American Labor Activists rally to build support for the Employee Free Choice Act, 2003
The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, moved to counteract the shrinking union strength and the ever growing corporate power via legislation, the Employee Free Choice Act. Andy Levin and Stewart Acuff, two veteran union organizers, spearheaded the effort. In the summer of 2003, Acuff and Levin agreed on what the act would entail.
Dutch church holds marathon service to protect immigrants, 2018-2019
Sasun and Anousche Tamrazyan, a married couple, and their children Hayarpi, 21, Warduhi, 19, and Seyran, 15 were originally from Armenia, but they fled from political persecution to the Netherlands in 2010 due to Sasun’s political actions. Although they had been living in the Netherlands for nine years, there was a legal battle surrounding their ability to stay in the country. The Dutch government attempted to deport the family three times, but the courts twice overruled the attempts.
Norillag prisoners strike for better conditions (Norilsk uprising), 1953
The Norillag was a gulag labor camp, located in Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, a town in the Taimyr Peninsula on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, close to the mouth of the Enisei River. Inmates of the Norillag worked 12-hour days, in temperatures as low as negative 50 degrees Celsius during the winter. They worked in mines, brickyards, cement plants, and in the base camps, as well as on road and railroad construction.
San Francisco strippers win right to form a union, 1996-1997
The Lusty Lady was a strip club in San Francisco. Opened since 1976, this North Beach club featured exotic dancers “Lusties” in a peep show on a stage and in individual booths. While being one of the most popular spots for nightlife in the city, the Lusty Lady was infamous among the dancers for its random firings and pay cuts, racist and ambiguous shift policies, and no-sick-day rules. According to Antonia Crane, a former stripper at the Club, “[the Lusty Lady] is playing the notoriously exploitative game in the adult entertainment world.”
Black residents of Diamond win fight with Shell Chemical for relocation 1989-2002
In the early 1950s, Royal Dutch/Shell purchased land in the community of Diamond, Louisiana and built a chemical plant. Margie Richard, a Black resident of Diamond, founded Concerned Citizens of Norco (CCN) in 1989 after two large-scale accidents at the Shell/Motiva Chemical plant. A pipeline explosion in 1973 killed two Diamond residents, while another event in 1988 killed seven workers.
Emelle residents protest Chemical Waste Management hazardous waste landfill 1978-1995
In 1978, Chemical Waste Management Inc. (CWM), a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. (WMX), bought 300-acres of land near Emelle, Alabama for a hazardous waste landfill. Residents did not have the opportunity to protest the landfill prior to its construction because CWM was not legally obligated to disclose information about land use.
Students Win Gay-Straight Alliance Club at Flour Bluff, Texas, High School 2010-2011
In November 2010, Bianca “Nikki” Peet attempted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in Flour Bluff, Texas, part of the greater Corpus Christi area. She initially went through the normal channels within the local high school, but the school’s principal, James Crenshaw, denied her request to form a GSA. Crenshaw asked her to change the club’s name and mission and come back for reconsideration. After this initial denial, Peet revised the club’s mission statement. She resubmitted it in January of 2011 and was again denied.
Kurdish Men Wear Women's Clothes for Gender Equality, 2013
On 15 April 2013, policemen in Marivan, Iran executed a form of criminal
punishment that quickly garnered public criticism. A 25 year old man,
Tawfik Dabash, had been convicted of “disturbing public order,” and
police later paraded him around the city in handcuffs wearing
traditional Kurdish women’s clothes (similar to the bridal robe) in
order to humiliate him. Later that day, Kurdish women of Marivan, who
had been historically oppressed on the basis of both gender and ethnic
identity, quickly organized into a 400-person march through the city to
Belgian doctors strike to block single-payer healthcare, 1964
During the 1950’s and 60’s, as many countries advanced and became more
industrialized, doctors in organized medicine tried to push back against
the post-World War II trend of increased state involvement in medical
care. The worry was that state involvement would, over time, reduce
doctors’ income and self-governance. Belgium was a unitary state in the
1960’s and only became a constitutional federation in 1993. Belgium’s
social insurance system was private but also corporatist. At the time,
the system consisted of five health insurance funds called mutualités.
Philadelphians prevent deportation of Honduran immigrant through church sanctuary, United States, 2014-15
The New Sanctuary Movement (NSM) was established to build a community
that does not discriminate based on faith, ethnicity, class, and to end
injustices against immigrants regardless of their legal or illegal
status. They are a national movement of civil disobedience trying to
pressure President Obama to reform immigration laws. Their movement
goals include pushing Obama to end all deportations, regardless of
“origin, status, criminal convictions, sexual or gender identity,
socioeconomic status, marital status, or previous deportation order”
Kansas women protest anti-abortion advocate Governor Sam Brownback, 2012
In January 2011, Governor Sam Brownback took office in the U.S. state of Kansas. In rapid succession, strict new anti-abortion legislation passed through both houses of the state legislature.
Brownback signed into law new restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion, parental consent clauses for minors, blocks on Planned Parenthood funding (including that for non-abortion services), and limits on late-term abortion. Many of these measures went into effect during summer 2011.
