Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Summer of Love 2.0

Our Earth...It's worth saving, isn't it?


By Sean Nestor
When I first started getting involved with activism, I felt at a disadvantage. I never went to school for this stuff; I didn't know how to organize people, or how to analyze public policy, or how everything in our legal system worked. I wanted to show up, hold a sign, and support the professionals.

But there was a problem - there weren't any professionals to support. Most were stuck in cubicles doing busy work, while others were looking for citizens like me to stand up and take the lead. It turns out that the pros can only sharp-shoot certain aspects of social change, and that active citizens are an essential (but nearly extinct) ingredient in that process.

So I started on the path of becoming a better citizen. I learned as I went, figuring things out as I needed to through my own trial and error and conversations with the experienced. I never would have guessed how much this process would change me for the better. Things that would have given me crippling anxiety to contemplate years ago now seem second nature.

The zen of democracy is that it ties our personal improvement to the improvement of our society. When we challenge ourselves and accept our role as self-advocates--when we better ourselves in the pursuit of bettering others--we transform not only our own lives, but the lives of those around us. This process cannot be engineered in a classroom, a legislative chamber, or a board room; it must arise organically from the felt needs and moral compass of every day citizens.
Sean Nestor is an educator and activist from Toledo, Ohio. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Single Payer Action Network and Co-Chair of the Lucas County Green Party.

 From January to July, 2017 has been a year of citizens speaking out and taking action to protect each other and the environment.
All Hands on Deck event at Maumee Bay State Park, Lake Erie
2017: The Summer of Love 2.0
by C.A. Matthews

For those who weren't alive in 1967, the above title might not ring a bell for you. But for those of us who have some memories of the 60s, the Summer of Love was the year of the hippies and a year that marked a seismic shift of consciousness in America. As a child, I couldn't quite grasp what all the young adults wearing love beads, long hair, peace signs and tie-dye were going on about in that summer and in the proceeding ones, but their protest signs and songs indicated their intentions. 

It was a time to speak out against the war in Vietnam; a time to speak out against nuclear proliferation and war; a time to speak out in favor of women's rights; a time to speak out for civil rights for all Americans, in particular African-Americans and Native Americans; a time to cry out about the destruction of the environment; a time to tell the establishment, "Hell no! The status quo has got to go!" And it needed to go now.

I could draw many parallels between this summer of activism and that summer of activism fifty years ago. I see one of the biggest parallels as being the willingness of ordinary people to crawl out of their comfort zones and take their righteous anger to the  streets. But it's not enough to "resist" a bad president, as some are doing with anti-Trump demonstrations. We have to take action for something and not simply act out against some person, like a child throwing a temper tantrum over having to eat broccoli. The hippies' signs and banners may have declared they were against the war in Southeast Asia, but essentially they were speaking out for world peace and for an end to poverty, hunger, and human rights abuses. 

Perhaps the reason the Summer of Love and the hippies live on in our memories is that those who became involved in the movement were for positive change for all mankind. They weren't on a self-serving "vengeance kick" to get rid of a buffoon of a president they didn't personally like. The hippies' motives and actions were noble and for the good of society, and not simply a cover for a disgraced political faction who fielded the wrong candidate and rigged primaries to do so.

This summer so far we've participated in several actions to draw attention to
health care (or rather, the lack of it) in America and the fragility of our environment (our Great Lakes and our dying pollinators). We feel the need to protect our world against corporate greed that is destroying nature and humankind alike. The reason we chose to participate in these actions is that they are in dire need of immediate attention. The status quo of the oligarchs' desire for ever-increasing corporate profits has got to go--and go now

Time is of the essence. It's not a personal thing--although, if our health care is taken away, it will possibly shorten our lives--but it's a necessary thing to take action if we want our world to exist in the future. Our personal struggles pale in comparison to the struggles of the whole of humanity.

It's time we follow the hippies' lead and don our peace signs and love beads and show our compassion for our fellow human beings and our planet. Only by acting out of love and compassion can we ever hope to achieve a new status quo, one where everyone is assured of a life free from discrimination and homelessness, hunger and suffering. We'll need more than a shift--we'll need a revolution in consciousness to get there. 

Let the revolution begin today with us.

Enjoy some memories from the Summer of Love with this video.

Here's one way to take action this summer. A very clever way from 314 Action.
314 Action

Trump and his allies have been purging his administration of scientific voices from day one, and the latest news out of Washington makes it clear they aren't slowing down. The science division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy apparently has zero remaining staffers.

We know all too well that without scientific input in government, things can get pretty dicey -- so we thought we’d help them out a bit by sending a clear message: If you’re not going to seek out science, we’ll bring science to your front door instead.

We want to deliver copies of “Environmental Science for Dummies” to some of the most anti-science voices in Trump's administration, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Can you help?

Enter your info and we’ll ship this book in your name to either the EPA or the Department of Energy -- along with a note reminding them that you (and the American people) stand with science >>

Environmental Science for Dummies
Since January, the scientific community has been under constant attack. Trump has announced that he’s pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Scott Pruitt has fired key scientists at the EPA, and plans to replace them with fossil fuel executives. Rick Perry continues to deny human impact on climate change.

