Only Photos Can Capture Love-In-Action Taos’ Outrageously Active Six Months

Heroes 1 Group Shot

The Unsung Heroes: Whistleblowers, Activists, and Muckrakers Procession won “Most Patriotic” in the 4th of July Parade.

It’s hard to keep up with Love-In-Action Taos.  (This website certainly can’t!) Since forming in March 2014, this small town group has organized over forty actions and events, taking part in the Global Climate Convergence, March Against Monsanto, the local agriculture movement, three peace vigils for Palestine, Pax Christi’s Hiroshima Day Vigil at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and won “Most Patriotic” in the 4th of July Parade for their Unsung Heroes: Whistleblowers, Activists, and Muckrakers procession.

Here are just a few photos from the group’s wonderful activities. Enjoy!

Love-In-Action demonstrates in the rain, the sun, and even after dark … while war rages, Love-In-Action speaks up for peace and nonviolence!

Love-In-Action demonstrates in the rain, the sun, and even after dark … while war rages, Love-In-Action speaks up for peace and nonviolence!

Growing gardens, sharing food, swapping seeds, bringing loaves of fresh baked bread to gatherings … it's not just protests. Love-In-Action stands up for life in many ways!

Growing gardens, sharing food, swapping seeds, bringing loaves of fresh baked bread to gatherings … it’s not just protests. Love-In-Action stands up for life in many ways!

From porch gardens to one-acre fields, Love-In-Action Taos members love to grow food! We understand that local agriculture sits in the nexus of climate, water, poverty, and community resilience issues.

From porch gardens to one-acre fields, Love-In-Action Taos members love to grow food! We understand that local agriculture sits in the nexus of climate, water, poverty, and community resilience issues.

Love-In-Action Taos visits our City Councilors … this happens to be about a name-change for a local park.

Love-In-Action Taos visits our City Councilors … this happens to be about a name-change for a local park.

Love-In-Action Taos helped host the local Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet, Peace over Profits. This is an educational talk in the Historic Taos County Courthouse. Photo by David Cortez

Love-In-Action Taos helped host the local Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet, Peace over Profits. This is an educational talk in the Historic Taos County Courthouse. Photo by David Cortez

Planting a Cherry Tree during the Global Peace Walk.

Planting a Cherry Tree during the Global Peace Walk.

Schoolkids from Penasco joined the Community Parade during the Global Climate Convergence, bringing along the recycled plastic dragon they built!

Schoolkids from Penasco joined the Community Parade during the Global Climate Convergence, bringing along the recycled plastic dragon they built!

Love-In-Action Taos joins Pax Christi and John Dear for the Annual Sackcloth and Ashes Hirsoshima Day Peace Vigil at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Love-In-Action Taos joins Pax Christi and John Dear for the Annual Sackcloth and Ashes Hirsoshima Day Peace Vigil at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

We are the media! Love-In-Action Taos proclaims, holding up cameras for the camera. We are the news: both the subject and reporters!

We are the media! Love-In-Action Taos proclaims, holding up cameras for the camera. We are the news: both the subject and reporters!

Love-In-Action Taos painted nearly 100 banners of inspirational leaders for social justice, both living and passed on.

Love-In-Action Taos painted nearly 100 banners of inspirational leaders for social justice, both living and passed on.

Joining the Great March for Climate Action as the cross-country marchers arrive in Taos, NM.

Joining the Great March for Climate Action as the cross-country marchers arrive in Taos, NM.

"Gaza = Guernica" - a 7 x 15 ft adaptation of Picasso's famous painting being prepared for the Aug 9th demonstration for Palestine.

“Gaza = Guernica” – a 7 x 15 ft adaptation of Picasso’s famous painting being prepared for the Aug 9th demonstration for Palestine.

 

March Against Monsanto becomes a colorful celebration of life when Love-In-Action gets involved!

March Against Monsanto becomes a colorful celebration of life when Love-In-Action gets involved!

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Please Welcome, Love-In-Action Wenatchee, WA!

10606103_10203202715683787_87930954337170232_nLove-In-Action Wenatchee is bringing heart, art, and creativity to Washington State. Please welcome our newest Love-In-Action group, organized by Julie Quinn-Huffman and friends after reading Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. Already planning actions, the group will join in Unify.org’s Aug 8th Global Meditation for Peace. Julie’s daughter, Grace Silvermoon, created these beautiful, heart-warming invitational fliers to hand out around town. Wouldn’t you say yes, if you were handed one of these? Unify.org has more information about the Global Meditation for Peace on Aug 8th. It takes place anywhere and everywhere. You can register your own participation or your group’s at register@ www.unify.org

The Love-In-Action Network just became bolder and brighter! Welcome!

If you’re looking for Love-In-Action in North-Central Washington, contact Julie Quinn-Huffman at juliequinnhuffman(at)frontier.com 

Not in Washington? Find a group in your area. 

 

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Observations of a Citizen Journalist on Activist Floats in 4th of July Parades …

Love-In-Action Taos' Unsung Heroes Procession in the Arroyo Seco 4th of July Parade

Love-In-Action Taos’ Unsung Heroes Procession in the Arroyo Seco 4th of July Parade

by Kitt Flynn July 20, 2014

Activism is, as it has to be in order to keep on keeping on, fun and exhilarating and a labor of love. But … anyone who has involved themselves in activist activities for any length of time has experienced some of the not-always-so pleasant aspects of ‘working for the cause.’ Preparing and building something behind the scenes can sometimes be thankless and tedious, bringing little or no recognition for the hours spent organizing, preparing banners, art work, flyers and pamphlets in order to end up with a final result that is effective, preferably fun for all participants and at least most witnesses, and brings substantial attention and interest to whatever the cause happens to be.

Oftentimes what comes with the territory of publicly demonstrating, or just passing out educational information, is derision, boredom, being shouted down, ignored or conspicuously avoided. And then, in some demonstration situations, there is the challenge to avoid being arrested, either in a mundane “routine” manner or, when confronted by overzealous cops, attacked and arrested violently.

The 28th Amendment took its place alongside the other Amendments … at least in the Nevada County 4th of July Parade

The 28th Amendment took its place alongside the other Amendments … at least in the Nevada County 4th of July Parade

Some, but certainly not all, of those negative aspects are to be expected by us activists when we take part in what is traditionally the so-called, “patriotic” infused 4th of July parades, which take place in towns and cities throughout the nation. The quotation marks around the word patriotic are because the word has a floating array of how it is defined and by whom.

A week or so prior to this year’s July 4th parade, I received a group email from Nevada County Move to Amend which said, in part, “We need 15 more participants who will each be walking and holding up posters naming the twenty-seven amendments.” I sent an RSVP in the affirmative. As it turned out we ended up with the twenty-seven sign holders – and the proposed 28th amendment sign holder – and we also had participants show up to carry several more signs which were reproductions of various corporate logos with the words, “Not a person” below each corporate logo.

