David Hart

  • The Many Faces of Nonviolence - We Are Not Numbers

    Nonviolence International is Proud to Partner with We Are Not Numbers (WANN)

    We Are Not Numbers develops the communication skills of Palestinian youth living under occupation or as refugees, coaching them as they share the human stories behind the numbers in the news with a Western world that knows them only as stereotypes.

    How did WANN start?

    We Are Not Numbers was founded in early 2015, conceived by American journalist Pam Bailey and brought to fruition with the support of Ramy Abdu, board chair for the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. The project launched under the umbrella of Euro-Med, which provided significant logistical support; today, our fiscal sponsor is Nonviolence International. 

    The story behind our founding:

    Twenty-one-year-old Ahmed Alnaouq lives in Deir Al-Balah, in the middle of the Gaza Strip. During the Israeli assault of the summer of 2014, his older and only brother was killed by an Israeli missile, while walking on the street near his home. A few weeks later, Pam connected with him on Facebook. Here is how she describes it:

    Our chat went this way: “How are you?” I asked, rather inanely. “I am fine, doing well. How about you?” Ahmed responded. I could tell something was wrong, so I shot back, “Don’t just say ‘fine.’ Tell me something real.” The barriers down, he told me the truth: “I extremely miss my brother. I go to his grave all the time, and when I am alone, I burst out crying.”

    Given Ahmed’s passion for writing and burning desire to master the English language (thus his major – a popular one in Gaza), I encouraged him to write about his brother, to celebrate him, rather than try to hide his grief from me. He was hesitant at first, given my “Western” identity. It turns out that Ayman was a resistance fighter with the Al-Qassam Brigades – so quickly assumed to be “terrorists” even by many pro-Palestinian activists. Yet the few little tidbits of information Ahmed shared made me want to get to know him better. Ayman clearly had played a very positive role in Ahmed’s life, and there was a reason why fighting the Israeli occupation with whatever weapons were at hand seemed to be the only option to the young man. It was, I believed, a critical story to tell – and share.

    Over the next two months, I worked with Ahmed on his essay, pointing out patterns of English-language problems such as run-on sentences, and tagging spots that could benefit from an anecdote to make the story come alive. 

    When we were done, Ahmed commented that his English-language skills and grasp of storytelling techniques had improved more with my one-on-one coaching than from a year of classes. But with a future that looked dim – with no opportunity to apply what he was learning – Ahmed was increasingly thinking of following in Ayman’s footsteps and joining the armed resistance. At least then, he reasoned, he would be doing something to stand up for his people. My liberal, Western knee-jerk response was to say, “No, don’t do it. Your family already has lost one child. There are other ways to resist.” But then I realized that I had nothing to suggest as an alternative. Thus was born We Are Not Numbers.

    What is We Are Not Numbers?

    There are many Ahmeds in Gaza, who are aching with loss, struggling to eke out a living and feeling neglected by the world. Fifty percent of the population are between the ages of 15 and 25 – about 70 percent of whom are unemployed. Their stories deserve to be brought to the attention of the Western world whose foreign policy has caused so much of their distress. At the same time, we need to give these youth a way to turn their writing into a mission with a purpose.

    WANN recruits young, developing English writers. To provide the coaching they need to reach their full potential, each participant is assigned a mentor who is both a native English writer (so rare in Gaza these days) and published author. The mentors coach them on their language/writing skills and the project publishes their essays, poems, etc. on the realities of their lives to educate Western audiences and build bridges based on greater understanding. 

    In the process, we encourage freedom of expression and civic engagement and the youths build relationships with influential advocates around the world. 

    What are our goals?

    1) Develop the language, media and storytelling skills Palestinian youth need to obtain good jobs and earn internships or scholarships. 

    2) Nurture self-esteem through self-expression and publication of their work.

    3) Foster international connections that broaden participants’ world views, lessen the feeling of isolation and provide useful references when applying for internships and scholarships.

    4) Provide a supportive creative outlet and environment that promotes positive mental health and in which participants build capacities in leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and advocacy.

    5) Amplify youth voices to help educate the Western world on the realities of life under occupation.

    Some of our special projects:

    George Floyd mural in Gaza

    GazaVision singing contest

    “Dreams in the Crosshairs” short film

    We Are Not Numbers rap 

    “Six Miles Out” Short Film:

    We Are Not Numbers is Gaza’s first journalism academy 

    Why should people contribute with individual donations?

    When the world talks about Palestinians living under occupation and in refugee camps, it is usually in terms of politics and numbers – specifically, how many killed, injured, homeless and/or dependent on aid. But numbers are impersonal, and often numbing. What they don’t convey are the daily personal struggles and triumphs, the tears and the laughter, the aspirations that are so universal that if it weren’t for the context, they would immediately resonate with virtually everyone.

    To survive, grow and resist in Gaza, we need more than the typical aid, however. As youth, we know we are the next generation of leaders, and more than anything we need to develop our creativity, be given a platform through which we can be heard, develop our skills, forge international connections, and also, simply, HAVE FUN.

    Donate at: https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/donate_wann

    Where can we learn more about us?

    For more information, visit: www.wearenotnumbers.org 

    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WeAreNotNumbers/ 

    Twitter https://twitter.com/WeAreNotNumbers   

    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/we_are_not_numbers/


  • published Intern Reflects on Time with NVI in Updates 2020-10-14 15:42:08 -0400

    Intern Reflects on Time with NVI

    By Claire Mills, Former Intern and NVI Volunteer 

    When I started at Nonviolence International 8 months ago I had no idea what was in store -- for me, for NVI, or for the world. I joined as a spring intern and met the incredible NVI team, including Mubarak, Michael, and David. I was immediately inspired by all three of their deep commitments not just to peaceful protest, but even more so to sustained and strategic resistance against systemic violence. 

    When I first met Mubarak, he was stopping by our office for an entirely different reason, but I just happened to be there. His immediate response was to start up a conversation, not just about my role at NVI or his own work, but about my personal passions, plans, and hopes for the future. I was of course amazed by his own story and lifelong commitment to nonviolence. But as an intern, I was even more amazed by his deep compassion for this kid he’d never met. But to all who know Mubarak, this is no surprise. And so I started my internship hoping to foster that same deep compassion within myself. 

    In the spring, my work focused on developing our Tactics Database and getting it online to share with all of you! While researching tactics of nonviolent resistance I was able to read hundreds of stories of creative, successful actions. Best of all, I was able to dissect all these stories with Michael, who taught me what details to look out for and explained the nuances of nonviolent strategy. I’d long believed in nonviolence, but Michael gave me the words to explain how to use it as a tool, not just practice it as a way of life. 

    When my summer plans fell through due to COVID-19, I was excited to be able to volunteer for the summer. As a volunteer, I took on managing our communications outreach on our website, Twitter, Facebook, and – you guessed it – email! So that’s why I’ve been in your inbox for the past few months!


    David was a big fan of my "I am going to be disappointed by a man today. I can feel it." sticker on the water bottle I always brought into the office.

    So much so that when I lost it on my sudden trip home die to COVID, he bought me a new one (and lots of other stickers too)!


