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b-undocuDays before a bus filled with undocumented people and their allies was to take off from Phoenix, Arizona, one rider was interviewed by the New York Times. The reporter asked, “Last month when I interviewed you, you wouldn’t tell me your full name. Now you will. What changed?” The rider responded, “I am no longer afraid.”

48 hours later Letty Ramirez, Miguel Guerra, Natally Cruz, and Isela Meraz, stepped off the curb outside of Sheriff Arpaio’s racial profiling trial and into the street with a banner that said, “No Papers No Fear.”  They announced themselves as undocumented and unafraid of the Sheriff finally on trial.  The thing that had kept them at times house-bound, and most afraid was the thought of ending up inside Arpaio’s jail. Now, the four were entering willingly as part of an act of civil disobedience and the start of what would be a six week odyssey, the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice that will soon come to an end at the Democratic National Convention In Charlotte after Labor Day weekend.

Published in B Loewe

Many of us have been inspired by the strong organizing by environmentalists and environmental justice forces that succeeded in blocking the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

To provide a little background on the Keystone XL campaign: The Keystone XL is a new oil pipeline that was proposed by the Canadian oil and gas company, TransCanada, that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Texas. The extraction of tar sands is massively polluting. Tar sands extraction sites in Canada have devastated the surrounding environment and communities, in particular in Native communities. The potential pipeline would expand that damage; it would add new risks to the ecosystems and communities along the proposed pipeline. According to leading climate scientist, James Hansen, the building of the Keystone XL pipeline and the commitment of the United States to exploiting the rest of the remaining Canadian tar sands would be "game over" for the climate.

Marisa Franco interviewed Mohammed Abdohalli and Gopal Dayaneni about direct action and the Occupy Movement in November 2011.

The #Occupy movement has tapped into a collective frustration spanning across the globe.  The rallying cry of 99% and the tactic of occupying public spaces has changed the conversation from one that continues to benefit the 1% to one that questions the political and economic system we live in and ventures to directly practice alternatives.  It’s also a moment that has brought the power of direct action and civil disobedience to the public’s eye.

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About the Author

  • B. Loewe is an organizer and communicator taught well by his parents and brought into the movement by his sister when he was a teenager.  

    In recent years, B has served as NDLON's Communications Director, supported the Alto Arizona work against SB 1070 and Sheriff Arpaio, and participated in the organizing of the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit.

    Follow B. on twitter @bstandsforb

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Organizing Upgrade 2012 / Built by Union Labor

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