Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Celebrating 2019

Readers may be startled by this week’s heading. But we did have at least one thing to celebrate in 2019: Resistance.  And resistance took on the spectacular color of disruption Sept. 25, 2019 when intersections and three blocks of Montgomery Street, San Francisco, the Wall Street of the West, a street normally given to banking and underwriting planet-destroying fossil fuels were shut down, and became the scene of life-affirming joy.

In a country that enshrines its Puritan approach, joy is an act of civil disobedience: Color, Music, Dancing, the celebration of creativity itself are joyous expressions frowned on by the dominating ethos of Numero Uno. Under such a world view, people are meant to suffer world-over. And they do: Emiseration and death by torture, gunfire, by drones, by bombs, anything that makes a profit for the munitions industry, the U.S. chief export.

But the Sept. 25 Montgomery Street Celebration said ‘no’ to all that, we need a Green New Deal.  It reminded us there is a better way. And way more fun. Many groups and thousands of people took part: painters, musicians, dancers, clowns, locked down protesters blocking inersections and the entrances of five war-profiteering banks. Journalists, photographers, sign bearers, even shameless old ladies took part.

We must not let 2019 go by without acknowledging the scope of this extraordinary, day-long event. It shows what a group of imaginative and determined people all working together in flawless coordination, can accomplish.

And credit must be given to photographer Cheryl Guerrero who captured much of it for Hoodline where you can view her images.

When completed, this is what Montgomery Street looked like from the air:


Coming soon:  Roger Herried shares a take on the PTSD that brings mental exhaustion to so many deniers, reluctant to face the reality of global climate collapse. 


More to celebrate

Already on the Newsletter's Piñon Pine Project there’s something to celebrate. Barely started we’ve already managed to raise $1250 dollars.  And if you feel impelled to join the stampede, here’s how. Send your cheque or money order made payable to The Cecile Pineda Newsletter at our address of record: 2550 Dana Street, 5-B, Berkeley CA  94704. You’ll get a letter thanking you for becoming part of our exciting project: planting trees for the planet while engaging in the non-violent civil disobedience of commemorating the lives of those killed by drone.

Join a climate strike near you or step up to the plate and stage one of your own.

Supreme Court of the Netherlands rules citizens may use the courts to compel their leaders to fight climate change, forcing the Dutch government to cut national carbon emissions.

Denouncing corporate climate profiteers, comedy icon, Lily Tomlin arrested at #FireDrillFriday D.C. protest.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes executive action to ban chlorpyrifos, one of the most insidious bee-killers out there.

Despite halting progress, UN pushes for nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

Madrid bans smartphone use in classrooms.

An enormous step towards holding Israel accountable for its criminal treatment of Palestinians as ICC chief prosecutor announces a “reasonable basis to believe” that war crimes were committed.

Beyond the Bomb announces it secured over 40 House co-sponsors on No First Use, and demands all presidential candidates back #Futurefirst!

Brennan Center announces voting rights victories in Ky, and N.J.; and budget deals including $425 million for election security.

Federal judge blocks NC’s voter ID law, citing state’s sordid history of racist voter suppression.

Humpback whales sing on return to Salish Sea.

U.S. court upholds ruling on vast marine monument established by Obama.

Death penalty on hold in Indiana.

Responding to citizens’ demands, Chile’s president Piñera signs decree calling for constitutional referendum to change constitution generated under Pinochet.

Bolstered by people-powered W. Virginia Can’t Wait campaign, governor hopeful Stephen Smith proposes first state-level wealth tax.

‘New Day’ for Queens, N.Y. Democratic machine as Sanders and Warren supporters defeat attempt to ram through Biden endorsement.

Sanders vows to create national clean drinking water standards to end corporate contamination.

Chobani yogurt announces it will pay off all RI Warwick School District’s lunch debt.

Illinois governor pardons over 11,000 on eve of recreational cannabis legalization.

Tamaca, Mexico becomes town refusing to drown as residents’ years-long organization stops El Zapotillo Dam project.

Say what? Australian PM hosts fire-works party while Australia burns. 

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