Must-Reads and Some Thoughts on Healing and Refusal

We are all worth fighting for, and nothing that’s happening in the world has changed that.

Must-Reads and Some Thoughts on Healing and Refusal
This is a selfie of me and Harsha Walia in the woods last week. I chose this photo because Harsha is featured in this week's episode of Movement Memos and because I am stressing the importance of relationships this week (and also because it makes me happy).

Your weekly curated list of must-reads is here, but first, there’s a new episode of Movement Memos that I want to share with you. In the first episode of a non-consecutive series on mental health and healing, I talk with William C. Anderson, Robyn Maynard, Harsha Walia, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Mahdi Sabbagh, and others about the crises of trauma, grief, and overwhelm in our communities, and the kind of healing activists need to stay in the fight.

I recorded this episode in the Northwest Territories at a land-based solidarity gathering on Dene land. The Dechinta camp was such a healing experience for me, and I wanted to share some of the catharsis and renewal I found there with my readers and listeners. While a transcript is available, I highly recommend checking out the audio on this one, as it includes music from Dene artists who performed at the camp. If you need some healing energy, don’t miss this one.


From nightmarish Supreme Court decisions to Google’s ballooning carbon footprint and tiny saunas for frogs, here are some of the most important articles I’ve read this week. (For a deeper understanding of the recent SCOTUS disasters, check out the first half of the list.)

“Designed to be Cruel”: How Grants Pass Will Ramp Up the Policing of Homelessness by Camille Squires. “A huge part of the history of policing in the United States was about controlling public behavior for the benefit of politically privileged groups. During the 19th century, and through the 20th century, we saw explicit criminalization ordinances, quite similar to the ones we see today, start to be utilized by police departments to control the visibility of people who are sleeping in encampments.”

The Supreme Court Has Made It Official: US Presidents Are Now Monarchs by Marjorie Cohn. “Last December, Trump vowed that if elected, he would be a ‘dictator on day one’ and promised ‘retribution’ against his political rivals. Now he will presumably be immunized for those despotic pursuits.”

The Supreme Court Just Limited Federal Power. Health Care Is Feeling the Shockwaves by Stephanie Armour. “Health policy leaders say patients, providers, and health systems should brace for more uncertainty and less stability in the health care system. Even routine government functions such as deciding the rate to pay doctors for treating Medicare beneficiaries could become embroiled in long legal battles that disrupt patient care or strain providers to adapt.”

Supreme Court strikes down Chevron, curtailing power of federal agencies by Amy Howe. “Friday’s ruling came in one of three cases during the 2023-24 term seeking to curtail the power of federal agencies – a conservative effort sometimes dubbed the ‘war on the administrative state.’”

Project 2025 Leader Touts SCOTUS’s Role in Aiding “Second American Revolution” by Sharon Zhang. “‘[I] just want to encourage you with some substance that we are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be,’ Roberts said.”

The “Land of the Free” Has Been the Enemy of Freedom Around the World by Eman Abdelhadi. “From sea to shining sea, I want liberation from billionaires, corporations and right-wing lobbies. I want choice beyond two decrepit parties that are neither by nor for the people.”

Under increasing pressure to migrate, more women are dying at the US-Mexico border by Jessica Kutz. “Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat because they have a harder time controlling their body temperature and get dehydrated more quickly.”

A fungus is killing frogs. Homemade saunas might save them, scientists say by Kyle Melnick. “A fungal infection some scientists consider one of the worst wildlife diseases of all time is wreaking havoc on the global frog population. Now, scientists say they’ve discovered a way to help frogs fight back: tiny saunas.”

The End of Liberal Institutionalism by Hamilton Nolan. “Laws are made up. They are made up by people in service of larger goals. What’s real are not the laws, but the goals. The ideals. The corporate powers that want to be free to maximize their profits no matter what the public harm understand this quite well.”

Generative AI is a climate disaster by Paris Marx. “Generative AI is an environmental disaster that’s accelerating natural destruction and the climate crisis at the very moment alarms are sounding about the precious little time that remains to turn things around.”

Final Thoughts

Well, there’s a lot happening in the world, and a lot of it’s bad. Hurricane Beryl wreaked havoc after becoming the earliest category 5 storm to form in the Atlantic. The storm surged from a tropical depression to a category 5 hurricane in less than 48 hours, smashing yet another record. This, of course, is only the beginning of what’s expected to be a historic hurricane season. Nearly half the population of the United States is under some kind of heat advisory as a historic heatwave grips California and western states. Meanwhile, tech companies are producing more emissions than ever as they pursue AI technologies that have only furthered the enshittification of the internet. 

The Supreme Court has screwed us all over spectacularly. When I look at the damage they’ve already done and how people have settled into those realities, I am, of course, concerned for the future. Rage-driven donations to abortion funds, for example, died off some time ago, and people who do the work of helping pregnant people access abortions are struggling. In red states, where accessing an abortion legally involves out-of-state travel, many funds are overwhelmed, and some have had to pause their services. My friend Mariame Kaba has been uplifting the Palmetto State Abortion Fund in South Carolina, where abortion is only legal within the first six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most people realize they are pregnant. 

Obviously, donations alone are not enough to build a culture of resistance around reproductive health, but we cannot abandon pregnant people whose bodily autonomy is being wrestled away from them. Helping those people assert control over their bodies, health, and futures is part of the struggle ahead. If we abandon those people, that devastating failure bodes poorly for all of us. To survive together in these times, we must build a rebellious culture of care that embodies our refusal to abandon one another, not as a passing sentiment, but as a way of life. Mariame and I talk about this a lot in Let This Radicalize You, and I touched on it this week in an essay for this newsletter. 

The worst thing we could do right now is recoil from what’s scaring us and disappear into escapism. If you feel helpless, it’s time to figure out what you can do and ground yourself in action. I appreciated the advice in this piece from Ijeoma Oluo. Oluo outlines a series of sensible practices that can help us orient ourselves in this moment when it feels like so many things are falling apart. 

We have known for some time that we are living in apocalyptic times. There are moments when the level of catastrophe the world is experiencing feels closer or more threatening, and at such times, our reactions are more visceral. But when we look at climate catastrophe and other global threats that vulnerable people around the world are less insulated from, it’s clear that our situation has been quite extreme for some time. We in the United States have a habit of clinging to normalcy as the world burns. Now, as the situation at home spirals further, we must decide whether we will choose to organize and build power like people living amid catastrophe or retreat inward, burying ourselves in escapism. I am asking you to do the former. Figure out what you need to do. If you don’t know where to begin, refer to the last edition of this newsletter. Come what may, we will need strong networks of community members who are deeply invested in their shared values and one another’s survival. Now is the time to build those connections, sharpen your skills, and build the rebellious culture of care we’ll need to defend each other in this decaying empire. 

To wage the fight ahead, we need to make space for joy and grief, and we have to work hard, fam. If you don’t know how to do the work that’s required of us, it’s time to learn. (In addition to reading Let This Radicalize You, I strongly recommend the resource list in the Let This Radicalize You Workbook. You can get a free PDF copy of the workbook or order a hard copy here.) What’s most important is that we do not give up on each other. We are all worth fighting for, and nothing that’s happening in the world has changed that. So let’s gear up for the long fight, and let’s love each other fiercely. These are uncertain times, so let’s make every day count.

Much love,


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