Our parade contingent was lead by a flat bed pickup with speakers placed so as to face the crowd on each side of the street, airing a musical recording playing in a loop. The driver of the truck had — in folk music and activist tradition — borrowed Woody Guthrie’s melody of “This Land is Your Land” and had recorded himself playing guitar while singing original lyrics he’d written about Corporations not being people.

Love-In-Action Taos carries CodePink's giant puppets … and CodePink Taos carries Love-In-Action's banners. Good team work!

Love-In-Action Taos carries CodePink’s giant puppets … and CodePink Taos carries Love-In-Action’s banners. Good team work!

Our line of up to 60 sign-toting people traveled down the hill in a winding snake formation, followed right behind by another bunch of activists, many of them, to the crowd of spectators delight, young kids. They were from our local “Label GMOs” group, which is somewhat loosely affiliated with Moms Across America, (who were also quite active in parades and whatnot around the country on the 4th). Our local Label GMOs group even invited a car wearing a bee costume to take part in their parade contingent. Well, actually, one of the moms who I spoke with later told me that she and her seven-year old daughter were the most actively responsible for having worked together over a matter of weeks on making the costume for the car, lots of colorful banners, and doing other preparations for the parade, either from their house or at the Purple Moon art studio provided by Radical Art for These Times.

Label GMOs took on a bee-van spin in the Nevada County 4th of July Parade. Beautiful work!

Label GMOs took on a bee-van spin in the Nevada County 4th of July Parade. Beautiful work!

As far as I could tell from my insider vantage point during the parade the spectators lining both sides of the street and watching from the balconies were really enjoying each of our two activist group’s parade presentations. So much so that right away I had decided that I wanted to write something about the experience. But the very next day, before I got very far along on that, things began to take an interesting and surprising turn. Activists from Taos in the Arroyo Seco 4th of July Parade in New Mexico, the “Unsung Heroes: Activists, Whistleblowers, and Muckrakers” contingent, had their fine parade entry selected as “Most Patriotic Float!” “Wow,” I thought and wondered to myself, an activist group being recognized and awarded in the traditionally ‘Keep it Main Stream’ 4th of July parade? Then, on top of that, I later discovered that the wonderfully colorful, imaginative, educational parade entry of kids and adults from the Label GMOs group had won a 3rd place ribbon for “Best Marching Group.” Sensational, and so well deserved! And then, following quickly behind that news, I learned that our group of Move to Amend had won a 2nd place ribbon. As of this writing no one I’ve spoken with seems to know if that one is attached to any particular category, or if it’s a general all-purpose ribbon. It is a ribbon, and it’s red and says “Nevada City 4th of July Parade” on it. So that counts, for sure.

Love-In-Action Taos upon hearing the news that "Activists, Whistleblowers, and Muckrakers Are Most  Patriotic"!

Love-In-Action Taos upon hearing the news that “Activists, Whistleblowers, and Muckrakers Are Most Patriotic”!

Admittedly, I’m not sure if I’ve just been missing something, and not noticing that sort of recognition for activists’ 4th of July parade entries over the last decade or so, but I’m pretty sure, or would like to believe, that we’re witnessing an extraordinary and overdue recognition of the importance of activism included into our traditional Americana 4th of July parades.

 

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Love-In-Action Taos Honors Activists, Whistleblowers, and Muckrakers in Fourth of July Parade

Heroes GratitudeLOVE IN ACTION’S LIST OF ACTIVISTS, WHISTLEBLOWERS, MUCKRAKERS/ JOURNALISTS & LOCAL ACTIVISTS

(This is only a partial listing. Links will be added later, and any typos will be corrected. At the time of this posting, we are on our way to the parade.)

Activists

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis. Various forms of activism range from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes.

Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906) – Quaker suffragist, women’s rights activist, abolitionist, temperance advocate, convicted for voting in 1872, along with E.C. Stanton wrote/presented what became the 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote) in 1920.

Judi Bari (1949 – 1997) – environmentalist, labor leader – organized wildcat strike for postal service, feminist/protected abortion clinics, principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging ancient redwoods in CA that united timber workers and environmentalists, severely injured in Oakland by pipe bomb placed in her car (unsolved), Vietnam & Central American war protester, wrote Revolutionary Ecology: Biocentrism & Deep Ecology.

Medea Benjamin (1952 – ) co-founder of Code Pink (anti-war/social activism) and Global Exchange (fair trade alternatives), CA Green Party Senate candidate, created Occupation Watch Center in Baghdad to monitor war’s effect on civilians, author of 10 political books, her most recent is Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (2012).

CodePink Taos is bringing these 5 Giant Puppets to the Parade … and looking for 5 strong backs to wear them!

CodePink Taos is bringing these 5 Giant Puppets to the Parade … and looking for 5 strong backs to wear them!

Daniel Berrigan (1921 – ) – Jesuit priest, counterculture peace activist, and poet. He was arrested for non-violent protest against Vietnam War and sentenced to six years in prison. He went to Hanoi with H. Zinn to “receive” POWs. Berrigan helped destroy 378 draft board files (Catonsville Nine) and was sentenced to three years in prison. He helped begin the Plowshares Movement. He damaged nuclear warhead nose cones and poured blood on documents (2 year sentence). He protested Central American intervention, the Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War, but he supported Occupy Movement.

Philip Berrigan (1923 – 2002) – brother of Daniel Berrigan, WW II veteran, Josephite priest, Civil Rights Movement activist: marches, boycotts, Vietnam War protester. He was one of Baltimore Four who occupied Selective Service Board, poured blood over records. He was a member of: Catonsville Nine and Harrisburg Seven. He organized the Catholic Left that initiated: the DC (DowChemical) Nine who protested napalm production, the Milwaukee 14/the New York Action/ the Chicago 15/ the Boston Eight/ the East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives, and the Buffalo Five (draft board protests). He joined the Camden 28 who protested J. Edgar Hoover’s treatment of protestors. He married Sister Elizabeth McAlister, founded Jonah House (war resistance), was a member of the Plowshares Movement, was imprisoned for hammering on Warthog warplanes, and served a total of 11years in prison for civil disobedience. He authored five books about his activism.

Grace Lee Boggs (1915 – ) – PhD, author of five books, lifelong social activist and feminist, subject of 2013 documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs. Although Chinese-American, she married an African American and focused on struggles in the African-American community in Detroit.

Tangerine Bolen – founder and executive producer of Revolution Truth, a citizen-driven first amendment campaign inspired by WikiLeaks. She is a lead plaintiff along with Chris Hedges and six other co-plaintiffs in civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere indefinitely without charge or trial. She’s a supporter of the Occupy Movement.

Cesar Chavez (1927 – 1993) – a Mexican-American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, along with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the United Farm Workers Union. His non-violent unionism created a moral cause with nationwide support. He popularized “Si, se puede.” He and the NFWA led a strike of CA grape pickers who marched from Delano to Sacramento. The strike lasted five years.

Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) – suffragette, socialist, pacifist, established the Catholic Worker Movement
that provided direct aid for the poor and nonviolent direct action on their behalf. Editor of
Catholic Worker newspaper from 1935 to 1980.

Heroes Patriot BannerJohn Dear (1959 – ) Jesuit priest, author of 30 books, has popular lecture circuit. He founded DC Schools Project for Salvadoran Youth. He was arrested for civil disobedience at the Pentagon (1984) and for Plowshares disarmament action in NC (1993) for which he was imprisoned. He’s director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, peace delegations to Iraq and peace conferences with Israeli/Palestinian peace activists. He organized the People’s Campaign for Nonviolence and formed Pax Christi New Mexico. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and performed an act of repentance at Los Alamos. He was arrested at a drone protest and participated in the Gaza Freedom March. He has been arrested over 75 times[1][2] in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against war, injustice and nuclear weapons. Peace and nonviolent commitment: He founded Bay Area Pax Christi, a region of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement, and began to arrange for Mother Teresa to intervene with various governors on behalf of people scheduled to be executed on death row. Throughout the years, John Dear was arrested in scores of nonviolent civil disobedience actions against war, injustice and nuclear weapons—from the Pentagon to Livermore Laboratories in California. Immediately after September 11, 2001, he served as a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Center in Manhattan, and personally counseled thousands of relatives and rescue workers. From 2002-2004, he served as pastor to five parishes in the high desert of northeastern New Mexico, and founded Pax Christi New Mexico, a region of Pax Christi USA. In 2006, he led a demonstration against the U.S. war in Iraq in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2009, he joined the Creech 14 in a civil disobedience protest at Creech Air Force base against the U.S. drone war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and was arrested and put in the Clark County, Nevada jail for a night. He was later found guilty but given time served.

Eugene V. Debs (1855 – 1926) – union leader, founding member of IWW, five time candidate of the
Socialist Party. He helped found the American Railway Union, called for a nationwide Pullman Strike, and served six months in prison for defying court injunctions.

Margaret Flowers, M.D. – pediatrician who left her medical practice in 2007 to advocate for single payer health care. She co-directs ItsOurEconomy.us. She has organized protests for health care, peace, and economic justice, and has been arrested for non-violent resistance.

Larry Gibson (1946 – 2012) renowned anti-mining environmentalist from West Virginia who spent
most of his adult life opposing mountaintop coal mining. Attempts on his life and offers of millions from mining companies to stop his activism did not deter him.

Vincent Harding (1931 – 2014) – African American historian and social activist in the Civil Rights
Movement who knew and wrote about Martin Luther King. He was co-chair of Veterans of Hope Project and Mennonite House, and worked as counselor/reconciler for anti-segregation campaigns of SCLD, SNCC, and CORE. He drafted King’s anti-Vietnam speech.

Julia Butterfly Hill (1974 – ) – environmental activist and tax redirection advocate best know for living
in a 180 foot redwood named Luna on two 6 x 6 platforms for 738 days (1997-1999) to prevent loggers from cutting it down. Pacific Lumber finally agreed to preserve Luna and all trees within a 200 foot buffer zone. Donations to her cause were used for research into sustainable forestry. Hill became a motivational speaker, author, and co-founder of Circle of Life Foundation and the Engage Network to promote social change.

Dolores Huerta (1930 – ) – labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the United Farm
Workers along with Cesar Chavez. She directed the Delano grape strike that led to a 3 year
collective bargaining agreement and was arrested 22 times in civil disobedience strikes. She was beaten with batons by San Francisco police during a peaceful protest against Bush’s policies. Proceeds from her suit went to farm workers. Her two year tour to promote the Feminization of Power led to a significant increase in women as political representatives.

Mother Jones (1837 – 1930) – Irish American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent
labor and community organizer after her husband and four children died of yellow fever. She organized mine workers against mine owners and coordinated strikes. She co-founded the IWW and organized a Children’s March to protest lax enforcement of child labor laws. She was arrested twice but eventually met with Rockefeller who introduced child labor reforms.

Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) – author, political activist, and lecturer. A member of the Socialist Party and the IWW, she campaigned for woman’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, pacifism, birth control,
and people with disabilities.

Kathy Kelly ( 1952 – ) – Chicago peace activist, author, founder of Voices in the Wilderness and Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She has traveled to Iraq 26 times and has been arrested more than 60 times. She supports victims of military bombardment and inmates of US prisons.

Dr. Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) – pastor, activist, orator, humanitarian, and leader of the Civil
Rights Movement and its use of nonviolent civil disobedience. He helped found the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference and led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Birmingham protests,
and the March on Washington. He received the Nobel Peace Prize. His focus expanded to
poverty, segregated housing in Chicago, and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was
assassinated while working on the Poor People’s Campaign.

Heroes Banners HangingWinona LaDuke (1959 – American Indian (Anishinaabe tribe) activist, environmentalist, and economist who ran for vice president under the Green Party in 1996 and 2000. She directs White Earth Land Recovery Project and Honor the Earth. She helped found the Indigenous Women’s Network and works to regain reservation land lost in the 19th century. She is of Anishinaabe background on her father’s side and Jewish background on her mother’s. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president as the nominee of the Green Party of the United States, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader.

James Lawson (1928 – ) – activist and university professor, and leading theoretician/tactician of nonviolence within the American Civil Rights Movement. He has been training activists in nonviolence since the 1960s, including the Nashville Student Movement and the SNCC.

Thomas Linzey – environmental lawyer who did legal internship at the EPA and has led the fight against environment-destroying corporations; co-founder and executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF); co-author of Be the Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community. He created the Democracy School in 2003 and helped draft the Ecuadoran constitution that grants nature the inalienable right to exist.

Joanna Macy (1929 – ) – an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. She is the author of eight books; one of the world’s leading sustainability educators,she is an adjunct professor to three Bay area graduate schools.

Keith McHenry – author, artist, and co-founder of Food Not Bombs, he and his nationwide network of supporters have fed the hungry for free for 30 years. Arrested in San Francisco for “making a political statement,” he spent two years in jail. He wrote Hungry for Peace – How You can Help End Poverty and War with Food Not Bombs. He writes about other social justice issues as well.

Michael Nagler (1937 – ) – academic and peace activist. As a UC Berkeley professor, he founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He co-chairs the Peace and Justice Studies Association and is on the advisory board of the Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (FIPP-USA). He is currently president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education and writes for New Clear Vision.

Bill Moyers (1934 – ) journalist and public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary for Johnson 1965 – 1967 and as a network TV news commentator for ten years. He has been very involved in public broadcasting, producing award-winning documentaries and news journal programs. He is a trenchant critic of the corporate news media.

