Freedom Socialist Soapbox: 20 good things in 2014

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The world sucks. It seems a dark and dangerous place. The stream of news about the evil doings by imperialists, opportunist politicians, and thugs appears to prove the point. Even Noam Chomsky recently wrote “human civilization … may now be approaching its inglorious end.”

Sounds like we should all just check out and give up. We can’t really change any of this, right?

Hell yeah, we can! Good things are happening all around us. This year many stood up to the rich and powerful and said, Enough!

Below are 20 examples, courtesy of fearless and militant rebels around the globe. I hope it inspires you to pump your fist in the air and continue the fight!

Let’s take a tour around the Americas:

1. The community of Ferguson, Mo., pushes back hard against institutional racism and police abuse, in light of the August cop slaying of Michael Brown.

2. Students and workers throughout Mexico are up in arms over the massacre of 46 student teachers, orchestrated by police and drug gangs in the state of Guerrero.

3. The fight for a $15 minimum wage goes national and viral, spreading to other countries.

4. Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative took her seat on Seattle’s City Council in January, expanding the discussion on radical ideas and solutions.

5. The Moral Mondays movement spreads across the U.S. South, developing into a multi-issue, multi-racial force against rollbacks in civil rights and social services.

6. In October, Philadelphia high school students walked out from their classes because “every single teacher in the district” has been threatened with slashed benefits.

7. Indigenous women lead protests over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipelines. They have so far stymied the project’s approval by the Obama administration.

8. In July, farmers in El Salvador united to block a stipulation in a U.S. aid package that would require the purchase of Monsanto genetically modified seeds.

9. Victor Toro, a former political prisoner of the Pinochet regime in Chile, won a seven-year court battle against deportation and in October got his green card.

10. Lynne Stewart, radical attorney imprisoned since 2009 for her defense of the oppressed, arrived home on New Year’s Day after public pressure helped win her release.

And moving across the globe:

11. Women in Spain defeated the ultraright’s attempt to reverse the 2010 law that legalized abortion on demand.

12. Young homeless moms in London occupy abandoned flats and turn them into free housing for the needy after budget cuts force evictions from public housing.

13. In August, a united front organized in Melbourne, Australia reduced the right-wing World Congress of Families (WCF) gathering from thousands to a mere coffee klatch of the most hard core.

14. The University and College Union, representing professors in 69 universities throughout England, strike in November to protest rollbacks in pensions.

15. The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) announced its break with the ANC, and plans to work toward a socialist united front.

16. Forces of the leftist YPG (Peoples Defense Units) in Syria, many of whom are women, have engaged in fierce and effective combat against the right-wing ISIS.

17. The Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories continues to gain momentum, logging several victories.

18. In May, the “Bentley Blockade” in Australia forced the Minister for Resources and Energy to suspend Metgasco’s exploration license for the Rosella natural gas reserve.

19. Protests against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement have grown across the Asia Pacific region, despite information blackouts by participating governments.

20. Millions of people turned out in thousands of cities around the world for the September 21 climate change marches and events.

So let the pundits and cynics preach their doom and gloom. The rest of us will be out creating the world we need and deserve!

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