Updates-A Story of Realistic Hope

International community makes plea for nonviolence and transparency in Belarus

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


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

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

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

President, Mubarak Awad


(Russian Language Version of Statement Above)

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

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

Президент, Мубарак Авад




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

By David Hart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




The Many Faces of Nonviolence- the Me Too Movement

The Many Faces of Nonviolence- The Faces of the Me Too Movement

By Maegan Hanlon

On October 7, 2018, the New York Times published a story in which actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd accused entertainment giant Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The women claimed that Weinstein promised to advance their careers in exchange for sexual favors. Most of the women subject to his abuse wanted to get a foot in the Hollywood door. In the New York Times article, victims detailed horrors such as Weinstein stripping naked in front of them, asking for or giving women massages, and forcing them to watch him bathe. Many of the victims who spoke out against him said that he often tried to coerce women into bed with him. When a woman said no to him, he would ask more and more favors until she said yes or left. Humiliated and confused, victims believed they had nowhere to turn. 

Rose_McGowan_(12564).jpg

Rose McGowan. Creative Commons, Rhododendrites. 

Most victims did not speak up about the abuse out of fear of retaliation. Weinstein was one of the biggest names in Hollywood and working with him brought fame and money. However, his victims also reported his explosive anger. Furthermore, Weinstein used generosity to manipulate his victims. Abusing his power within the industry, he would help them make connections to go farther in their careers. One meeting with Weinstein could secure magazine covers, roles, or endorsement deals. One meeting with Weinstien could be the meeting that launched a career. Because of this, women felt pressured to stay silent.

After her assault in 1997, up and coming actress Ashley Judd could not stay silent. According to her testimony in Time Magazine, Judd says she felt she had to warn others of Weienstien’s behavior. After telling a friend in the business about her experience, Judd learned shocking news - whispers of Weinstien’s inappropriate behavior had been circulating around Hollywood for years. Judd realized that many Hollywood executives and actors were aware of Weinstien’s behavior but said nothing. In fact, Harvey Weinstein was not the only perpetrator of abuse. There was an epidemic of misconduct happening in the entertainment industry. As more women in the entertainment industry learned of the widespread sexual harassment issues, they realized they were not alone. Rather, they found a community of women who experienced similar horrors, and they banded together to expose both their abusers and culture of silence surrounding the abuse. 

McGowan and Judd’s actions sparked a global movement called Me Too. Starting in the entertainment industry, celebrities, such as Alyssa Milano and Selma Blair, began telling their stories about their sexual assault horrors. Actor Anthony Rapp detailed abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of film legend Kevin Spacey when Rapp was still a minor. As more victims spoke up, more Hollywood royalty faced accusations of misconduct. The floodgates had opened, and the truth came out. While some men’s careers were left unscathed, some men were held accountable for their actions with lawsuits from victims like Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift. In fact, Taylor Swift had photographic evidence of her assault, yet she still faced a trial. She won, and her abuser was sentenced to pay her a symbolic one dollar. Swift was not concerned about financial compensation, but rather she wanted to set a legal precedent for future assault trials. 

The Me Too movement extends far beyond the world of Harvey Weinstein. In 2006, sexual assault survivor Tarana Burke coined the phrase Me Too on MySpace, but the phrase did not become mainstream until later. The hashtag #metoo trended on Twitter in 2017 after Alyssa Milano tweeted about her experience with Weinstein, and the hashtag quickly went viral. Women all over the world began speaking up about sexual misconduct in the workplace and in their personal lives. Time Magazine highlighted some stories of women who suffered from sexual abuse at their jobs. For example, Crystal Washington worked in the hospitality department at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. She detailed almost daily crude comments from her boss. Fearing for the security of her job, Washington stayed quiet. However, despite her own struggles with sexual harassment, she fielded complaints of sexual harassment almost daily. Washington often listened to reports about guests cornering and harassing her staff. According the Time article, Washington and six other employees are suing the hotel for sexual harassment.


ANITA_HILL_COURT.jpg

      Anita Hill, 1991. AP Images

McGowan and Judd were not the first women to face their abuser publicly in court. In 1991, American lawyer and professor Anita Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct. After her accusation she endured polygraph tests and investigations. Hill testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 where she was subjected to extreme doubt in her experience. Former Senator Joe Biden was head of the all white committee, and he handled the hearing poorly. After saying Hill could testify first, he let Justice Thomas testify before Hill. Then, Biden did not let other accusers testify with Hill. Justice Thomas still served on the Supreme Court. Today, Hill is a professor of Social Policy, law, and Women’s Studies at Brandeis University. Similarly, in 2018, American professor and research specialist Christine Blasey Ford accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of rape when the two were in high school in Bethesda, MD. Like Hill, Ford went through a Senate Judiciary hearing in which the committee doubted her allegations. She was subjected to polygraph tests and psychiatrist testimonies to validate her claim. In Ford’s case, believing the victim became a political stance. Justice Kavanaugh has been serving on the Supreme Court since October 2018. Unfortunately, due to the wide media coverage of her committee hearing, Ford has been forced to keep a low profile for the safety of herself and her family. 

McGowan and Judd’s New York Times article blew the whistle on a widespread problem around the world. Strong women continue to take down powerful men with their reports of misconduct. Their bravery has led to a new understanding of sexual misconduct, and has helped the topic shed some of its taboo reputation. The Me Too Movement didn't stop there, it continues to evolve and expand to this day. New and deeper understanding of the issue sparked the creation of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which helps victims afford to go to trial against their abusers. Since January 2017, cities across the world have participated in annual, peaceful Women's Marches to advocate for change. While the awareness of sexual misconduct has grown enormously since 2018, there is still more to be done to help victims and prevent future victims. To learn more about the powerful nonviolent Me Too movement or to donate to help victims, please see the links listed below. 

