Metta Blog

Foundations of Resistance- Reflection

FOLLOWERS of that great pioneer of nonviolent action, the late Gene Sharp, often speak of the “pillars of support:” no dictator can function without police, armies, bureaucracies to carry out their orders (I suppose today we’d have to add a “deep state”). It is much more effective to erode these pillars, rendering the autocrat ineffectual,… read more

True Generosity: A reflection

When I give someone a handout, they call me a Saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a Communist. ~Archbishop Romero Matt Harman, a student in Metta’s Certificate in Nonviolence Studies, has offered this reflection on generosity, inspired by the idea of “true and false generosity” as explained by Paulo Freire.… read more

Not just a billboard, a story

On my rare visits to LA, I am always impressed (negatively) by the blatant violence of the billboards advertising films and TV. This past weekend was no exception. Apparently, there are fashions in violence. A while back it was crime, then a particularly sick one: the dead – zombies slouching toward you every other street.… read more

Q&A: Author Patty Somlo

Author Patty Somlo at Copperfield’s Books in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo courtesy of Patty Somlo. Where do art and literature fit in the broader picture of peace and justice? That’s a question I’ve been fascinated with since 2009, when I served as Co-Founding Editor for a small book publisher. Part of my work involved reviewing… read more

Signing Off (But No Coming, No Going)

Dear Metta Community, In the spirit of what my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh would call “no coming, no going,” as of the end of March, I am taking leave from my work at Metta to prepare for the birth of my first child, who is due in May. I will also be turning my attention… read more

Summer Internship for Petaluma Youth

  Six-Week Leadership Intensive in Nonviolence for Petaluma High School Youth Dates: June 15-July 20, 2018 Stipend: $100/week The Metta Center for Nonviolence is a Petaluma-based non-profit organization founded by UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Michael Nagler, co-founder of UC Berkeley’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program. Our specialty is nonviolence: what it is, how it works,… read more

Is this #Enough?

If this is #enough, then what’s next? “Protests come and go, almost no matter what the scale and entrenched regimes of violence and injustice wait them out.”   There have been far too many pious clichés in response to all these tragedies, but I’m going to risk one more: if – and it remains to… read more

THE POST: A (Somewhat Biased) Film Review

For full disclosure: I’m a long-term friend of Dan and Patricia Ellsberg, and I was a more distant friend but also admirer of Ben Bagdikian. I lived through the era depicted in The Post, and since I see very few movies I tend to have strong reactions to those I do. That said, I had… read more

Rehumanization inside prisons

In this 8-minute TedX Talk from within Graterford State Prison, we get to turn the spotlight on the science of nonviolence through the power of rehumanization. Reflection: In what ways have your experiences shaped your views on the prison system in your country, and what is one thing you learned from Anthony Wyatt’s talk?  … read more

What a Satyagrahi Knows

This guest post was contributed by George Cassidy Payne, the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International. He is also a writer, a domestic violence counselor, and an adjunct professor of philosophy. George lives and works in Rochester, NY. You can follow him on LinkedIn. The most powerful force in the universe is not electromagnetism, gravity… read more