Bill Moyer (not to be confused with the other Bill Moyer) is the founder of Backbone Campaign and has been involved in too many projects to enumerate at this moment. (Come back later, we’ll post more. We like Bill.)

Bill Moyer (September 17, 1933 – October 21, 2002), was a United States social change activist who was a principal organizer in the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement. He was an author, and a founding member of the Movement for a New Society.

Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) – an African American civil rights activist. In 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger after the white section was filled. She was arrested for violating Alabama segregation laws and thereby became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. She was fired from her seamstress job and moved to Detroit. From 1965 – 1988, she was the secretary /receptionist for John Conyers, an African American US Representative.

Peace Pilgrim (1908 – 1981) – aka Mildred Norman, was a spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, vegetarian activist, and peace activist. After a spiritual awakening following long meditation, she adopted the name Peace Pilgrim in 1953 and walked back and forth across the United States for the next 28 years in her blue tunic which read Peace Pilgrim. She had no money or backing so she walked until given shelter and fasted until given food. Friends of Peace Pilgrim, an all volunteer, non-profit organization, has published over 400,000 copies of Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in her Own Words and a million copies of her booklet Steps Toward Inner Peace.

Laura Poitras (1964 – ) – documentary film director and producer. She and Glenn Greenwald met Edward Snowden in Hong Kong to document his leak of NSA data. In 2013, she and Greenwald won the George Polk Award for national security reporting related to NSA disclosures.

Pancho Ramos Stierle – came to the US from Mexico to study astrophysics at UC Berkeley but left the doctoral program in protest when he realized his work would be used for nuclear weapons development. He was arrested while meditating during the dismantling of the Occupy Oakland Camp, and was turned over to Immigration and Customs custody rather than being released on bail. His activism focuses on human rights, nonviolence, restorative justice, moving past youth violence, immigration, permaculture/urban farming, and the development of a gift economy.

Bayard Rustin (1912 – 1987) – was an African American leader for civil rights, socialism, pacifism/non-violence, and gay rights. He initiated a 1947 Freedom Ride to challenge segregation on interstate busing and helped organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen the leadership he saw in Martin Luther King. He promoted the philosophy of nonviolence he had observed while working with Gandhi’s movement in India and became a civil rights strategist from 1955 – 1968. He was a chief organizer of the March on Washington. He promoted the integration of unions and the unionization of African Americans. In the 1970s, he became a public advocate on behalf of gay rights.

Love in Action bannerPete Seeger (1919 – 2014) – was a folk singer and activist. Members of his group the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged singing protest music in support of disarmament, civil rights, counterculture, and environmental causes. He popularized the spiritual “We Shall Overcome” that became the anthem of the civil rights movement.

Cindy Sheehan (1957 – ) anti-war activist whose son Casey was killed in Iraq War. She conducted
extended antiwar protest at a makeshift camp outside Bush’s Texas ranch called Camp Casey.
She ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008 and authored Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey
Through Heartache to Activism.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902) – suffragette, abolitionist. Her declaration at the Seneca Falls
Convention in 1848 was the start of the women’s rights movement that supported: parental and custody rights, property rights, employment and income rights, divorce, birth control, and women’s suffrage. She supported the temperance movement. Author of The Woman’s Bible.

Aaron Swartz (1986 – 2013) – computer programmer, writer, political organizer, and Internet Hacktivist.
He helped develop the web feed RSS, Creative Commons, web.py, and the social news site Reddit (his company Infogami merged with Reddit). He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about online activism. As a Harvard research fellow, he studied institutional corruption and founded Demand Progress to oppose online piracy. After downloading academic articles to share with everyone, he was arrested and charged with computer fraud. This led to $1 million in fines and a potential 35-50 year prison sentence. Two days after the prosecution rejected his counter-offer, he hanged himself.

Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) – author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, historian, and transcendentalist. His essay Civil Disobedience was an argument for disobedience to an unjust state that influenced Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. As an abolitionist, he delivered lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law, defended abolitionist John Brown, and participated in the Underground Railroad. He opposed the subjugation of Native Americans.

Sojourner Truth (1797 – 1883) – was an African American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Born into slavery in NY and sold several times, she escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son who had been sold to an Alabama slave owner after NY had emancipated slaves, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. She wrote about gender inequalities (“Ain’t I a Woman?”) and recruited black troops for the Union Army.

Stephanie Van Hook – is Executive Director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence in CA and serves as the Director of Conflict Resolution service for the Green Shadow Cabinet. She has written numerous political articles.

Ida B. Wells (1862 – 1931) – was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She documented lynching in the US, showing readers that it was often a way to control or punish blacks under the guise of rape charges. She was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician, and traveled internationally on lecture tours.

Kevin Zeese (1955 – ) – has been a leader in the drug policy reform and peace movements (Democracy Rising, an organization that opposed the Iraq War) and in efforts to ensure a voter verified paper audit trail. He was a Maryland Green Party nominee for a US Senate seat. He was chief counsel for NORML in 1980 and its executive director from 1983 – 1986. He helped stop the spraying of herbicides on marijuana and became an advocate for medical marijuana. He is currently president of Common Sense for Drug Policy. He has worked to disbar lawyers who wrote memos used to justify torturous interrogations.

Whistleblowers

A whistleblower is a person who exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization.

Supporters of whistleblowers march in Santa Monica's seventh annual Fourth of July parade in Santa Monica, CaliforniaWilliam Binney – a formerly high-placed NSA intelligence official turned whistleblower who resigned in 2001 after more than 30 years of service. He spoke out on the NSA’s data collection policies and communication intercepts. He feels the NSA is in deliberate violation of the Constitution.

Erin Brockovich (1960 – ) is a legal clerk/environmental activist who built a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993. The case alleged contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium, a chemical used to fight corrosion in the cooling towers. It percolated into the ground water and made residents sick. The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million.

Thomas Drake (1957 – ) is a former senior executive of the NSA. In 2010, the government alleged he “mishandled” documents to punish him for whistleblowing. He had disagreed with the choice of an intelligence collecting tool that violated privacy (violation of the 4th Amendment) and cost more than the alternative. The NSA later called the tool an expensive failure. Drake had given the Baltimore Sun some unclassified information for an article on waste, fraud, and abuse at the NSA. The FBI raided Drake’s home and his computers, documents and books were confiscated, but he was never charged with leaking classified material. He was indicted on lesser violations that could have led to 35 years in prison, but the charges were dropped at the last minute. Drake reportedly inspired Edward Snowden to leak information.

Sibel Edmonds (1970 – ) – a former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. She was fired for accusing a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving foreign nationals, suppressing intelligence, and endangering national security.

Daniel Ellsberg (1931 – ) – a former military analyst, he released the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other papers in 1971. It was a top secret study of government decision-making during the Vietnam War and it caused a great deal of controversy. The FBI illegally wiretapped Ellsberg and there was evidence of a break-in that led to the Watergate trial. Charges against Ellsberg were dismissed.

