Method 45: Demonstrative Funerals / Report on the dangers of being a climate activist

A note on the image for Method 45: On August 19, Iceland held a demonstrative funeral for Okjökull, a 700-year-old glacier. Okjökull lost its status as a glacier in 2014, and is now a small patch of ice atop a volcano.

Today, as sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg leads and inspires the world in a climate strike, there’s a disturbing new report that shows darker proof of her bravery. In July, Global Witness released a report that showed that in 2018, more than three people a week died defending their land or our environment:

  • In 2018 Guatemala recorded the sharpest rise in murders, which jumped more than fivefold to make it the deadliest country per capita.
  • The Philippines had the highest number of killings of any country this year, with at least 30 defenders murdered.
  • Mining was the worst sector, causing 43 deaths, though deaths related to conflicts over water sources also surged. Attacks driven by agribusiness, logging and hydropower continued too.
  • Private security groups, state forces and contract killers – sometimes working together – are all suspected of carrying out killings. 

On Tuesday, the activist group Extinction Rebellion staged a demonstrative funeral to mark the end of Fashion Week in London. According to CNN, Bel Jacobs, a former fashion editor who now belongs to Extinction Rebellion, told CNN that Tuesday’s protest was organized to “lay to rest the toxic system that is destroying us all, and to mourn those who have already lost their lives and those still to lose their lives to the effects of climate change.”

Today’s Student Strike is Method 62 of Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action. Since beginning this project a year ago, every time it’s time to do a new post, I’ve never had to look far – these methods are being used every single day, all around the world.

“For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and the ecological crisis. But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.”

– Greta Thunberg

A note on the image for Method 45: On August 19, Iceland held a demonstrative funeral for Okjökull, a 700-year-old glacier. Okjökull lost its status as a glacier in 2014, and is now a small patch of ice atop a volcano.

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Method 44: Mock Funerals / Brett Kavanaugh

I didn’t ever want to hear Brett Kavanaugh’s name again, but if it means that the FBI might grow a pair and investigate this dirtbag, bring him out. While impeaching a federal judge is rare, there is a process for it. If you want to make your voice heard on this issue, 5 Calls has a script for calling your Members of Congress.

Mock Funerals were first used in this country in 1765, just before the Stamp Act was scheduled to go into effect. On November 1, the Sons of Liberty marched through Newport, Rhode Island carrying a coffin marked “Old Freedom.” When the protestors reached the cemetery, a groan came from the coffin and a figure emerged – freedom was not dead! A battle between Freedom and the Angel of Death was played out in the graveyard to cheers and the ringing of Newport’s bells. Similar protests were staged on the same day in three other cities. The idea behind this method is to create a spectacle – one that onlookers can’t resist, and the people in power will notice.

From the early days of the Trump administration, the White House has been doing everything it can get away with to limit the role of the FBI. It’s time a coffin marked “FBI” was dragged down Pennsylvania Avenue and dropped at 1600. For updates on Kavanaugh, the climate crisis, and the other Riders of the Apocalypse, subscribe to 5 Calls for weekly updates on how to make your voice heard.

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Gary Markstein / Creators Syndicate

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Postage from Fid

Postage from Fid / “Owls Against Patriarchy” by Fid Thompson

Dear Fid,

Receiving your Postage was the best kind of surprise. Like you, my grandparents were artists, and they often included small watercolor paintings or cray-pas illustrations in their letters to me. I would hold the envelopes to my nose before opening them to see if I could guess the medium they used. For a long time, researchers thought that pigeons used smell to find their way home, and your relationship to handwritten letters feels warm and familiar, like a kind of homing instinct. I so wish I could join your workshop this weekend, and since I can’t, I followed your prompt.

