Nonviolence in the News – October 16, 2017

Click here to listen to Nonviolence in the News, recorded October 16th, 2017, or use the controls at the bottom of the page. If you are looking for nonviolence radio, click here.


“I refuse to accept the journalistic cliche of ‘meaningless violence’. I refuse to believe that there are no answers to the cheapening of life and the rise of violence against it. If we have no answers to such a basic matter as why we can’t live in peace with one another, often can’t go on living at all, maybe we’re asking the wrong questions.”

~Michael Nagler, The Search for a Nonviolent Future.



With an emphasis on “Leadership”, Resistance School just launched its first session for the year with well-known activist Marshall Ganz, a veteran of the United Farm Workers Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Professor Ganz spoke about Public Narrative, commonly described as framing, enables the empathetic experience to link leaders with participants, participants with each other, and both with broader public values at stake. Their motto: “Practical skills to reclaim, rebuild and reimagine America.” I would have put “reimagine” first, but otherwise this is superb.

Meanwhile, here in the West, Resistance School @ Berkeley is taking shape: This semester will focus on effective communications. The first session, Transforming Resistance into a Social Movement, goes live via Facebook on Thursday, October 5 at 3pm PT/6pm ET and will feature renowned organizer Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. The lesson dives into the goals, activities, and skills that organizers should consider in growing their individual organizing efforts into cross-community social movement for lasting social and political change.

Other trainings they will mount this semester include:
Cross-Cutting Messaging in a Tough Political Environment with Robert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley (Thursday, October 19 at 3pm PT/6pm ET)

Shifting Public Opinion Through Strategic Messaging and Metaphors with Anat Shenker-Osorio, Principle of ASO Communications (Thursday, November 2 at 3pm PT/6pm ET).

Communicating About Race in Politics and Organizing with Ian Haney López: Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley (Thursday, November 16 at 3pm PT/6pm ET).

… and for more on communication, you might take a look at Sightline.

They will send you ‘flash cards’ with elevator-like arguments from their latest research on the closely related issues of climate and democracy, and I think also with research into communication strategies.


A good film, among the many coming out: Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock Or How To Let Go Of The World And Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change. Check Netflix and HBO to watch it.


From the venerable journal Acorn, “Philosophica Studies in Pacifism and Nonviolence,” is now online as well as print; for the philosophically minded. It was founded by members of Philosophers for Peace, a division of the American Philosophical Society.


The Limits of the First Amendment and Black Protest
Alycee Lane, author of #Nonviolence Now, explores how the emphasis on the first amendment overlooks other constitutional rights, such as the 14th. Lane states: While demands for “free speech” abound at police protests, often absent are calls for constitutional rights framed specifically as such; for example, “Equal protection now!” or “We have a right to due process!” Only by taking command of the language of rights will we be able to change the trajectory of these discussions on police protests and give the other constitutional rights — as well as the question of Black freedom — the full attention and focus they deserve.



As you may well have heard, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the Nobel Prize for Peace! “This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth,” ICAN said.


A recent poll reveals: “Among Republicans, 72 percent believe climate change has nothing to do with hurricane damage, virtually unchanged from 12 years ago.” However, to great applause from climate advocates, Paris officials announced a new goal on Thursday, to ban gas-powered cars from its streets by 2030, ten years earlier than Pres. Macron earlier proposed. Here’s the link to Common Dreams.


Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement: After decades of Palestinian dispossession and Israeli military occupation and apartheid, the United Nations has taken its first concrete, practical step to secure accountability for ongoing Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. Palestinians warmly welcome this step.

We hope the UN Human Rights Council will stand firm and publish its full list of companies illegally operating in or with Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land, and will develop this list as called for by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.

…if implemented properly, this UN database of companies that are complicit in some of Israel’s human rights violations may augur the beginning of the end of Israel’s criminal impunity. This may be a reason the Trump administration just canceled its membership in UNESCO (for being “anti-Israel”)! This is the typical attitude of totalitarianism: all criticism is regarded as hostile.


Success in eight-year struggle against pipeline incursions in BC (WNV):Once the two remaining pipeline threats are defeated, Huson and Smogelgem will transition the camp into a full-time healing and cultural center for indigenous people recovering from the ongoing trauma of colonization. Indeed, the largest structure at the camp, a three-story building that includes a dining hall, industrial kitchen, and counseling spaces, is called “The Healing Centre.”…

The Unist’ot’en Camp has always had a dual purpose: resisting pipelines while nurturing Wet’suwet’en culture. Like the water protectors at Standing Rock, the Unist’ot’en Clan has been careful to clarify that their settlement is not a protest. Rather, it is an occupation and assertion of their traditional territory — a site from which to resist further colonial extraction, while also practicing a culture and economy that is inseparable from the land.