    Like so many of us who are deeply passionate about mission-driven work, before working at NVI I didn’t consider myself a “communications person.” But as I learned more about how nonprofit organizations actually work from David, I began to understand that we can do the best work in the world, and it won’t matter unless other people know about it. David taught me that it isn’t superficial to care about the practical parts of running a nonprofit – it’s what keeps us going! And when we focus on this work because of our deeply held values of compassion and nonviolence rather than in spite of them, as David always does, that’s when we can truly change the world. 

    I have learned so much from my work with Mubarak, Micheal, David and all the other team members here at NVI that it’s impossible to sum up my whole experience in one email. I am truly so grateful to NVI for all that I have learned and for the introduction into nonviolent resistance as more than just a general belief -- but as a real tool. 

    Although my time at NVI is coming to an end and this will be my last message to you, my passion for nonviolent resistance has only just begun. I hope NVI can continue to inspire people like myself to become more active in changing the status quo – people like you! So take this message as your sign to do something extra today for a cause you care deeply about. And look out for NVI communications in the future, because the good work continues on!

    If I could have it my way, I would be able to stay at NVI even longer! But with classes starting again, I only have so much time and have to spend it at a paying job, not a volunteer position. With your help, NVI could be able to have more paid positions and keep team members longer! Please consider donating to NVI to make that a reality! 


  • Isaiah Project - Kings Bay Plowshares Festival of Hope Virtual Celebration

    NVI is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for this important project. Please see the time sensitive updates below.

    Learn more about the Isaiah Project Here

    Watch NVI’s webinar featuring the Isaiah Project Here

    Get sentencing updates Here

    Father Steve Kelly and Patrick O'Neill are planning to go forward with in-person sentencing in Brunswick, GA on October 15. The other four defendants are asking for further continuances because of the virus. They should hear in a few days if this request is granted by Judge Wood.

    They ask, "In the interest of public safety, and out of love for our supporters during this Covid-19 pandemic, the seven Kings Bay Plowshares members request that no one come to Brunswick for the sentencing hearings scheduled for Oct. 15-16. We do, however, encourage you all to join the Oct. 11 pre-sentencing Zoom meeting. Thank you all for your love and support, which sustains us."

    There is expected to be an audio link from the court to listen to the proceedings as was done with Liz McAlister in June. The number and times will be posted on the website when we get them.

    Check out this powerful video of our Festival of Hope 

    For those in the Brunswick area more information on local activities around the sentencing can be obtained through Sarah Cool:  404.449.7893    coolsarahs@gmail.com

    Steve Kelly has now served 30 months in county jails and so has satisfied the sentencing guidelines the government is proposing for him. However, he has a probation violation where he is facing up to six months stemming from a prior trespass conviction at Kitsap, WA at the West coast Trident base. It is not yet known what will happen with this.

    We understand that many are struggling financially at this time. We ask for donations only if you are able and doing well. Thank you for all the support you have given through these past two and a half years. Your support for the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 will help cover the ongoing costs surrounding the seven co-defendants while in prison and their families and communities. Checks can be sent to Plowshares, PO Box 3087, Washington, DC 20010. Or donate online here at this link: Isaiah project.   Thank you.


    EMAIL: kingsbayplowshares@gmail.com

    WEBSITE: www.kingsbayplowshares7.org

    FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares

    TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/kingsbayplow7


    "If you think one person can't be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito" -War Resister's League "


    "Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it"   Howard Zinn (1922-2010)


     “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.  It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness...What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.  If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction...And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future.  The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."  -- Howard Zinn

    NVI is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for the this important project. Please consider donating at: https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/donate_isaiah


  • Democracy Defense: Advice from Activists Around the World - Webinar

    This interactive webinar featured presentations by scholars and activists who took part in people power defense of democracy and elections. Speakers included:

    • Our host is author and activist Maria J. Stephan
    • Philippine professor and activist Joaquin Gonzalez
    • Serbian professor and nonviolent organizer Ivan Marovic
    • Gambian organizer and activist Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan
    • Brazilian organizer and activist Joana Varon
    • American professor and author Stephen Zunes

    Time Stamps: 

    Michael Beer - NVI Welcome

    Maria J. Stephan - Host - 1:38

    Joaquin Gonzalez - 6:20

    Ivan Marovic - 15:45

    Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan - 23:35

    Joana Varon - 33:15

    Stephen Zunes - 47:07

    Question and Answer / Discussion - 56:00

    ==========

    Co-sponsored by:  Nonviolence International, Beautiful Trouble, BlackOUT Collective, and OR Books 

    Host and Contributor:

    Maria J. Stephan's (USA) career has bridged the academic, policy, and non-profit sectors, with a focus on the role of civil resistance and nonviolent movements in advancing human rights, democratic freedoms, and sustainable peace globally. Stephan is the co-author (with Erica Chenoweth) of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, which was awarded the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Prize by the American Political Science Association for the best book published in political science, and the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. She is the co-author of Bolstering Democracy: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward (Atlantic Council, 2018); the co-editor of Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? (Atlantic Council, 2015); and the editor of Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization and Governance in the Middle East (Palgrave, 2009). Stephan, a native Vermonter, received her PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    PANELISTS:

    Joaquin Gonzalez (Philippines/USA) is the Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at Golden Gate University in California. Prior to immigrating to the United States, Dr. Gonzalez was a street activist in the 1986 People Power Revolution which peacefully removed a long-time Philippine authoritarian ruler. He started out as a volunteer with the non-partisan National Movement for a Free Elections (NAMFREL) tasked to ensure that votes were properly cast and counted.

    Ivan Marovic (Serbia) is an organizer, software developer and social innovator from Belgrade, Serbia. He was a student organizer and one of the leaders of Otpor, a resistance movement which played a critical role in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. After a brief time in politics, it was time to grow up and move to more serious things, so Ivan started developing video games like A Force More Powerful and People Power, and platforms for local organizing like Moba. He successfully stayed out of politics for two decades, the time he spent advising activists and organizers around the world on strategies for citizen self organizing and movement building. Ivan holds a BSC in Process Engineering from Belgrade University and MA in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

    Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan (Gambia) is an award winning Pan African Advocate of the year 2018 and was named as 100 most influential young people leaders in Africa in 2019. As a human rights activist he organized widespread protests to get long Gambia dictator Yaya Jammeh to step down. Muhammed Lamin the Movement Coordinators of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. A Pan African grassroots Movement of the people and organizations working to foster an Africa-wide solidarity and unity of purpose of the Peoples of Africa to build the Future we want – a right to peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity. Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan is a Gambian with a back ground on community organizing, youth and women development, campaigns for social change, policy advocacy, movement building and none violence activism.

    Joana Varon (Brazil) Executive Directress and Creative Chaos Catalyst at Coding Rights, a women-run organization working to expose and redress the power imbalances built into technology and its application, particularly those that reinforce gender and North/South inequalities. Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and affiliated to the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Former Mozilla Media Fellow, she is co-creator of several creative projects operating in the interplay between activism, arts and technologies, such as transfeministech.org, chupadados.com, #safersisters, Safer Nudes, protestos.org, Net of Rights and freenetfilm.org.