Dear Uncle Dick: before i had a name for who i am, i had you. when i think of you, my feet curl and stretch to free themselves, and soon they’re up and running back to that cabin in the woods, the lake still sparkling, the smell of sun on cedar shingles. i’m making dinner tonight! you called, and everyone laughed, but you pointed to me and then to bobby: yes, i’m making dinner, and they’ll help. you shooed all the grownups off to the lake and said c’mon kiddies, we’re going to make a real dinner party. you took us by the hands, your skin soft and safe, flecks of paint under your nails and in your hair, and the three of us skipped down that pine-hallowed stone road like thieves. for two hours, we waded waist-high in a field of queen anne’s lace, gathered the flowers up in our arms like they were bales of hay, and carried them home. when we’d piled them on the picnic table you said, go on, i’ll take it from here, and you poured yourself a drink. by the time you banged a spoon against the bottom of a dinner pot, the sun was longways along the lake’s edge and everyone was cranky from hunger. by then I’d pulled a sundress over my bathing suit, anticipating something from somewhere else, somewhere that smelled like gin and aftershave and conversation. what happened next is something i plan to take to my ever-after: as we made our way up from the lake, it was like the sun had set behind the water and rose inside the cabin. the first thing i noticed were the porch railings, wrapped in garlands of queen anne’s lace, thick green braids the size of my thighs. i reached for bobby’s hand and said look! but there was no need to show him, his mouth was an o, his brown eyes shining in the candlelight, because that was the next thing i noticed – the candles. hundreds of tea lights, maybe a thousand, you had filled that place with so much light, the cabin seemed winged. behind me, granny was laughing, oh dick, you’re something, and when i turned, granny and gramps and mom and dad were all laughing, too. come-come-come you called, before dinner gets cold. up the stairs, the pathway to the table was a petaled runway of green and white, on the table, vases of white petticoats, sprays in vodka bottles and medicine bottles, too. and at our places, each plate held a crown of queen anne’s lace. when we were adorned and laughing, you reappeared from the kitchen with a steaming pot, twirled your spoon in the air, and presented the meal with a flourish: hot dog stew for everyone! nothing could contain us then, whatever crankiness people had felt was gone, and it was then that i understood the most important lesson about entertaining: whether the food is good doesn’t matter, it’s all about presentation and connection. as you dished out the bowls, i remember the way you looked at my grandfather like he was something that could be eaten up, and i remember the way he beamed back at you when you ran your fingers through the bristles of his silver hair and placed another garland on his head. it was a smile i saw him make only once in all the time i knew him, a smile i see now he must have saved for you. and that’s when i knew that the words i had heard used to describe you – irresponsible, bankrupt, flamer, cirrhosis – they were all wrong, because when i imagine what god must be like, i think of you.

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What’s on my Nightstand: August 2019

Fiction

Naamah | Sarah Blake

What Belongs to You | Garth Greenwell

Nonfiction

Horace | Reverend T. Buckley

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel | Alexander Chee

American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass | Douglas S. Massey & Nancy A. Denton

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Harriet A Jacobs

Women | Annie Leibovitz & Susan Sontag

Maid | Stephanie Land

Short Fiction

Cougar |Maria Anderson | The Iowa Review

Madeline | Ludwig Bemelmans

Under the Wave | Lauren Groff | The New Yorker

Open Mouth | Ayla Zuraw-Friedland | Gay Mag

Poetry

The Doe | Leila Chatti | Narrative Magazine

Scylla and Charybdis | Megan Fernandes | The New Yorker

She Had Some Horses | Joy Harjo

Dog Moon | Rikki Lights

Almost Human | Ocean Vuong (listen)

The New Yorker

Essay (selected)

Elegy in Times Square | Lily Burana | Longreads

Why I’m Joining the Climate Strike – and Why You Should, Too | Rio Constantino | Global Climate Strike

How I Came to Own My Name | Lauren De Pino | The New York Times

Cyrus Grace Dunham on a Year Without a Name | Cyrus Grace Dunham | The New Yorker

Remembering Woodstock ’94 | Steve Edwards | Longreads

If You Jump Into my Arms I Will Catch You | Miriam Feldman | ENTROPY

The Borderland | Leigh Hopkins | The Rumpus

Gioncarlo Valentine’s Searing Portrait of the Fears of Young Black Men | Kiese Laymon | The New Yorker

The Meaning of Silence in Conversations About Death | Michael Erard and Mosaic | The Atlantic

Early Menopause Gave Me a Dating Superpower | Lisa Kirchner | Dame Magazine

The Dehumanizing Politics of Likability |Teow Lim Goh | Los Angeles Review of Books

The Gall of Ghislane Maxwell | Naomi Fry | The New Yorker

On Likeability | Lacy M. Johnson | TinHouse

Rise and Fall of the Pocket Protector | Henry Petroski | American Scientist

Interview / OpEd / Review

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #189: Sarah Blake | Greg Mania | The Rumpus

