Wednesday, August 27, 2014


NEWSLETTER ON ACTIVISM, ACTIONS, RESISTANCE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND ECOLOGY #10, August 27, 2014.;postID=7173280009594925439;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=link   
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
(#2: June 23, 2011; #3 1-1-2012; #4 April 9, 2012; #5 Nov. 27, 2012; #6, March 24, 2013; #7 Sept. 15, 2013; #8 March 4, 2014; #9, June 1, 2014)
For a discussion of “activism,” OMNI, and these newsletters, see Newsletter #9.

What’s at stake:    
What is the mission of OMNI? 
With the Quakers (AFSC, FCNL) we seek:
a world free of war and the threat of war,
a society with equity and justice for all,
a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled,
and an earth restored.

Blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes 
Newsletters on Peace, Justice, and Ecology:  For an informed citizenry.

Contents of Activism Newsletter #10
Chris Crass, Towards Collective Liberation (DISCUSSION AT
Peace Corps
Comissiong, Hip Hop Analysis of Injustices and Solutions
Sierra Club, Why Bees Are Dying and How to Save them
Bill Moyers Interviews Jim Hightower
Ralph Nader’s Latest Book, Unstoppable (when liberals and conservatives work together)
Nader’s Books
Henry Giroux, Remember Then Act, Don’t Be an Amnesiac Non-

Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy.  Author: Chris Crass
Aug 23, 2014.  [I first read about this book in Yes! Magazine (Fall 2014).  –D] About PM Press,

11:43am Aug 26
Nudging the conversation forward this Sunday... A really neat Friend from Little Rock that some of y'all remember -- Meredith Martin Moats -- is bringing friends up to talk about a book that has really made an impact on their lives and activism. We'll talk about "Toward Collective Liberation" by Chris Crass starting at 2:00 at OMNI. You'll appreciate the depth of thinking that's going on.

Chris Crass is a longtime organizer working to build powerful working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation. Throughout the 1990s, he was an organizer with Food Not Bombs, an economic justice anti-poverty group, strengthening the direct action-based anti-capitalist Left. In the 2000s, he was an organizer with the Catalyst Project, which combines political education and organizing to develop and support anti-racist politics, leadership, and organization in white communities and builds dynamic multiracial alliances locally and nationally. He has written and spoken widely about anti-racist organizing, lessons from women of color feminism, strategies to build visionary movements, and leadership for liberation. He graduated from San Francisco State University in Race, Class, Gender and Power Studies and currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his partner and their son, River. He is a member of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
"We Win Everyday"

Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy is for activists engaging with dynamic questions of how to create and support effective movements for visionary systemic change. Chris Crass’s collection of essays and interviews presents us with powerful lessons for transformative organizing through offering a firsthand look at the challenges and the opportunities of anti-racist work in white communities, feminist work with men, and bringing women of color feminism into the heart of social movements. Drawing on two decades of personal activist experience and case studies of anti-racist social justice organizations, Crass insightfully explores ways of transforming divisions of race, class, and gender into catalysts for powerful vision, strategy, and movement building in the United States today.
Over the last two decades, activists in the United States have been experimenting with new politics and organizational approaches that stem from a fusion of radical political traditions and liberation struggles. Drawing inspiration from women of color feminism, justice struggles in communities of color, anarchist and socialist movements, the broad upsurges of the 1960s and '70s, and social movements in the Global South, a new generation of activists has sought to understand the past while building a movement for today’s world. Towards Collective Liberation contributes to this project by examining two primary dynamic trends in these efforts: 1) the anarchist movement of the 1990s and 2000s, through which tens of thousands of activists were introduced to radical politics, direct action organizing, democratic decision making, and the profound challenges of taking on systems of oppression, privilege, and power in society at large and in the movement itself; and 2) white anti-racist organizing efforts from the 2000s to the present as part of a larger strategy to build broad-based, effective multiracial movements in the United States.
Crass’s collection begins with an overview of the anarchist tradition as it relates to contemporary activism and an in-depth look at Food Not Bombs, one of the leading anarchist groups in the revitalized radical Left in the 1990s. The second and third sections of the book combine stories and lessons from Crass’s experiences of working as an anti-racist and feminist organizer, combining insights from the Civil Rights Movement, women of color feminism, and anarchism to address questions of leadership, organization building, and revolutionary strategy. In section four, Crass discusses how contemporary organizations have responded to the need for white activists to lead anti-racist efforts in white communities and how these efforts have contributed to multiracial alliances in building a broad-based movement for collective liberation. Offering rich case studies of successful organizing, and grounded, thoughtful key lessons for movement building, Toward Collective Liberation is a must-read for anyone working for a better world.


