoverished farmers surged out of the jungle and launched the first post-modern revolution." 
Contents of #3
Sending a Petition
Z Magazine January 2012
Yes! Fifteen Activists
New Book:  Becoming the Leaders We Need
New Book: Save the Humans?
New Book: Dream of a Nation
New Documentary on Effects on People of US Capitalism and Remedies
Occupy Wall Street
Justice for Tomato Field Laborers
Global Rallies for Renewable Energy
Journalistic Dilemma in Reporting Protest
Looking Back

Contents of #4 April 9, 2012

The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World
Civic Resistance
Book:  Dream of a Nation
Book:  Mobilizing
Book:  Collaboration
Mark Ruffalo
John Graham, Giraffe Project
Nonviolent Method:  Shame
3 Dissenters: Press, Joya, Jacob George
How to Organize an Event

Contents of #5 (in roughly chronological order of subjects)

Franklin Folsom, the Unemployed  Organized

Bollinger and Tran, From Tecumseh to Harvey Milk

Folsom, Peace March 1986

Film about Brian Willson

Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action
Berlowe, Compassionate Rebel 2002, Anger and Love
Berlowe, Compassionate Rebel 2
Zinn, Collected Speeches
Goodman and Moynihan, Resisters Today
Post-Nov. 6, 2012 Election Movement Building
Amy Goodman
Dreier and Cohen

Contents #6
Anti-War Film
Protest, Social Change Film: Let Fury Have the Hour
Rights of Disabled Campaign: Learning Hardball
Critical Thinking
Mann, Progressive Organizing
Split This Rock Poetry Festival
RESIST: Funding for Change
Dick’s Recent Newsletters


Contents #7  September 15, 2013
Tomgram, Solnit: Occupy Anniversary
Dick:  Moyers and Co., Successful Organizing 
   Sandra Steingraber vs. Epidemic Toxic Trespass in US
   Marshall Ganz,
Madeline Janis, and Rachel Laforest—  
Mindful Occupation Booklet, Successful Organizing
Levine:  Get Up, Stand Up Against the Corporations
YES! Magazine.  A news magazine of notes and short articles    about pje changers.
Andrew Boyd, A Toolbox for Revolution
Adam Kahane, Power and Love…for Social Change
Alperovitz, What Do?  Long-range Organizing for Change.
Michelle Deakin.  UU Social Action Heroes
Salsa: Guide for Nonprofits

Recent Newsletters Relating to Activism
3-2 US Empire
3-1 Liberal/Progressive
3-1 Nuclear Free Pacific and Marshall Islands
2-26 US Westward Imperialism (China surrounded)
2-18 US Capitalism


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