It’s critical that we keep exposing these climate change deniers and anti-science voices. We need to show them that they’re not going to get away with this. These aren’t the Dark Ages -- the American people believe in science.

It’s on us to teach the Trump administration a science lesson: Help us send “Environmental Science for Dummies” textbooks to two of the most anti-science voices in Washington, D.C. >>

Thanks for helping us send a message.
Harmony Knutson
Director of Advocacy
314 Action

More ways to take action on health care from the Movement for the 99%.
National Week of Action: July 8 -15
Mass Action Needed to Ensure Defeat of Trumpcare!

Trumpcare isn’t dead, and we need to do everything we can to stop it. The Republicans in Congress are going to come back from the July 4th recess determined to try to get this reactionary legislation passed.

Trumpcare is a savage attack on working people and the poor. If passed, it will deny tens of millions access to healthcare and represent one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the working class to the 1% in U.S. history through massive tax cuts for the super-rich and corporations.

We need a full mobilization of the opposition to Trumpcare through rallies, protests, and occupations of Republican Senators’ offices. The Republicans are struggling to overcome internal divisions, but we need to keep the pressure up to ensure defeat of Trumpcare.

Our Revolution, the Democratic Socialists of America and others are calling for non-violent sit-ins across the country on Thursday, July 6th against Trumpcare. These are exactly the type of determined actions we need to build a movement from below to defeat Trump’s agenda.

Movement for the 99% and our partners in Socialist Alternative also feel we need to keep that movement going when Congress returns to session. That’s why we’re helping to initiate a week of action from July 8th to July 15th to #OccupyTrumpcare. Please join us at the protests, occupations and speak-outs that we’ll be initiating. 

Please chip in $15, $27, or $100 to build mass actions against Trumpcare this coming week! We need to print thousands of picket signs and to make sure we have a legal fund for any arrests.

There is mass opposition across the country, we need all opponents of Trumpcare to unite behind a strategy of mobilizing the full breadth of that opposition, similar to the mass rallies around Trump’s inauguration when millions marched in the streets. With a well-organized mobilization and an escalating series of mass actions we can help ensure the Republican bill fails. A victory on this issue could help give confidence to the fight for Medicare for all. We could build upon our momentum to organize to ensure guaranteed, quality healthcare for everyone at the state level and nationally. To achieve these goals, we have to rely on our own strength, not the corporate-controlled leadership of the Democratic Party.

The first step in winning our demands, defeating the Republican agenda and bringing down Trump is to defeat this reactionary legislation once and for all.

We need all hands on deck to #OccupyTrumpcare!  We are organizing rallies and occupations across the country. We will send out more information in the coming days of where and when you can join an action!


A Summer of Love, a Summer of Resistance with Greenpeace...

Trump received a message that he couldn't ignore. We will RESIST and DEFEND our planet and communities!
Are you ready to join the Summer of Resistance?

The Summer of Resistance is heating up. Now we need YOU to join in!

All summer long, Greenpeace will be turning up the heat on Trump and his fossil fuel cronies through creative resistance and non-violent direct action. Now it’s time for YOU to join in to create change where you live. Sign up today for our Summer of Resistance!

There’s never been a more important time to resist the Trump administration’s pro-polluter agenda and DEFEND our planet and communities. In rapid-fire succession, Trump has already unleashed multiple attacks on our water, air, climate, and health. This is an administration that sees American lives and the health of the planet as disposable, and it is using all its power to execute that vision. And often, poor, immigrant and communities of color — like the one I grew up in here in Chicago — will be the ones who feel the harshest effects.

There’s never been a more important time for action. That’s why I’ve joined Greenpeace’s Summer of Resistance, where people from all over the country — people just like you and me — can gain the tools they need to stand up against injustice in their own communities. Will you join me and thousands of others to make your summer a Summer of Resistance? When you sign up, we’ll show you how to join free local trainings and creative, non-violent resistance actions — or show you how to host your own creative resistance event!

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never marched, joined a peaceful protest, or done any sort of direct action before. Greenpeace’s Summer of Resistance is for anyone who wants to make a difference. Whatever issue you’re most passionate about — climate change, clean air and water, social justice — this is the moment to take the next step and give your all. Join the Summer of Resistance now!

For our climate, health and communities,
Dario Parra
RESIST team, Greenpeace USA

And action to take to save Net Neutrality.
Battle For The Net Video Bumper from FFTF on Vimeo.


  1. 1967. The way the world should have been. Instead the greed of capitalists corrupted the Earth and now the ordinary people are fighting for survival.

    I never had much interest in politics until a few years ago, when I protested the Poll Tax in Britain. Since then I've become increasingly active and will challenge The Establishment on everything it does. Yes, I get tired of having to care because many don't - but what keeps me going is the open commitment of other activists. Peace, man!

  2. Power to the people--especially those who take their time, talents and energy to help save the planet and all its peoples! We've got to activate more activists. We can top 1967 if we try. Think of all the good we can do with so many fighting for people, planet and peace over profits!


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