Brenda Hill – A jury found she did not slander the company that took her home away from her and then slapped her with a punitive $1.2 million slander suit. She had exposed the company’s failure to file official acknowledgments in home purchases and pay real estate excise taxes on those unrecorded sales. In response, Washington state passed a law in 1989 to protect whistleblowers with immunity from civil damages.

John Kiriakou (1964 – ) a former CIA analyst, was the first government official to confirm the use of
waterboarding of al-Quaeda prisoners as an interrogation technique. In 2012, he pled guilty to disclosing classified information about a fellow CIA officer and was convicted of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act even though he never told the reporter the guilty officer’s name. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison. CIA veterans have asked Obama to commute the sentence.

Private Chelsea Manning (1987 – ) born Bradley Edward Manning, was assigned in 2009 to an Army unit in Iraq as an intelligence analyst. Finding the intelligence data very disturbing and something the American public should know about, Manning blew the whistle and released a large amount of data to WikiLeaks: classified documents about the Baghdad airstrike and the Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, diplomatic cables, and Army reports. Her confidante, Adrian Lamo, turned her in. She was convicted in 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act, but evaded the most serious charge of aiding the enemy which could have led to a death sentence. She was sentenced to 35 years confinement with the possibility of parole in 8 years, and dishonorable discharge. She was held in solitary confinement with extremely harsh treatment from July 2010 to April 2011. Her long sentence shows how vulnerable whistleblowers are.

Jesselyn Radack (1970 – ) – a national security and human rights attorney with the Department of Justice, she disclosed that the FBI committed an ethics violation in their interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban” captured in Afghanistan) by not having an attorney present. She alleged that the Dept. of Justice tried to suppress that information. Lindh’s father had hired an attorney but Lindh was never told that. Ashcroft said he was Mirandized and hadn’t chosen a lawyer. Radack’s file was purged of all but three emails, including the one that states interviewing Lindh is not authorized by law. Radack’s disclosure of the retrieved emails may have led to a reduced sentence for Lindh. The Justice Dep’t. retaliated with a 15 month criminal investigation of Radack, even though no charge was ever specified, and that cost her her private sector job.

Karen Silkwood (1946 – 1974) – was a chemical technician and labor union activist known for raising concerns about corporate practices related to the health and safety of workers in an Oklahoma nuclear facility. In the summer of 1974, she testified to the Atomic Energy Commission about her concerns. For three days in November, she was found to have high levels of contamination on her person and in her home. That month, while driving to meet a journalist and a union official, she died in a car accident under unclear circumstances. The jury found Kerr-McGee liable for Silkwood’s plutonium contamination.

Edward Snowden (1983 – ) – in 2013, Snowden disclosed thousands of classified documents that he acquired while working as an NSA contractor. He flew to Hong Kong where he released them to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, then revealed his identity in a video filmed by Poitras and published by The Guardian. The DOJ charged Snowden with two counts of violating the Espionage Act, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. His US passport was revoked so he remained stranded in the Moscow airport for 39 days as he applied to 21 countries for asylum. Russia finally granted him one year of temporary asylum. Snowden’s leaked documents uncovered the existence of numerous global surveillance programs run by the NSA.

Muckrakers/Journalists

Heroes DemocracyThe term muckraker refers to reform-minded journalists who write largely for popular magazines and online journals and continue a tradition of investigative journalism reporting; muckrakers often work to expose social ills and corporate and political corruption.

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914) – a California journalist who worked for three San Francisco newspapers, Bierce took on the railroad giants. His muckraking campaign against Central Pacific Railroad, which controlled much of California”s economy and politics, went on for thirty years. In 1896, he covered the funding bill debate in Congress during which railroad officials attempted to avoid repaying millions of dollars in government loans.

Nellie Bly (1864 – 1922) – Nellie Bly was the pen name of journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochrane who conducted an expose in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within. A pioneer in her field, she launched a new kind of investigative journalism.

Noam Chomsky (1928 – ) – In 1967, he gained public attention for his vocal opposition to US involvement in the Vietnam War, in part through his essay The Responsibility of Intellectuals. He came to be associated with the New Left and was arrested on multiple occasions for his anti-war activism. He has been a prolific writer of searing political criticism most of his life.

Amy Goodman (1957 – ) – In 1998, Goodman and Jeremy Scahill documented Chevron Corporation’s role in a confrontation between the Nigerian army and villagers who had seized oil rigs. Chevron helicoptered the Nigerian Navy and police to the oil platform occupied by villagers accusing Chevron of contaminating their land. Two protesters were killed and 11 were wounded. Their documentary on this won the George Polk Award. When President Clinton called her at WBAI in a get-out-the-vote message in 2000, she and a colleague challenged him for 28 minutes with questions about Leonard Peltier, racial profiling, the Iraq sanctions, Ralph Nader, the death penalty, NAFTA, Cuba, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clinton called her hostile and combative.

Juan Gonzalez – (1947 – ) – a progressive broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. He has been a columnist for the New York Daily News since 1987 and frequently co-hosts Democracy Now with Amy Goodman.
Glenn Greenwald (1967 – ) – lawyer, journalist and author. He was a columnist for Guardian US and for Salon.com from 2007 – 2012. He became widely known and received the George Polk Award after The Guardian published the first of a series of reports on global surveillance based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. The series won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Chris Hedges (1956 – ) – a renowned political journalist and author, Hedges was part of the team of reporters at the New York Times awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism. He writes for Truthdig and is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. He has published 11 books on politics and religion.

Beau Hodai – a former In These Times staff writer, he is the founder of DBA Press, an online news publication. In 2010 – 2011, he provided research to the AFS Committee, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Private Corrections Working Groups. He has been on radio and television, and has partaken in two documentaries.

Michael Moore (1954 – ) – filmmaker, author, social critic, and political activist. He is the director and producer of numerous film exposes. His works criticize globalization, large corporations, assault weapon ownership, US presidents, the Iraq War, the American health care system, and capitalism.
Greg Palast (1952 – ) – New York Times best-selling author and freelance journalist for the BBC and the British newspaper The Observer. his work focuses on corporate malfeasance, labor unions, and consumer advocacy groups. He uncovered evidence that Florida rigged the ballots during the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004.

John Steinbeck (1902 – 1968) – authored 27 books, some of which were controversial, particularly Grapes of Wrath. His New Deal political views, negative portrayal of capitalism, and sympathy for the plight of workers led to a backlash against him. In Steinbeck’s last novel, The Winter of Our Discontent, published in 1961, he examines moral decline in America. The critical outcry when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 caused him to stop writing.

Ida Tarbell (1857 – 1944) – was a teacher, author, and journalist. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the progressive era. She wrote many notable magazine series and biographies. She is best known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company. It was listed as #5 of the top 100 works of 20th century American journalism. She depicted John D. Rockefeller as crabbed, miserly, money-grabbing, and viciously effective at monopolizing the oil trade.