    Stephen Zunes (USA) is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he served as founding director of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. Zunes serves as a senior policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, and a contributing editor of Tikkun.

    He is the author of hundreds of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, nonviolent action, and human rights. He is the principal editor of Nonviolent Social Movements (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), the author of the Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Common Courage Press, 2003) and co-author (with Jacob Mundy) of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution (Syracuse University Press, 2010).

    Short clips from webinar:

     

     


  • published Beyond The Two States Sign Up in After Two States 2020-09-22 08:13:55 -0400

    After Two States Sign Up

    Please sign up here to be notified when Jonathan Kuttab's new book is available. 

     

    Sign up

  • published After Two States in Updates 2020-09-21 17:52:48 -0400

    Beyond The Two States By Jonathan Kuttab

    Book Blurb

    Beyond The Two-State Solution, by Jonathan Kuttab, is a short introduction to the current crisis in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism have been at loggerheads for over a century.  Some thought the two-state solution would resolve the conflict between them.  Jonathan explains that the two-state solution (that he supported) is no longer viable. He suggests that any solution be predicated on the basic existential needs of the two parties, needs he lays out in exceptional detail.  He formulates a way forward for a 1-state solution that challenges both Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism. This book invites readers to begin a new conversation based on reality: two peoples will need to live together in some sort of unified state.  It is balanced and accessible to neophytes and to experts alike.


    Bio

    Jonathan Kuttab is co-founder of Nonviolence International and a co-founder of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq. A well-known international human rights attorney, he has practiced in the US, Palestine and Israel. He serves on the Board of Bethlehem Bible College and is President of the Board of Holy Land Trust. He is co-founder and board member of the Just Peace Advocates. He was the head of the Legal Committee negotiating the Cairo Agreement of 1994 between Israel and the PLO.


    Testimonials

    Mubarak Awad, Founder of Nonviolence International says...

    The Palestinian / Israeli conflict has had many ups and downs with hopes for peace, times of war, and relentless subjugation of Palestinians. Many people including myself and Jonathan Kuttab supported the peace initiative of a 2 state-solution even though many Palestinian leaders were initially reluctant to settle for 22% of original Palestine. In his new book, Jonathan Kuttab, explains why, unfortunately, the two state solution is no longer viable. Jonathan Kuttab articulates the fundamental needs of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews and then proceeds to think in a new one-state box about how a win-win future might be possible. This book is the start of a renewed conversation, a new frame, to end the current impasse which is causing so much suffering. It is for the reader to decide and to commit themselves to be part of real solutions to the conflict rather than irrelevant discussions about antiquated solutions. Read this book and join us in the conversation and work of bringing peace and justice to end the cycles of violence and hatred.

    Thomas R. Getman, Former Legislative Director to Senator Mark O. Hatfield & past National Director of World Vision, Palestine

    The Two-State – One-State debate continues with new urgency inflamed by faux "peace treaties." More and more progressive and even Zionist Israeli and American Jews are expressing the fact that occupation and annexation of Palestinian people, homes and lands are a violation of core Talmudic values, and guarantee self-destruction of the State of Israel. Jonathan Kuttab's  After the Two-State Solution is a treasured pathway to peaceful and just change.  It is a gift of love to all who are suffering with this 73-year conflict. Indeed, none of us is free and at peace unless all are liberated from apartheid oppression. Jonathan Kuttab is a Palestinian American who has listened carefully and responded deeply, giving all of us who have worked and prayed for the imprisoned on both sides of the crumbling Green Line a possibility of a seizing together a Kairos moment. This carefully crafted monograph is a trail marker for real change and reduction of heart, soul, and physical suffering.  Read with care and courage as it defines roles for each of us. 


    If you would like to be notified when the book is available, please click here for a quick and easy sign up. 


  • 30th Anniversary Video Series - Lessons and Celebration!


    Please enjoy this video series in celebration of our first 30 years.

    If you value this work, please help make our next 30 years even more impactful. 

    Special thanks to our wonderful NY affiliate who produced this entire series.















    Special thanks to our wonderful NYC affiliate

    who recorded and produced this entire series. 


  • Nonviolent Activism in the Islamic World in a Time of Islamophobia - Webinar

    Nonviolence International is proud to share this interactive webinar featuring presentations by scholars and activists who promote human rights and justice in the Islamic world. Our wonderful speakers are: Thai professor and activist Chaiwat Satha-Anand, Sudanese social justice activist, researcher, and feminist Hala Al-Karib, Kashmiri writer-activist Mushtaq Ul-Haq Ahmad Sikandar, and Lebanese-American scholar and former Director of NVI's Islam and Peace program, Karim Crow. Our host will be Nonviolence International board member and American University professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer. Welcome by Asna Husin former leader of NVI's Peace Education Program where she trained over 70,000 students and Acehnese teachers in peace education and conflict management.

    (More on each speaker and time stamps below the video) 

    Time Stamps: 

    Asna Husin - Welcome

    Mohammed Abu-Nimer - 3:45

    Chaiwat Satha-Anand - 7:45

    Hala Al-Karib - 21:18

    Mushtaq Ul-Haq Ahmad Sikandar - 32:54

    Karim Crow - 46:50

    Q&A starting with our founder Mubarak Awad - 56:26

    PANELISTS:

    Chaiwat Satha-Anand was born in Bangkok, Thailand in 1955. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is a professor of political science at Thammasat University, Bangkok, and director of the Thai Peace Information Centre, which conducts studies and activism in relation to the Thai military and social issues. He is an expert on nonviolence theory as well as activism, and on Islam. Chaiwat has published numerous articles and book chapters on the military, alternative defense, religion and peace, Islam and nonviolence, and modern political philosophy. For several years he directed the International Peace Research Association’s (IPRA) commission on nonviolence and he serves at the Scientific Committee of the International University for Peoples’ Initiative for Peace, IUPIP, in Rovereto Italy.

    Hala Al-Karib is a Sudanese social justice activist, research practitioner, and full-time feminist, who has intensively and comprehensively worked in the Horn of Africa region. Currently, she is the Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA Network), and the Editorial Head of “Women in Islam” Journal. Hala's experience extends more than 20 years with a major interest in women and girl's rights, displaced, refugee and migrant groups, and minorities. She started her career as a researcher in different institutions in South Sudan and Egypt. She later joined institutions like the World Food Programme, World University Services, Accord International, Goal Ireland, and Concern International. As well as being a former board member of the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) and chairperson of Sudan Democracy First, she is currently a board member of Musawah Global Movement. Hala has also published a number of articles in Al Jazeera and Open Democracy, with extensive engagement training and facilitating different workshops, as well as occupying regional and international panels advocating for equality and social justice issues.

    Mushtaq Ul-Haq Ahmad Sikandar is a writer-activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir, and has completed his Masters in Political Science from Kashmir University. His interests span a wide range of issues from writing to activism. His write-ups and book reviews appear regularly in various newspapers, magazines, journals, and websites. Mushtaq is frequently invited to present academic papers on issues related to religion, politics, terrorism, conflict resolution, feminism, and Islamic revivalist movements. He actively participates in inter/intra-faith, ethnic, and regional dialogues. He has also penned down numerous poems and short stories. Mushtaq is also an activist and volunteers with various humanitarian organizations working in the Kashmir Valley as he believes that writing alone doesn’t work unless corroborated by activism.

