Updates-A Story of Realistic Hope

Spotlight on Nonviolence - Introducing 3 New Cohosts

NVI is lucky to have three new wonderful cohosts for our Spotlight Series. Nimesh and Paige are two of our new interns. Paige is a senior at Wittenberg University while Nimesh is a recent graduate of George Washington University. Kate is a graduate student at the University of Cambridge who has graciously volunteered to be a cohost along with our interns. Learn more about these impressive young leaders in the videos below. 


Nimesh's Intro Video


Paige's Intro Video


Kate's Intro Video


A few years ago we were told that computer algorithms would serve us. Now we have learned that we serve them. So, we are compelled to ask you to “please like and subscribe” to our new YouTube channel so that others will be introduced to the work you already support.

Spotlight on Nonviolence - Joanne Sheehan

In this Spotlight on Nonviolence, I had the opportunity to speak with Joanne Sheehan, a long-time nonviolence activist, trainer, and educator. During her career, Joanne has worked as a member of War Resisters' International, co-founder of the War Resisters' League Office in New England, and chair of Voluntown Peace Trust. Some of Joanne's most recent works include: We need to strategically eliminate fascism, not hollow calls for peace (written with Shiyam Galyan) January 22, 2021, in Waging Nonviolence and The roots of revolutionary nonviolence in the United States are in the Black community February 15, 2021, in Waging Nonviolence.

In our interview, we tackled topics such as feminism, the role of education/training in nonviolent activism, what can nonviolent resistance movements of today learn from other generations of nonviolent activists, and nonviolence activism in the Black community. Joanne began her activism in the 1960s and 1970s during the rise of feminism and with influence from feminist and nonviolent protest advocate Barbara Deming. We then talk about the elements of nonviolence training Joanne has gathered from her education and experience, including Gandhi's idea of a constructive program. Bringing all of this into our current world, Joanne and I conclude with thoughts on present-day nonviolent movements and what advice she can offer the next generation of nonviolent leaders.

Talking to Joanne was truly a pleasure. She brought so much of her experience in nonviolent activism to this interview. Our discussion made me consider how we construct and empower nonviolent movements. I hope you take the time to watch our interview and that it is just as impactful for you as it was for me. 


Check out the Spotlight Interview with Joanne Sheehan here


Learn more about War Resisters' International: https://wri-irg.org/en

Learn more about War Resisters' New England Office: https://www.warresisters.org/new-england-office

Learn more about Voluntown Peace Trust: http://www.voluntownpeacetrust.org/

Learn more about Barbara Deming: https://demingfund.org/

Learn more about Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/


A few years ago we were told that computer algorithms would serve us. Now we have learned that we serve them. So, we are compelled to ask you to “please like and subscribe” to our new YouTube channel so that others will be introduced to the work you already support. 


 

Spotlight on Nonviolence - George Lakey

In this Spotlight on Nonviolence, I had the great privilege of talking with George Lakey, a retired professor of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore College, lifelong activist and author of several books including How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning and Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right and How We Can, Too. In Part 1, George and I discuss his work in the civil rights movement, his thoughts on the successes and failures of the Black Lives Matter movement, and his extraordinary experience as a nonviolent bodyguard for human rights lawyers in Sri Lanka. In Part 2, George and I discuss lessons that labor activists in America can learn from the labor movement of the Nordic countries and his experience fighting for LGBTQ liberation. I was struck by George's immense warmth, passion, and intellect. George has dedicated his life to social movements and talking with him, seeing the gleam in his eyes and hearing his hearty laugh, I got the sense that he has been a "happy warrior" for peace and justice.

George has the ability to reframe an issue in a way that makes you see it in a new light. During a discussion of the slogan "defund the police" and the radical vs. reformist debate, George shattered that simple dichotomy by distinguishing between means and ends, both elements that activists must think about deeply.  As a queer man myself, it was quite moving to talk to someone who has spent decades fighting for LGBTQ rights and never gave up hope that the struggle was winnable. I particularly enjoyed George's framing of coming out as a powerful nonviolent tactic. I wouldn't be able to live my truth if it weren't for the courage of George and other queer elders who illuminated the path to liberation. His practical advice for activists- articulate your vision in common sense terms, always go on the offensive- is essential for the ongoing fights we are waging for a more just economic system, a habitable planet, a world free from senseless wars and the senseless killing of Black people by police. George is truly a teacher- never pedantic or patronizing- but ever enlightening. I found our conversation deeply inspiring and insightful and I hope you will too. 


PART 1

PART 2


Learn more about Peace Brigades International here- https://www.peacebrigades.org/

Learn more about Black Lives Matter here- https://blacklivesmatter.com/


A few years ago we were told that computer algorithms would serve us. Now we have learned that we serve them. So, we are compelled to ask you to “please like and subscribe” to our new YouTube channel so that others will be introduced to the work you already support. 


 

The future will be shaped by these impressive young leaders

Each semester Nonviolence International is blessed with wonderful volunteer interns who inspire us and produce impressive work that is the foundation of all we do. For the first time ever, we have welcomed a team whose commitment will extend for two full semesters. We take seriously our obligation to provide orientation, training, and ongoing professional development opportunities. Having interns with us for many more months will provide them the chance to develop even greater skills and will serve NVI even more effectively. We are grateful to these exceptional young leaders who are teaching us everyday. 