Tasmanian Wilderness Society blocks dam construction (Franklin River Campaign) 1981-83
the Hydro Electric Commission of Tasmania solidified their plans with the
Australian government to build a dam across the Franklin and Gordon Rivers, in
the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. The Tasmanian Wilderness Society
formed not long after this announcement to take action against the Hydro
Electric Commission and their plans to bulldoze the surrounding wilderness for
the construction of the dam. The director of the Wilderness Society and leader
of the anti-dam campaign for the following seven years was Bob Brown, a local
Guatemalans refuse to serve in civil patrols, 1988-1993
From 1961 to 1996 Guatemalans endured a bloody civil war. During this conflict the military-controlled government fought the leftist guerillas or the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG). These groups fought each other for political control. The extreme violence pushed many indigenous Guatemalans high into the country’s highlands or displaced them as refugees into other countries.
Israelis campaign for affordable housing, better economic life ("Tentifada"), 2011
On 14 July 2011, Daphni Leef, a freelance filmmaker, began a campaign to be known as the “Tent Revolt” or “Tentifada.” Leef, like many middle-class citizens in Tel Aviv and in the nation of Israel, faced great financial hardships in an economy that statistically should have provided a level of comfort. Barely able to afford her home, Leef created a Facebook page, inviting those with similar grievances to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv Thursday of that week in order to convince the government to lower housing costs.
Venezuelans seize service vehicles, force neighborhood upgrade in Caracas, 1981
In 1981, a poorly coordinated attempt to privatize waste collection services left the neighborhood el 23 de Enero, the site of Venezuela’s largest public housing project, and other neighborhoods in Caracas without waste collection for weeks. El 23 de Enero was filled with piles of rotting trash that threatened a public health crisis.
Philippine citizens overthrow President Joseph Estrada (People Power II), 2001
In 1992, Joseph E Estrada ran for Vice President on the National People’s Coalition ticket. Although the party’s presidential candidate, Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., lost the election to Fidel Ramos, Estrada won the vice presidential contest. He served as Vice President for 6 years leading the Anti-Crime Commission and was also responsible for a number of high-profile crime arrests in the Philippines.
Moldovan citizens campaign for new elections, 2009
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) came to power in 2001. Since 2003 some Moldovans were in conflict with the government with regard to issues such as national identity and foreign policy. Many Moldovans still identified as Romanian, creating confusion and division as to which nationality was historically more accurate. Due to constant shifts in rulers and boundaries, there has been debate over whether the Moldovan or Romanian identity should be recognized by the government.
Ecuadorians oust President Gutiérrez (Rebellion of the Forajidos), 2005
Retired Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez won the 2002 presidential elections in Ecuador after emerging as a popular ally of the poor during the years following a 2000 coup d’etat. A series of decisions followed his becoming president that increased the country’s International Monetary Fund debt and approved exploitation of oil on indigenous land.
German students campaign for democracy, 1966-68
In 1966, faced with an economic recession, the two major West German political parties--Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU)--came together to form what came to be known as the Grand Coalition. Their decision to allow Kurt Georg Kiesinger of the CDU serve as chancellor proved controversial, as Kiesinger played an active role in the foreign ministry under the Third Reich.
White Rose Resistance to Hitler's Regime, 1942-1943
Amidst the omnipresence of violence during World War II, nonviolent protest is often overlooked or unheard of. However, there were several resistance campaigns that took place in Germany, led by its own citizens. One such campaign in the period of 1942-1943 was the resistance initiated by the White Rose society. Although they were ultimately unsuccessful, the members of the White Rose became an influential example of student resistance against repressive regimes.
Colombian women use sex strike to demand gangster disarmament (Huelga de Piernas Cruzadas), 2006
In early September 2006, a group of Colombian women, the partners of local gangsters, declared a sex strike. Their demand was that gang members turn in their weapons to the municipal government and agree to begin a vocational training program. The strike began during a meeting in which twenty-five women from different neighborhoods came together to oppose the violence of their partners or spouses. Said Julio Cesar Gomez, the security official in the city of Pereira's local government, “this is about changing the cultural parameters: Some women thought that men wearing fati
Moroccan youth protest for constitutional reform, 2011
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. Political reforms in the 1990s expanded parliamentary power in 1992 and 1996, and in 1996 a bicameral legislature consisting of two chambers was established. On his accession to the throne in 1999, King Mohammed VI promised to enact a series of reforms democratizing the monarchy, but this was seen as largely unfulfilled. King Mohammad VI succeeded his father, King Hassan, who had ruled for thirty-seven years. Hassan’s rule, known as the “Years of Lead,” was largely marked by violence against state dissidents.
Manitoba women win right to vote, 1870-1916
In North America and Western Europe in the later half of the 19th century, women began to campaign in earnest for the right to vote. At this time women were second-class citizens. The 1870s were the start of the movement in Canada, but there were few Canadians that supported the women’s right to vote. Two of the groups that lead the way in Manitoba were the Icelandic feminists and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The Icelandic women had settled near Gimli. These women established the first suffragette associations.
Washington, DC protests against the war in Vietnam (Mayday), 1971
The Mayday protest was a series of large-scale demonstrations against the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. It happened in 1971 in Washington, DC from May 1 to May 3 and diminished within several days. The goal was to shut down the federal government offices, because the Mayday Tribe (a largely young and more militant segment of the U.S. anti-war movement) had given an ultimatum to the Nixon Administration that this would happen if it did not end the war.