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10 Good Things About a TERRIBLE Year


D.C. Climate March, Apr 29, 2017.
Photo Credit: Amaury Laporte/Flickr


Every year we do a list of 10 good things about the year. This year, we was about to skip it. Let’s face it: It has been a quite terrible year for anyone with a on-going agenda. When we recently asked a distinguished romantic how she was doing, she took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, “Everything I’ve been operative on for 50 years has left down the toilet.”  

With so many good people feeling depressed, let’s indicate to the certain things that happened, even in this really, really bad year.  

1. #MeToo transformation has empowered victims of passionate nuisance and assault, and speedy accountability. Those two tiny difference tangible a social media-based transformation in which women, and some men, have come brazen to publicly share their stories of passionate attack and harassment, and display their abusers. The movement—and fallout—spread globally, with the hashtag trending in at slightest 85 countries. The aplomb and oneness of these victims of passionate abuse will help build a future in which parole for passionate predators is no longer the norm.

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2. The year has seen an blast of grassroots organizing, protest, and activism. An active and formidable suggestion of rebel has blossomed in the face of a frightening domestic meridian during Donald Trump’s presidency. On January 21, two million people took to the streets in Women’s Marches opposite the universe as a show of oneness against Trump’s sinister and misogynistic rhetoric. On January 29, thousands collected in airports around the country to criticism Trump’s xenophobic and unconstitutional Muslim ban. In April, 200,000 people assimilated the People’s Climate Mar to mount up to the administration’s forward position on climate. In July, incapacity rights activists staged vast actions on Capitol Hill in response to the GOP’s vicious and life-threatening health caring bill. In Nov and December, “Dreamers” stable by Obama’s sustenance called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) stormed the Hill to direct a deputy for that program, which Trump finished in September. New groups like Indivisible have helped millions of Americans confront their members of Congress, roughly 24,000 people joined the Democratic Socialists of America, and organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have seen vast surges in donations.

3. We’re already seeing rebukes of Trump at the list box. A call of Democratic electoral victories swept some doubtful regions of the country, showing renouned rejecting of Donald Trump and his party. Republican gubernatorial claimant Ed Gillespie, who ran a shameless race-baiting campaign, lost by a far-reaching domain to Democrat Ralph Northam in Virginia. In New Jersey, Phil Murphy handily degraded Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, making that state the seventh in the republic with Democratic control over legislative and executive branches. In Alabama’s special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ empty Senate seat, Democrat Doug Jones took the lead over alleged sexual predator Roy Moore—an startling win in a low red state, propelled mostly by black voters. Danica Roem in Virginia, who ran against a virulently anti-LGBTQ opponent, became the first plainly transgender person inaugurated as a US legislator. Her win finished 26 years of Republican order in that district. And in Virginia’s 50th district, self-described approved revolutionary Lee Carter defeated powerful Republican nominee Jackson Miller.

4. The first organisation of J20 protesters, people arrested in Washington DC on the day of Trump’s inauguration, were found not guilty. It was a frightful year for the 194 protesters, reporters and medics against mixed transgression charges, including rioting and skill destruction, that could have resulted in jail terms of up to 60 years. The state’s try to collectively retaliate almost 200 people for skill drop committed by a handful is an vast instance of legal overreach in an epoch in which First Amendment rights are under siege. On Dec 21, however, the jury returned 42 apart not-guilty verdicts for the first 6 defendants to mount trial. Their exculpation on all charges hopefully portends some-more non-guilty verdicts for the remaining 188 defendants and gives a boost to the simple rights of free debate and assembly.

5. Chelsea Manning was expelled from jail after 7 years. Army Pvt. Manning was first incarcerated in 2010 and eventually convicted of violating the Espionage Act after she leaked troves of papers exposing abuses by the US military, including a video of American helicopters banishment on unarmed civilians in Baghdad, Iraq. She was condemned to 35 years in prison. She developed post-traumatic highlight commotion in jail and was regularly denied medical diagnosis for her gender dysphoria. The Army finally postulated her the diagnosis after she went on a craving strike. On Jan 17, 2017, President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, and she was expelled in May. We owe Chelsea Manning a debt of thankfulness for her devoted joining to exposing the crimes of U.S. empire.

6. Cities and states have committed to certain meridian initiatives, despite sovereign regression. Twenty states and 110 cities sealed “America’s Pledge,” a joining to hang to Obama-era meridian goals even after Trump’s catastrophic decision to repel from the Paris Climate Accords. In December, a organisation of 36 cities sealed the “Chicago Charter,” an agreement to revoke hothouse emissions and guard any others progress. These pacts denote renouned view and domestic will, at the local, city and state level, to fight the corporate oligarchs who continue meridian chaos.  

7. Trump’s presidency has deepened the vicious inhabitant review about injustice and white supremacy. The Black Lives Matter movement, which started under Obama’s administration, unprotected this nation’s systemic racism. The feat of Donald Trump emboldened white supremacists, as evidenced in the aroused Charlottesville neo-Nazi convene in August. But the year has also seen a call of antithesis to racism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism that includes the toppling of combine flags and statues, against hatred speech, demanding the dismissal of white supremacists Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller from the White House (two of the 3 are gone), and building clever interfaith alliances locally and nationally.

8. This was the year the universe pronounced no to nuclear weapons. While Donald Trump taunted North Korea’s Kim Jung Un (“Little Rocket Man”) and threatened to rip up the Iran nuclear deal, on July 7, 122 of the world’s nations showed their rejecting of nuclear weapons by adopting an ancestral Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty. The treaty, against by all 9 nuclear states, is now open for signatures and the anathema will come into outcome 90 days after being validated by 50 states. The classification that promoted this anathema is The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), an fondness of 450 nongovernmental organizations in about 100 countries. It was stirring to learn that ICAN was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The covenant and the Peace Prize are indications that despite the intransigence of the nuclear-armed states, the global village is dynamic to anathema nuclear weapons.

9. ISIS no longer has a caliphate. For assent activists, it’s tough to put onward military actions as victories, generally when these actions catch a vast municipal toll. This is indeed the case with ISIS, where at slightest 9,000 civilians were killed in the battle to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. But we do have to acknowledge that holding divided ISIS’ territorial bottom has put a stop to some of the group’s horrific human rights abuses. It will also hopefully make it easier to find a allotment to the awful wars that have been distracted in Syria and Iraq, and give the supervision one reduction forgive for transfer so much of the resources into the military..  

10. The global village stood up to Trump’s position on Jerusalem. In a severe reprove of President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to declare Jerusalem the collateral of Israel, 128 countries, including some of the US’s many devoted and arguable allies, voted in preference of a United Nations resolution calling for a annulment of his position. Despite the hazard from US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley that the US would be “taking names” of those who voted against it, only nine countries voted with the US and 25 abstained. The fortitude isn’t binding, but it’s a sheer painting of just how removed the United States is in its position toward Israel.

As we conduct into the new year, let’s keep ourselves desirous by the tough work of folks at home and abroad who gave us something to hearten about for 2017. May we have a much longer list in 2018. 

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the assent organisation CodePink. Her latest book is Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection (OR Books, Sep 2016).



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