As you get to know them below, please consider what you can do to ensure their future. The world we are leaving future generations will be full of avoidable suffering unless we come together and act boldly now. Might you want to meet these interns, donate to support NVI's work, or help us with vital communications or development projects?  Whatever you decide to do, I hope you will take inspiration from our new NVI interns. 


Paige Wright, She/Her, 21

Hey all! My name is Paige and I am a senior at Wittenberg University. I am majoring in both political science and economics and later plan to attend law school. In the future, I would like to be a human rights attorney and hope that as an attorney I can support the fight to bring equity to all. I joined NVI to support the dignity of everyone and peace campaigns around the world. At NVI, I have the pleasure to work on our training archive, spotlight series, fiscal management, and more. One of the highlights of interning has been interviewing legendary activist Joanne Sheehan for a Spotlight interview. You can check out our Spotlight at our YouTube channel YouTube.com/Nonviolence. I look forward to connecting more with you and growing with my fellow interns!


Jackson Yoder, She/Her They/Them, 23

Nice to meet you! I have been with NVI since August, and I am responsible for our social media, website building, and donor communications. I joined NVI because of our mutual commitment to the Palestinian liberation cause, but soon realized that this organization was the perfect space to also work on intersecting issues such as environmental justice, refugees’ rights, and queer rights.


Nimesh Wijewardane, He/Him or They/Them, 21

Hey y’all! My name is Nimesh and I am a recent graduate of George Washington University, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in creative writing. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas though I consider Washington DC to be my second home. I hope to pursue a career as an immigration rights lawyer. At NVI, I’ve been working on promoting the books of Michael Beer and Jonathan Kuttab as well as our Spotlight series on our YouTube channel. For my first Spotlight video, I had the incredible opportunity to speak with George Lakey and our insightful and inspiring conversation is definitely one of the highlights of my time at NVI so far.



Lea Hilliker, She/Her (22)

Hey everyone! My name is Lea, I am a senior at Oakland University in metro Detroit, Michigan. I am studying International Relations with a specialization in Global Justice and Sustainability with minors in Sociology and History, and a concentration in Urban Studies. I recently returned from a study abroad trip to Ghana where I studied Global Health, Development, and Service Learning. I hope to learn more about peace activism and non-profit management. I am currently applying to the Peace Corps, and I am excited to utilize my experience with NVI. So far I have had the opportunity to contribute to our Tactics Database, and work with NationBuilder.


We at Nonviolence International would like to thank all our interns for their hard work, and will continue to lift up their powerful voices in our organization and in the greater community of those who support a global nonviolent movement.

We hope that throughout the course of their time with NVI, you have the chance to meet these amazing young people and get a sense of their passion and power. 

NVI Director's new book on Nonviolent Tactics

We celebrate a moment that we have been working towards for years - actually decades. Nonviolence International's longtime director, Michael Beer, has released his first book and it's an important one. Michael has updated Gene Sharp's seminal text training the world in the value of nonviolent tactics. We are pleased that our friends at ICNC, who published this book, have now translated it into both Spanish and Farsi. Get your copy and sign up to help below. 

Get Your Free PDF Here 

Get Your Paperback Here

Sign Up to Help Here

Obtenga su copia aquí

نسخه خود را از اینجا دریافت کنید


Click any item in this list to go to that part of the page.

Recordings

How You Can Help

Reviews 


Recordings

Michael Explains His Book in Under Five Minutes!

Watch this short video of Michael Beer explaining the essence of his book in under five minutes. Michael explains why he chose to write this book now and what he hopes his book will inspire in the future.


Book Launch Webinar

NVI hosted an interactive webinar with Michael Beer, Jamila Raqib of the Albert Einstein Institution founded by Gene Sharp, and Véronique Dudouet of the Berghof Foundation. 


In Conversation with Publisher ICNC

In partnership with our friends at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Michael presented his new book. When you have time, please watch the full inspirational conversation, but don't miss our request for your help below. As Michael said at the end of the webinar, "being active is the essence of nonviolence." We look forward to working with you to promote our shared values. 


Why We Need Nonviolent Tactics in the 21st Century

Many years ago, when I studied Peace and Conflict as an undergrad and later in grad school, we loved Gene's book and even then we felt it was outdated. Finally, decades later when the world has changed so dramatically, someone is updating that foundational work. Whoever was doing this would have my active support. I'm proud it is my friend and colleague at NVI, Michael, and ask for your help getting this important book widely distributed. More on this vital next step below. 

Creative nonviolence is always evolving and growing, but since Gene wrote the internet has fundamentally changed the nature of our world and thus our work. So we are launching this new book along with an interactive database of nonviolent tactics. This database celebrates our collective wisdom and our capacity to come together - in the face of massive challenges - and find powerful nonviolent ways to protest and to help build the new emerging world. 

To say that we find ourselves at a difficult time is a massive understatement. Our society is dangerously addicted to violence. NVI believes that change has come in the past and will come in the future from social movements seizing our power and paving a way to a brighter future.

NVI is under-resourced for the challenges before us including doing justice to this mission-critical book launch. So, I must do what activists do, and that is ask for your help.