Kristen Stewart Plays It Cool | Durga Chew-Bose | Vanity Fair

“Next year, Stewart will embark on adapting for the screen Lidia Yuknavitch’s book The Chronology of Water...listening to her speak about first reading the book sounds holy and indoctrinating, as if Stewart mainlined the words. “The way [Yuknavitch] talks about having a body, and the shame of having that. The way that she’s really dirty, embarrassing, weird, gross, a girl. It was a coming-of-age story I haven’t seen yet. I grew up watching fucking American Pie, these dudes jacking off in their socks like it was the most normal thing, and it was hilarious. Imagine a girl coming—it’s like, what, so scary and bizarre. I feel like I started reading her stuff, and she was articulating things that I’m like, ‘Dude, I didn’t have the words for that, but thank you.’”

Meet Chani Nicholas, The Fashion World’s Go-To Astrologer | Hannah Hanra | Vogue

U.S.-Denmark Relations Are Now in the Hands of a Conspiracy-Loving, Climate-Denying Ex-Actress | Will Sommer | Daily Beast

Paul Lisicky Interviewed by Adam Swanson | Adam Swanson | Corporeal Writing

Magazine / Newspaper / Pamphlet

The CRISIS | April 1964

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t), May/June 2019 issue

The New Yorker

The Week

TIME

Vanity Fair

Random

clothespin

Rose Art washable markers (red, black)

Vintage Notebook Agenda | Jenni Bick Custom Journals

Tibetan singing bowl / lavender springs

beach stones

Pixel glasses

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Method 43 / Construction begins on Border Wall

In early August, my essay “The Borderland” was published at The Rumpus. The piece describes life in the border town my parents have called home for the past seventeen years. They moved to the Arizona/Mexico border to work as volunteer park rangers at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a protected biosphere and home to many Native American sacred sites.

Yesterday morning, this happened:

Quitobaquito springs is a sacred site of the Hia C’ed Oodham people. Federal laws waived by DHS for the construction of new border wall include:

From No More Deaths/No Más Muertes:

  1. National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] 
  2. Endangered Species Act 
  3. Clean Water Act 
  4. National Historic Preservation Act 
  5. Migratory Bird Treaty Act 
  6. Clean Air Act 
  7. Archeological Resources Protection Act 
  8. Safe Drinking Water Act 
  9. Noise Control Act 
  10. Solid Waste Disposal Act 
  11. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  12. Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act 
  13. Antiquities Act 
  14. Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act 
  15. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act 
  16. Farmland Protection Policy Act 
  17. Coastal Zone Management Act 
  18. Wilderness Act
  19. Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
  20. National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act 
  21. Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 
  22. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act 
  23. Administrative Procedure Act 
  24. Otay Mountain Wilderness Act of 1999 
  25. California Desert Protection Act [Sections 102(29) and 103 of Title I] 
  26. National Park Service Organic Act 
  27. National Park Service General Authorities Act 
  28. National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 [Sections 401(7), 403, and 404] 
  29. Arizona Desert Wilderness Act [Sections 301(a)-(f)] 30.Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 
  30. Eagle Protection Act 
  31. Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act 
  32. American Indian Religious Freedom Act 
  33. Religious Freedom Restoration Act 
  34. National Forest Management Act of 1976 
  35. Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960 
  36. Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1999
  37. Sikes Act 
  38. Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act of 1988 
  39. Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 
  40. Migratory Bird Conservation Act 
  41. Paleontological Resources Preservation Act 
  42. Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988 
  43. National Trails System Act 
  44. National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
  45. Reclamation Project Act of 1939 [Section 10] 
  46. Wild Horse and Burro Act 
  47. An Act of Oct 30, 2000, Pub. L. 106-398, 1, 114 Stat. 1654

How to Help

For updates on this case:

Follow No More Deaths on Facebook.

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In springtime, the arroyos fill with water and the desert floor swells with green. By July, the saguaros bloom red with fruit. Ha:sañ is the O’odham word for saguaro cactus, and Ha:sañ Bak means “the saguaro is ready.”

Before the first harvest, Tohono O’odham rub the meat of a fallen saguaro fruit on the body near the heart. When you enter the desert, you must have a clear mind and a good heart.

In Tohono Oʼodham there is no word for wall.