    Karim Crow, a Lebanese-American scholar and former director of the NVI's Islam and Peace Program.  Crow’s research focuses primarily on psycho-spiritual functions of faith, ethical and metaphysical topics, and Islamic Peace studies. When at Nonviolence International he traveled the world organizing conferences on Islamic peace studies. Crow has publications in two edited volumes, as well as thirty-five published articles including, Islam and Reason, Islam-Image and Realities, and Peaceful Striving and Combative Struggle.

    Welcome from Asna Husin who teaches Philosophy of Education and Islamic Civilization at the Ar-Raniry State Islamic University in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She currently serves as a senior researcher at Nonviolence International in Washington, D.C. working on cultural resources for Islamic peace building. Dr. Husin obtained a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 1992 and her Doctorate in Religious Studies from Columbia University in 1998. Dr. Husin was also an Associate Fellow at the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University (1998) while teaching Islamic Civilization as an Adjunct Professor at State University of New York, Old Westbury. Dr. Husin then worked as the Director of Women’s Programs for the World Conference on Religion and Peace from 1998 to 2000, during which she organized the 1998 World Women Assembly in Amman, Jordan, which was attended by religious organizations from 33 countries. Upon returning to Banda Aceh in 2000, she established the Peace Education Program as an independent affiliate of the Washington-based NGO Nonviolence International while also resuming her teaching tasks at Ar-Raniry. With the Peace Education Program, Dr. Husin trained over 70,000 students and Acehnese teachers in peace education and conflict management over the course of twelve years and worked closely with the Ulama leaders of Aceh. Dr. Husin regularly participates in academic conferences worldwide on Islamic peace, human rights and gender equity, Ulama institutions, and civilizational heritage.

     


  • International community makes plea for nonviolence and transparency in Belarus

    Nonviolence International's affiliates in Russia and Ukraine have long promoted nonviolence in Belarus. Given our longstanding concern for peace in Belarus, Dr. Awad, President of NVI, offers this statement with regards to the recent events in Belarus


    NVI calls on the Belarus government to refrain from using violence against its own citizens. Why would a government that claims to have won 80% of the vote, then proceed to attack those who it declares to be the losing side? 

    There are numerous credible reports of Belarus authorities using tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, arrests, vehicular assaults, and beatings in Minsk, and other localities, towards street protesters and celebrants. Voting is a precious nonviolent action. NVI calls on the Belarus government to abide by the International Declaration of Human Rights, release all prisoners and arrestees immediately, and ensure transparency and accuracy in the vote count. We also call on protesters in their struggle for freedom and democracy in Belarus to apply exclusively peaceful and nonviolent means, of which there is a great variety, from marches and blockades to strikes and boycotts.  

    NVI is a non-partisan international network that calls on all actors everywhere to engage in conflict in nonviolent ways.

    President, Mubarak Awad


    (Russian Language Version of Statement Above)

    Организация Nonviolence International призывает правительство Беларуси воздерживаться от применения насилия против своих граждан. Зачем правительству, которое утверждает, что оно набрало 80% голосов, затем нападать на тех, кого оно объявляет проигравшими? Имеются многочисленные достоверные сообщения о том, что власти Беларуси применяли слезоточивый газ, резиновые пули, светошумовые гранаты, аресты, нападения на автомобилях и избиения в Минске и других населенных пунктах по отношению к участникам уличных протестов и журналистам. Голосование - это важный вид ненасильственных действий. NVI призывает правительство Беларуси соблюдать Международную Декларацию Прав Человека, немедленно освободить всех заключенных и арестованных и обеспечить прозрачный и точный подсчет голосов. Мы также призываем участников протестов использовать, в своей борьбе за свободу и демократию в Беларуси, исключительно мирные, ненасильственные средства, которых очень много, от маршей и блокад до забастовок и бойкотов.

    NVI - это внепартийная международная сеть, которая призывает участников всех конфликтов действовать исключительно ненасильственными способами.

    Президент, Мубарак Авад





  • published Nonviolent Tactics in Resources 2020-08-07 16:33:26 -0400

  • Nuclear Weapons - The Ultimate Expression of the Violence Epidemic in our Beautiful and Broken World. 

    By David Hart

    Nuclear Weapons - The Ultimate Expression of the Violence Epidemic in our Beautiful and Broken World

    As we approached the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, our partners at the Isaiah Project asked us to post an updated version of their apology petition we hosted several years ago. We are happy to do so, but sad that the issue remains. 

    Nuclear weapons are the ultimate violence and their presence in our world justifies all other violence and leaves us struggling to see that another world is possible. 

    75 years ago this week, the United States unleashed on the world a great evil. We killed innocent children in Hiroshima who were no threat to anyone. We did it again three days later in Nagasaki. Many in the US were led to believe that it was a million of “ours” or a million of “theirs.” To justify this immoral killing of innocents the US built up a mythology that these weapons ended the war. They did not. And worse, we knew it at the time. 

    Historians have made clear the war was already over. Please read the important piece from Marty Sherwin and Gar Alperovitz in the LA Times where they write, “the overwhelming historical evidence from American and Japanese archives indicates that Japan would have surrendered that August, even if atomic bombs had not been used — and documents prove that President Truman and his closest advisors knew it.” The war was coming to end and the use of these weapons can not be justified as somehow saving lives. They killed as bombs do, but they did it on a new and dangerous scale. With one bomb we wiped out an entire city.

    This week the world has reacted in horror at the scary impact of the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. What a terrible tragedy it is. NVI’s longtime Director, Michael Beer, wrote “On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Beirut explosion is a reminder of the insanity and immorality of nuclear weapons which are hundreds and even a thousand times the power of the Beirut explosion. The consequences of just one explosion from a modern nuclear war-head are genocidal, for example, obliterating the 7 million residents of Lebanon. Beirut blast : 1.1 kilotons of TNT, Hiroshima : 13~18 kilotons of TNT, Nagasaki : 21 kilotons of TNT,  B83 Nuclear Warhead: 1,200 kilotons of TNT.  For the sake of the future of humanity, nuclear weapons must quickly be eliminated, or they will eliminate us. Beirut's experience is another warning. Are we listening?”

    Seems to me most of us are not listening. If we don’t abolish all of these horrific weapons, they will be used again. On the day they are, we will look back wishing we had done more to prevent this world changing tragedy. I say “used” again, but in fact I should say “detonated” on a civilian population. They are used in the way that a gun to someone’s head is used. You don’t have to pull the trigger to use the gun. 

    We are proud to partner with bold creative nonviolent activists who are listening and calling on all of us to join them in doing all we can to eliminate this evil from our midst. We wonder today how the people of Beirut allowed the explosive force to be stored in their city. We must ask ourselves how we allow the weapons on hair trigger alert in our communities. 

    Our partner, the Isaiah Project supports the Kings Bay 7 who took seriously the biblical commandment to beat swords into plowshares. They acted to defend all of us. Please learn more about their important work and consider signing the petition apologizing to the people of Japan. 

