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Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe

February 15, 2017 Dahr Jamail

Source: In These Times

It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
Drew Dellinger

We are living in a time of the convergence of multiple cataclysmic forces: runaway anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), chronic wars and the most grotesque economic inequality ever witnessed on Earth. And all are worsening by the day.

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The history of anti-authoritarian struggle is a history worth repeating

February 7, 2017 Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

Source: Waging Nonviolence

Throughout his campaign, critics have drawn comparisons between Donald Trump and authoritarian leaders from the past. From his proposed plans to create a Muslim registry, to threats against journalists and other opponents, these critics urge us to learn from history about the dangers of a leader like him rising to power.

Now that Trump is president, however, we must learn from history in a different way. Nonviolent social movements of the past can teach us lessons about how to resist injustice in the years to come.

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Your Guide to the Sprawling New Anti-Trump Resistance Movement

February 7, 2017 Joshua Holland

Source: The Nation

An explosion of new activism offers a ray of hope in these dark political times.

The election of Donald Trump was a catastrophe for progressive America, but the damage may be mitigated over the long term by a remarkable surge of energy on the left in response to his election. As many as 5.2 million people participated in hastily organized Women’s Marches across the country, senators’ phones have reportedly been jammed with calls protesting Trump’s cabinet nominees and other early moves, and, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post, more than one in three Democrats say they plan to become “more involved in the political process in the next year” as a result of the election. That’s true of 40 percent of Democratic women, and almost half of self-identified liberal Democrats.

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“Standing Rock Is Everywhere Right Now”: A Conversation With Judith LeBlanc

February 7, 2017 Sarah Jaffe

Source: Truthout

“Standing Rock is everywhere right now,” says Judith LeBlanc of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, talking about how on Thursday, February 2, hundreds of people marched in downtown Seattle in support of the Seattle City government resolution to divest from Wells Fargo. In this interview, LeBlanc, the director of the Native Organizers Alliance, shares her thoughts on the current state of organizing in Standing Rock.

Sarah Jaffe: What is going on at Standing Rock?

Judith LeBlanc: Standing Rock is everywhere and it is a beautiful thing because water gives us life and water has become — because of what has happened at Standing Rock — a symbol for all that is sacred and important for humanity and for Mother Earth. We have an organized approach to moving the battle for Standing Rock to the other reservations of the Oceti Sakowin and to spread the organizing all across the country, because tens of thousands of people have gone through the Oceti Sakowin camp and have become a part of this magic moment in Indian country. The Oceti Sakowin elders who came together for the first time since the Battle of the Little Bighorn extinguished the fire that had been burning to guide the prayers of the camp, to guide the way the camp existed. They now are planning to visit each of the territories of the Oceti Sakowin to fortify the resistance to potential takeovers of our land and the infringement on our sovereignty.

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After the Apocalypse: Trying to Describe Reality in Unreal Times

February 3, 2017 Sarah Jaffe

Source: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, I’ve seen several photos of chalkboards in front of bookstores, reading something along the lines of, “Dystopian Fiction Has Now Been Moved to Current Events.”

It’s a good joke, and one that gets a lot of clicks and reposts on Facebook and Twitter. For a journalist, it also underscores the struggles of accurately describing current events when they do feel impossible, unreal, dystopian.

This election in particular was marked by debates about media, its biases and “fake”-ness, and even allegations of foreign propaganda. From the primaries to the cabinet selections, debates over the appropriate amount and tone of coverage raged and rage on.

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Forget protest. Trump’s actions warrant a general national strike

January 31, 2017 Francine Prose

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

On the morning after Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim ban went into effect – preventing all Syrians from entering the US, halting refugee admissions for 120 days and banning the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days – I received an affecting email featuring the photographs and names of Jewish men, women and children who died in Nazi concentration camps because “the US turned me away at the border in 1939”.

Now, America is repeating its mistakes of the past. But our fellow citizens did not stand by idly as this happened. On Saturday, a large crowd of protesters had gathered outside Terminal Four at John F Kennedy international airport, and similar demonstrations were in progress at airports across the country.

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