 

Me Too

CASOL

Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund

RAINN

End Violence Against Women International 

Time’s Up



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

By David Hart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Some former elected officials also spoke at the funeral.

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

 

 

 

 

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

By David Hart

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Read the full piece on Waging Nonviolence.


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

Celebrating the Kings Bay 7 and Rosie Too!

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

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


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

To support their vital work, please visit this page.

Please see below the videos for a timely update.


Interview with Liz McAlister!

Interview with Patrick O'Neill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The defendants will be participating in local events.

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

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

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

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

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

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EMAIL: Media: [email protected]

 

Andre Kamenshikov speaks with NVI NYC's Interns

Andre Kamenshikov

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

Thanks to our friends at Nonviolence International NY.

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

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

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

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

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

Time Stamps: 

Anthony Haggar - 6:25

US Rep. Pramila Jayapal - 16:13

Asma Ismail Ahmed - 29:53

Jalelah Sophia Ahmed - 38:36

Q&A and Group Discussion - 45:12

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

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

You can follow her on Twitter @RepJayapal.

 

For more on this important topic, please see:

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/sudan_mural

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_on_sudan

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_sudan_june_2020


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

 

 

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

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

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

You can follow her on Twitter @RepJayapal.

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

 

For more on this important topic, please see:

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/sudan_mural

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_on_sudan

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/zunes_sudan_june_2020


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

 

 

Nonviolence International Statement on Annexation

The following is a statement from our board members, Mubarak Awad, Jonathan Kuttab, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, and Peter Weinberger. 


Unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank by Israel is a path of oppression and injustice. The whole world must say no.

There are two major arguments against annexation from the Jordan Valley or near Jerusalem: 

The first is that it basically violates the bedrock of international law, which holds that you cannot annex territory that comes into your possession as a result of war.  After WWII, with the creation of the United Nations, 75 years ago, the international community cannot tolerate “border adjustments” taken unilaterally no matter what the justification.  There are 194 countries in the world, and most of them have historical, tribal, economic, or security interests in taking portions of land from their neighbours.  If that is allowed, there would be chaos in the international community.  That is why the few attempts made (Turkey in Cyprus, Morocco in Western Sahara, Iraq in Kuwait, and Russia in Georgia, and Ukraine; and now Israel in Jerusalem, the Golan and the West Bank) have been roundly condemned.  It is unfortunate that the current US administration is so contemptuous of international law and the international community that it would allow such an outrage.

Secondly, many people oppose annexation, because it undermines any possibility of a two-state solution along the lines of UN Resolution 242, and 338, and the principle of land for peace that many people hoped would be a reasonable pragmatic solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  Those who still hold on to this idea are among the most active opponents of the Annexation scheme, which they see as eliminating the possibilities of a globally supported peaceful solution, and ensuring continued conflict and war, just as in the past each additional act of settlement and land confiscation had been wrong.   It is illegal and it undermines both international law and the prospect of peace. 

Some (even among Israel’s most right-wing friends) acknowledge that Israel has in fact been slowly but surely annexing the West Bank, and acting as a sovereign there, while pretending its presence is temporary, pending the arrival of peace, and that Israel gains nothing from annexation other than headaches.  They argue that the annexation will not really change anything on the ground, and that it is only a provocative move rendering de jure what has been the de facto reality on the ground. NVI’s co-founder Jonathan Kuttab said “Open annexation only forces the world to deal with uncomfortable realities which the world has been quite willing to accept with a nod and a wink. The world verbally rejects such actions, while doing absolutely nothing to bring an end to the occupation or the settlements or the creeping annexation.”

NVI co-founder, Mubarak Awad agrees saying “There is much in that argument since annexation will in fact end the charade and force the world to recognize the inherent racism and discrimination of the system, and the settler-colonial nature of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.”  As Israelis debate and discuss with the US the question of annexation, it is amazing how brazenly they announce that they wish to annex as much land as possible with as few non-Jewish people as possible. Their probable unstated end-goal is the establishment of a rump Palestinian state in Gaza on 2% of original Palestine.

NVI Board Member Mohammed Abu-Nimer says, “For the rest of the world, the annexation, large or small is a wakeup call to recognize the illegal actions of Israel in the occupied territories and the need to take active, not just verbal steps to address it. Israeli impunity only encourages further illegalities.”  This is the moment when the international community, as well as the Arab countries that have been labeled “moderate” by the West, need to take a firm stand and address the entire issue of Israel’s policy in the occupied territories and not just the actual steps Israel will be taking in the coming few weeks or months. NVI Board member Peter Weinberger says, “Border adjustments or land swaps between Israel and a future Palestinian state are fine, but in order to have legitimacy, must be part of a negotiated settlement and cannot be unilaterally implemented by Israel.”

For the Palestinians, nonviolent resistance to occupation, annexation, and 2nd class status will continue and strengthen. Our NVI partners, including the Holy Land Trust, the US Boats to Gaza, We Are Not Numbers, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence will redouble their efforts. Palestinians make up 50% of the population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Palestinians and much of the world will relentlessly push for equal rights and dignity. Surrender or mass emigration would be a form of cultural suicide. As Dr. King said, we have a choice between nonviolence or non-existence. We know which choice the Palestinians are taking. In the meantime, how much monumental suffering and injustice must happen before the world says no to injustice and yes to peace.

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