    This petition is drafted in the language of people of deep and lasting faith. We know all our supporters believe in the transformational power of active nonviolence. And, we are aware that many are not faith based activists. Still, we ask you to consider signing this petition as a way to support those whose faith guides them to act against violence, war, and its ultimate expression -  the horror of nuclear weapons. 





  • published Apology 75th 2020-08-06 14:53:15 -0400

    Apology Petition on 75th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bombings

    “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil”.

    (Epitaph at bottom of the Hiroshima Peace Park Memorial Cenotaph and Peace Flame to remember all the victims of the atomic bombings)

    247 signatures

    APOLOGY PETITION To the People of Japan on the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of the U.S. Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    Envision the World Without Nuclear Weapons: August 6 and 9, 2020
    75th Anniversary of the U.S. Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 


    The 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a time of remembering the horror, repenting the sin and reclaiming a future without nuclear weapons. It is a time to recommit ourselves to the work of disarming and dismantling the machinery of mass destruction and abolishing war.

    We unite in prayerful witness with people of faith and conscience across the globe to mark this historic anniversary. As citizens of the United States, we invite people to publicly ask God for forgiveness for the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which caused the immediate death of more than 200,000 people, and hundreds of thousands more who died in the aftermath as a result of radiation poisoning. We apologize to the people of Japan – and to the survivors of the bombing, the hibakusha – for our country’s bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we ask forgiveness for these atrocities.

    Pope Paul VI, in his 1976 World Day of Peace Message, described the bombings as "a butchery of untold magnitude." Pope Francis, who in 2017 condemned the possession of nuclear weapons as immoral, reminded us once more, during his 2019 visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of “the unspeakable horror suffered in the flesh by the victims of the bombing and their families,” and reaffirmed his conviction that “a world without nuclear weapons is [both] possible and necessary.”

    Nuclear weapons are sinful and idolatrous. The mining, testing and deployment of these weapons have desecrated native lands and the Marshall and South Pacific Islands and have caused incalculable ecological devastation and early deaths of countless people exposed to nuclear radiation. Their research, production and deployment are a theft from the poor, and a crime against God's creation, humanity and future generations. We repent for these sins and for the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons at the expense of unmet human needs. Further, we offer repentance for our nation's possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons to enforce a world order based on systemic racism and the destruction of the cultural and biological diversity of our planet.

    We decry the fact that the U.S. government is committed to a 30-year upgrade of its nuclear arsenal at an estimated cost of $1.7 trillion. We denounce U.S. Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations stating that a limited nuclear war could be waged and won. We implore the U.S. to end its nuclear modernization program, renounce its first-use nuclear policy, and to sign and ratify the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We call on all Christians and people of good faith everywhere to refuse to participate in the production, maintenance, threatened use and use of these murderous weapons.

    We firmly resolve, with God’s grace and mercy, to reject the false idols of nuclear weapons, and to embrace the life-affirming work of abolishing these weapons of terror.

    As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist have reset the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, let us heed the plea of the Hibakusha to the world: "Humanity and nuclear weapons cannot co-exist." Now is the time to pursue non-violent alternatives to war and to lay the foundations for just peace; now is the time to restore justice for the poor and integrity to creation, and to seek a nuclear-free future for our children.

    On that day, the prophet reminds us, “God will rule over all nations and settle disputes for all peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not raise sword against nation; nor will they train for war anymore” (Is 2:4).

    In that spirit, we solemnly renew our commitment to that biblical vision and promise of peace and justice, when the world will finally be free from the scourge of war and the terror of nuclear weapons.

    About the Apology Petition

    On August 6, 2016, during a Prayer Service for Peace in front of the White House to commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an Apology Petition to the People of Japan was read and presented to Mr. Mimaki, a Hiroshima A-bomb survivor. Over 700 people from the U.S. signed the original  petition. In September 2016, Mr. Mimaki delivered the petition to the Mayor of Hiroshima and is now displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Museum. This petition has since been used at other annual August 6-9 commemoration events. 

    The original and updated Apology Petition was prepared by Art Laffin and Scott Wright. Groups sponsoring the original and updated petition include: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Pax Christi Metro-DC, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, the Isaiah Project, the Sisters of MercyJustice Team, Little Friends for Peace, Jonah House, the Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area, and Pax Christi USA.


    This updated Apology Petition has been revised to include new developments regarding U.S. nuclear policy and the increasing danger of nuclear war, a papal proclamation regarding the immorality of possessing nuclear weapons, and the new UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. You are invited to sign the Petition during the month of August. It will then be sent to the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations.

    Add signature

  • How did King learn about Gandhi? Ask Rev. James Lawson

    By David Hart

    What a joy it was to see the widespread support for the great nonviolent leader John Lewis. His funeral included many remarks worth pondering at this critical time. Below, we share one video that was particularly moving to us. 

    But first, there is one correction we'd like to offer to those declaring that Rep. Lewis was on the first Freedom Ride. He was not and that is something John Lewis knew well. As we stand on his shoulders to attempt to address the pressing issues of our time, he stood proudly on the shoulders of those who came before him. When I was a young activist, I got to spend several wonderful extended visits with Wally and Juanita Nelson at their farm next to the Traprock Peace Center in Massachusetts. They were both shinning lights explaining the transformational power of love and nonviolence. Wally told us of his time on the first Freedom Ride also known as the Journey of Reconciliation. This integrated bus ride took place in 1947 and was a key inspiration for John Lewis to attempt his own version of this bold, beautiful, nonviolent direct action. Wally was not alone on that first Freedom Ride. He was joined by Bayard Rustin mentioned below, Igal Roodenko, who I get to work with through the War Resisters League, George Houser, James Peck, and Homer Jack. Friends, let us also say their names for their approach guides us forward and calls us on to work as tirelessly as they did for peace and justice. 

    We urge all those now praising John Lewis to understand how he was brutally attacked for his loving activism for justice. And, suggest we would do well to pull our gaze forward to today's movements and notice that there are still brutal forces of the status quo fighting against history. It is easy to sugarcoat history, but harder to see the reality of struggle when we are in the midst of it. You can't praise the Civil Rights Movement while attacking Black Lives Matter. They are part of one long painful, persistent, and powerful March for Justice. 

    We at Nonviolence International believe it is particularly important to understand how the study of the vast power and potential of nonviolence has advanced over the years. Sadly, our society has foolishly poured countless resources into the study of war and violence and devoted much less time and attention to creative, constructive alternatives. Still, people all over the world have been experimenting with nonviolence for thousands of years. 

    One vital link to the modern nonviolent movements is from those who studied Gandhi and then shared that learning with Dr. King. We raise up the ground breaking activism of Bayard Rustin who worked for the Fellowship of Reconciliation and co-founded the Congress of Racial Equality. Rustin was an essential link helping Dr. King become inspired by Gandhian nonviolence.

    We are thrilled that many people worldwide got to hear from the great Rev. James Lawson as he celebrated Rep. John Lewis. Recently we posted a piece from Mary King, who worked closely with John Lewis in which she reminds us how Rev. James Lawson met "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Oberlin College in February 1957, upon returning from teaching for three years in Maharashtra state in India. Lawson would become the critical interpreter of Gandhian insights for the U.S. mid-20th century Black community, selectively introducing knowledge from India’s struggles against European colonialism." Then Lawson trained Lewis and today their legacy is ours to carry forward. 

