Updates-A Story of Realistic Hope

Alice Walker Raises Up Our Partner - US Boats to Gaza

Many of us are searching for realistic reasons for hope in these hard times.

I often find taking action in solidarity with others can help.

I am grateful to be able to raise up important recent developments with our wonderful partner US Boats to Gaza. 


No Distance Will Ever Divide Us: Palestine Is In the Heart

The great Alice Walker just posted about our partner US Boats to Gaza and raised up our co-founder Jonathan Kuttab 

She celebrates the ambulances that have just arrived in Gaza - thanks, in part, to our generous donors - and challenges the dangerous and false designation of respected human rights groups being labeled as "terrorists." 

Please see her beautiful and moving blog at Alice's Garden. 

Please consider making a donation to support their important work. 

 

Update on Western Sahara: Khaya Family Resistance Story

On Sunday, December 5, 2021, Sultana Khaya, and her sister, mother and brother were attacked in Western Sahara in their home by Moroccan authorities. Below are short and longer videos that show them speaking out about the attack (which included sexual assaults) and confronting the perpetrators on the street outside their home.

Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco in violation of international law and UN resolutions, but the Moroccan king gets enormous military and political support from the US, France, and Spain. The Khaya family nonviolently waves the Western Sahara flag on their townhouse roof everyday, enraging the Moroccan authorities. They do this under a siege of more than 1 year in which their electricity and water are turned off, and they have been repeatedly attacked, sodomized and sexually assaulted, and had household items stolen and destroyed. Yet their resistance continues.

Sultana Khaya

The international and US media is not covering this siege or the resistance of these sisters. 

Posted below are the videos describing the December 5th attacks on the Khaya family:

The True Face of the Moroccan Kingdom (4 min) *There is no graphic violence in this video*

Moroccan Brutality on Human Rights Defender (22 min)

In March, NVI broadcast a webinar (Webinar: Nonviolence Resistance to Occupations) in which Sultana spoke live. Note the 22-minute mark, at which Sultana Khaya dramatically confronts those who besiege her house.

Additionally, see Sultana Khaya’s op-ed in CNN (Morocco: Western Sahara Activist Raped)...and yet the attacks continue.

Please Take Action with us to support these activists:

  • 3) Contact your governments and Morocco to stop the attacks and siege on the Khaya family and to end the occupation.

Mubarak Awad & Jonathan Kuttab in Western Sahara 

NVI has been helping on the WS issue for 3 decades. Mubarak Awad and Jonathan Kuttab are some of the few Palestinians and Americans who have gone and done solidarity work with them in the occupied territory.

Michael Beer co-wrote a critical article (Michael Beer's Op-Ed Calling for an End to the Conflict in Western Sahara) encouraging the US Government to change it policies towards Western Sahara. 

Nonviolence International supports international law and opposes the unlawful and violent occupations of its neighbors by Israel, Morocco and Russia.

# # #

Michael Beer's Review of Steve Chase's Book on Agent Provocateurs

How Agent Provocateurs Harm Our Movements by Steve Chase, Published by the International Center on Nonviolence Conflict, 2021

Steve Chase has produced a 45 page book on government supported agent provocateurs. He begins by providing a short snapshot of examples of agent provocateurs from Guatemala, Thailand, Syria, Sudan, Poland, Britain, Canada, United States, and Tibet.  He then shares a deeply disturbing story of US government sabotage and use of agent provocateurs in weakening the US Black Liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s.  This story has been made possible because of a daring citizen initiative to raid an FBI office for its documents that were then the basis for a legislative branch investigation that exposed much information about the COINTELPRO program supporting provocateurs.  He then explains important research from Omar Wasow, Sharon Erickson, and Erica Chenoweth that debunk the myth that “diversity of tactics” is a successful campaign strategy. Diversity of Tactics is a term which encourages the simultaneous or parallel use of nonviolent and violent tactics, particularly in street protests. Chase also criticizes nonviolent campaigners who fail to confront those who seek to use violence to accomplish goals on strategic or principled grounds.

He concludes with a short chapter on Responding Effectively, suggesting ways to deal with agent provocateurs.  Some of these ideas include prompting more evidence-based social science research, deploying tactics that are less susceptible to agent provocateur incitement, provide trainings in nonviolent discipline, and staying focused on clear goals among other recommendations.

Some additional recommendations that Nonviolence International has given over the years includes:

  • a) Don’t always expose agent provocateurs, because they may send replacements who you don’t know.  “The agent provocateur that you know is better than the one you don’t know.”
  • b) Killing or harming agents does not deter governments from sending in replacements. Very often, these are people with criminal records or poor and have limited choices but to cooperate with the authorities.
  • c) Folks are often sent in pairs or teams for security reasons. So if you uncover one, look to see if they are working alone.
  • d) Develop a policy on agent provocateurs and informants. Some groups open up meetings welcoming all to attend and participate as long as they follow the NV guidelines. For example, "if anyone at this meeting is being paid to be here by government, media, or outside groups, please disclose that publicly now.”
  • e) Feeding misinformation or omitting information to agent provocateurs or informants is an option.
  • f) Gandhi operated in complete transparency making it very difficult for agent provocateurs to cause problems or have an impact.
  • g) Do reference checks. Even asking newcomers for additional information can be enough to chase away infilitrators. Simple questions. Where are you from? How did you find out about us? Why are you motivated to join this action/group?
  • h) Infiltrators can be flipped. At the very least, they add 1 more person to your action/crowd.
  • i) Never let an agent provocateur seize the microphone or the bullhorn.
  • j) Maskless actions and daytime actions reduce the risk of sabotage.