"In his writing and organizing, Chris Crass has been at the forefront of building the grassroots, multi-racial, feminist movements for justice we need. Towards Collective Liberation takes on questions of leadership, building democratic organizations, and movement strategy, on a very personal level that invites us all to experiment and practice the way we live our values while struggling for systemic change. " —Elizabeth 'Betita' Martinez, founder of the Institute for Multiracial Justice and author of De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century

“Chris Crass goes into the grassroots to produce a political vision that will catalyze political change. These are words from the heart, overflowing onto the streets.” —Vijay Prashad, author of Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World


Letter from Leadership: Embracing a New School Year
Hello Peace Corps Family,
Summer is winding down and students around our region are headed back to campus. Some are starting their academic journey, while others are looking ahead to post-graduation plans. We at Peace Corps are working through a new phase in our existence as well. And these are exciting times. 
Last month, we rolled out a new application process – one that allows applicants tochoose where and how they want to serve. Armed with the power of choice, more than 12,000 people have heeded President Barack Obama’s call to service and completed the new online application
We re-launched our Southwest Regional Office social media platforms. You can find us on Facebook at, on Twitter at@PeaceCorpsSWR, and on our blog at’re excited to have the support of our regional academic and community partners. We consider each of you part of our Peace Corps Family.

While we’re definitely excited about these changes, by no means are we slowing down.  Our recruiters are reaching out in each of our 11 states, across hundreds of our college campuses, hoping to talk with each and every person who wants to learn more about Peace Corps service. Like many of you, we’re adjusting and adapting for the times – poised to be a more transparent, responsive, and diverse agency. 
With our new process and nearly 3,000 jobs in more than 60 countries around the world, you can choose what and where will be the best fit for you, check out all the opportunities available here. For those willing to accept the challenge of Peace Corps service, the rewards are endless. Volunteers gain unique skills and experiences that are transferable to any career. These skills will help you stand apart from your peers.
As our Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet noted, “Peace Corps is not just a chance to make a difference in a faraway country. It’s a life-changing, life-defining launching pad for a 21st-century career – and now, it’s easier than ever to discover what serving in the Peace Corps can do for you.” 
These are indeed exciting times. We invite you, our Peace Corps Family, along on our journey. Won’t you join us?
Michael McKay is the Regional Office Manager/Director of the Peace Corps’ Southwest Regional Office.  


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Peace Corps Southwest Region
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Suite 427
Dallas, TX 75242

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A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues By Solomon W.F. Comissiong
Publishers blurb: 
A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues is a collection of essays that offers readers brutally honest analysis and commentary regarding a range of social issues and injustices, often ignored by the American corporate media, government and mainstream educational systems. Mass Incarceration, the Military Industrial Complex, Institutional Racism and Capitalism, are just a few of the topics which are deconstructed throughout this unique book. This book also offers up a medley of tangible solutions and challenges for readers to build upon, in an effort to create a better society by collectively ending the longstanding legacy of social injustice within America. This book is riddled with often untaught history and perspectives which make it a great education tool.

[I include this article because it offers a basic, two-part model with a three-part solution for I. Stating a problem and II. Offering a solution (here in three parts).  The structure can clarify any problem.  However, we shouldn’t rush immediately to the absolute the writer urges, since Sierra is using a “crisis” to raise money.  –D]
BEE CRISIS: Help stop Monsanto and save our bees.

Help reach the $20,000 goal! Join the Sierra Club and turbo-charge this campaign to save the bees!

1892 Backpack
When you join, we'll send you an 1892 Backpack as our thank-you.
Dear James,

Scientists don't often use words like "conclusive" or "impossible to deny." I know -- both my parents are scientists, and they almost never talk in absolutes.

But that's exactly what researchers are saying in just-released study about toxic bee-killing pesticides called neonicotinoids (or "neonics"). [1] So poisonous, so destructive -- this stuff is like DDT for bees.

Every year, we lose 30% of our honey bees. [2] This is a big deal because bees help produce every third bite of food we take. [3] Just this past winter, states like Michigan and Indiana lost more than 60% of their bee populations.

