Jun 4, 2018 by

Democracy Now! by Amy Goodman

Working for peace is among the most important and noble of human endeavors. Individuals might feel powerless when confronted with a nation intent on going to war, but history shows that movements matter; that small acts of defiance and dissent can ripple out and create change. Noam Chomsky is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor emeritus of linguistics, a field of science that he revolutionized. He is perhaps best known, though, as one of the world’s most prolific analysts of US foreign policy. He has authored over a hundred books and still, in his late eighties, is a tireless writer and speaker on issues of war and peace. In the early 1990s, Chomsky wrote an essay called “What You Can Do,” which reads in part,

One of the things [people in power] want is a passive, quiescent population. So one of the things that you can do to make life uncomfortable for them is not be passive and quiescent. There are lots of ways of doing that. Even just asking questions can have an important effect. Demonstrations, writing letters and voting can all be meaningful—it depends on the situation. But the main point is—it’s got to be sustained and organized. If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that’s something, but the people in power can live with that. What they can’t live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, organizations that keep doing things, people who keep learning lessons from the last time and doing it better the next time.

Covering social movements like those Chomsky was writing about, reporting on efforts to effect lasting change—the movements that make history—that is our daily labor at Democracy Now! The global protest on February 15, 2003, didn’t stop the invasion of Iraq. We can’t know for sure what impact it had, or continues to have, as the demands of those thirty million marchers continue to reverberate. Thousands of individuals and groups around the world continue to work for peace, each contributing a small share to what Martin Luther King Jr. called, in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, “the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.”

Read more here.

Watch a video of Amy Goodman speaking at last year’s Bioneers conference.

Wise Words

“So many people feel connected to the climate change movement and it’s important for everyone who’s involved, whether they’re a school teacher in the UK or a farmer in Burundi, to see themselves in this movement. So the more leaders who reflect the diversity of the movement, the broader, the bigger, the stronger the movement will be.”

—May Boeve, executive director of, discussing the importance of representation of diverse populations within the environmental movement, in an interview with The Guardian

See Boeve speak on climate change at Bioneers 2018.

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