I have several key goals in mind related to this book launch. One is a strong desire to get this book into the hands of those who need it most. To me, that includes those studying nonviolence, peace, and conflict resolution as well as those acting to create a better world. We do not seek to replace Gene's book in classrooms, but instead, hope to supplement that still vital text with Michael's expanded take and online database. Can you help us achieve that goal? Are you a teacher who might know how to go about getting books into the classroom from high school through graduate studies?

We still do not have an active Communications Action Team (nor a Development Action Team). If you believe, as I do, that the world needs to learn about the power of NV tactics, please consider helping us make this book launch impactful. If you can volunteer your time and talents, please contact me. If you can make a gift to support this work, please do so here. 


How You Can Help 

Here is some promotional text you can use to spread the word about this important book. 

This book belongs on the virtual bookshelf of anyone who is studying or practicing nonviolent action.

For scholars: This book updates Gene Sharp’s 1973 seminal work Methods of Nonviolent Action, reworking Sharp’s classifications to include 148 additional tactics.

For trainers and teachers: Brief yet comprehensive, this overview of nonviolence explains the mechanisms by which nonviolent actions succeed.

For activists: This resource, in conjunction with Nonviolence International’s inspirational Nonviolent Tactics Database and our partnership with Rutgers University's International Institute for Peace our Nonviolence Training Archive, enlarges the activist toolbox. This monograph will serve as a foundational text not only “in the field” of action, but also in classrooms studying nonviolent action, civil resistance, peacebuilding, and creative conflict resolution around the world.

For everyone: If you wish to join the team to promote this inspirational text, fill out this form so we know how you can help move this effort forward. You can also help us promote the book over social media. This toolkit provides tips and directions on how you can be most helpful on social media platforms! Followed by images used to promote this text, here's an example of the type of post most helpful to this effort:


Reviews:

Stephen Zunes

Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco and editor, author, and co-author of publications on Nonviolence, Middle-Eastern Policy, and War

“The use of strategic nonviolent resistance has grown dramatically worldwide in the nearly fifty years since Gene Sharp documented his now-famous 198 methods of nonviolent action. Since that time, scores of additional methods have been utilized and the theoretical understanding of civil resistance has grown tremendously. Michael Beer has brought us up to date with this impressive monograph with a revised, expanded, and recategorized list which is a must-read for both scholars and activists.”

Véronique Dudouet

Senior researcher and program director at the Berghof Foundation and author of many publications on nonviolent action and civil resistance

"Michael Beer’s new Monograph “Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century” fully meets its ambitious goal of revisiting the field of nonviolent action in light of recent tactical and strategic innovations. Influenced by Gene Sharp’s seminal categorization of civil resistance methods – which remains an authoritative reference among activists and scholars alike – Beer adapts it to the contemporary realities of nonviolent activism. The rich array of approaches and cultural practices covered in this study is fascinating, with illustrations ranging from ‘maximalist’ campaigns to sectorial struggles for rights, justice, accountability and sustainability across the globe. It helpfully outlines distinctions between disruptive and constructive resistance, and between acts of expression, omission and commission. In particular, the monograph explores in detail positive inducements such as appeals, refraining acts, and creative intervention, which bring to light the constructive dimension of civil resistance. Moreover, it usefully spells out the ‘frontiers’ between nonviolent action and overlapping practices that belong to the domains of institutional, violent, third-party or support intervention. This monograph will be both highly valuable for activists who are interested in learning about the rich plurality of nonviolent methods to pursue social change, and for researchers to think creatively about new ways to systematize tactics and methods in relation to broader strategies and campaigns."

Maria J. Stephan

American Political Scientist and former Director of the program on nonviolent action at the United States Institute of Peace

"In his ambitious new monograph, Michael Beer explores the expanding universe of nonviolent tactics and helps us make sense of them. Building on Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action and integrating the frameworks of many other scholars and practitioners, Beer offers a revised and updated table and classification system for analyzing nonviolent tactics. His account, brimming with global applications of lesser-known tactics (exs. kiss-ins, virtual reality games, and reverse strikes) shines a light on creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability of activists, organizers, and movement leaders around the world. I expect that this new classification of tactics will be of great use to activists, academics, and practitioners seeking to strategize, understand, and support nonviolent campaigns and movements around the world - particularly in our new digital age."

Lisa Schirch

Co-author of "Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding" and the author of 10 other books on peacebuilding and social movements

“Stuck with just a few tactics in your go-to list for making social change? This book offers clear, compelling, creative options for making nonviolent action more effective and more engaging.”

Jack Healey

Former Director of Amnesty International USA

“Awesome book for every human rights defender doing actions outside the court system.”

Stellan Vinthagen

Renowned scholar and professor of Resistance Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"This is a unique summary of nonviolent tactics that attempts to create a synthesis that brings several different existing definitions and categorizations. It is an ambitious compilation of different approaches to how to describe "nonviolent tactics," which avoids many of the existing inconsistencies and problems with suggested categorizations. And, in a great contribution to the practical needs of activists and the field of nonviolent action studies, Beer arrives at the most expansive mapping of the rich repertoire of tactics that I have ever seen. It is a must-read for scholars, activists and organizers of campaigns."

Barbara Wien 

Senior Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service at American University and Peace Educator of the Year 

“This book is an invaluable tool for constructively transforming the current challenges roiling the US and the globe. Please join me in using this in your classrooms."

(From left to right) Mubarak El-Amin, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Steve Williamson celebrate Michael’s new book!

