Daily News and Updates 

ABC News: Poland: Protest held of monthly memorial for late president

Read full article here. By the Associated Press. Photo Credits: AP. Hundreds of government critics held a peaceful protest of the monthly observances Poland’s ruling party holds in memory of President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others killed in a 2010 plane crash. The critics say the observances are being used for political purposes by Kaczynski’s twin brother, Jaroslaw, who is the ruling Law and Justice party’s leader. They say that Kaczynski uses his mourning to rally supporters for his policies that threaten... read more

The Guardian: Arrests and injuries as Hamburg gripped by mass anti-G20 protests.
By Philip Oltermann

Read full article here. Photo credits: Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty. A day of violent clashes between police and protesters culminated on Friday evening with the bizarre spectacle of the heads of the world’s 20 leading economies listening to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the top of a shiny high-rise building while police used water cannon, teargas and speed boats to keep at bay an angry crowd of thousands. Germany’s second-largest city had been eager to showcase its recently opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall to the rest of the world, but it may come to rue its ivory-tower symbolism after a week of chaotic scenes on the edges of the conference hall. Rising tensions between protesters and police had escalated with clashes in Hamburg’s historic harbour area on Thursday night, and escalated further when masked anti-capitalist protesters torched cars and smashed shop windows in the Altona district on Friday morning. Masked protesters in black clothes used flares to set fire to at least 20 cars and pelted rocks at the windows of banks and smaller shops as they made their way through Altona and along the Elbchaussee road along the river at about 7.30 am on Friday morning. Many shops and cafes in the area, including a local Ikea, boarded up their windows in anticipation of further rioting.  ... read more

El Chigüire Bipolar: Mockery as the way of making sense of Venezuela’s chaotic politics

“J.R.R. Martin hard- pressed to envision what the end of Venezuela would be” “Recently discovered Mayan calendar establishes that the end of Venezuela will occur on July the 30th” “Elderly woman nervously goes shopping, returns with 2 bottles of vinegar” These ludicrous titles were not taken from a conspiracy theory or a work of magical realism, but from El Chigüire Bipolar– Venezuela’s  subversive, highly idiosyncratic (and once you get the “joke” – simply hilarious) news website. Through absurdity, a genuine, uncensored representation of the highly chaotic and volatile political environment in Venezuela emerges. The reference to “Game of Thrones” underscores the unprecedented levels of police violence and oppression the country is experiencing, July the 30th, 2017, is the date of the next elections, while the shopping story alludes to the shortage of basic goods which has been plaguing Venezuelans. This spring, the Human Rights Foundation recognized the publication for its “raw and rigorous reporting” and awarded founders Elio Casale, Oswaldo Graziani, and Juan Andrés Ravell the Vaclav Havel Award for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum. #HumorAtWork... read more

Al Jazeera: Indigenous groups launch protests to resist Canada Day
by Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath

Read the whole article here. By Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath for Al Jazeera. Photo credits: Reuters. Indigenous people across Canada are holding ceremonies, events and protests, saying there is nothing to celebrate as the country marks its 150th anniversary. On Parliament Hill in the capital Ottawa, where thousands are gathering to celebrate Canada Day on Saturday, groups of indigenous people and their supporters are “reoccupying” what they say is their land and drawing attention to the history and oppression of the aboriginal people. “The goal of the reoccupation is to express our indigenous sovereignty in the face of these toxic national celebrations,” Freddy Stoneypoint, organiser of the demonstrations, told Al Jazeera. “As an indigenous person, this is an opportune moment to make our community, which has been rendered invisible by the colonial occupation, known,” said Stoneypoint, a member of the Ojibwe... read more

Students Win Major Victory Against Segregation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

After a year-long student campaign against ethnic segregation, government officials in the central Bosnian town of Jajce agreed to halt the opening of a separate high school for Bosnian Muslim, or Bosniak, students. “They wanted to divide us, to make us believe we are not the same, but we are more clever than them,” said 15-year-old Refik Heganovi? after the announcement. Read more: https://wagingnonviolence.org/2017/06/students-bosnia-herzegovina-victory-segregation/  ... read more

Digital Tonto: Why Some Movements Succeed And Others Fail
By Greg Satell

Read the whole article here. By Greg Satell for Digital Tonto. On September 17, 2011, Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park, in the heart of the financial district in Lower Manhattan. Declaring, “We are the 99%,” they captured the attention of the nation. Within a few months, however, the park was cleared and the protesters went home, achieving little, if anything. In 1998, a similar movement, Otpor, began in Serbia. Yet where Occupy failed, Otpor succeeded marvelously. In just two years they overthrew the reviled Miloševic government. Soon after came the Color Revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Arab Spring in the Middle East. While Occupy certainly did not lack passion or appeal—indeed its core message about inequality continues to resonate—it was unable to translate that fervor into effective action. Otpor, on the other hand, created a movement of enormous impact. The contrast is sharp and it is no accident. Successful movements do things that failed ones don’t. Clarity of Purpose For Otpor, there was never any question about what they were setting out to achieve—the nonviolent overthrow of Slobodan Miloševi?—and everything they did was focused on that mission.The group also focused on specific pillars upon which the regime’s power rested —such as the media, bureaucracy, police, and military— to target their efforts. This clarity of purpose led directly to action. For example, rather than focusing on staging large scale demonstrations, in the early stages, Otpor focused on street theatre and pranks to embarrass the regime. When they were arrested, they made a point to be respectful of the police, but also made sure their lawyers and the press... read more

