Daily News and Updates 

The New York Times: The Art of Protest
By Tina Rosenberg

By Tina Rosenberg, in the New York Times. Photo: Bill Hudson/Associated Press. Read the piece here. Poland has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Recently, a government-backed bill sought to go further, punishing women who had abortions with up to five years in prison. Last month, Polish women responded with a one-day strike. On Oct. 3, tens of thousands of people, most of them women dressed in black, protested in major cities. Poland is run by a nationalist, right-wing Roman Catholic party that controls Parliament, has taken over independent media, is disregarding rulings of the Constitutional Court and now proposes creating a militia outside the command of the armed forces. It would not seem to be a government that would listen to such a protest. But three days later, its legislators voted down the abortion bill. Why? The government saw the size and speed of the mobilization, and its high concentration of young people, as a threat — one it worried could grow. The current relevance of this to America, which enshrines in its Constitution the right to peacefully voice protest to check government power, will escape no one. The Republican Party will soon control the presidency, Congress, most governorships and state legislatures; in all probability, there will be a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Given Donald J. Trump’s approval of advisers from the white nationalist far right, following his vitriolic attacks on the policies of the Obama administration, Democrats, independents and even some Republicans are bracing for assaults on — everything. Yet they are not powerless. Seldom, in fact, has an out-of-power opposition been able... read more

UK: School Boys Place Health First, Gender Norms Second

On Thursday morning a group of high school students from Isca academy confidently strutted into school clad in skirts. In spite of temperatures exceeding 30C in this last week, school authorities cautioned that the boys must keep to their regular school uniform, which as of yet does not allow for shorts. Acknowledging that the school would likely remain uncompromising in its stance, a group of boys opted to wear the school skirt in lieu of their long trousers, allowing them to partially resolve the issue, all whilst respecting the school uniform. Media pounced on the story, and the school soon came under fire for not being more mindful of student health. Although it would be easy to dismiss this story as nothing more than a charming little tale, there are nevertheless some important takeaways from this wee rebellious act. In the first place, it highlights the potential to act in a way that challenges authority without necessarily acting outside of the law. Although such action is perhaps still limited, it might nevertheless prove to be more inviting, allowing for greater people to join your cause. In the second place, it underscores the power of humor in activism, or as we like to call it here at CANVAS, “laughtivism.” In their cheeky, albeit lawful action, the boys used to humor to underscore the absurdity of the school’s response and accordingly draw to it criticism. Finally, this anecdote serves to remind readers that protest at its best is fundamentally intersectional. Whilst these boys might have only been protesting a Kafkaesque school bureaucracy, doing so involved challenging gender norms, inevitably also drawing... read more

Hong Kong Youth Activist: We Will Continue Our Fight
By Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

Read more here: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-friday-edition-1.4164029/we-will-continue-our-fight-why-hong-kong-activist-joshua-wong-will-keep-speaking-out-for-democracy-1.4165073. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images. Piece by Carol Off and Jeff Douglas. Joshua Wong was 17 years old when he gained global attention as a leader of the Umbrella Revolution, a series of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that took place in 2014. Wong, who is the subject of a new documentary on Netflix Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, plans to plead guilty for his role in the revolution and says he’s proud of his involvement in pressuring his government for change.... read more

Yes Magazine: Pop-Up Schools to Train Amateur Activists in U.S.
By Chuck Collins

Read more: http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/how-to-go-the-resistance-distance2014pop-up-schools-for-new-activists20170612. Photo: shaunl / iStock. Article by Chuck Collins. Opened on May 4, 2017, the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership will provide in-person training opportunities in activism in Western Massachusetts. The Truth School is one of a number of new schools emerging to meet the demands of a new wave of activism and resistance that has swept throughout the United States since the Trump election. People have offered free venues for the classes to operate; the Truth School is now popping up in art studios, libraries, and community centers. The school is similar to the Citizenship schools and Freedom schools formed during the Civil Rights movement to fight for voter registration and teach youth about Black history and civic engagement.... read more

Africa News: NGOs denounce human right violation in Morocco

Read more on Africa News and on Anadolu Agency. Photo: Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency. The Moroccan Coalition for Human Rights on Wednesday denounced “abusive” arrests and cases of “torture” in al-Hoceïma. The coalition which comprises 22 organisations, criticized Moroccan authorities for repressing demonstrators of the “Hirak”, a popular protest movement that has been shaking the northern Rif region for months. The focal point of the movement was to call for the development of the Rif region deemed marginalised.... read more

NBC News: Meet a Young Venezuelan Artist Known As the ‘Painter of Protests’

Read the full article here. By ASSOCIATED PRESS. Photo by Ariana Cubillos / AP. Abuse is hurled daily at the art of Oscar Olivares. Rubber bullets and tear gas canisters clatter off protesters’ shields adorned with his works — cartoon-like digital paintings that have made him an instant icon for the demonstrators who have taken to Venezuela’s streets in recent weeks to oppose the socialist government. Olivares received a standing ovation at a recent event by former colleagues of volunteer paramedic Paul Moreno, who died in May after being crushed by a truck while attending to injured protesters. In Olivares’ hands, Moreno is immortalized as 24-year-old clinching his fist high the air while walking through a cloud of tear gas with Venezuela’s colorful flag trailing behindIn this June 2017 photo, a protester carries a homemade shield embellished with an adhesive printout created by artist Oscar Olivares, during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela. Another popular creation, called the “Heroes of Liberty,” depicts the more than 50 victims of this year’s protests – along with victims of previous unrest in 2014 – standing alongside independence hero Simon Bolivar and other national icons smiling widely and staring into a sky full of white doves.... read more

Waging Nonviolence: Why Social Change Needs to be a Laughing Matter
By Molly Wallace

Molly Wallace, writing for Waging Nonviolence, examines the role of humor in nonviolent activism, drawing on the recent article published by Majken Jul Sørensen in Peace & Change. Analyzing examples of activism in Sweden and Belarus, Sørensen uses the four dimensions of nonviolent action developed by Stellan Vinthagen (dialogue facilitation, power breaking, utopian enactment, and normative regulation) to show the ways in which humor can contribute to the effectiveness of nonviolent action in some dimensions, while detracting from it in others. Wallace concludes by referencing the contemporary context of activism in the United States since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President, and calls for Vinthagen’s dimensions of nonviolent action to be considered in the era of activism under the Trump Presidency. Read more here: https://wagingnonviolence.org/2017/06/incorporate-humor-civil-resistance/. Photo: Sergey... read more

The Atlantic: Court Victory for the Standing Rock Sioux
By Robinson Meyer

Read more here: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/dakota-access-standing-rock-sioux-victory-court/530427/. By Robinson Meyer. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won their first legal victory in its year-long battle against the Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday, when a D.C. district court ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not perform sufficient studies on the pipeline’s environmental consequences when it first approved its construction.... read more

The Wire: Elderly South Koreans Protest Anti-Missile Defense System in their Neighborhood
By Christine Kim

Elderly women in a small South Korean farming village, Soseong-ri, are leading a series of protests against the installation of an anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system next to their neighborhood. A group of the women, who range between 60 and 80 years old, organize neighborhood watch every day to ensure no military vehicles can enter the deployment site through its only access road. Elderly South Koreans Vow to Fight Against... read more