Small Victories Issue 34

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This week, we’re thinking of an essay written by the late historian and civil rights organizer Vincent Harding, where he asks the question, “Is America possible?” He goes on to say,

“It is precisely in a period of great spiritual and societal hunger like our own that we most need to open minds, hearts, and memories to those times when women and men actually dreamed of new possibilities for our nation, for our world, and for their own lives. It is now that we may be able to convey the stunning idea that dreams, imagination, vision, and hope are actually powerful mechanisms in the creation of new realities—especially when the dreams go beyond speeches and songs to become embodied; to take on flesh, in real, hard places…

“Today, we are called to sing in our dreams and say with our actions that America (the America of Langston and Malcolm and Ella and Anne Braden and all the marchers and mourners and organizers) is possible, is necessary, is coming.

“We need to give our greatest energies to the creation of the country that does not yet exist.”

Your weekly songspiration


1. The White House banned Bannon. #anothercreepgone #morecreepstogo

2. The pushback against the alt-right and white supremacy continues, in large and small ways. After tens of thousands of people demonstrated against it, a tiny alt-right rally in Boston ended early. (These videos are everything.) Plus, hundreds rallied in Durham, NC to stop a KKK march that never materialized, and in rural California, the group Calaveras Rising brought 15 people, including our reader Lee, out into the streets to stand up for peace and equality. And then there was Trump’s recent rally in Phoenix, with a small crowd that got so bored they left, while huge protests gathered outside.

Photos from Boston by Stephanie Keith/Reuters & Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Nearly two weeks after the crisis in Charlottesville, four felony arrest warrants were issued for one of the most visible white supremacists from the rally, and he turned himself in to the police. Meanwhile, the Charlottesville city council voted to shroud Confederate statues in black to make it easier to remove them, and residents took over their meeting, demanding answers and accountability. And the Solidarity Cville organizers need your help.

4. The removal of hateful monuments around the country continues:
👉  The University of Texas at Austin got rid of Confederate statues from its Main Mall.
👉  New York City is taking steps to remove “symbols of hate”—beginning with this one.
👉  Maryland took down a statue of the judge who upheld slavery in the Dred Scott decision.

5. Racist and white supremacist groups are having a harder time promoting hate. After protests, the Norwegian cruise line canceled a far-right cruise; at least four schools refusedto host Richard Spencer’s events; and alt-right organizers themselves canceled 67 rallies in 36 states, moving online instead. Plus, after activist groups have pressured them for months, more and more charities are canceling events at Mar-a-Lago. #seeyalateralligator

6. Liberty University graduates are returning their diplomas to protest the school president’s support for Trump.

7. After the success of the Black Mamas Mother’s Day Bailout, the queer liberation group Southerners on New Ground launched a Black August bailout to bring incarcerated black women, including queer and trans women, home to their families.

8. An ACLU lawsuit led to the first-ever settlement of a case against the CIA over their use of torture.

9. After North Carolina lawmakers revealed their newly-proposed, and very troubling, voter maps, hundreds of people came out to voice their disapproval and proposed their own maps. #backtothedrawingboard

10. A populist mayoral candidate in Birmingham, AL received an unexpectedly high percentage of the primary vote and is headed to a runoff on October. This may not have happened without support from Our Revolution, who are creating a movement of leftist candidates running for—and winning—local office:

“The media will talk about congressional races, sure; but I think what we are seeing is a revolution at the local level.”

11. Missouri’s governor halted a man’s execution and ordered further investigation of his DNA evidence.

12. Students defrauded by Corinthian College should soon be able to receive an additional $183 million in loan forgiveness, thanks to years of work by Strike Debt and the brave students who led a debt strike.

13. Federal judges delivered two promising rulings: one stating that Arizona’s ban on Mexican-American studies is racist, and the other permanently blocking Texas’s voter ID law.

14. Trump administration resignations are flooding in:
👉  In the latest move to trump Trump’s messaging tricks, the Presidential Arts Council announced they were quitting with a hidden message enclosed.
👉  Trump’s science envoy publicly resigned—with his own special note included.
👉  The Department of Commerce’s Digital Economy board co-chairs, and others, split.
👉  Members of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council announced their departure.
👉  The first pastor has resigned from Trump’s evangelical advisory board.
👉  With mounting pressure over his conflicts of interest, Carl Icahn quit too.

15. International achievements: Lebanon joins Jordan and Tunisia in repealing the law that allowed rapists to marry their victims; the Indian supreme court protected the right to freedom of sexual orientation and banned “instant divorce;” and McDonald’s workers in London are poised to go on strike for the first time, fighting for a living wage, guaranteed hours, and recognition of their union.

As we head into the weekend, we’re reflecting on this note by legendary comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away this week. #restinpower

P.S. We endorse marching to the beat of your drummer, just like this guy. ​

P.P.S. “Keep pushing.” ❤❤❤

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