The Guardian: Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it
By Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder

Read the whole piece here. By Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder, for The Guardian. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images. After the spread of democracy at the end of the 20th century, authoritarianism is now rolling back democracy around the globe. In the US, supporters of democracy disarmed themselves by imagining an “end of history” in which nothing but their own ideas were possible. Authoritarians, meanwhile, keep practicing their old tactics and devising new ones. It is time for those who support democracy to remember what activists from around the world have paid a price to learn: how to win. Modern authoritarians rely on repression, intimidation, corruption and co-optation to consolidate their power. The dictator’s handbook mastered by Orban in Hungary, Erdogan in Turkey, Maduro in Venezuela, Zuma in South Africa, Duterte in the Philippines and Trump here provides the traditional tactics: attack journalists, blame dissent on foreigners and “paid protestors,” scapegoat minorities and vulnerable groups, weaken checks on power, reward loyalists, use paramilitaries, and generally try to reduce politics to a question of friends and enemies, us and them. Yet tyrants’ tactics require the consent of large numbers of people. The first lesson, then, is not to obey in advance. If individuals make the basic effort to consider their own sense of values and patriotism rather than subconsciously adjusting to the new reality, aspiring authoritarians have a major problem. Good citizens will then ask: but what should we do? History provides an answer: civil resistance. Unarmed civilians using petitions, boycotts, strikes, and other nonviolent methods have been able to slow, disrupt and even halt authoritarianism. Civil resistance has been twice... read more

Democracy Now: Is South Sudan Government Engaged in Ethnic Cleansing, Triggering Africa’s Biggest Refugee Crisis?

Read the article here on Democracy Now. Photo: AFP Photo / Tony Karumba “An ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the South Sudanese government has triggered one of the biggest refugee crises in Africa. The United Nations has accused the government’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army, known as the SPLA, of committing atrocities including mass rape and torture, as well as burning down entire villages. A U.N. report published in May says the abuses may amount to war crimes. We speak with journalist Nick Turse, a reporter with The Investigative Fund. He spent six weeks in South Sudan and refugee camps in neighboring... read more

HuffPost: The One Thing Every Activist Should Know
By Ariel Nessel

Read the whole article here. By Ariel Nessel, Contributor. A major catalyst for positive change involves understanding an issue and those whom the issue affects. Through deep understanding and dialogue we can dismantle the beliefs that created the problem to relearn new solutions. Since there is no better person to understand a problem than those affected by that problem, the most impactful and sustainable solutions involve community-driven grassroots action. Great activists know that communities need to drive the conversation for change, not just be a part of it. Activists rooted in the community they are helping are the most effective people to drive the conversations that address taboo issues. The Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi in 2012, which shed light on women’s struggles to end the rape culture in India and the denial of its existence, inspired Purvi Yadav into action. She became dedicated to ending gender-based violence in India and decided to tackle it at the root. She knew that puberty, menstruation and sexual health are not topics regularly discussed in India, and that these taboos harbor sexual abuse, sexism, gender-based violence and shame. Purvi, along with Mona Yadav, co-founded the initiative Sahas, which provides adolescents with information they need to understand the shifts their bodies are going through as they become adults. Mona and Purvi believe that youth who are aware and well informed about their bodily changes and functions become adults who are sufficiently empowered to challenge injustice and the corresponding shame many victims endure.... read more

HuffPost: Rethinking Nonviolent Resistance In The Face Of Right-Wing Populism
By Janjira Sombatpoonsiri

Read the article here. By Janjira Sombatpoonsiri. Photo: JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ/REUTERS. “From Brexit to the Trump presidency and Marine le Pen’s campaign-trail successes in France, right-wing populism is sweeping across the West. The Conversation Analysts and scholars have expressed concerns that this movement could threaten the fate of liberal democracy, and its hard-fought triumph over other contesting political ideologies since the end the Cold War. In other words, the “End of History”, as described by the American political philosopher Francis Fukuyama, may come to an end. The rise of right-wing populism may also open a Pandora’s box for demagogues to promote a xenophobic agenda, as evident in Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.”... read more

CNN: Rep. John Lewis goes back to his roots
By Joshua Berlinger

Read the article here. By Joshua Berlinger. Democratic Rep. John Lewis is sitting back down. This time, he’s on the floor of the House of Representatives to demand action on gun control legislation. “We’re going to continue to sit in and sit down,” he said Wednesday night. “By sitting in and sitting down, we’re standing up.” The demonstration comes just days after the Senate rejected a handful of gun control measures, spurred in part by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy’s nearly 15 hour filibuster demanding that Senators act following the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. “We will not be happy, we will not be satisfied, we will not be pleased until we do something in a major way,” he said early Thursday morning. “We’ve lost too many of our children, of our babies, too many of our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters. And we will continue to fight.”... read more

NPR: Before Rosa Parks, There Was Claudette Colvin
By Margot Adler

Read about her here. By Margot Adler. “Few people know the story of Claudette Colvin: When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing.” Despite her pioneering role in the US Supreme Court case that led to the outlaw of bus segregation, Claudette’s identity as a poor, unmarried teenage mother prevented her from receiving full recognition as a key figure in the early civil rights struggle against racism and inequality. Her courage and resilience has now been honored by the Montgomery Council, and the City of Montgomery has named March 2 Claudette Colvin... read more