Rihanna and Snoop join the revolution

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the July 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

While all the lights are on the presidential candidates at the moment, the grass-roots movements for social change and racial equality are gaining momentum in the US. Black Lives Matters protesters have been shutting down highways and Bernie Sanders’ supporters are taking to the streets. According to activist and reverend Osagyefo Sekou the new political awakening will take new forms:
 
 “The occupation of public space, the rejection of traditional leadership and calling into question systems that previous generations sought to become a part of.”
 “The age of Ferguson demands that we ask a different set of questions,” he added. “Much of it is not going to happen in electoral politics; it’s going to be young people in the streets. I am not saying don’t vote. I am saying vote and. Voting is not the end goal. Voting is harm reduction.”
 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/17/democrats-netroots-convention-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders
 http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/13/us/police-shootings-protests/
 
 The last month has also seen hordes of artists and performers turning into political activists. Beyoncé told her fans to contact their congressional representatives, Snoop Dog and the Game met with new police cadets and T.I. joined protest marches.
 http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/inside-hip-hops-new-activist-era-w431275
 http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/32046/1/beyonce-rihanna-and-more-speak-up-on-black-lives-in-america
 http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7431234/police-shootings-celebrity-activism
 
 All the artists getting on board also has the upside that there’s a new playlist for the uprising:
 http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/songs-of-black-lives-matter-22-new-protest-anthems-20160713/dangelo-the-charade-20160713
 
 In the UK, some guy named Smith (who is a basic Drowzee) is challenging Jeremy Corbyn (a mighty Charizard) for the leadership of the Labour Party. Hopefully, this will push the party to become against nuclear weapons again.
 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/17/corbyn-puts-trident-fore-labour-divisions-deepen
 
 And Snowden is designing a cool phone case:
 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/21/phone-case-privacy-data-monitor-bluetooth-wifi-snowden-introspection-engine
 
 See you next month!

Kurds, Coal and Cardboard #keepitintheground #rojava #feelthebern

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the May 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

It may seem like a stretch to find positive news from Syria, but the story of how the Kurds got inspired by an eco-anarchist to create an egalitarian and democratic society in the middle of the war must be the most inspiring thing that ever happened:
http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2644-debbie-bookchin-kurds-are-practicing-the-most-democratic-form-of-government-there-is-on-the-planet

While the Swedish Social Democrat and Green Party government are selling off the Swedish state owned coal mines in Germany instead of closing them down, the Ende Gelände campaign are promising lots of trouble to any interested bidder. Watch how 3500 people shut down the biggest mine in May:
http://youtu.be/xa0dTUQL-Eo

Spain’s two dominant parties were never able to form a government after the election in December. For the re-election in June things are looking good for the progressive Podemos and United Left coalition, they are now the second biggest party in the polls!
http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/05/23/inenglish/1463987552_727104.html

French newspaper workers are showing that they too can decide what’s being published and not, not just the editors and owners.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/26/french-press-attacks-union-for-preventing-publication-of-papers

And Brazilian film stars are standing up against the right-wing plot to kick out president Dilma of office.
http://www.firstpost.com/world/cannes-turns-political-as-brazil-stars-stage-pro-dilma-protest-on-red-carpet-2785964.html

We might not be able to bring Bernie into the the White House, but you can get a life size cardboard version of him for your own home!
http://www.amazon.com/Bernie-Sanders-Advanced-Graphics-Cardboard/dp/B01BX9Z5YM/

See you next month!

Dreadlocks, DiEM and the Bern

My monthly round up of positive news and strategies for social change, the January 2016 issue. Subscribe here.

Podemos, now third largest party in Spain, outraged the establishment by for the first time in Spanish history bringing a black person, a nursing mother and a guy in dreadlocks to parliament! Who knows what they will come up with next!
http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/01/13/inenglish/1452691766_941030.html

It looks like the crushing of Greece by the EU and the banks didn’t manage to crush the will to challenge the European elites. Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, is right now setting up a network to radically transform the EU. The launch of DiEM will be in Berlin the 9th of February.
http://www.volksbuehne-berlin.de/praxis/en/diem_25_videouebertragung/

Another initiative is the Pour Un Plan B En Europe network, that keeps doing conferences to figure out what to do with the EU.
https://www.euro-planb.eu/?page_id=865&lang=en

In the US, self proclaimed social democrat Bernie Sanders keeps fighting for power in the Democratic Party and has a large lead among young people. Here’s a calendar for you if you also feel the Bern:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/12/22/sexy_men_who_dig_bernie_sanders_pose_for_sexy_2016_calendar.html

Glenn Greenwald analyses the seven stages of hell that progressive politicians like Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders has to go through:
http://flip.it/lJz_1

And the tech award of the month goes to… this little refugee saving robot:
http://www.wired.com/2016/01/a-robot-life-preserver-goes-to-work-in-the-greek-refugee-crisis/