No Way to Treat a Child — April 12

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 How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era

https://www.thenation.com/article/how-to-revive-the-peace-movement-in-the-trump-era/

Over the past 75 years, the United States has built the greatest war-making force the world has ever known. Today, our country boasts an infrastructure of global surveillance, flying killer robots, and floating aircraft carriers, all administered from a network of more than 800 military bases in over 70 countries. In recent decades, we decided to erase from that infrastructure any semblance of democratic accountability, allowing the president to make war almost anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

This year, we put at the helm of this global killing regime a reality-TV star who has promised to “bomb the shit” out of our enemies, attack the families of terrorists, and reinstitute torture—and who, in February, proposed increasing the already bloated military budget by $54 billion. Imagine the response of this president to a significant terrorist attack, the damage to our democracy and our world that he might unleash. It helps clear the mind.

In the face of such a nightmare, how do we build the peace movement we need?

Read the full article

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50 years later, still at war

On April 4th 1967 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech, Beyond Vietnam: A time to break Silence, condemning the Vietnam War. 50 years later, we are still at war.

 
Come out and help us to break the silence and rally for peace.
 
Tuesday, April 4 at 5 PM – 8 PM
 
Benton County Courthouse (Corvallis, Oregon)
205 NW 5th St, Corvallis, Oregon 97330
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Reiner Braun and Kevin Martin in Corvallis Tuesday, March 14

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How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State

yesmagazine.org

How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State by George Lakey — YES! Magazine

George Lakey posted Feb 16, 2017

Donald Trump’s obvious affection for authoritarians is prompting worried comparisons of our polarized country to the polarized Germany of the 1920s and ’30s. Since I’m known to see in polarization both crisis and opportunity, my friends are asking me these days about Hitler, the worst-case scenario.

From the Spring 2017 Issue

Why Science Can’t Be Silent

Issue cover

I grant the possibility of the United States going fascist, but argue that will not happen if we choose the practical steps taken by progressive Nordic social movements when they faced dangerous polarization. Consider the Norwegians, who experienced extreme polarization at the same time as the Germans did.

The Norwegian economic elite organized against striking laborers and produced a polarized country that included both Nazi Brown Shirts goose-stepping in the streets and Norwegian Communists agitating to overthrow capitalism. Many Norwegians were flattered by the Nazi belief that the tall, blue-eyed blonde was the pinnacle of human development. Others vehemently denounced the racism underlying such beliefs.

The politician Vidkun Quisling, an admirer of Hitler, organized in 1933 a Nazi party, and its uniformed paramilitary wing sought to provoke violent clashes with leftist students. But progressive movements of farmers and workers, joined by middle class allies, launched nonviolent direct action campaigns that made the country increasingly un-governable by the economic elite.

Quisling reportedly held discussions with military officers about a possible coup d’etat. The stage was set for a fascist “solution.”

Instead, Norway broke through to a social democracy. The majority forced the economic elite to take a back seat and invented a new economy with arguably the most equality, individual freedom, and shared abundance the developed world has known.

The key to avoiding fascism? An organized left with a strong vision and broad support.

The key to avoiding fascism? An organized left with a strong vision and broad support.

In some ways Norway and Germany were similar: predominantly Christian, racially homogeneous, and suffering hugely in the Great Depression. But Germany’s workers movement failed to make common cause with family farmers, unlike Norway’s alliance. The German left was also split terribly within itself: Communist vs. Social Democratic.

The split was over vision for the new society. One side demanded abolition of capitalism, and the other side proposed partial accommodation. They were unwilling to compromise, and then, when the Social Democrats took power, armed rebellion and bloody repression followed. The result was the Third Reich.

Meanwhile in Norway, the Norwegian Workers’ Party crafted a vision that seemed both radical and reasonable and won majority support for their view despite the dissent of a very small Communist Party. Grassroots movements built a large infrastructure of co-ops that showed their competency and positivity when the government and political conservatives lacked both. Additionally, activists reached beyond the choir, inviting participation from people who initially feared making large changes.

Norwegians also took a different attitude toward violence. They chose nonviolent direct action campaigns consisting of strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, and occupations—a far less fearsome picture than Nazi Brown Shirts and street fighting. Norway therefore lacked the dangerous chaos that in Germany led the middle classes to accept the elite’s choice of Hitler to bring “law and order.”

The Norwegian set of strategies—vision, co-ops, outreach, and nonviolent direct action campaigns—is within the American skill set.

The Movement for Black Lives recently proposed a new vision for the United States that is attracting attention for the scope of its agenda, its commitment to inclusion, and fresh strategic thinking. The Black Lives movement showed its commitment to coalition-building when it gathered in solidarity at Standing Rock this fall, connecting two massive progressive movements. Standing Rock showed the world march by march how nonviolent direct action campaigns win hearts and minds. And Bernie Sanders’ gift to electoral politics is an inspired, energized, unified movement built around the desire for economic equality and opportunity. He pulled people from the right as well as the left. The election is spurring many more people to be involved in struggle, and infrastructure like co-ops are prospering. Polarization is nothing to despair over. It’s just a signal that it’s time for progressives to start organizing.

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Inaugurate Social & Eco Justice!

Hello friends, community members, activists, social justice and environmental groups, service organizations, people of faith, families and students,

You are invited to join us on Jan 20 for Inaugurate Social & Eco Justice! We are pushing back against the politics of fear and instead wish to convey that 1- we are an inviting, inclusive and welcoming city, 2 – we intend to protect ourselves, our neighbors and our natural environment, and 3 – that we are building the community and the Oregon we want for all.  This is a family-friendly event and an opportunity for us all to find new friends & allies in our community.
Kicking it off at 3pm, students & others march from SEC Plaza on OSU campus, join with community members for Rally at 3:30pm at Central Park, and then march together through downtown, ending at the Corvallis Riverfront Park. From there, everyone is welcomed to the Odd Fellows Hall for a People’s Gathering with hot drinks, snacks and goodies, conversation, networking and planning for the future.
Groups are invited to march with their banners & signs; artists, musicians, performers and activists are invited to bring their imagination and creativity to this collective action; and you are invited to bring your signs, messages, voices, drums, determination, energy, children, friends and allies!  We intend our March to be bright, bold, noisy and powerful! 

Below is the Facebook event page:

And an event webpage for those that don’t use social media:

 
And the Facebook event page for the OSU Campus Walkout!

https://www.facebook.com/events/721031908062544/

Spread the word and join us!  May our coming together on Jan 20 be the next step is building a stronger or more resilient community!
RISE!*LOVE!*RESIST!*CREATE!
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Sign the Peace Pledge

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