His book reveals the need for more research based on government documents and whistleblowers with stories to tell on social movement sabotage. This sabotage goes well beyond what we typically think of as agent provocateurs including informers, kidnappers, quiet intimidators, and assassins. This book also shows the need for a more comprehensive look at agent provocateurs that are also sponsored by corporations and non-state political actors.

This book’s most important contribution is to challenge those advocating for diversity of tactics and violent revolutionary flanks.

Chase concludes with his finest observation that “I find it painfully telling that no agent provocateur has even been documented encouraging a movement to adopt a disciplined civil resistance strategy.

 

Spotlight on Nonviolence - David Hartsough

In this Spotlight on Nonviolence, I had the great privilege of talking with David Hartsough, a Quaker, lifelong peace activist and author of the memoir Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist. In Part 1, David and I discuss his experience participating in civil rights sit-ins in Maryland and Virginia as a college student at Howard University, the difficulty of staying committed to nonviolence in the face of violence and intimidation, and how his Quaker faith has inspired and sustained him in his nonviolent activism. In Part 2, David and I discuss his experience traveling to Iran to engage in citizen diplomacy, his critique of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool, and his vision of the end of US empire. Though it's hard to tell height over Zoom, David struck me as a gentle giant, humble and kind, soft-spoken but firm in his convictions, with a smile that I'm sure has lit up many rooms. Bathed in the soft white glow of his room, he seemed almost saintly. Though David is currently battling cancer, he found the time to grace me with his presence and it was an absolute pleasure to engage in a wide-ranging conversation with this extraordinary leader. 

I found David's story of how he and some fellow college students successfully challenged desegregation deeply moving, a great reminder of the power of a group of young people to change the world. Even more impressive is how David has remained committed to nonviolence, putting his body in harm's way multiple times. I am in awe of his immense courage. As someone who studied US foreign policy as a political science student, I enjoyed learning about David's decades-long anti-war activism. Unlike pundits in DC who cheer on the war machine, David has traveled to so-called "enemy" countries and seen the devastating impact of US policy on civilians. I admire David's complete rejection of an "us vs. them" mentality, his embrace of the entire human family. As a young person in my early 20's, I'm still figuring out what exactly I want to do with my time on Earth- but I know for a fact that I want to live a life as beautiful, meaningful, and impactful as David Hartsough's. David told me that we can all influence other people through our example. As we fight against the same forces David did- the three evils of racism, war and poverty-we would do well to follow his shining path. I found our conversation deeply inspiring and insightful and I hope you will too. 


PART 1

PART 2


Learn more about World Beyond War here- https://worldbeyondwar.org/ 

Learn more about Nonviolent Peaceforce here- https://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/

Learn more about the Poor People's Campaign here- https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/


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. 


 

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 Cambridge University who has graciously offered to volunteer her time and serve as a cohost alongside Nimesh and Paige. Learn more about these impressive young leaders in the videos below. 


Nimesh's Intro Video


Paige's Intro Video


Kate's Intro Video


Please read Kate's article "Cambridge's Imperial Connections and Me" where she shares her reflections on race, cross-cultural experiences, and being Bangladeshi in Cambridge


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. 


 

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

 

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 


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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

 

By Mubarak Awad

Recently, our wonderful volunteer intern supervisor, Jules Slater, shared their pride at the impressive young leaders serving this semester as interns with NVI. Meeting them gives me hope. If you haven’t already seen this page, I encourage you to check it out.

Below, I share some of the important video production work our interns are already doing at NVI. 


For years, I urged Michael Beer to update my friend Gene Sharp’s seminal work cataloging 198 Nonviolent methods. Since then the world has changed dramatically with innovations such as the internet and so much more shaping how people express themselves. Michael has just published a book with more than 350 NV tactics. Please watch this short video where our new intern Dassie Spivack interviews Michael about why he wrote this book. The funny thing is he doesn’t even mention that I told him to. 


Next we share an exciting clip from Jamila Raqib, Gene’s successor, who tells how he started collecting NV Tactics and why he stopped at 198. He could have easily rounded up to 200, but he always knew this was unfinished work that should be expanded as the field grew. So for all those who somehow get the impression that Gene’s work was written in stone, please watch this clip made by NVI intern Cam Sephehri. 


As you know, NVI believes that the world is facing a series of interrelated crises and that nonviolence is the most effective response to many of them. We also are convinced that nonviolence doesn’t just happen, but is greatly enhanced by knowledge of Tactics and by NV Training. Check out this video of former intern and volunteer Annalisa Bell explaining how to use our NV Tactics database.


In addition to spreading the word on the power of nonviolence and Tactics and Training, the other main part of our work at NVI is serving as a backbone organization of the global nonviolent movement. We provide fiscal sponsorship to a variety of cutting-edge groups we believe in deeply. Below, please see new videos produced by Dassie and Cam raising up the work of Holy Land Trust, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence and Solidarity 2020 and Beyond.




Finally, I was proud to be in conversation with my cousin Jonathan Kuttab and NVI’s Co-Director David Hart during the recent bombing of Gaza. While the bombs are not falling now, conditions remain unacceptable. We ask for your help changing the conversation and thus building a better future. We recorded our full conversation and present it below along with several shorter clips you might share with others as an introduction to this ongoing and wholly preventable human-caused crisis. 





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