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) – Named the father of American literature, Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies, and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, narrative, and social criticism. Twain’s works have been subjected to censorship mostly because of his usage of the colloquial language of the time which is in some cases offensive today.

Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010) – historian, author, playwright, and social activist. He wrote more than 20 books, including his best-selling A People’s History of the United States which tells the real story of American history not found in textbooks. He wrote extensively about the civil rights and anti-war movements and labor history.

Local Activists:

Marleny Alfaro, Carol Brown, Rick Brown, David Cortez, Claire D’Gaia, Kathleen Dudley, Sigrid Erika, Dariel Garner, Jeanne Green, Peter Harris, Marilyn Hoff, Lyla Johnston, Kate Keely, Josie Lenwell, Pat McCabe, John Olivas, Dianne Pola, Patricia Yousra Morningstar, Winter Ross, Rivera Sun, and many more.

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Love-In-Action Taos’ Unsung Heroes Parade: Activists, Whistleblowers, and Muckrakers

Supporters of whistleblowers march in Santa Monica's seventh annual Fourth of July parade in Santa Monica, CaliforniaGiant Puppets, costumes, banners, whistles … bring it all to the Arroyo Seco 4th of July Parade. Love-In-Action is celebrating the heroes of the People’s History of the United States: activists, whistleblowers, and muckrakers.

July 4th, 11:00am SHARP! Gather at the Arroyo Seco Community Center (the gathering point for on-foot marchers). The parade starts at noon, but it’s good to come early before they close the street and parking gets tight.

Everyone is welcome … if you haven’t been to a Love-In-Action gathering or event, welcome! We’re happy to have you come along. Want to invite friends? Use Facebook.

Ideas to stir your creative juices:

CodePink Taos is bringing these 5 Giant Puppets to the Parade … and looking for 5 strong backs to wear them!

CodePink Taos is bringing these 5 Giant Puppets to the Parade … and looking for 5 strong backs to wear them!

Come dressed as Mother Jones, Eugene Debs, Dorothy Day, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Cesar Chavez.

Bring banners or signs to honor people like Larry Gibson, Rosa Parks, the Little Rock Nine, Howard Zinn, Susan B. Anthony, Grace Lee Boggs, Winona LaDuke, Julia Butterfly Hill

Blow a whistle for Daniel Ellsberg, Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, Karen Silkwood, Erin Brokovich.

Volunteer to carry one of the Codepink Taos’ Five Giant Puppets of Sadako Sasaki, Rosa Parks, Winona Laduke, Dolores Huerta and Amy Goodman.

Paint a long banner with every whistleblower’s name you can think of. Or one for activists. Or muckrakers.

For more inspiration, check out the Americans Who Tell the Truth Series: http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/

About the Love-In-Action Network: We are a network of locally organized, interconnected groups dedicated to nonviolent action. The Love-In-Action Network empowers citizens through education, discussion, and action, providing opportunities to collectively and individually study nonviolent action, and preparing for the necessary struggle to ensure our health, well-being, and a future for humanity. www.loveinactionnet.com

“You are the ones you’ve been waiting for!”

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Taos Marches! Day of Actions!

March Against Monsanto Spring 2014 Taos, NM

March Against Monsanto Spring 2014 Taos, NM

Dear Friends,

Love-In-Action Taos held a very successful day of actions on Sat, May 24th. At 10am, Dariel Garner, Kate Keely, Rivera Sun (that’s me), and Marleny “crashed” – with love – Representative Ben Ray Lujan’s coffee and biscochitos hour at Caffe Renato, speaking with community members, Congressman Lujan, and gubernatorial candidate Howie Morales about both March Against Monsanto and the Great March for Climate Action. Special thanks to Taos Democratic Party President, Erin Sanborn, for her graciousness in welcoming two bee and corn costumed activists to the party.

Rivera and Marleny with gubernatorial candidate Howie Morales at Rep. Ben Ray Lujan's coffee and biscochitos party.

Rivera and Marleny with gubernatorial candidate Howie Morales at Rep. Ben Ray Lujan’s coffee and biscochitos party.

From there, the four of us went to Cid’s Natural Foods, where we paraded through the store thanking the employees and manager for their efforts to provide healthy, organic, non-GMO foods. Bob, the manager, was very receptive to working with us on creating affordable options.  We will be calling him soon!

Next stop: Taos Farmers Market. Picking up Peter Harris, we toured the market thanking growers and informing the public about GMOs and other Monsanto nastiness. We enjoyed the hand written signs of solidarity farmers had posted on their booths! Taos Honey indulged us in a photo op with the Bees Are Sweet banner. We rallied the people for a noon march, joined by Love-in-Action members Josie Lenwell, Kimo Ward, Lex Lyford, and celebrated the participation of six marchers from the Great March for Climate Action who also joined us. Jimmy Betts and Ethan, thank you for helping make this happen!

Marleny, Josie, Kate, and many more at March Against Monsanto in Taos, NM Spring 2014. Photo by Dariel Garner

Marleny, Josie, Kate, and many more at March Against Monsanto in Taos, NM Spring 2014. Photo by Dariel Garner

The traditional route up Bent St, down Paseo del Pueblo, to the main intersection, and into the Plaza reminded us that our work is much needed!  The most common question from tourists and passersby was “What are GMOs?” My favorite question was, “Who is Monsanto? Is he running for governor?” We handed out fliers that defined GMOs, the health and environmental risks, the worldwide problems caused by Monsanto, the bee colony die-offs caused by Round-up and other neonicotinoids, and resources for healthy food in Taos, NM.

In the plaza, we celebrated the 34th Anniversary of Food Not Bombs, enjoying delicious vegan food and calling founder Keith McHenry (although he lives in Taos, he is currently visiting California) to send him warm wishes and deep thanks for this incredible organization’s amazing work around the world. We want to thank the Taos Food Not Bombs crew who dedicatedly shows up every Sat to feed any and all!

Visiting the grocery stores was amazing and rewarding at March Against Monsanto in Taos, NM Spring 2014

Visiting the grocery stores was amazing and rewarding at March Against Monsanto in Taos, NM Spring 2014

Piling some new-found friends into our van, Dariel, Marleny, Josie, myself, and visitors Lucien (Albuquerque) and Denis (Quebec, CAN) went to Albertson’s and Smith’s where we discovered that corporate grocery stores do not allow photos to be taken in the store.  Reassuring the worried managers that we had come in peace, we thanked them for their efforts, handed them a letter and also spoke our requests that they expand the non-GMO products on their shelves, label the GMOs or at least that organic food in non-GMO, and offer these products at discounts on a regular basis to make healthy eating an affordable reality for all people. On Friday, Love-In-Action Taos  member, Megan Trulove-White visited Walmart with the letter and spoke to the manager, asking them to pass on the message to their superiors that people want healthy food. Over and over, the managers told us, “When the people demand something, we supply it.”  Let’s grow the demand!