“The Borderland,” The Rumpus

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Method 42: Motorcades

In the midst of Denmark laughing off Trump’s hints to buy Greenland, the Amazon is on fire. Brazil’s Bolsonaro claims “hoax,” saying that NGOs are setting the rainforest on fire in order to make him look bad. Another way of looking at it? Watch the rainforest burn, buy Greenland before it melts, and run away with your new BFF. The new normal sucks so bad it’s tempting to cover myself with couch cushions, but instead, I’ll offer you this little slice of joy:

What does this mean? GAME ON, sisters.

To understand the power of Method 42 (Motorcades), imagine what would happen if every Sunday morning for the next 440 days, all of us got in our cars and drove around our neighborhoods at 5 mph passing out voter registration and election information.

Imagine it from drone perspective.

The whole point of the 198 Methods is to be a consistent, unified presence – to be a recognizable FORCE. What that means is that wherever and wherever you see one of these methods in action, let as many people know it’s happening as you can as fast as you can, join in if you can, and keep doing it until November 3, 2020.

Ready to act now?

If you like to talk, go to 5 Calls, and if you like to write, try Postcards to Voters. Both are fantastic organizations consistently doing the work.

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New column at The Rumpus!

I’m excited to share that the first installment of my new political column, TURNING PURPLE, is up at The Rumpus! I’m a longtime fan of The Rumpus and thrilled to be a part of the team. The Borderland is the first of many hot button election issues that I’ll cover between now and November 2020.

“The personal is political” is a phrase that was popularized by feminist Carol Hanisch in 1969, and this first installment is a walk through my own story as a border-dweller and the deep roots of this country’s dehumanizing immigration policies. Artist Dara Herman Zierlein’s vivid artwork captures the energy of the border crisis and the beauty of the desert.

Read it at The Rumpus.

“I just poured myself a big mug of mofo…” Read it on Instagram.

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GUN REFORM NOW

As of this morning, the US has been home to 255 mass shootings in 2019. Private guns have killed more people since 1960 than in all of our wars combined.

How long does it take to murder 10 people? Less than 60 seconds.

How long does it take to murder 30 people? Less than 24 hours.

2 days, 2 cities, 2 mass shootings in the US.

How long does it take to walk from the NRA to GOP headquarters? 90 seconds. How long does it take to march from the NRA to the Capital Building to The White House? 61 minutes.

What can we do?

  1. We can call.
  2. We can write. (Inform yourself of the facts, invite your friends to meet you at a coffee shop, and send a postcard.)
  3. We can take turns. Pick any one of these 198 Methods and do one a day. Share them with your friends, and ask them to do one thing a day. Ask your friends to ask their friends to do one of these methods a day. When you see any of these methods in action, share it with everyone you know, and participate if you can.
  4. We can march.

About the 3.5% Project

Research has shown that no repressive regime has survived the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population. There’s a playbook to fix this, and every week, I’m blogging a new method. Subscribe to receive your weekly method.

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What’s on my Nightstand: July 2019

Nonfiction

From Dictatorship to Democracy / Gene Sharp 

The Politics of Nonviolent Action / Gene Sharp

The Climate Report: National Climate Assessment-Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States / U.S. Global Change Research Program 

Essay / Memoir

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating / Elisabeth Tova Bailey

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel / Alexander Chee

Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History / Camille T. Dungy

Heavy / Kiese Laymon

The Benevolent Bee / Stephanie Bruneau

“Capture the Bounty of the Hive through Science, History, Home Remedies, and Craft

Fiction

Green Girl / Kate Zambreno

Short Fiction

Cougar, Maria Anderson / The Iowa Review

Boys Go to Jupiter / Danielle Evans / The Sewanee Review

Child’s Play / Gloria Mwaniga Minage / Johannesburg Review of Books

What Terrible Thing it Was / Esmé Weijun Wang / Granta

She Said, He Said / By Hanif Kureishi / The New Yorker

Poetry

Sentence /  Tadeusz Dąbrowski, The New Yorker (listen)

Split / Teow Lim Goh / Rigorous

To Tell of Bodies Changed / Jana Prikryl / The Poetry Foundation

Be Free / Barbara Eikner Thompson / A Room of Her Own Foundation

For My Daughter / Mark Yakich / Literary Hub

Essay (Selected)

