Updates-A Story of Realistic Hope

Spotlight on Nonviolence - Jamie Margolin

While interning at NVI, I've had the pleasure of speaking with well-known climate change activist Jamie Margolin. Jamie began advocating for environmental preservation and action to address climate change at the age of 14. She and her peers joined together to form Zero Hour, a youth-led movement taking action on climate change, to bring a voice to the youth who were often ignored in climate action conversations. Her activism did not stop there. Notably, Jamie has written a book called Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It which presents a guide for young people on how they can advocate for themselves, community, and world. As of now, Jamie continues her advocacy for climate action as well as promotion for queer representation through her own show Art Majors and her podcast Lavender You

Being able to speak with Jamie was impactful for me beyond an educational experience on climate activism. In this interview, she is very honest about climate change and her experience growing from her original days as a 14-year old activist. While taking action is important and necessary, in this interview, Jamie reminded me of the importance in remembering to value and care for yourself. As Jamie notes, taking action to address climate change will not be done quickly. "This is a marathon, not a sprint," as she notes. It is important to take care of yourself and value your own goals for you to advocate sustainably and not burn out. If we promote livelihood and life for the environment, marginalized groups, survivors of violence, and more than we must show the same love to ourselves. Going forward, I will keep in mind what I have learned from my talk with Jamie close to my heart and my actions. I hope you will do the same.



Jamie's Activism and Work Zero Hour - http://thisiszerohour.org

Youth to Power - https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/tit...

Lavender You podcast - https://lavenderyou.com

Art Majors - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VhKY...

YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/JamieMargol...


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. 


 

Two NVI Interns Reflect on Impact of Gun Violence and Call on Us to Do Better

By: Lea Hilliker and Paige Wright, Nonviolence International Interns

In the wake of the tragedy in Oxford, Michigan, many questions have been raised about gun violence, and school safety. On November 30th, 2021, at approximately 1pm one troubled 15 year old student opened fire on fellow students at Oxford High School. While the student was quickly detained, the impact of this event left many students, faculty, and staff traumatized, numerous injured, and forever took the lives of 4 students. Since this incident, schools are reporting a high number of copycat threats made, which have forced many to close out of precaution for their students. While many officials believe that this individual acted alone, this incident opens up a conversation about the responsibility of school administration in protecting students. Paige and I will discuss our personal experiences associated with preparing for active shooter situations, and address the general ideas associated with the topic of gun violence. Our passion for nonviolence, and activism at Nonviolence International propelled our dedication to recognize the events in the metro Detroit area. Growing up in Northern Michigan, and studying in the Oakland community, I want to acknowledge the pain and grief that my community faces, and recall the potential strategies to help students feel secure in an academic environment. 

Unfortunately, this is not the first instance of an active school shooting In the United States, and it will not be the last until we see change in gun control. Since 1970, the United States has had 1,316 school shootings and this number is increasing. Students across the United States and world are being trained to protect themselves in the classroom. Below we discuss both of our experiences in active shooter training and how preparation for a shooting benefits and harms students.

Lea: “During my first year at Oakland University, my school gained national recognition for suggesting the use of hockey pucks in an active shooter situation. The idea sparked from a comment made by the campus Police Chief, who suggested that the hockey pucks could be used in emergency situations. While the technique appeared immature, and insufficient, the overall movement to give hockey pucks to college students built a stronger push to support campus security. The distribution and sale of the hockey pucks were linked to a fundraising campaign that paid for classroom locks, and other safety measures. I think the success of this campaign highlighted the efforts made by faculty and students to protect their fellow Grizzlies, but also illustrated the lack of accountability of the administration in allocating funds towards this project. 

Similarly, I know that this tragedy has deeply impacted the lives of many families in the area. Many of my classmates grew up in the area, or have family members that work, or go to school in Oxford. In the past few weeks since, Oakland University, various high schools, and other institutions have offered mental health services to help those in grief, and various community leaders have hosted vigils to support the families of those victims and survivors. The Oxford tragedy deeply transformed the Oakland community, and united the metro Detroit area. I am hopeful that this unity continues, and leads to significant changes in legislation to address problems like gun pollution and male violence.” 

Paige: “In my last two years of high school, my high school looked at the dangers of rising school shootings and the unfortunate bomb threats we had received. My administrators decided that students should undergo ALICE training for an active shooter response. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The main elements to ALICE training were strong communication on the location of a potential shooter, acting on the defensive without fighting (building barricades, creating distractions, etc.), and leaving when the area was safe.

During an ALICE drill, we were told ahead of time that we would be doing the drill on a certain date but the time was unknown to resemble the unexpected behavior of a shooter. Later an individual masking as an active shooter would enter the school with a blow horn. We then began following ALICE as receptionists alerted the school, students near the shooter locked their doors and hid, and students far from the shooter exited and walked to a close by school. After the training, the student body would gather in the other school as our principal told us how many students “died” and how we did with the overall training. At the end of this, we would return to our regular school day.

While going through ALICE training prepared me for an active shooter, it also stripped away my idea that school was a safe place to learn. While I never consciously considered if my school was unsafe, my teachers telling us potential classroom items that could be our weapons and our escape routes shattered my assumed perception of safety. It is a harsh reality students must face to protect themselves.”

