Tag Archives: organizing

Ash Wednesday, Sage Thursday: Walking prayer and protest


I missed getting my forehead smudged with ashes on Ash Wednesday, on the slushy, icy road out of the Twin Cities by sunrise. On Thursday, I walked out of the house into a cold sunrise, heading for the Lake Street Bridge and a different kind of smudging in another holy ritual. Continue reading

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Filed under environment, human rights, Latin America, organizing, race, religion

How to read the news without getting sick


Are you suffering from information overload illness? Does reading the news give you insomnia, heightened anxiety, indigestion, panic attacks, depression, migraines, or uncontrollable rage? If you suffer from any of these reactions, then here’s a four-step prescription that can help. Continue reading

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I believe that we will win


Across the country, people are marching, calling, emailing, suing, resisting in every possible way. And it is working. Here are three ways to know that all the effort you/we are making DO HAVE AN IMPACT. We will not win easily. We will not win quickly. We will win ground one inch at a time, and the cost will be high, but we will win. So – testimony from Pennsylvania, a list of wins and partial wins, and Winona LaDuke on Native American resistance to pipelines. Continue reading

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Water is life


Eryn Wise, with her niece.  Courtesy photo

“We are caretakers,” says Eryn Wise. “We are life givers. We are keepers and protectors of the sacred. I think women more than most people understand the connection to water. Simply because we are born from it and we carry it inside of us to give life to others.”

Women have stood at the center of the Standing Rock water protectors since the beginning. The water protectors began their first encampment, Sacred Stone Camp, on April 1, 2016, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. They insist that the pipeline violates indigenous and treaty rights, as well as endangers the drinking water of people who live on the reservation and millions more downstream.  Continue reading

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Filed under gender, organizing, race, refugees

Staying sane in crazy times


November 9 was awful. This week feels even worse. Are you feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, or panicked? Do you find yourself crying, hyper-ventilating, or sick to your stomach? Yeah – you’re not alone. And for all of us who need a reminder, here are some coping mechanisms from friends and experts — some ways to take care of yourself and still keep fighting. Continue reading


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Two days, two marches, one message


Today’s Women’s Marches seem destined for history books, with half a million marchers in DC, 60,000 here in St. Paul, and hundreds of other marches around the country. As I walked to downtown St. Paul from the march, a man at a bus stop called out to me: “They shut down Michigan Avenue! Way to go, y’all!” If the whole world was watching, we gave them a picture of widespread resistance to the new regime. Continue reading

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Protesting the Inauguration

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UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL EVENTS 1/19, 8 P.M. – At the checkout counter at Target, the clerk noted the Black Lives Matter button on my coat and asked me, “Going to the march?” I told her yes, and she went on to say that the website was down this morning, so she had been unable to sign in. She was talking about Saturday’s Minnesota Women’s March. That’s not the only march this week (and not the only one I plan to go to.)

I’ve noticed that the various demonstrations, while all protesting the incoming administration, sometimes seem to draw from entirely different communities that don’t talk to each other. For example, I’ve talked to friends who are going to the Minnesota Women’s March on Saturday, but haven’t heard of the Resist From Day One mega-march on Friday. I’ve seen calendars that list one or the other, but no calendars that list both. Besides the two big marches, many smaller events also offer ways to join in solidarity. So – here’s my big list of inauguration protests in the Twin Cities, quite likely incomplete, but with plenty of ways to opt in. Continue reading

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Because this is OUR country: Myrlie Evers Williams on Martin Luther King Day


Myrlie Evers-Williams at the Missouri Theatre in 2015. Photo by Mark Schierbecker, published under Creative Commons license.

She heard the shots ring out, that long-ago summer night. Inside the house, she heard her husband’s car pull up, and then the shots that killed him. One of the bullets came through the living room window, into the house where she and their three small children waited for a father who would never walk in the door again.

At today’s Martin Luther King Day breakfast, Myrlie Evers Williams recalled that night, Continue reading

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Filed under human rights, organizing, race

Dave Snyder’s very good idea


Dave Snyder on MNA picket line (photo courtesy of Dave Snyder.)

In this increasingly awful political climate, I resolve to write to or call a politician every week, even when it feels like throwing words into the wind. Beyond words, I resolve to put my body on the line, some line, some march, some meeting, some protest, once every week.

One difficulty comes in choosing who to call and about what, with emails and Facebook messages and texts pouring in, each of them urgently asking me to contact Congress about X, where X is some godawful cabinet appointment, some threat to civil rights, some new move to roll back health care coverage or Medicare or workers rights or consumer protection. Dave Snyder is a friend, an organizer, and a very smart guy. With his permission, I want to share one of his recent Facebook posts, which offers a very good idea about making activism effective. I hope someone or some organization picks it up and runs with it. Continue reading

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Words matter


Tish Jones, courtesy photo

As long as she can remember, Tish Jones has loved words, loved writing and loved being on a stage. A self-identified student of hip-hop culture, she traces her passion for words to African diasporic cultural practices, including the griot, hip-hop, jazz, funk, bebop and blues. Now she’s a poet, spoken word artist, and the executive director of TruArtSpeaks – an organization she founded to cultivate spaces for youth and community, especially through hip-hop and spoken word. Continue reading

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Filed under gender, organizing, race, writing