Between Four and Six / Katharine Coldiron / Rhythm and Bone

On Eve’s Temptation and the Monsters We Make of Hungry Women / Nina Coomes

I’m Done With Cautionary Tales About Women and Power / Lilly Dancyger / Catapult

Art Monsters (The Thread) / Marissa Korbel / The Rumpus

The Sorrowful Mysteries, or, Reasons I’m No Longer Catholic / Kathleen McKitty Harris / Longreads

The Tree With Matchmaking Powers / Jeff Maysh / The Atlantic

Whole 60 / Laura Lippman / Longreads

Trudging Down Death Road / Tega Oghenechovwen / The Rumpus

The Way Home / Jane Ratfliffe / The Sun Magazine

What It Was Like to Recover in the 1980s — And Now / Kelly Thompson / The Temper

The Brazilian Healer and the Patron Saint of Impossible Causes

Leigh Hopkins / Longreads

Interview / OpEd / Review

Voices on Addiction: A Conversation with Amber van de Bunt / Kristen Casey / The Rumpus

Trump campaign plunges into brawl to control Pennsylvania GOP / Holly Otterbein / POLITICO

Elizabeth Warren on a Wealth Tax / Matt Stevens / The New York Times

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t), May/June 2019 issue

The New Yorker

The Week

TIME

Vanity Fair

Random

Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Non-Nano Zinc SPF 40 Fragrance Free Mineral Sunscreen

Booda Butter lipbalm

Pixel glasses

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Method 40: Religious Processions

I went to bed furious and woke up afraid. Now that I’ve had my coffee, I’m back to rage. The footage of the crowd shouting “Send her back” at last night’s campaign rally has brought back the fear I felt in November 2016. We have every reason to be afraid. And we must fight this.

As Lidia Yuknavitch often reminds us: “The voice is a muscle.”

The reason I started the 3.5% Project is because the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action have been proven to work. Research has shown that no repressive regime has survived the

active

sustained

participation of just

3.5 percent of the population.

In this country, that’s 11 million people. Each of the 198 methods can be used at any time, in any order, by anyone:

writers/teachers/bartenders/nursepractitioners/softwaredevelopers/realestatebrokers/dogwalkers/undewriters/policeofficers/yogainstructors/landscapers/firefighters/hairstylists/audiologists/pharmacists/architects/chefs/prisonguards/pizzadeliverydrivers//humanresourcesmanagers/actors/scubainstructors/librarians/psychicmediums/estheticians/airlinepilots/morticians/trainconductors/accountants/personaltrainers/veterinarians/dentalhygienists/sexworkers/fulltimeparents/currentlyseekingemployment/notseekingemployment/myjobdoesnotdefineme/financialadvisors/occupationaltherapists/engineers/physicians/equestrians/bakers/opthamologists/phlebotomists/zookeepers/translators/judges

and members of the clergy.

(Method 40.)

All of us.

More than ever.

Method 40: RELIGIOUS PROCESSIONS

In April 2019, more than 1,000 parishioners made a Palm Sunday procession to a century-old Catholic chapel on the U.S.-Mexico border. Father Roy Snipes, known as the “Cowboy Priest,” led the procession as he does each year, but this year, the march took on new meaning. If the border wall is built, not only will it limit La parishioners’ access to La Lomita chapel, it will also cut off access to city services like 911 for people living on the other side.

From NPR: Mary McCord is a senior litigator at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, and she’s one of the lawyers representing the diocese. She says the church argues that the wall is inconsistent with Catholic teachings, “which includes this principle of universality that all people are equal and need to be treated as such, and provided with basic necessities of life. (The Historic Chapel At The Heart Of A Legal Fight Over The Border Wall, NPR)

The next court battle will be over the government’s plan to seize the land and start building.

WHY NONVIOLENT ACTION WORKS:

Before I move onto my writing day, I want to mention a recent example of Method 39 in action. When used as a vehicle for political protest, parades call attention to a particular grievance or point of view. A week ago today, the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City to the cheers of “EQUAL PAY!”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the parade celebrating with the team, and during the festivities, he signed an equal pay bill into law. Do you see the kind of power we hold? It reminded me of the first parade for women’s suffrage in Washington, DC in 1913. There were an estimated 10,000 participants, some of them U.S. senators and representatives who marched in support of their wives.

When the people in power join together with activists, change happens.

Watch this video before moving on with your day, and then let’s turn this fear and anger into energy and action.

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