Celebrating Sunrise and the youth led global diverse movement for planet and people

Can we find solutions that match the scale of the problems we face?

Nonviolence International believes that in this time of crisis, we must find a way to craft solutions that are capable of responding to the massive challenges before us. Typical delay and compromise politics are not sufficient to the reality of the moment. The time for small ideas is over. As is the time when we can allow our broken system to define our vision. When politicians receive funding from those actively destroying our precious planet, we must find another way to respond to the climate crisis. 

The exceptional young leaders of the Sunrise movement have tried a variety of approaches including education, letter writing, public protests, and direct action. They have even engaged in the dangerous often corrupt world of electoral politics. They have found that even after the vast coalition you represent plays a key role in getting leaders into office, they mostly follow. As usual, elected leaders must be pushed to fulfill key promises made during campaigns.

Now brave young people seeking to claim a livable future have begun a hunger strike. Extinction Rebellion UK just asked if this is the most important fortnight in history. They note that previous massive well-publicized conferences have not produced the change we need. We share the sense of urgency and know we will need each other even more after both the upcoming conference and the legislative process underway in Washington, DC fail to grasp the enormity of the moment. These young leaders understand the nature of the crisis we face, know well that US is by far the greatest historical polluter causing climate change, and deserve our active support. 

To learn more about each of these leaders and find ways you can help, please see the information below from Sunrise.

See also further explanation of this powerful nonviolent tactic in NVI's online database. 

Hunger Strikes

Relay Hunger Strikes


PRESS CONTACT

Nikayla Jefferson

619-961-6080

[email protected]

HUNGER STRIKE FOR

CLIMATE JUSTICE

bit.ly/hungerstrike4climate

We Demand:

Biden, deliver on your climate justice promises.

Pass the full scope of the reconciliation bill to ensure the United States reduces emissions at least 50% by 2030 while advancing justice and creating millions of new good union jobs.

The bill must include a Civilian Climate Corps, direct investments in public schools, housing, transit, and clean energy to reduce emissions across major sectors and improve our communities. No investments towards fossil fuels.


What can you do?

Write or Call the White House

 Go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/ to bring our demands and our story directly to the White House.

Call your Members of Congress

Go to CallForTheGND.org  to call your Representative and Senators!

Phonebank

You can join an upcoming phonebank hosted by Sunrise Movement. (http://smvmt.org/gnd)

Donate to our GoFundMe

Help us pay for  water, supplies, transportation, housing, etc. Please help us out! (https://www.gofundme.com/f/hunger-strike-for-climate-justice)

Share this document (bit.ly/hungerstrike4climate) or the links above with your friends with a personal note!

Hey, there’s 5 young ppl on hunger strike rn for climate change. They’re only  drinking water til the gov passes the first part of the green new deal, and it could totally happen. They’re asking ppl to support them. I’m doing [], would u wanna join me?? See here bit.ly/hungerstrike4climate

On Wednesday, our team launched a hunger strike; help amplify by sharing and following on social media:

  • Accounts to tag
  • Hashtags
  • #NoClimateNoDeal
  • #NoCompromisesNoExcuses
  • #BidenChooseUs
  • #HungerStrikeForClimate
  • Posts to uplift

Press

KALW - Youth Climate Activists are on Hunger Strike Outside the White House

Al Jazeera - Climate Activists Go on Hunger Strike near White House

Yahoo News - After Manchin nixes clean energy budget provision, youth climate change activists go on hunger strike

The Guardian - Climate Activists Launch Hunger Strike Outside White House 

Teen Vogue - Hunger Strike for Climate Justice Begins in DC 

Democracy Now - Climate Activists Start Hunger Strike from White House

The New York Times - Biden Backs Compromise to Win Vast Social Agenda

New Republic - Climate Activists are Going on Hunger Strike

Rachel Maddow Show - It’s Been a Busy Week of Direct Action All Over the Country

Why now?

Joe Manchin is trying to purge climate policy from the $3.5T Build Back Better Act. The most crucial pieces for federal climate action: the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC), the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), pieces of the GND for Public Housing could be gone if Manchin and his corporate donors get their way. These policies are more than just acronyms – a CEPP means clean air and water. A CCC means jobs and opportunities for our generation. A robust reconciliation package means less human suffering. Joe Biden has the power to make this a reality right now, but has conceded control of the White House, the Democratic Party, and the future of this country to Joe Manchin and his fossil fuel fortune. Now, everything we’ve fought for is on the line.

That’s why on Wednesday, October 20, five brave young people began a hunger strike in the fight for what we need. It’s all hands on deck now and we need you in this fight.

We must pass the full scope of this bill or we will spiral deeper into the climate crisis. The urgency of now cannot be understated: This could be our last chance to pass federal climate policy for the rest of the decade and we won’t back down without a fight.

The time is now and we have nothing to lose. No climate, no deal.

WEDNESDAY 10/20: HUNGER STRIKE LAUNCH

Starting Wednesday morning outside of the White House, five young people will begin a hunger strike until Joe Biden and Democrats pass the full scope of the Build Back Better Act to combat the climate emergency. Our names are Kidus, Abby, Paul, Ema, and Julie and we are risking our bodies to demand Democrats deliver on their elected climate commitments, and pass the first pieces of the Green New Deal for climate justice.