    Lawson and King. Copyright:  Jeff McAdory/The Commercial Appeal. 

    Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/videos/news/2017/01/12/rev.-james-lawson-recalls-inviting-martin-luther-king-jr.-memphis/96495746/

    We at Nonviolence International love to see the universal praise for John Lewis, but we ask the politicians who praise him, but whose actions contradict all he was committed to, please don't use his kind loving heart to attempt to turn him into your teddy bear. He was a bold, brave, nonviolent fighter for justice especially for voting rights. Honor him by not only renaming the bridge, but also by passing the voting rights legislation named after him.


    Some former elected officials also spoke at the funeral.

    If only they governed with the same commitment to peace and justice as declared in their remarks yesterday. 

     

     

     

     


  • John Lewis' partner at SNCC Mary King reflects on the meaning of his life

    By David Hart

    Our good friend Mary King asked that we share her reflections about John Lewis. We are thrilled to do so because Mary worked closely with the "esteemed civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis from 1963-66 while on the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC."

    Mary tells a story of his powerful commitment to nonviolence and justice and his lifelong activism. Her reflections help us understand his message for today. 

    Don't miss the section on how Rev. James Lawson met "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Oberlin College in February 1957, upon returning from teaching for three years in Maharashtra state in India. Lawson would become the critical interpreter of Gandhian insights for the U.S. mid-20th century Black community, selectively introducing knowledge from India’s struggles against European colonialism." Then Lawson trained Lewis and today their legacy is ours to carry forward. 

    We at Nonviolence International love to see the universal praise for John Lewis, but we ask the politicians who praise him, but whose actions contradict all he was committed to, please don't use his kind loving heart to attempt to turn him into your teddy bear. He was a bold, brave, nonviolent fighter for justice especially for voting rights. Honor him by not only renaming the bridge, but also by passing the voting rights legislation named after him.

    Few remember the names of the racists who fought against history and his vital work. But the name of John Lewis will be remembered forever as a guiding light whose examples inspires us to find ways to act boldly and nonviolently for justice. Today, there are those still fighting against the tide of history. Let John Lewis' spirit and determination illuminate the path before us. Let us remember his last public appearance was on Black Lives Plaza. Mary tells us, "John Lewis’ life’s work was a national tutorial on the power possessed by the maintenance of strict nonviolent discipline, and Black Lives Matter supporters exemplified this essential self-restraint."

    Please see a few excerpts below and read the full piece on Waging Nonviolence. an impressive project that got its start as a fiscally sponsored partner of Nonviolence International. 


    "I could often see John reaching inside himself to find a place that sought neither retribution nor retaliation — seeking solely justice and the dismantling of inequities. Without comprehending the necessity for tenacious self-restraint, it’s hard to appreciate how the social power of nonviolent action actually works.

    Many have missed that what made John exceptional and helped him to maintain a guiding role in the U.S. Congress — up until he drew his last breath — was his understanding of nonviolent discipline. What does this mean? Large numbers of individuals utilizing rigorous willpower is part of the way that the technique of nonviolent struggle operates. This form of power is entirely different from that utilized in armed conflict. To explain, let me turn to social philosopher Hannah Arendt, who has been influential with theoreticians of nonviolent action. Arendt’s 1969 essay “On Violence” distinguishes between violence and power. Violence, far from being the most “powerful” force in power relations, she says, needs to use instruments, so it’s not real power. Arendt writes, “Power and violence are opposites … to speak of nonviolent power is actually redundant.” For her, power is what happens when people willingly come together to take action on common purposes."

    "John exemplified something else that I have been appreciating with the passage of time: The study and practice of nonviolent action is for life. It does not belong to the young. It is not something one outgrows. Seeking tangible justice without stooping to violence or passivity can empower one for life.

    Numbers count with nonviolent methods. Combining headcounts with exacting self-restraint is partly how nonviolent struggle works, which is entirely different from the power wielded in armed, militarized power that seeks to incite fear, vanquish and kill. In the past 60 years a volcanic explosion of research, study, and documentation of the accomplishments of this technique of struggle has become available, and translations are widely available in dozens of languages."

    Read the full piece on Waging Nonviolence.


    Mary Elizabeth King is a political scientist and author of acclaimed books on civil resistance, most recently "Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India: The 1924–25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change." She is professor of peace and conflict studies at the UN-affiliated University for Peace, Distinguished Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford, Britain, and director of the James Lawson Institute. Her academic specialty in the study of nonviolent action dates to four years working in Atlanta and Mississippi for the 1960s U.S. civil rights movement as staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC. There she learned the basics of nonviolent struggle from the Reverend James M. Lawson in this profound experience that would define her life. Her website is maryking.info.


  • published Celebrating the Kings Bay 7 and Rosie Too! in Updates 2020-07-26 11:18:29 -0400

    Celebrating the Kings Bay 7 and Rosie Too!

    We celebrate the Kings Bay 7, Rosie, and Pace e Bene!

    We have been enjoying getting to know an impressive young leader with Pace e Bene through her personal and powerful video series. Rosie has been sharing videos since early June and she has demonstrated a deep knowledge of and passion for nonviolence. Recently she has raised up our friends and partners the Kings Bay 7 through interviews we share below. We urge you to check out the entire series. You will learn a great deal and find reasons for realistic grounded hope. In this time of so many intersecting challenges, we are thrilled that our friends are giving Rosie this platform to share inspiration with us all. Thank you. 


    To learn more about our wonderful partner, please visit this page.

    To support their vital work, please visit this page.

    Please see below the videos for a timely update.


    Interview with Liz McAlister!

    Interview with Patrick O'Neill

    NVI's webinar on Nonviolent Resistance to Nuclear Weapons and War

    SEPTEMBER 3 & 4 - NEW SENTENCING DATES FOR KINGS BAY PLOWSHARES 7

    The remaining six Kings Bay Plowshares 7 defendants were granted a continuance for sentencing by Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the Southern District Federal court of Georgia in Brunswick from the end of July until September 3rd and 4th. Due to spikes in COVID-19 cases in GA and ensuing travel restrictions the anti-nuclear activists had asked the court to further postpone sentencing toaccommodate their right to be sentenced in person in open court, not by video, witnessed safely by family, supporters and the press.

    The new sentencing dates and times are September 3rd: Carmen Trotta at 9 am, Fr. Steve Kelly at 1 pm, Clare Grady at 4 pm. On September 4 will be Mark Colville at 9 am, Patrick O'Neill at 1 pm, Martha Hennessy (granddaughter of Dorothy Day who co-founded the Catholic Worker movement) at 4 pm. It is possible that there will be further delays depending on the course of the virus over the next month. We will try to keep you updated as we find out more as that time approaches.
    The defendants had asked for home confinement during this time of COVID-19, as entering prison, especially for those over 60 years of age with health issues, could be a death sentence. Their request was opposed by the prosecution and the probation department which argued the charges involved a threat to human life (their own) by entering a restricted zone on the base where lethal force is authorized. This would raise the level of the offense and make them ineligible for home confinement. Judge Wood upheld this interpretation in the first sentencing of Elizabeth McAlister on June 8. At 80 years-old, the eldest of the KBP7 defendants and widow of Phil Berrigan, she was sentenced by video conferencing while at her home in Connecticut. Liz had served over 17 months before trial. The judge agreed with the US attorney's request for a sentence of time served plus 3 years supervised probation and restitution at $25 monthly (of $33,000 owed by all 7 jointly).