Great March for Climate Action arrives in the down pouring desert rain of Taos, NM.

Great March for Climate Action arrives in the down pouring desert rain of Taos, NM.

Our desert skies cracked open and rain poured down! We joined the Great Climate March at the Taos Visitors Center. Thirty-eight marchers who have trekked from LA and are headed towards DC were joined by Taos community members in the pouring rain. We walked two miles to Kit Carson Park where, under the shelter of the bandstand, Lt. Governor of Taos Pueblo Lawrence Lujan, Tibetan Reverend Yamato, Diné Patricia McCabe Woman Stands Shining, Author William DuBuys, and Great Climate Marchers spoke, offered prayers and blessings, sang and danced! We enjoyed seeing Love-In-Action member Sigrid Allan meet us at the park, too!

It was an incredible, full day of actions with many reflections that came to me overnight.

1) Accentuate the positive! Our banners using local slogans of “Water is Life”, “Corn is Sacred”, and “Chile is Tradition” opened people’s minds and conversations on the streets. Photos posted online generated dozens of shares, likes, and comments. Standing up for what we love and value, contrasted with our opposition to Monsanto, was a powerful technique.

Love-In-Action members thank Taos Honey producers for their great work at March Against Monsanto in Taos, NM Spring 2014

Love-In-Action members thank Taos Honey producers for their great work at March Against Monsanto in Taos, NM Spring 2014

2) Take the struggle to the pivot points of change: managers, growers, and consumers, alike. We were able to open doors for further efforts with Cid’s and the Farmers Market. The other grocery stores, being chains, understandably have a hierarchy to work within, but they have received our message. (We also heard that these chains are very aware of changes in consumer awareness and the shifting trend toward organic, non-GMO food. One store manager said that the company is already preparing for changes due to this.)

3) Provide a clear story and ready information: those fliers and letters work!

4) Join with others for success! This day was made possible by many groups and individuals working in collaboration. Love-In-Action Taos organized the March Against Monsanto. Gaia Mika, Cee Bearden, Ahni Rocheleau and many others worked dedicatedly on the Great March for Climate Action’s arrival in Taos. Taos Democratic Party organized the Coffee and Biscochitos hour, and the grocery stores  and Farmers Market were doing their part, too. All of our local actions are paralleled by national organizations that support the international March Against Monsanto, and the national elections endeavors and the Climate March.

Using local slogans to stand up for what we love in contrast to what we oppose (Monsanto) worked wonders! March Against Monsanto, Taos, NM Spring 2014

Using local slogans to stand up for what we love in contrast to what we oppose (Monsanto) worked wonders! March Against Monsanto, Taos, NM Spring 2014

5) Love-In-Action works! The spirit of love made a lot of this possible. It began for us when Marleny brought in her work-in-progress, but already incredible corn costume to a Love-In-Action gathering. We took one look at it and said, “No!  Don’t make this Frankencorn!  It’s too beautiful!  Be the real corn that we love!”  The banners followed. The receptivity of the public followed the banners, bees, and corn costume. The store managers willingness to talk followed the spirit of beauty and love that we infused in our actions.

Many more reflections will come over time. We learned a lot! I dreamt of some amazing ideas for next fall. A film screening of “Open Sesame: the story of seeds” is coming up on June 14th at 7pm (Kit Carson Boardroom). The Taos Farmers Market invited us to come in costume this summer and give a presentation to the public. The momentum is growing – literally!

At the Great March for Climate Action, two children came up to me and asked if I would put their film about Monsanto and GMOs on our website.  I recommend that you watch it … you will want to cheer! The creativity, message, and beauty of this amazing film won my heart! River and Jordan, children of Jenny Johnson, Martin Melendez, made this film for last years Monsanto Video Revolt.

So many thanks to everyone for this amazing time!

With love,

Rivera Sun

 

 

 

 

 

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Love-In-Action Taos Potluck Picnic, Community Parade, and Global Climate Convergence Events.

Rivera Sun, left and Kimo Ward, right of Love-In-Action Taos lead the Community Parade down Bent St. in Taos, NM during the Global Climate Convergence.

Rivera Sun, left and Kimo Ward, right of Love-In-Action Taos lead the Community Parade down Bent St. in Taos, NM during the Global Climate Convergence.

This week of activities was incredible. It really warmed my heart to see our Love-In-Action group being exactly what it intends to be in the world: love in action. Ken, Rick, Carol, Dariel, Sigrid, and I walked in the Global Peace Walk and Cherry Tree Planting Ceremony. Sigrid, Josie, Dariel, Rick, Carol, Erich, Ken, Aisling, and a few others joined the good-sized group who listened to Kathy Kelly speak about drones and Afghanistan. Several of you made it to my reading (thank you!) and Kimo, Patricia, Sigrid, Dariel, Rick, Carol, and Ken were all hands on deck during the 30mph winds that made our Convergence Day potluck picnic an adventure!

This is what I dreamed of when I formed Love-In-Action Network: that by gathering regularly, sharing cookies and conversation, we would find ourselves in a community of nonviolent action that appeared again and again on the issues that touched our hearts.

Thank you so much for being the change we wish to see in the world. From puppets to banners to catching wind-blown fliers to corn on the cob and burritos to your quiet attentive presences to snapping photos, I saw you all being love in action in a thousand ways this week. I am honored by your friendship and companionship in these times of great change.

Brave New Burro (the brass band) and a windblown Earth Flag carrier during the Global Climate Convergence Community Parade in Taos, NM.

Brave New Burro (the brass band) and a windblown Earth Flag carrier during the Global Climate Convergence Community Parade in Taos, NM.

May 12th is the next Love-In-Action Taos gathering. We’ll be discussing the upcoming arrival of the Great March for Climate Action (May 24th) and the same day March Against Monsanto. By the way, some of the Love-In-Action members were at the Strategy Session at the end of the Convergence … a woman there spoke about the beekeeper who is helping local landowners keep their agricultural status by leasing bees to them.  Perhaps we could help spread the word around the county about this opportunity and how bees help our whole environment.

On May 12th (6:30pm Unity of Taos), we can also discuss the Democracy School that Dariel and I attended directly after the Convergence, the Community Rights Ordinances, the Right to Climate, and the Rights of Nature. It’s an amazing movement that is growing around the country and we have an opportunity to join it. Other topics for May 12th are planning educational events such as the weekend of nonviolent action education we spoke about at the last meeting.

Love-In-Action member, Rick Brown, dressing a volunteer in his hand built Earth Puppet head costume before the Community Parade during the Global Climate Convergence in Taos, NM

Love-In-Action member, Rick Brown, dressing a volunteer in his hand built Earth Puppet head costume before the Community Parade during the Global Climate Convergence in Taos, NM

So much to be excited about!