Why a hunger strike?

The stakes of this moment are greater than our lives: the United States is at a crossroad on climate, and the Democrats have a choice between mass human suffering or mass human survival. Hunger strikes and fasting are tactics that have been used by social movements throughout history to draw attention to certain issues, underscore the moral authority of participants and put pressure on key targets. We hope our hunger strike can appeal to Joe Biden, bring more people into our movement and emphasize what is at stake -- future life on this planet -- in this bill.

MEET THE STRIKE TEAM

Kidus, 26, Dallas, TX

I’m hunger striking because I believe we can win. I’m fighting for my mom who is an in-home caregiver, the people in Texas who died during the TX Freeze, and my future children. I’m fighting for a Dallas that invests in green public housing in immigrant neighborhoods like my first home, Vickery Meadow.  I’m going on a hunger strike because we all deserve clean air, good jobs, and a livable future.  I’m striking for everyone I've ever loved and I won’t back down until Biden invests in us, our futures and his own agenda. Twitter: @Kidus_GirmaB Tiktok: kidusgirma460 Instagram: kidusgirma460

 


Paul Campion, he/him, 24, Chicago, IL

 

On Saturdays with my neighbors I pack and deliver groceries to other neighbors. On warm summer nights, I love to bike along Lake Michigan looking at the bright Chicago lights and the stars that poke through. I’m going on hunger strike because I want to live a full, beautiful life. I want to have carefree days where I can play in the park with my future children and evenings when I can invite friends and family over for dinners, a bonfire, and singing. I’m going on hunger strike to remind Joe Biden of the promise he’s made to tackle the climate crisis and the responsibility he has to follow through -- to not shrink & compromise away my generation’s future. I’m striking to remind him that it’s alway worth it to do all that we can to prevent pain, suffering, and death. I’m striking to remind him that love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words. He must deliver strong federal climate legislation, paid family leave, and the full scope of his Build Back Better agenda so that I and the people I love can live full, beautiful lives.

Twitter: @_paulcampion

 


Ema, she/her, 18, Santa Rosa, CA:

I’m going on a hunger strike because I am terrified about what the climate crisis is doing and will do to the people and places I love. This summer I marched hundreds of miles across California to demand action that meets the scale of the climate crisis. But paid-off politicians are refusing to take my generation seriously, despite wildfires spreading and our homes burning. We need to invest boldly in climate now, for my family and so that I have a chance at a livable future. Insta: @ema.govea


Julia Paramo, she/ella,  24, Dallas, TX:

I’m hunger striking for my Tejano community. My community has to rely on itself because the government currently won’t fight for us. I will fight for my people. Mi comnunidad looks like community gardens, urban farming, and working people who live in food-deserts putting in hours to only get cents back. I want a future where I can laugh and dance with my friends without the fear of being outside. So, I’m striking to carry on la lucha of my ancestors, for my parents who came to this country with false promises of the “American Dream,” only to fight tooth and nail out of poverty to barely land in the working class. We have abused mother-nature for too long, our communities are hurting.  I do not want this earth to die the way I already see my neighborhoods suffer everyday. I’m hunger striking because Joe Biden owes my community what he ran on. To show Biden the pain an entire generation faces if he and his administration fail to deliver on their promises.

Insta: @julieahp

Twitter: @julie_ahp


Abby Leedy, she/her, 20, Philadelphia, PA: 

 

I want to keep living in West Philly. I want to have a home here one day, with my mom, my wife and my kids. I want to have a garden and go to church every week. I’m hunger striking because that future means everything to me, and I’ll risk everything I have to make it real. I believe we can stop climate change, that there’s a future where Philly is above water, where my family can live with dignity, and peace, and joy. I don’t have millions of dollars to pay our politicians off to make that happen. I just have my life. Instagram: @abby.leedy

Tiktok: @notabbyfromqueereye


Check out this short powerful video from Greta Thunberg

 

Nonviolence International Stands in Solidarity with Al-Haq

At this critical moment, Nonviolence International raises up Al-Haq and our co-founder Jonathan Kuttab

Israel's Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, has declared six Palestinian Human Rights groups to be "terrorist organizations." Nonviolence International notes that these organizations are respected leaders in Palestinian Civil Society. They have received funding and support from the United Nations and the European Union, both of which do their due diligence to ensure their funds are used to build not destroy. 

NVI's co-founder, Jonathan Kuttab, is also a co-founder of Al-Haq, one of the groups wrongly designated as "terrorists." As advocates of nonviolence, we consider the search for truth to be essential to building a just and peaceful world. Those who made this designation know better. They have taken this action not to reflect reality, but to shape it. 

The Center for Jewish Nonviolence said, "Throughout history, nonviolent leaders and movements for liberation have been smeared as terrorists by oppressive regimes. As Jews standing in solidarity with Palestinians, we see this every day, and we stand unequivocally with the Palestinian civil society organizations being targeted by the Israeli government, and we know that they are being targeted because their work poses an existential threat to the violent and immoral status quo."

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who work closely with many of these groups, said in a joint statement:

“This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement. For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.

How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders. We are proud to work with our Palestinian partners and have been doing so for decades. They represent the best of global civil society. We stand with them in challenging this outrageous decision.”

