The issue you hold in your hands is the first of our new, bigger, every-other-month editions.
As I mentioned last month, and as our publisher Norm Stockwell elaborates in his letter on the inside front cover, from now on we will be producing less frequent, more in-depth print magazines in order to marshal our resources and deliver the best magazine to you that we can, while creating some exciting new features online. Most of all, we are concentrating our energy on covering the burgeoning resistance to Donald Trump.
To that end, in this issue, we have a whole section called Voices of the Resistance, with on-the-ground reports on grassroots organizing—for reproductive rights, for labor and the environment, to defend Muslim Americans, support religious diversity, provide sanctuary to immigrants, drive the legislative pushback to the Trump agenda, and build local coalitions that will nurture a more progressive future.
Sarah van Gelder, co-founder of Yes! Magazine, stopped by our offices recently to talk with our staff about her new book, The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000-Mile Journey Through a New America. As she writes in this issue, van Gelder firmly believes that the action in progressive politics is at the local level.
Being rooted in our communities nourishes us, encourages us, and makes it impossible to give up on trying to build a better future—for ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones.
That’s an important perspective in these days of relentless bad news from Washington, D.C.
It’s the same point of view expressed by Kali Akuno in his piece on building a cooperative economy in Jackson, Mississippi, and how that effort is feeding the resistance to racist Republican policies at both the state and national levels.
There are so many exciting connections we can begin to make. I nearly jumped out of my chair reading Jonathan Rosenblum’s story about the original Fight for $15 campaign in the Seattle area, and how the successful drive for a living wage began with a historic decision by the Teamsters union to defend Muslim immigrants against discrimination on the job.
Bland boilerplate talk about diversity does not adequately capture the thrill of seeing real solidarity develop among people who have previously viewed each other as strangers.
The power of the alliances we can build is inspiring—whether it’s Rosenblum’s story about Teamsters sticking up for their Muslim brothers and sisters at work, or the alliance Kate Aronoff writes about between blue-collar unionists and green activists, or the many ways people are using the creative and versatile philosophy of nonviolent resistance to authoritarian regimes first developed by Gene Sharp, profiled in this issue by James VanHise.
We recently lost two great fighters for justice and longtime friends of The Progressive.
Cecilia Zárate-Laun, founder of the Colombia Support Network, who dedicated her life to peace, passed away in February. I traveled with Cecilia on the first peace delegation she led from the United States to Colombia back in 1992, and watched with admiration as she fought bravely to defend the civilians who were being slaughtered with U.S. complicity in that country’s dirty war. Cecilia and her husband, Jack, played a role in bringing about the historic peace agreement between the FARC guerillas and the government of Colombia, and wrote about it in our December/January issue. Cecilia was just one person, but her life changed the world.
Ed Garvey, the great people’s advocate and founder of Fighting Bob Fest, inspired a generation of rabble rousers. Ed passed away the week before we went to press. We republished several of his Progressive articles online, along with our remembrances of him. Jim Hightower has a lovely column about Ed in this issue.
Ed’s sense of justice and his sense of humor will long outlive him.