A small but determined group of mostly senior citizens can stop the corporate swine breeding industry from wrecking their quality of water, air, health, and life. Sand Mountain Concerned Citizens did it, in Ider, Alabama! Activists can bridge the pro and anti-war communities to find common ground surrounding the human cost of the ongoing military occupations. The Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial Installation in New Mexico has managed to bring these two disparate groups together using photographs of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Central Falls, Rhode Island. Months before the Wall Street meltdown, Rhode Island was experiencing its worst budget crisis in recent history. Instead of our politicians taking personal responsibility for bad planning, bad fiscal management, and top-heavy administration, the blame was placed squarely on undocumented immigrants who were accused of costing the state “millions” without any supporting data.
Dixon, New Mexico. A blanket of radioactive pollution is covering the surface of our planet. And where we live, downwind of the 42-square mile facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), there may be even higher concentrations of radioactive materials. To find out, the Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group (EVEMG) has been testing our downwind environment - the Rio Embudo Watershed. Throughout the unique, prime farmland of the Rio Embudo Watershed are traditional land-based communities. We depend culturally and economically on a watershed that is free of contamination.
Boise, Idaho. It snowed today, big, wet, three-inch fluffy flakes 5.5 inches on the mountain rising from the edge of town. It is only October 10. The world is falling apart around us, folks aren't sure if they'll ever get to retire, much less stay in their homes, and mother nature sends us a picture postcard.
Oak Park, Illinois. It's 2002. The room is electric with anticipation. What our organization had set up as a routine speaking event has evolved into a community-wide controversy. Scheduled to appear at a local synagogue are two Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories - "refusniks." Abruptly, the event is cancelled and our group scrambles for another venue for the event, part of the soldiers' national tour. We find a new setting - the local high school - and despite intense pressure the refuseniks speak to a standing-room-only crowd.
South Pasadena, California. The Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools (CAMS) was formed in Los Angeles in 2004 after the invasion of Iraq. We were responding to the troubling reality that young people like the ones we knew in the high schools of Los Angeles would be the ones sent to war. The military recruitment of high school students was personal to me as a Speech and Language Specialist assigned to high schools in East Los Angeles. I knew what the recruiters were saying to the students, and I knew how vulnerable they were.
Northampton, Massachusetts. Imagine you have grown up with a history of childhood beatings, neglect, homelessness, and malnourishment. Imagine that the trauma of such an upbringing causes you to hear voices, or to scream when a shadow lurks at you, or to become so sleep-deprived that your behavior becomes hypervigilant. Then imagine you seek out help to improve your health and that the doctors put almost all of the blame on you and your "broken brain" or your "broken body." They find a name for your "illness" and that name is "bipolar" or "schizophrenia," and it's not "survivor."
Durham, North Carolina: When the Carolina Justice Policy Center was established in 1975, our founders were energized by the humanity of those living inside prison walls and challenged by the reinstatement of the death penalty in North Carolina. The founders' determination yielded an organization that continues to fight injustices in the criminal justice system in North Carolina through advocacy and education.
Lincoln, Nebraska: I live an hour away from one of the most dangerous places on the face of the earth. Offutt Air Base, just outside Omaha, Nebraska, is not only the historic headquarters of America's nuclear deterrent, it's now the command center for waging the White House's "War on Terror" and for militarily dominating space.