United Nations Human Rights experts put out a powerful joint statement which reads in part,

“This designation is a frontal attack on the Palestinian human rights movement, and on human rights everywhere,” said the experts. “Silencing their voices is not what a democracy adhering to well-accepted human rights and humanitarian standards would do. We call upon the international community to defend the defenders.”

The experts said that anti-terrorism legislation is designed for a specific and restricted purpose, and must not be used to unjustifiably undermine civil liberties or to curtail the legitimate work of human rights organisations. The United Nations Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have all been clear about the requirement to apply counter-terrorism measures in a manner which is consistent with international law and does not violate States international obligations, they said.

“The misuse of counter-terrorism measures in this way by the government of Israel undermines the security of all,” the experts said. “The freedoms of association and expression must be fully respected in order to enable civil society to perform its indispensable work, and cannot be undermined by the manifestly egregious misuse of counterterrorism and security legislation.”


Today, we ask all who declare their commitment to nonviolence to make real that commitment by standing for truth. Please read Jonathan's powerful statement below and take the quick action steps listed at the bottom of this piece. 

Jonathan has decades of commitment to nonviolence and human rights. Anyone who suggests otherwise should study his work and consider why they would make such foolish claims. 


Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) Statement on Israel’s Labeling of Top Palestinian Human Rights Agencies as “Terrorist Organizations”

By Jonathan Kuttab

FOSNA Executive Director, Al-Haq and Nonviolence International co-founder

About 40 years ago, Raja Shehadeh, Charles Shammas, and I created Al-Haq, the first Palestinian human rights organization. After our first publication, "The West Bank and the Rule of Law," an Israeli ambassador contemptuously dismissed us as “a mouthpiece for the PLO'' and for “making a mountain out of a molehill.” We argued back through the International Commission of Jurists, which was our sponsor, that we are totally independent and meticulous about our facts and documentation. We challenged him to prove his claims or to show that ANY of our publications contained any materially incorrect facts. He never replied.

In fact, we were viewed with some suspicion within the Palestinian community because we were strictly independent and spoke the language of human rights and international law, rather than political polemics. This was new for most Palestinians. We persisted, however, and other organizations followed in our footsteps. We managed to have a positive impact on Palestinian society as a serious human rights organization. Al-Haq is now one of several world-renowned and respected human rights organizations. I am proud to say that over the years Al-Haq has meticulously maintained its high standards and, after the Oslo process, was courageous enough to apply the same standards of objectivity, independence, and defense of human rights not just to the Israeli occupation, but also to the behaviour of the Palestinian Authority, and also of Hamas.

I was therefore shocked, though not surprised, when Israel today declared Al-Haq, together with Addamir, Defence of Children International-Palestine, and three other human rights organizations to be “terrorist organizations.” This is a far cry from the polemical, false accusations thrown at us occasionally by Israeli propagandists like the NGO Monitor. It carries practical consequences, such as the seizure of assets, arrest of personnel, and the criminalization of anyone who donates to or cooperates with us in any way.

The fact that Israel is choosing now to attack all six human rights organizations is deeply troubling. It may mean that we are finally becoming effective and successful, that Israel realizes it has lost the public-relations war, and that the world now knows and acknowledges the reality that it is an apartheid state and a systematic violator of human rights and international law. The Defense minister may be afraid that the day is approaching when he and other politicians and army generals may face prosecution before the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and he decided to silence these organizations and cripple their activities.

Another explanation, I am afraid, is that Israel no longer cares about its reputation and no longer fears international public opinion, or any sanctions by the international community. The fact that it has been successful so far in avoiding accountability, and that just a few months ago it ransacked the offices of Defense for Children International in Ramallah with little or no push back emboldened it to do whatever it wants without fear of repercussions. Its assault on civil society can go on unchallenged!!

For this reason alone, it is imperative that we must act now. Our churches, first and foremost, but also our elected representatives must hear from us immediately. Israel must know that its actions are monitored, noted, and will lead to consequences. At the very least, it can no longer claim to be a democracy and be part of the Western world. It can join the likes of Saudi Arabia and North Korea if it chooses, but as long as it pretends to be a democracy and lays claim to billions in economic and military aid from the United States and preferred trade treatment from the US and Europe, it must be made to abide by international standards, and at the very least, stop its attacks on human rights organizations. 

So please join with FOSNA and others in this action.

Learn More. Take Action:

Call now and urge your church, as well as your representatives in Washington, to take action and stop this assault on human rights activists and organizations.


For those interested in learning more about Jonathan's loving, visionary, and nonviolent analysis, please consider reading his wonderful recent book that is available for free from Nonviolence International. 

Writer from Gaza Reflects on the Two State Solution

By Nimesh Wijewardane 

Palestinian journalist Ahmed Alnaouq, co-founder of We Are Not Numbers, gave a presentation to the NVI team on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the viability of a two state solution. Ahmed also told the deeply moving story of how he was inspired to start We Are Not Numbers, an organization which lifts up the voices of young Palestinian writers in Gaza, after the tragic loss of his brother and friends in the 2014 Gaza war. Ahmed inspired us all with his steadfast commitment to achieving full human rights for the Palestinian people through sharing the stories of Palestinians and changing hearts and minds.



Photos by Yousef Bassam

See more at We Are Not Numbers 


If you value this work, please donate to help us expand our impact on this beautiful and broken world. 