With love,

Rivera Sun

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Love-In-Action Taos Talks About “The Issues”

 

A Love-In-Action Taos Note From Rivera Sun

A Love-In-Action Taos Note From Rivera Sun

At the last Love-In-Action Taos Gathering on April 14, 2014, we enjoyed vegan cookies and a long discussion about “The Issues”. Prior to this gathering, we had decided to hold an open conversation to explore the interwoven problems that we perceive in our world. This built common ground of understanding, and I believe I was not alone in discovering some new perspectives on our situation.

What follows is a very abbreviated list of the subjects/topics we discussed over the two and a half hours. You will notice that discussing the problems stimulated the creativity for finding solutions. I think most – if not all – of us left the meeting inspired, full of thought, and interested in diving in deeper.

I arrived at the meeting with the long flier of events for the upcoming Global Climate Convergence in Taos. Looking at the flier, one of our members, Kimo, (knowing full well how I had pulled these events out of thin air, listed them on the website, and suddenly found the cup over-floweth with rich discussions, talks, and actions) began to ponder the notion of Love-In-Action hosting a series of educational events: theme camps at festivals, workshops, teach-ins, film screenings. I mentioned that Brian Heater, our fellow Love-In-Action Network founder in Salem, OR, had also had this idea. He had considered hosting a Love-In-Action theme camp at an activist gathering coming up this summer.

A taste of Taos. This is a grazing fence on the mesa by Rivera's house.

A taste of Taos. This is a grazing fence on the mesa by Rivera’s house.

Another concept that emerged was the notion of teaching ourselves about nonviolent action, the issues, the solutions, etc. I found myself very intrigued by what would happen if our Love-In-Action group dedicated the time for a weekend immersion. Each of us could present something we found interesting, and also learn from our fellow members.

As we progress, we’ll find out how our Love-In-Action group (and all the groups across the country) expresses its heart in action. The possibilities are endless. Our first action in Taos is to host a Potluck Picnic during the main Convergence Day of our Global Climate Convergence: fending people, spreading picnic blankets, and building community.

We look forward to hearing updates from other Love-In-Action members and groups. It’s easy to post a short note to this website, by the way. Just leave a comment and I (Rivera) will pick it up in a day or so. Thank you! We’re sending you all blessings.

Rivera, Love-In-Action Taos

Notes from our discussion on “The Issues”

Notions:
No time for television. We are the news.
Know your history.
Find the messengers

Issues to explore more deeply:
Fox News as a propaganda machine: why does it work? How does it work?
Income inequality
Wealth controlling politics
Climate Change
Healthcare and Oil & Gas Industries as pillars of support for the controlling elite
Military Industrial Complex
Banning war profiteering
What would an exit strategy for the 1% look like?
How do we take back our culture?
Changing the narrative: How to get away from the GAG Me discussion (Guns, Abortion, Gay Marriage) and into the real issues?
Participatory Democracy
Changing the narrative: Why are economics the central value in civic decision-making?
The role of discourse in democracy
How to grow a movement?
What can we learn from Australia/Bhutan/Norway/Nation X?

Local issues (very partial list):
Water extraction for fossil fuel industry
Climate change impacts
Economic justice

Love-In-Action Ideas:
Love-In-Action theme camps at festivals or activism gatherings.
Weekend workshops
Free Skools
Teach-Ins
Live stream talks
Film Screenings
Report backs from members’ readings, studies, workshops and webinars
TV show screenings of the climate change series “Years of Living Dangerously” (note: 350.org is organizing these, we could easily get involved.)

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San Luis Obispo Love-In-Action group begins to form by facilitating Sacred Activism exchange.

Love in action is Thich Nhat Hahn's phrase to describe nonviolent action, but the idea has inspired many.

Love in action is Thich Nhat Hahn’s phrase to describe nonviolent action, but the idea has inspired many.

The San Luis Obispo Love-In-Action group is forming an online opportunity for the Tri-County area of San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties of California to discuss Sacred Activism. Bob Banner, coordinator for the group, is beginning the process by “creating a sacred activism facebook group in the tri county area to identify those people who have proclivities toward that idea and inviting them and sharing with them what they/we are interested in pursuing and to also express the importance of a deeper conversation setting from which to be heard, listened to and seen.”

If you live in these counties and would like to go deeper, contact: Bob Banner, HopeDance info@hopedance.org, phone 805 762 4848.

Also, if you live in these counties (or anywhere) and would like to form your own Love-In-Action group, please contact Rivera Sun rivera@riverasun.com and she’ll have a fun chat with you about how to get started!

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Taos Gathering Sings!

Greetings from Love-In-Action Taos! photo by Patricia Morningstar

Greetings from Love-In-Action Taos! photo by Patricia Morningstar

Dear Love-In-Action Network,

The Love-In-Action Network is a very humble and simple thing. We come together, we talk, we deepen through our gathering, and then we act together to help our world. There has been interest in this network from around the globe (Morocco, British Columbia, Mexico) and also many communities here in the United States. I want to encourage everyone to just do it! Start a local group. Invite your friends. Bake cookies. Talk.

Every Love-In-Action group develops from simple beginnings. Over time, they will have amazingly unique flavors. I want to share some reflections on our Taos, NM (USA) group. Hopefully, they will inspire you.

For our second Love-In-Action gathering, a young(er) woman and I asked to learn the old protest songs and spirituals. Little did we know the magic contained in these songs! At the risk of waxing poetic or sounding sentimental, I watched the room come alive through the songs. Pete Seeger believed that when we sing together, we have joined in spirit to sing. I felt that. I watched the “older” members of our group shine with the joy of sharing these songs. For me, asking to learn these songs was a way of honoring the generation of the 1960’s, and of tapping into what George Lakey calls “the accumulated revolutionary wisdom of the people”.

At this gathering, we also had a Christian and Muslim sitting next to each other, along with some Buddhist-Taoists (like myself) and other faiths, too. In these times of hate and war, I feel small moments of peace like this are worth mentioning and celebrating.

We spoke about our interests in Love-In-Action, our feelings of needing to find action in this time of great change, and our yearning for positive, constructive, and tangible efforts. One idea that caught the group’s interest was to pick up the litter that plagues our community, holding signs that say, “Please don’t litter” and “Love-In-Action Taos”. Many felt that a visible, humble, and practical contribution to our community was the perfect way to begin our efforts. We briefly explored the idea of how to use the litter picking up day as a meditation or an intentional focus of being Love in Action – which reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings. Can we practice compassion while engaging in practical action? I think we can.

At the next gathering in two weeks, we will use the World Cafe discussion model to dive deeper into our ideas for group efforts on the local and larger problems we want work together to address.

Please do not be shy. Leave a reply and I will email you back. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for … and the time is now. Join us.

With love,
Rivera Sun

P.S. Find us all on Facebook, too! https://www.facebook.com/groups/685127711519818/

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