According to Huson, “our people’s belief is that we are part of the land. The land is not separate from us. The land sustains us. And if we don’t take care of her, she won’t be able to sustain us.”

Huson explained to us that she lived away from her people’s territory for 20 years due to colonization. “I lived on reservation, got educated and worked as an economic development officer for 14 years,” she said. “Once I decolonized and reconnected to my territory, I felt my spirit come alive. When family visit, they don’t want to leave.” She wants to share with others the healing that she has experienced by being back out on her people’s land.

The Unist’ot’en Camp is exemplary of what indigenous scholars such as Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Jeff Corntassel (Nishnaabeg and Cherokee ancestry, respectively) call “indigenous resurgence.” According to Corntassel: “Being indigenous today means struggling to reclaim and regenerate one’s relational place-based existence by challenging the ongoing destructive forces of colonization.” He notes that ceremony is a key way to “reconnect to the natural world.”

Perhaps the most important thing to take away was suggested by one of out ‘nonviolence news’ Wednesday morning participants: this may be a model for the long-awaited reconciliation of us “settlers” with the indigenous people we so crudely overran.


Meanwhile, from John Fox, Director of GASLAND: “Scotland joins New York State, Maryland, Vermont and dozens of other countries and municipalities in banning fracking! Like so many other hard-fought fracking bans, all credit goes to community organizing that created overwhelming public opposition and civic participation.… The public comment period on fracking policy in Scotland garnered more than 65,000 responses. 99 percent of people who commented opposed it, according to Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse.…“We have a moral responsibility to tackle climate change and an economic responsibility to prepare Scotland for new low carbon opportunities,” he told the Scottish parliament.”


Thousands March in Holy Land
On October 9, thousands of women marched in the West Bank, to the shores of the Jordan River, calling for an end to Israeli-only settlements. This was organized by Women for Peace and included Israeli and Palestinian women. According to one marcher, heard from Democracy Now!, “We must change the paradigm that we have been taught for seven decades now, where we’ve been told that only war will bring peace. We don’t believe that anymore. It’s been proven that it’s not true.”


Palestinian Reconciliation Signed in Cairo
Haaretz on October 12 reported that there has been an “historic end to the division between Hamas and Fatah.” According to Haaretz, “The agreement, which follows two days of intensive negotiations at the headquarters of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo, has focused on the integration of Hamas officials into the Palestinian Authority’s relevant ministries, the rebuilding of Gaza’s police system, and the joint management of the strip’s crossings.”


Statement issued from nonviolence activists in Iraq
“Recognizing the role of civil society to promote peace, nonviolence, and respect for human rights, we call for dialogue to address the problems between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, for efforts to de-escalate tensions, and for the cessation of external interventions. Peace and partnership among Iraqi citizens of different backgrounds, especially Arabs and Kurds, are threatened because of political conflict following the referendum on 25-September-2017 that expressed overwhelming support for an independent Kurdish nation. Members of civil society are deeply concerned about what is happening and they must now be included as partners in efforts to reduce conflict. Failure to initiate dialogue will only allow more belligerent actors to mobilize for war and economic sanctions that would cause great suffering for all Iraqi citizens. On 5 October, representatives of organizations from Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Baghdad, along with representatives of international civil society met to discuss this crisis and agreed upon the statement below. We invite you as organizations, associations, networks, and volunteer groups to join this initiative and add your opinions and observations.” Follow the link to sign. And share widely.



We’d like to remind you about the Sumud Freedom Tour to Palestine 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.” This is a joint project of Holy Land Trust and Nonviolence International

Harder event news: white supremacists are planning to rally in Shelbyville, TN on Saturday the 28th. Some peace intervention groups, e.g. Meta Peace Teams (no relation) are calling for people who can go. This one looks serious.


No Muslim Ban
The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign is a grassroots awareness and mobilization effort that will happen in the weeks leading up to and on October 18, 2017, the day the latest iteration of the Muslim Ban takes full effect.

The campaign is being organized and led by the following organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice –Asian Law Caucus, Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)’s San Francisco-Bay Area chapter, MPower Change, and the MASA Organizing team, in partnership with allies including refugee rights groups, Indivisible, and others.

Kingian Nonviolence Training: Oakland, October 27-28. Hosted by the East Point Peace Academy and East Bay Meditation Center.