NVI Stands in Solidarity with People of Sudan

Nonviolence International is deeply concerned about recent events in Sudan.

Michael Beer, our longtime Director, spoke at a rally on Saturday, October 30th in Washington, DC. 

He also gave a powerful interview on WBAI radio. His remarks begin at the 10:38 mark.-(WBAI Radio Link) 

As with all issues, NVI is committed to bringing our values forward. That includes raising up local leaders. We know those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. In this case, we were deeply moved by the nonviolent discipline of the brave leaders in Sudan. Please see updates and action steps from our Sudanese colleagues below. 


Summary: In 2019, Sudanese activists succeeded in ending the autocratic rule of Omar al-Bashir and instituting democratic reforms. However, on 25 October 2021, the Sudanese military led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan took control of the government in an attempted military coup. At least five senior government figures were initially detained. Civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok refused to declare support for the coup and on 25 October called for popular resistance; he was shifted to house arrest on 26 October. Widespread internet outages were also reported. Later the same day, the Sovereignty Council was dissolved, a state of emergency was put in place, and a majority of the Hamdok Cabinet and a large number of pro-government supporters had been arrested.

Major civilian groups including the Sudanese Professionals Association and Forces of Freedom and Change called for civil disobedience and refusal to cooperate with the coup organisers. Mass protests took place on 25 and 26 October against the coup, with lethal responses by the military. At least 10 civilians were killed and over 140 injured during the first day of protests. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Information and the Prime Minister's Office refused to recognize the transfer of power, stating that the coup was a crime and that Hamdok remained Prime Minister.

Sudan action steps:

Worldwide:

Please contact your governments to demand a strong response in opposition to the putsch. Special attention should be paid to countries that have not condemned the coup including Egypt, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

US Residents:

We are asking all Sudanese-Americans and Friends of Sudan in the United States to call the leaders below and ask them to hold an emergency hearing on the crisis in Sudan.

Congressman Meeks

Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee

202-225-3461, (202) 225-5021
Senator Menendez
(202) 224-4744, (202) 224-4651
Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Social media accounts to follow and support:

Madania

Sudan Foreign Translators for Change

Sudan Uprising

Sudan Change Now

Hashtags to learn more about the Sudanese resistance:

#SudanCoup #Oct30March #SudanUprising #SudanProtests


For those interested in learning more, see our webinar on this topic below as well as links to useful background information. 


From July 2020

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


From October 2020

NVI is proud to announce Michael Beer and Mubarak Elamin's (of the Sudan Policy Group) recent and important piece on Common Dreams. In their op-ed, they call on the US to revoke its decision to extort $335 million from the Sudanese People. Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world with not enough food or medicine for their citizens. Thus, punishing the people of Sudan for overthrowing their dictator in a nonviolent revolution is nonsensical. 

Here is a short snippet from the article:

"US policies are adding to a nightmare for the Sudanese people who have just suffered from the worst flooding in a century. While the US wasted a year to free Sudan from this terrorist designation, Sudan was unable to trade worldwide and obtain support from multilateral institutions to rebuild its economy and deal with covid19. The US is extorting the Sudanese people for the terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda on US citizens. However the Sudanese people and the present government are in no way responsible for those criminal acts. It was the government of the Sudanese dictator Al-Bashir that protected Al Qaeda during the early to mid-1990s, prior to the attacks against U.S. interests in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2019, the Sudanese people revolted in a nonviolent struggle and successfully ousted the dictator and his ruling party. The new government has succeeded in signing peace agreements ending three civil wars.

The victims of bombings deserve reparations. If reparations are to be paid, let the US and Saudi Arabia lead the way. The US and Saudi are not solely responsible for Al Qaeda but their policies greatly boosted its growth. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden who used the Saudi supported Salafi theology to create a violent group opposing non-Sunnis and, ironically, later to the Saudi monarchy. Its success was attributed to the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia and by the US support for Israel."

Here is the full article.


From September 2020

As some of you may know, Nonviolence International has been collaborating closely with brave nonviolent activists working in Sudan. We just received this amazing photo of a mural that was recently completed. We are told this is at the crossroads of major roads that connect Khartoum North with Omdurman in Sudan. 

The mural displays the names of friends and allies who have supported the nonviolent movements in Sudan during their time of crisis. You will see the names of:

Sudan Mural


Michael Beer - Director of Nonviolence International.

Stephen Zunes - Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco with a concentration in strategic nonviolence. Long time supporter and colleague of NVI.

Michael Nagler - President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education, and Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Long time support of NVI.

Stephanie Van Hook - Executive Director of the Metta Center.

Steve Williamson - Human rights activist and educator.

Walter Turner - Host of Radio, KPFK, about Africa and the African Diaspora.

Pramila Jayapal - Washington State representative in Congress and Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

Michael Beer and NVI provided support for the people of Sudan by

  • Offering webinars on nonviolent resistance seen by 350,000 people.
  • Spoke at major Sudan protests in Washington, DC.
  • Provided expert testimony for a Congressional briefing on Sudan,
  • Provided daily coaching for some of the mediators from May through July.
  • Raising humanitarian funds for the nonviolent resistance.