This report should be all we need to stop using these poisons. But Monsanto and Bayer -- the corporations that manufacture these pesticides -- are peddling their lies to our lawmakers, saying these pesticides are totally benign. If we're going to win -- and we really don't have a choice -- it will only be because of SierraRise supporters like you.

Save our bees -- and help save our planet's food supply! Join the Sierra Club with a gift of $15 or more and turbo-charge the SierraRise campaign to save the bees beforemidnight Thursday.

Acting like a nerve agent, Bayer and Monsanto's neonics compromise a bee's ability to feed and make its way back to the hive. [4] This latest research joins other independent, unbiased studies that have linked this group of deadly chemicals to colony collapse disorder.

Stopping Monsanto won't be easy. But we have a plan:
  • Putting a huge spotlight on the crisis: When I tell people how much of our food depends on bees, and then how many bees die every year, the reaction is always the same: shock and deep concern, followed by "what can I do?" Imagine if every American said that -- and then called Congress. This fight would be over.
  • Passing the "Save America's Pollinators Act": This bill would suspend the use of neonicotinoids. SierraRise supporters generated important momentum, sending more than 100,000 letters to Congress just a few months ago -- now we need to make sure the bill gets passed.
  • Pushing the EPA to ban these pesticides: The EPA has the power to ban these toxic neonics, but so far Monsanto and Bayer are carrying the day. We just need to see this as a challenge -- the EPA needs more grassroots pressure to counter the greedy corporations.
This kind of grassroots campaigning works. It's why we've been able to stave off Big Oil's biggest priority of the decade -- building the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline -- stop Shell Oil from drilling in the Arctic in 2014, and protect the endangered Florida Panther from oil drilling in their critical habitat. No matter how hard they push, no matter how much money they spend, no matter how much influence they exert on lawmakers -- YOUR voices have routinely stopped the corporate polluters.

We need to go out just as big and push just as hard if we're going to save our bees and stop Monsanto and Bayer.

When you join the Sierra Club by August 28, you will receive a free Sierra Club 1892 Backpack as a token of our appreciation. You will also receive members-only benefits like a one-year subscription to SIERRAmagazine (my favorite magazine even before I joined the staff, you'll love it!), eco-travel opportunities, automatic membership in your local chapter, and discounts on Sierra Club calendars, books, and other merchandise.

Please help save our bees by chipping in to reach the $20,000 goal. Join the Sierra Club now!

In it together,

Nathan Empsall
SierraRise Senior Campaigner


1. Leahy, Stephen (2014 June 24). "How 'the New DDT' Wreaks Havoc on the Bottom of the Food Chain." Motherboard.

2. vanEnglesdorp, Dennis et al (2014 May 23). "Honey Bee Colony Losses in the United States, 2013-2014." Bee Informed.

3. Grossman, Elizabeth (2013 April 30). "Declining Bee Populations Pose A Threat to Global Agriculture." Yale e360.

4. Eban, Catherine (2010 October 10). "What a Scientist Didn't Tell the New York Times About His Study on Bee Deaths."CommonDreams.

Photo credit: WikimediaCC BY-SA 3.0

MOYERS & Co., AETN July 6, 2014
By Dick Bennett
[Recently all of Moyers programs have led to action.]
The program today was divided into two parts: an interview of Jim Hightower and a discussion with diverse people about community organizing becoming a movement and insurgency.

Bill Moyers opened by describing the US as a modern tyranny of monopolized economy and a ruling class of 1%.  The Robber Barons have won.
His guest he introduced as an optimistic rebel:  Jim Hightower.  The people, esp. the middle class, are becoming aware, and are rising in protest.  E.g., the United Workers Congress (fast food workers, adjunct professors, etc.)—collaborations are developing.
And they were off and running in an exhilarating dialog.
JH:  There was a world protest against McDonald’s.  And there’s Elizabeth Warren.
Moyers:  but also enormous secret donations via an anti- “New Deal” determined to destroy the last of what’s left of FDR’s affirmative government of, by, and for the people.
JH: The People are in rebelling.  Note grassroots opposition to fracking in Colorado.
M: Congress is bought.
JH: The People must get in the face of power, and many are.  They know 90% of the People have lost income.
M: The Occupy Movement collapsed.
JH: No, it spread—e.g. Occupy Our Homes.  And it changed the presidential campaign’s debate content.  There’s a movement now to overturn Citizens United.
M: What do you think of Nader’s new book, Unstoppable?
JH: Welcome, the People need signs of success to join a movement.
[As usual, M. presses his interview to bring out the best in the other, in this case a contest between Moyers’ taking the role of pessimism (realism?) versus JH’s optimism.]