    We are still urging people to write to Judge Wood not so much to ask for leniency but for justice and not a death sentence. Details are on the website: https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/2020/05/letters-to-judge-wood/

    For the momentous 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki there will be numerous events happening physically and virtually around the world.
    We urge you to participate as you can to say no to nuclear weapons. The world is lurching towards a new nuclear arms race and treaties to limit them are being discarded. Trillions will be spent on new submarines and new weapons while the coronavirus is ravaging people throughout the world with limited resources available to stop it. Nevertheless there are some signs of hope. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been ratified by 40 of the 50 nations needed for it to go into effect. Pope Francis has condemned even the possession of nuclear weapons for deterrence as no longer justifiable although the U. S. Church has quite a way to go to catch up.

    U. S. vigils and actions are listed on The Nuclear Resister website. http://www.nukeresister.org/future-actions/ Groups normally planning civil resistance on Aug. 6-9 are adjusting plans, with some canceled. Some civil resistance actions, with risk of arrest, are still happening.

    The defendants will be participating in local events.

    Clare Grady will walk with Buddhist Nun, Jun San, in Ithaca, NY on August 1 at 12 noon. Beginning with a circle next to the pavilion just north of the Children’s Garden it will follow the Water Trail loop going north and back for first 3 miles and possibly on up West Hill, totaling approximately 6 miles.

    Patrick O'Neill will participate in a remembrance and repentance service on Zoom at 7:30-8:30 am ET on August 6. Details will be on the KBP7 website.

    There will be a vigil at the Kings Bay base on the morning of August 6, 10am-1pm. And a Zoom event that evening, #Blacklivesmatter and the Bomb, 7-8:40pm, with Professor Vincent Intondi. Details for both at:https://www.nonukesyall.org

    International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Events https://www.icanw.org/events

    Physicians for Social Responsibility Calendar https://www.psr.org/calendar/tag_ids~111/

                                                                ###
    EMAIL: Media: kbp7media@gmail.com

     


  • published Andre Kamenshikov speaks with NVI NYC's Interns in Updates 2020-07-20 10:26:58 -0400

    Andre Kamenshikov speaks with NVI NYC's Interns

    Andre Kamenshikov

    Andre Kamenshikov, Nonviolence International leader and regional coordinator of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in Eastern Europe, shares his views about current challenges and developments in Eastern Europe with NVI NYC's interns.

    Thanks to our friends at Nonviolence International NY.


  • Sudanese leaders and US Representative Pramila Jayapal speaking about the people power nonviolent revolution in Sudan

    Nonviolence International is thrilled to share this video featuring our impressive friends and colleagues educating us about the people power nonviolent revolution in Sudan and the current challenges they face today.

    The brave nonviolent revolution in Sudan inspires us and deserves our active support. Instead the US government is blaming them for the past actions of the very brutal regime they fought to remove from power. Our moral obligation is clear and in this instance lines up well with our strategic interests. We should 1) immediately remove the sanctions, and 2) lead an international effort to provide much needed humanitarian support so that the transitional government can succeed. 

    Our speakers include Khartoum-based experts: Asma Ismail Ahmed - a well known civil society activist, Anthony Haggar - a prominent businessman and influential leader, as well as Jalelah Sophia Ahmed - a leader in the Sudanese diaspora in Washington DC. US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal joins us to speak about what US and global citizens can do to help.

    Our host is Michael Beer, NVI Director, who provided much needed support for the Sudanese people during the uprising.

    Time Stamps: 

    Anthony Haggar - 6:25

    US Rep. Pramila Jayapal - 16:13

    Asma Ismail Ahmed - 29:53

    Jalelah Sophia Ahmed - 38:36

    Q&A and Group Discussion - 45:12

    Below is a clip from the same webinar featuring US Representative Pramila Jayapal speaking about the people power nonviolent revolution in Sudan. She represents Washington's 7th congressional district and is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Rep. Jayapal joined us for a webinar led by our Sudanese colleagues. 

    She has just released an important new book. Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.  https://thenewpress.com/books/use-power-you-have

    You can follow her on Twitter @RepJayapal.

     

    For more on this important topic, please see:

    https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/sudan_mural

    https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_on_sudan

    https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_sudan_june_2020


    Thanks to our friends at Nonviolence International New York for their partnership creating this and many other videos.

     

     


  • US Representative Pramila Jayapal speaking about the people power nonviolent revolution in Sudan

    Nonviolence International is thrilled to share this video of US Representative Pramila Jayapal speaking about the people power nonviolent revolution in Sudan. She represents Washington's 7th congressional district and is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Rep. Jayapal joined us for a webinar led by our Sudanese colleagues. 

    She has just released an important new book. Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.  https://thenewpress.com/books/use-power-you-have

    You can follow her on Twitter @RepJayapal.

    The brave nonviolent revolution in Sudan inspires us and deserves our active support. Instead the US government is blaming them for the past actions of the very brutal regime they fought to remove from power. Our moral obligation is clear and in this instance lines up well with our strategic interests. We should 1) immediately remove the sanctions, and 2) lead an international effort to provide much needed humanitarian support so that the transitional government can succeed. 

     

    For more on this important topic, please see:

    https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/sudan_mural

    https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_on_sudan

    https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_sudan_june_2020


    Thanks to our friends at Nonviolence International New York for their partnership creating this and many other videos.

     

     


  • published Gene Sharp in The Atlantic in Updates 2020-06-30 16:37:54 -0400

    Gene Sharp in The Atlantic

    We were pleased to see Gene Sharp's foundational work on the power of active nonviolence highlighted in The Atlantic recently. Check out this short excerpt and read the full piece on their site. 

    The most important theorist of nonviolent revolutions is the late political scientist Gene Sharp. A conscientious objector during the Korean War who spent nine months in prison, Sharp became a close student of Mahatma Gandhi’s struggles. His work set out to extract the lessons of the Indian revolt against the British. He wanted to understand the weaknesses of authoritarian regimes—and how nonviolent movements could exploit them. Sharp distilled what he learned into a 93-page handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy, a how-to guide for toppling autocracy.

    Sharp’s foundational insight is embedded in an aphorism: “Obedience is at the heart of political power.” A dictator doesn’t maintain power on his own; he relies on individuals and institutions to carry out his orders. A successful democratic revolution prods these enablers to stop obeying. It makes them ashamed of their complicity and fearful of the social and economic costs of continued collaboration.

    Sharp posited that revolutionaries should focus first on the regime’s softest underbelly: the media, the business elites, and the police. The allegiance of individuals in the outer circle of power is thin and rooted in fear. By standing strong in the face of armed suppression, protesters can supply examples of courage that inspire functionaries to stop carrying out orders, or as Sharp put it, to “withhold cooperation.” Each instance of resistance provides the model for further resistance. As the isolation of the dictators grows—as the inner circles of power join the outer circle in withholding cooperation—the regime crumbles.