We have co-founded a new Sudanese network called Madania. This is a network of Sudanese educators who want to promote civic education in Sudan.  After being under a dictator for 30 years, many people don’t know how to participate in their own governance. Madania will be mapping the extent of civic education (human rights, nonviolence, voter, political party, etc) efforts in Sudan, begin creating networks of Sudanese civic educators, and provide a vehicle on the internet for mass education on citizen empowerment. Please support us monthly as we continue our Sudanese solidarity work.

We thank the Sudanese for creating and sharing this beautiful mural and for the deep and lasting impact their brave, creative, and constructive witness has had on all of us.

In these challenging times, the Sudanese people inspire us to keep focused on the much needed transformation in our own society. 

The Long Deceit is as Dangerous as the Big Lie

I'm honored to have my first piece published by Tikkun. This wonderful magazine has shaped my personal and political development and strengthened me through decades of activism. Grateful that Rabbi Michael Lerner's visionary leadership helped me find a path - as a Jew -to support Palestinian nonviolent activists. Please visit the magazine's powerful site and that of the Network of Spiritual Progressives.  


(Reposted from: https://www.tikkun.org/the-long-deceit-is-as-dangerous-as-the-big-lie/)

Anyone with a conscience watching events unfold in Afghanistan must be heartbroken. Many of us are wishing there was more effective action we could take in this troubling time. Sadly, in the midst of this crisis, there is really little we can do to enhance the security and freedom of the Afghan people. But, if we draw the wrong lessons from this tragedy, we will likely repeat this mistake with similar dangerous results.

People in America are coming to understand the impacts of allowing the Big Lie (that the last election was stolen) to go unchecked. We are starting to wake up to the ongoing threat of political violence because of how we dealt with the aftermath of the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. We must also wake up to the horror brought by acceptance of the Long Deceit.

Decade after decade, administration after administration, our leaders lied to us. The Afghanistan Papers received much less sustained attention than the Pentagon Papers. Many brave reporters have given us powerful insights into how the reality of our longest war never matched the spin from the top. The headline that ran with the Washington Post report read, “A secret history of the war - at war with the truth. U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it." The Long Deceit was paid for by the American taxpayers but perpetrated by leaders who are supposed to serve us. Instead, the top political leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties sold us a lie (not bad intelligence, not a mistake, but a pattern of deceit) that they knew was far from the truth we deserved. We were told again and again that our nation’s sacrifice in blood and treasure was worth it because we were building a stable government in Afghanistan. This was always a mirage.

Informed consent is as essential to democracy as the peaceful transfer of power, but it is not possible without accurate information. When our leaders lie to us, they are creating the illusion of consent not allowing informed citizens to make our voices heard.

The so-called experts showed limited respect for local traditions in Afghanistan and pompously suggested that we could impose our model of governance on a complex, ancient, and proud people. The Long Deceit supported a policy that was never going to work. Whether we had left ten years ago, or ten years from now, the outcome would have been similar because we were never building peace, just a house of cards propped up by our military might. The illusion of US-supported government stability was toppled with such speed because it was never real.

We must now recognize that this combination of ignorance and arrogance comes back to bite us (and those we say we care about) repeatedly. Some have wrongly suggested that the US military is leaving Afghanistan because our nation is “war weary.” No, our people are instead becoming “war wise.” That is, bit by bit, failure by failure, we are starting to see the limitations of our vast military power.

I served as executive director of Veterans for Peace (I’m a veteran organizer, not a military vet). The proud veterans I worked with often spoke about their powerful journeys from enthusiastic recruits through painful personal and often tragic experiences that taught them to doubt the whole war system. Our massive military-industrial complex has become a machine that feeds on itself and all of us - spending taxpayer money on lobbying to secure even more taxpayer money. And, they do this while knowingly lying to us. The results are predictable. Massive defense contractors line their own pockets and those of their former military allies serving on their Boards while sowing the seeds of violence all over the world.

Beware the experts who will be trotted out in the coming days. Remember that many of these same people were strong advocates for our disastrous wars. Those with a vested interest in keeping us addicted to enemies and keeping the dirty money flowing through the revolving door they personally benefit from will foolishly suggest that the problems of Afghanistan could have been solved if we just devoted a few more years, a few more billions of dollars, and a few more lives of those they purport to represent. No, the very real challenges of Afghanistan could never be solved by more Americans with guns. These experts will quickly attempt to define the limits of acceptable debate focusing solely on the troubling withdrawal process. Let’s remember to also consider how we got to this point in the first place. We must reflect on the power of the Long Deceit. They told us we were building a stable unified nation. Nonsense.

Many seem to want to believe that our vast military power is some kind of healing balm that can build stable societies and cure the world’s ills. Instead, our weapons are very good at destroying buildings and killing people, but we never were building peace, or justice, or respect for women’s rights in Afghanistan. We were attempting to impose our model of governance in an arrogant manner that clearly illustrated we lacked the ability to learn from our previous well-documented mistakes.

Let this terrible moment - and the painful tragedy yet to come - be a wake up call. Administration after administration promoted the Long Deceit. We must attempt to finally learn the clear and important lesson. War doesn’t work to establish peaceful, functioning, democratic societies. Imagine if the same amount of money, ingenuity, and effort had been put towards fighting the climate crisis. We would have done much more to build real and lasting peace and to enhance our own security.

I hope we can honor our veterans by making sure we never make the same mistakes again. It is time for those who oppose the Big Lie to speak out against the equally dangerous Long Deceit.


 “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

 

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