Small Victories Issue 73

Originally posted on the Small Victories website

As we approach Memorial Day, we’re revisiting the classic Howard Zinn essay that prompted the Boston Globe to cancel his weekly column. Despite being published more than 40 years ago, it feels as relevant as ever: “Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us…

“Let the dead of past wars be honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.”

-Alison & Stephanie


1. We were disappointed that a bunch of moderate candidates beat out progressives in Democratic primaries this week (here’s a helpful primer on why that’s the case), but we’re still excited about a few notable wins:

🎉 Stacey Abrams won her Georgia primary, which means the state may elect America’s first black female governor—ever—this fall.

🎉 Lupe Valdez is now the first Latina and first openly LGBTQ candidate to become a major party’s gubernatorial nominee in Texas.

🎉 Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis and gun safety advocate, finished first in a four-way primary and is now headed to a run-off.

🎉 The Republican candidate who drove a super-racist “Deportation Bus” to Georgia’s sanctuary cities lost his race. #byeeee

2. Harvey Weinstein has been arrested in New York City on charges he raped and sexually assaulted two women.  

3. People in more than 30 states rallied against poverty, racism, and mass incarceration, as part of the Poor People’s Campaign—and Rev. William Barber was among hundreds arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience. (We love this short video of people singing while occupying Kris Kobach’s office!)

4. The Farm Bill was defeated in the House (for now), protecting millions of people who rely on the SNAP program and programs supporting environmental conservation efforts.

5. Remember that racist lawyer who threatened Spanish-speaking restaurant employees in New York last week? He was evicted from his office space, and protesters hired a mariachi band to play outside his apartment.

6. The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency board voted to make all city buses electric by 2035.

7. Volunteers from Fair Districts PA got over 12,000 signatures to support a solution to end gerrymandering, while Pennsylvania’s state government began taking steps in that direction as well.

8. New York and New Jersey are attempting to strengthen and grow unions as they await the Supreme Court’s verdict on a case that could weaken union power.

9. Hours after the Santa Fe shooting, students held die-ins outside Paul Ryan’s office to push for immediate gun reform, while Houston’s police chief spoke out against guns, leading to a battle with the NRA.

10. High schoolers are also organizing a National Die-In on June 12th to honor the second anniversary of the Pulse shooting.

11. And teenagers around the country are writing thousands of postcards to voters to help flip seats this fall. As 14-year-old Piya Rao said:

“I’ll initiate change and not just wait for it.”

12. We missed this last week when it opened in theaters, but Deadpool 2 is the first Hollywood superhero movie to feature an openly LGBTQ couple.

13. Alex Jones is heading to court over the disgusting lies he told about Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, because the victims’ families are suing him.

14. Thanks to a new law, single-user bathrooms in Vermont’s public buildings will now be gender neutral.  

15. A judge ruled that Trump can’t block users he doesn’t like from his Twitter feed… though we wouldn’t complain if he decided to block himself from Twitter altogether. 😬

16. A growing number of Congressional candidates are proposing to shut down ICE.

17. Following a successful five-year pilot program, Estonia is set to become the first country in the world to offer free public transit to its riders.  🚌

18. Canada is adding 1.6m hectares of land (double the size of Belgium) to its national parks, creating the largest protected boreal forest in the world.

Sorry, everyone—we have another correction from last week. We meant to say nearly a million students were out of class while 20,000 teachers marched to the North Carolina state Capitol to call for higher wages and classroom support.


Gratitude Journal

We’re thankful for Kara Brown’s hilarious blog about how making pasta is giving her peace of mind during these difficult times, and we’re feeling so much love for these newlyweds who survived the car attack in Charlottesville and got the wedding of their dreams (for free!).

And remember the launch of this new series of obituaries about remarkable people who were previously overlooked by The Times? Well, it’s now being developed into a TV series.

Your Weekly Songspiration

Small Victories Issue 73

Small Victories Issue 44Small Victories is brought to you with support from Peace is Loud.

Posted in Blog, Small Victories