    Franklin Foer is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of World Without Mind

    We are excited that years of focused effort are coming together to allow us to publish an update of Gene Sharp’s seminal work The Politics of Nonviolent Action, with our friends at the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict. This monograph, which was blessed by Sharp, was written by NVI’s Director Michael Beer and includes 346+ powerful tactics of nonviolent action.

    We are developing an online database that will allow activists and scholars worldwide to learn from this resource. It will be a living document that grows as friends and allies provide feedback and new ideas. 


  • published Expand our Compassion to Include Palestinians in Updates 2020-06-29 16:46:04 -0400

    Expand our Compassion to Include Palestinians

    By David Hart

    With thanks to our friends at Waging Nonviolence and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, I am pleased to share a piece I wrote that they just published. If you are not already getting their inspirational newsletters, please sign up now here. 


    As ‘annexation’ looms, let’s expand our compassion to include Palestinians

    For decades, Israel has used talk of peace as a cover for expansion of an unjust system. We are now poised on a dangerous cliff that should offend everyone who believes themselves to be committed to human rights, international law or creative conflict resolution. 

    I am Jewish and was raised being told of land taken during a war when the whole world was against us and still somehow we prevailed. Yes, international law made clear that no nation can occupy land they took in war. But, we were defending ourselves and we certainly would not hold the land long. 

    The story I was told was one of an oppressed people eeking out a fragile living in a harsh land. Not surprisingly those people were “my people.” I wasn’t told of the suffering of the Palestinian people. When I learned of this deep affront to the basic values Jews are taught are at the heart of our faith, I was somehow more able to accept this contradiction because it came with a story that land would be traded for peace and the occupation would soon end. 

    That was decades ago. Sadly, cruel and illegal actions taken again and again have reshaped “facts on the ground” and made the call for a two-state solution more of a cover for oppressive policies than a realistic path towards justice and peace.

    Now Trump, Netanyahu, and Jared Kushner are forming an unholy alliance of callous disregard for the suffering of others. When we are appropriately focused on COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests sweeping our nation and the globe, a great evil will likely be advanced. They put out a swiss cheese map that is not — nor can it ever be — a real nation. It appears likely that some form of annexation may move forward over the next several weeks or months. 

    To make the so-called “international community” respond less harshly, they will likely not take all the land in one fell swoop. Maybe they will take smaller steps or call it something other than annexation, but have no doubt they are continuing a long and destructive pattern —  one that flies in the face of international law and makes a joke of mediation and conflict resolution. 

    For years I made my living as a conflict resolution practitioner and believe deeply in the power of those tools. Even people with minimal exposure to mediation understand both parties must be at the table for the process to have any credibility. What Jared dreamt up or built from pieces fed to him by those without the vision to imagine a world of peace with justice is not a peace plan at all. Don’t let them fool you. They have put forth a series of unworkable proposals that have neither been considered nor approved by both sides to the conflict. Instead, they talk out of both sides of their mouths, declaring a love for peace while harshly ignoring the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. The “deal of the century” is no deal at all. Turns out it is a dangerous and deceitful farce that negates the power and potential of actual negotiation. 

    Many progressive, moderate and conservative American Jews are now expressing deep, and hopefully, heartfelt sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a major step and one I celebrate with all my heart. Similarly, the vast majority of my community — other than a handful of religious fanatics who are on the wrong side of history — celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on LGBTQ rights. The court said simply you can’t be married legally on a Sunday and then be fired on Monday if the boss finds out who you love. Most Jews understand this as a step forward on the path to the much needed and long delayed Tikkun Olam — our moral obligation to heal and repair the world.  

    Wanting to meet people wherever they are and seeking to embrace radically honest conversation even when it scares us, I must ask, what will it take to extend our compassion to the Palestinian people? Maybe we could start with the simple recognition that they are fully human. Radical I know, but true nonetheless. We seem to be able to accept the suffering of others when we are able to dehumanize them. When we can not see them to be as loving and fully alive as ourselves or our families, we can turn away when we see them suffer needlessly. 

    If the repulsive and important video of George Floyd being murdered by a uniformed police officer bothers you, you are alive. You are human, you are decent, and able to feel for the suffering of others. And now I ask, can you extend your compassion to those young people in Palestine with the knee of occupation on their necks? I know this is not easy and that there is much to do at home to help create a just society, but neither of those facts can be used as a reason to avoid our ongoing moral obligation to speak up about the suffering of the Palestinian people. 

    My hope is that those willing to begin to grapple with this complex and difficult series of interrelated issues will read the recent article by Daoud Kuttab, the celebrated journalist and creator of Sesame Street Palestine. He challenges us to come to terms with some harsh realities of occupation and lovingly urges us to look at the pattern of lies — and to question our own beliefs. I found reading his words to be both challenging and worthwhile. Even while asking us to examine the painful truth of our own complicity in the occupation, he warmly welcomes us into the conversation, noting kindly and correctly that “Palestinians have made mistakes too.” I urge you to bravely ponder what he says at this critical moment. 

    I feel moved to share a short story that shook me to the core. Recently, I was on yet another Zoom call, this time with a group of old friends knowledgeable of the reality in Palestine. It is a mixed group with substantial involvement from different relevant communities. Before beginning an open discussion, two Palestinian experts were asked to speak. One, an attorney, noted several different scenarios of how annexation or something like might play out. His remarks have informed this piece. Another longtime nonviolent Palestinian leader said, “I’m not too worried about annexation.” 

    Many of us on the call seemed shocked, but then as he explained, we became more sad than surprised. He spoke movingly of the brutal reality of day-to-day life for so many Palestinians. He noted with particular concern the trauma inflicted on young people who have known no reality other than occupation. He wasn’t telling us annexation isn’t a big deal. He was reminding us it has been underway in one form or another for decades. 

    There are however two major differences annexation will, in fact, bring. First, it will be very hard to change course after this  illegal and immoral executive action is taken. Reversal would require a supermajority vote of Israeli Knesset members, which is not likely. 

    Possibly even more significant to the day-to-day reality for Palestinians is how the change could impact settlement construction. As noted above, with every new settlement we were told that Israel remained ready to trade land for peace. But, facts on the ground made that less and less likely. At least under current law, new settlements — in land that all understand to be occupied by force and thus not legally held by Israel — have to receive special permission from both Israel’s defense and prime ministers. If annexation moves forward, settlement expansion will become a local issue and thus it will be much easier to proceed without a time consuming approval process.  

    I struggle to remain hopeful in the face of so many terrible things happening in the world these days. The interrelated crises coming at us will not be easy to solve, but if we can expand our compassion to all those experiencing unnecessary suffering, we will find a path forward that embraces our deepest values. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are calling out to be heard and need our support. Let us push past the boundaries of our comfort zones and look directly at the harsh reality of occupation and annexation. May that difficult process bring us closer to real and lasting peace.

    https://wagingnonviolence.org/forusa/2020/06/annexation-looms-lets-expand-our-compassion-to-include-palestinians/