Lea: “Moreover, I know that my high school often held lockdown drills to prepare students for active shooter situations. Unfortunately, students did not take these drills seriously, and I felt relatively unprepared in the instance of a lockdown. While I grew up in a relatively small community in Northern Michigan, I wished that more schools adopted trainings, and extensive drills that encourage students to recognize the risk of active shooter situations, to take responsibility for holding school administration accountable, and to communicate potential threats in the area. Based on my experiences, I felt underprepared, and ill-informed on how to manage active shooter situations. Sadly, these strategies to better prepare and inform students do not solve the larger societal issues at hand. We need drastic change, and political activism to curate deep, and lasting change."

How do students respond to school shootings? While we are speaking from the perspective of a middle class, suburbians, outside of mandatory school trainings, we have seen students hold discussions on potential solutions, participate in walkouts, advocate for their lives to their school administration, honor the lives of victims, and so much more. Students have taken nonviolent means to end violent action. Their bravery in advocacy has brought significant attention to the prevalence of gun violence in schools but students are still waiting on legislation that will create formidable change. Instead of asking students to prepare for the worst, our leaders must pass legislation and take action that favors students and helps prevent active shootings in schools.

 

March for Our Lives (April, 2018)

Paige: “I remember my school participated in a National Walkout Day where students across America left their schools, holding signs that called for an end to gun violence and the need for legislators, school administrators, and communities to act. When walking those couple of miles, we were not just advocating for our safety but also, we were fighting for our lives and our need to be safe in schools. 

The lack of action from our leaders is an action against our lives. Until we see change, I know the students after me will not give up. We will walk-out of our schools, speak to our administrators, and keep a conversation going on our safety until we see change. Until our lives are valued and protected.”

In acknowledging the events in Oxford, and the significant threat that gun violence poses to our youth, Nonviolence International (NVI) seeks to inspire our communities, and loved ones to take action, and support the protests against gun violence. We hope that through discussing the events in Oxford, we can work to provide our resources and knowledge on this topic. 

Here is what you can do to help:

  1. Donate to the victims and survivors of the Oakland school shooting, organizations that advocate for gun control like the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence, and nonviolence promoters like NVI or our partners.
  2. Support research into gun violence.
  3. Sign petitions to give our students more protection.
  4. If you are in the United States, message your representatives calling for more gun control.
  5. Join movements such as the youth-led March for Lives to promote change.

We are calling for action beyond searching school backpacks and red flag laws. We need radical reform to reverse the US Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the 2nd amendment, efforts to ban semi and automatic weapons, and more laws to protect children from gun use. Gun violence is yet another symptom of the epidemic of violence in our communities. NVI calls on all people everywhere to rise up against the forces of dehumanization and destruction all around us. We are stronger together, please join us in protecting our students.

Our Partner's Powerful Piece in the Forward

I was arrested for a crime I didn’t commit. The Palestinians I work with suffer far worse

A few weeks ago the police abruptly came to my house in Jerusalem on two different occasions. The first visit they paid was at 3:30 in the morning; six officers came and banged on the doors and windows until my four roommates and I woke up.

My roommates and I were suspected of having drawn graffiti earlier that night in central Jerusalem. The graffiti in question was a part of a wider campaign to raise awareness about Masafer Yatta, an area in the South Hebron Hills that Israel declared a military training area (Firing Zone 918) in the early 1980s. In March, the Israeli Supreme Court will decide whether the Israeli army can expel the 12 Palestinian villages and hundreds of residents that live there.

Israel apartheid protest by the Forward

(article continues - y

Over the past year, I have seen and been a part of an inspiring growth in Jewish-Palestinian solidarity in support of Masafer Yatta. Where previously international volunteers supported the villages in the South Hebron Hills, the travel closures from the pandemic have inadvertently nurtured local relationships, as Israelis have taken the place of volunteers documenting settler violence and escorting children to school. While the Israeli state works to keep Jews and Palestinians separate, we commit ourselves together to building a better and shared future.

There has predictably been a crackdown on the Jewish activists who have dared to stand with Palestinians and build these connections. In Jerusalem, Jewish-Israeli activists were detained in the night after putting up posters about what is happening in Masafer Yatta. The same day I was arrested, three additional Jewish-Israeli activists were also arrested and two more detained after an altercation between a settler and a Palestinian near a-Tuwani, a village in the South Hebron Hills. The home where the activists had been staying in a-Tuwani was raided by Israeli police and military, who confiscated laptops, cameras, and cellphones belonging to the home’s resident, in addition to a Jeep that belonged to the activists.

A couple stand on a salt island formed in the Dead Sea, facing the mountains of Jordan. by the Forward

The intensity of these efforts to shut down our solidarity demonstrates just how potent it is. Now, when Israeli authorities are ramping up their efforts to suppress cooperation between us, is the time to deepen our connections, renew our efforts and take stronger stands against the system of occupation Palestinians live under every day.

We are attacked because we are feared, because we have a fighting chance of stopping the onslaught of violence, suppression and expulsion being carried out by Israel every day. Now is not the time to let up.

 

 

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. 

 

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

Study Guide

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. 


Study Guide

Nonviolence International has created a study guide as a tool for educators to help you use Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century in your classroom. This Study Guide can be used at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate level and includes lesson plans with summaries of key concepts, discussion questions and classroom activities. 

Download the Study Guide 


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!

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. 


 

Spotlight on Nonviolence - Introducing 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 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. 


 

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