In the 2nd very brief section Moyers interviews the group “Rising Voices for a New Economy” and others that want corporations to pay a fair share of taxes.  Corps. Are now making record profits and paying record low taxes.
M: how compel them to pay?
RV: by grassroots mass canvassing and exposing by getting in the face of the corp. tax dodgers, e.g. General Electric.  The People must become an army of principles against the army of greed.

Moyers continues his struggle for The People!
How are you People?



To begin with, a note on an inveterate optimist: Ralph Nader, our reigning genius of political possibility (and Seven Stories author of "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!" and Told You So, among other titles) has just released, with Public Affairs Books, Unstoppable. His political imagination on fire yet again, Ralph argues that the American people can get back into the habit of winning political battles by finding common ground between progressives and conservatives on certain issues.

Author: Ralph Nader
Edition: First Edition (04/29/2014)Publisher: Nation Books, Hardcover240 pages

Author: Ralph Nader
Edition: Original (10/02/2012) Publisher: Harper Paperbacks, Paperback  384 pages

Author: Ralph NaderBarbara Ehrenreich(Foreword)
Edition: First Edition (10/01/2000)Publisher: Seven Stories PressPaperback441 pages
$7.00 from 25+ sellers - 4 days ago
Author: Ralph NaderJim Hightower(Introduction)
Publication date: 05/28/2013Publisher: Seven Stories PressPaperback540 pages

Author: Patricia Cronin Marcello
Publication Date: 09/30/2004Publisher: GreenwoodHardcover200 pages
Author: Charles DerberRalph Nader(Foreword)
Publication date: 04/10/2000Publisher: St. Martin's GriffinPaperback384 pages

Author: Ralph Nader
Edition: Review Copy (09/01/1992)Publisher: McClelland & StewartPaperback192 pages

Author: Ralph Nader
Publication date: 11/22/2011Publisher: Common Courage PressPaperback224 pages

Author: Ralph Nader
Edition: 1st (01/17/2002)Publisher: St. Martin's PressHardcover352 pages

Author: Ralph Nader
Edition: Reprint (10/02/2012)Publisher: Harper PaperbacksPaperback160 pages
Author: Ralph Nader/Wesley Smith
Edition: First Edition (1994)Publisher: TAB BooksHardcover

Author: Ralph Nader
Publication date: 07/06/2004Publisher: Regan BooksHardcover304 pages

Author: Ralph NaderWesley J. SmithMichael Mendelsohn(Designer)
Publication date: 1996Publisher: Random HousePaperback460 pages
Publication date: 06/03/2014Publisher: Skyhorse PublishingHardcover432 pages

Author: Ralph Nader
Publication date: 1993-01Publisher: Country Roads PrPaperback180 pages

Author: Teresa Celsi
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

Author: Toby Moffett
Publisher: Chatham Press, Incorporated

Publisher: Nader, Ralph

Author: Katherine Isaac
Edition: 2 (12/15/1996)Publisher: Wadsworth PublishingPaperback112 pages

The Big Boys: Power and Position in American Business.
Author: Ralph Nader
Publication date: 10/12/1987Paperback

Author: Ralph Nader Congress Project
Publication date: 1975Publisher: Grossman PublishersHardcover358 pages
Author: David LeinsdorfDonald Etra
Edition: First (1973)Publisher: Grossman PublishersHardcover406 pages
Author: Richard L. Berkman
Publication date: 1973-04Publisher: PENGUIN PUTNAM * TRADEHardcover272 pages
Author: William M Shernoff
Publication date: 03/25/1990Publisher: Hastings HousePaperback221 pages.  Nader Introduction.
Author: Ralph Nader Congress Project
Edition: 1St Edition (1975)Publisher: Grossman PublishersHardcover395 pages


The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine by Henry Giroux

"Giroux refuses to give in or give up. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a clarion call to imagine a different America - just, fair, and caring - and then to struggle for it." - Bill Moyers


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