VOTER REGISTRATION DAY: Take the quiz!

Today is National Voter Registration Day. How much do you know about voting and elections? Take CNN’s quiz. Another easy thing you can do today to help is to share the link to this page on usa.gov.

Tweet it out or share it on Facebook.

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

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

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

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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Method 43 / Construction begins on Border Wall

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

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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

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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GUN REFORM NOW

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.

2 days, 2 cities, 2 mass shootings in the US. How long will it take Congress to stop this? In the words of Dr. King: “How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.”

This is not hopeless. We are not helpless.

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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Method 40: Religious Processions

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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