This week’s round-up of nonviolence news, events, resources, and jobs.
- There is no significant statistical relationship between the presence of violent flanks and either nonviolent campaign success or failure, the result of violent flanks having both negative and positive effects that cancel each other out when taken together.
- Violent flanks that emerge from within otherwise nonviolent campaigns appear to decrease these campaigns’ likelihood of success.
- Mass participation is the strongest determinant of nonviolent campaign success, and violent flanks have a negative effect on participation levels, suggesting that violent flanks can indirectly contribute to campaign failure.
- In case studies, armed movements were consistently shown not to protect nonviolent activists but rather to put them at greater risk, as authorities used the presence of armed actors to justify widespread repression against all resistance movements, violent and nonviolent alike.
- Research shows that, “on average, maximalist nonviolent campaigns often succeed despite violent flanks—rarely because of them.”
Jesus and Nonviolence
Richard Rohr of Center for Contemplation and Action (CAC) is always inspiring, and recently has posted several daily messages about Jesus and nonviolence, as well as nonviolence itself. Highly recommended for those of us of the spiritual or ‘principled’ persuasion.
We’re excited to let you know that Resistance School is Back in Session! Check out Semester Two … We’re also thrilled to announce that we now have a second campus: Resistance School at Berkeley. Sign up and be sure to follow along on Facebook. … Together, we’re going to bring you even more Resistance School content, speakers and skills to help you Reclaim, Rebuild and Reimagine an America built on progressive values.” … starts October 5 in Berkeley, October 12th at Harvard.
The Syracuse Cultural Workers…
offer tee shirts, posters, books and much else, especially their famous peace calendar: “Every morning, 15,000 people wake up to look at peace. Next year marks the 47th edition of the calendar, which has a rich history of awakening viewers to images of nonviolence and justice — and also offering 200 annotations of the anniversaries of progressive events and unjust actions. In that sense, it represents a daily companion piece to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.” The organization took its present form, incidentally, in 1982. A good year for nonviolence! (It’s the year the Metta Center was founded).
Minds of the Movement
1) The latest article (Strategic Nonviolence is Not Civil Resistance) in this always-stimulating site from the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) is by none other than the founder of the organization, Peter Ackerman, and is on a vexed topic for which we at Metta have been trying to get some clarification for many years: the nomenclature of ‘nonviolence’ and related topics. Ackerman’s conclusion is “for those newly interested in the field of civil resistance — as a way of analyzing who wins battles between tyrants and citizens — the term nonviolence should only refer to the principles of certain participants. Otherwise interest will quickly evaporate.” While I’m not sure I everywhere agree (or fully understand) the whole argument, the topic is certainly important: some kind of agreed-upon nomenclature would definitely help general discourse about it.
2) Do Civil Resistance Movements Advance Democratization? by Maciej Bartkowski | Sept. 27, 2017. Inescapable evidence now that non-violent insurrections lead to greater democratic freedoms – as we’ve mentioned, even when they “fail.” So that’s the point we make about work vs. “work.” HOWEVER, movements that do not prepare some kind of alternative government and only concentrate on getting rid of the prevailing system often only open up a power vacuum, into which ‘nature’ pours any kind of authority. Witness Egypt. How prescient Gandhi was; “If you think you will get rid of the British and then rebuild India, you are dreaming.”
An Animation and call to action.
People’s Congress of Resistance
In this interview, now on YouTube, journalist Abby Martin covered the “People’s Congress of Resistance” that held an impressive mtg. and march on the White House, September 16/17, with representatives from 37 states, 159 towns & cities. This event would be a noteworthy example of “alternative government,” (see below) a critical part of “alternative institutions” which in turn is a critical section of Constructive Program: they bill themselves as a ‘worldwide struggle’ not to lobby but to replace Congress.
We’ve been following this effort of Pace e Bene that just climaxed, for 2017 in their September Week of Actions that reached 1600 events and actions, nearly double last year. “Together we are highlighting the power of a nonviolent movement to create positive change…This is not an electoral strategy—it is larger than that. Together we will take dramatic, nonviolent action in cities and towns across the US and around the world to frame the mid-term elections as a Referendum for a Nonviolent Future.”
The 20th of September 2017 will be ever remembered in the history of human civilization, because more than 50 countries have signed the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York on the eve of annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly…. Biological weapons were banned in 1972, chemical weapons in 1993, Land mines in 1997, and cluster bombs in 2008. With the adoption of this treaty, nuclear weapons also join the club of biological and chemical weapons as weapons of mass destruction that have been declared illegal under the international law. The Treaty will be coming into force 90 days after being signed and ratified by 50 countries +Related: paper by Mel Duncan and Kimberly Ai-Lin Loh of NP on UCP reports that “Slowly, UCP is seeping into public policy,” and “For example, NP has trained over 1,000 women peacekeepers in South Sudan, who prevent children from being abducted, intervene in local conflicts, and accompany women who have been raped to receive treatment and report the assault. These people and their valuable work will remain in communities long after international missions leave, therefore sustaining a local orientation toward peace, and, importantly, a sense of empowerment that reduces victimhood and powerlessness.”
Recently Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), the strongest, most aggressive climate change legislation to date. Contact your representatives!
Sumud Freedom Tour this December
Nothing helps facilitate the continued growth of a liberation movement more than direct engagement. It is through the process of continued education, practiced nonviolent intervention, and a sustained advocacy campaign that unity through partnership can be realized. But unity is not enough.
Only a diverse coalition of movements can develop the critical mass to overturn systems of oppression and create spaces where justice and equality can flourish. ..Holy Land Trust and Nonviolence International have partnered to create a space for activists interested in joining the struggle for Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. This delegation will showcase the Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement, as well as the work of their co-resistors, and present an opportunity for radical coalitions of change to be built.”
Great speakers. Only $1840 if we register before Nov. 11. Pamphlet, videos, available.