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Articles from the Peace News log: People Power

Articles from the Peace News log.
For articles in this category from the whole site, look here

US president Donald Trump has been threatening for months to hang onto power by illegal means after the 3 November presidential election. Dozens of organisations are preparing to stop him, and to protect the fabric of US democracy.


The Women's March on Washington, 21 January 2017, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration as US president. Photo: Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, USA (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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The Inaugural Alternative Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture 2018

Kerry-Anne MendozaIn a tucked away corner of Rotherhithe, down a little cobbled street oozing with history, stands Sands Film Studios. Well-known amongst lefties and radicals, this unique corner of London was the perfect place to hear from a unique, leftie and often radical character, Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

Mendoza began by talking about the namesake of the lecture, Claudia Jones. Like Mendoza, Jones was a radical leftie – both women do not sit back and wait for change, they get on and make change happen. Born in Trinidad in 1915, at the height of Empire, Jones didn't keep her birth name but changed it in what she called an act of 'self-protective disinformation' - to avoid receiving judgement based purely on her race. Despite a deeply disadvantaged background, including the loss of her mother at a young age, Claudia was very able academically, and won the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Good Citizenship in high school. However, being a working-class woman of colour, she was prevented from pursuing higher education in an act of triple oppression. While she worked in a laundry, Jones wrote a column in the Harlem Journal. When the case of the Scottsboro Boys hit the news, Claudia became politically active, and joined the Young Communist League.

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'Counterpower: Making Change Happen' author Tim Gee reflects on his UK tour and Gandhi's social movement maxim.

I haven’t seen a lot of my house recently. For most of the last four months I’ve been on the road (or rather the rails) visiting different towns and cities to run workshops and seminars looking at the methods adopted by movements for change. I tend to begin by asking people to shout out the tactics they see as central to why the movement succeeded in ousting Mubarak in Egypt.

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This is a round up of available information on the Occupy movement in the UK and some of Ireland as of 20 November 2011

OCCUPY MOVEMENT (United Kingdom) 
Categories covered: City; County; Location in City; Date started ; Population; Website(s); Phone Contact; Email Contact; Twitter; Other notes

London Greater London Location in City: WEB
http://theoccupytimes.co.uk; email contact: olsx.indymedia@gmail.com; twitter .@occupytimes

Britain http://occupybritain.co.uk

Bath, Somerset, Queen Square. Date started: 30-Oct-11, Population: 11 Tents, about 30 people (1/11) http://occupybath.blogspot.com twitter .@occupyBath http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Bath-Info/125112970929410, still active weekend of 20 Nov

Belfast, Northern Ireland, St. Anne’s Cathedral. Date started:2-Oct-11; 17 tents http://occupybelfast.blogspot.com twitter .@OpOccupyBelfast. Still active and tweeting 20 Nov, not planning to go anywhere.

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“On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx … alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim” – secret cable from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington [1]

“Nonviolent action is not just about non-violence, but also about joy and happiness … [People] saw in Tahrir what Egypt could possibly be in the future and they wanted to be part of this new Egypt” – Wael Adel, Academy for Change [2]

In the popular imagination, mass nonviolent action (“people power”) is often portrayed as a largely improvised and unplanned affair. The reality is usually very different.

Thus, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger and the ensuing Montgomery bus boycott are respectively (mis)remembered as the action of an ordinary woman who was simply “too tired to move”, and a spontaneous public reaction to her subsequent arrest and prosecution.

In reality, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and had recently attended the legendary Highlander Folk School – a crucial training center for civil rights and labour activists. Moreover the local Women’s Political Council had decided to call a boycott at least nine months before Parks’ refusal, and were just waiting for the right person to get arrested. [3]

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