Category Archives: Social Justice

Remembering Fr. Daniel Berrigan

From Democracy Now!:

Legendary antiwar priest Father Daniel Berrigan has died just short of his 95th birthday. Berrigan was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called “American military imperialism.    Continue reading Remembering Fr. Daniel Berrigan

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Happy MLK Day!

Poetry fills me with hope and inspiration. So, I was very happy to have stumbled across this poem while sorting through a National Geogrpahic Society anthology of world poems. The poem is from South Africa. Though, it sounds like words that Martin Luther King, Jr. might have sang in his heart.

(Excerpt below. Found the full poem at another writer’s blog: Where the Rainbow Ends here.)

Where the Rainbow Ends

…There’s no such tune as a black tune.
There’s no such tune as a white tune.
There’s only  music, brother…

by Richard Rive

Continue reading Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Nonviolent movements are the most Successful Way to overthrow a Dictator

In 2008, Dr. Erica Chenoweth and Dr. Maria J. Stephan did a landmark study, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of
Nonviolent Conflict  in 2008 showing that nonviolent movements are more successful than violent movements and have become increasing so. The introduction of this 2008 study states that:

Our findings show that major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns. There are two reasons for this success. First, a campaign’s commitment to nonviolent methods enhances its domestic and international legitimacy and encourages more broad-based participation in the resistance, which translates into increased pressure being brought to bear on the target. Recognition of the challenge group’s grievances can translate into greater internal and external support for that group and alienation of the target regime, undermining the regime’s main sources of political, economic, and even military power.

Second, whereas governments easily justify violent counterattacks against armed insurgents, regime violence against nonviolent movements is more likely to backfire against the regime. Potentially sympathetic publics perceive violent militants as having maximalist or extremist goals beyond accommodation, but they perceive nonviolent resistance groups as less extreme, thereby enhancing their appeal and facilitating the extraction of concessions through bargaining.

Our findings challenge the conventional wisdom that violent resistance against conventionally superior adversaries is the most effective way for resistance groups to achieve policy goals. Instead, we assert that nonviolent resistance is a forceful alternative to political violence that can pose effective challenges to democratic and nondemocratic opponents, and at times can do so more effectively than violent resistance.

 

 

Sept 2015: Occupy Celebrates 4th Anniversary with NYC events

Occupy Wall Street celebrates its 4th Anniversary in New York City with blackpeacea full day of protests, marches, speakers, and music.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Some FaceBook links and a schedule with events and speakers is below.

Summary: Stuff is happening in NYC all day today. Most events are at Zuccotti Park. Be at Zuccotti at 5pm for the big Assembly visioning meeting. Then, at 7pm at Zuccotti, gathering and special speakers. (But, check other schedules, and stay alert for all the actions going on!)

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Assembly at 5pm
at Zuccotti Park…

https://www.facebook.com/events/418102105061232/

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Full schedule of activities
posted on #OWSS172015 4 year anniversary FB… Continue reading Sept 2015: Occupy Celebrates 4th Anniversary with NYC events

Happy 4th of July: PAXi Peace Index is 850

Peace, justice, and nonviolence are being discussed this 4th of July holiday.

The PAXi Peace Index for today, July 4, 2015 is:
850.

You can learn more about the PAXi Peace Index in our original post: Peace Index Intro

Two stories in the news about ways to further the peace are: 1. A story on Public Radio International about how American police can learn from English police who use weapons less (umm….okay, a little ironic for Independence Day!) and 2. A story about schools sharing lessons about peace and justice from the Ferguson community.

Excerpts and links to those stories at the readmore: Continue reading Happy 4th of July: PAXi Peace Index is 850

20 ways to be an empowered citizen, empowered consumer

I was sitting in a class on how to build support for making social change, and one of the discussions we had is a comparison of the differences between the civil rights era environment and today’s civic environment.  This made my mind leap into making a list of a score of dozen ways to be an empowered citizen and an empowered consumer.

Writing this post, I realized that this list is a micro version of Gandhi’s Constructive Program. In the period between civil Disobedience Campaigns, Gandhi kept his followers engaged and progressing by building a sustainable community-based economy to replace the imperial system which oppressed them.

Making organic mashed potatoes with Kimberly #...
Making organic mashed potatoes.
  1. Buy local, organic, and fair trade.
  2. Move your money to a credit union.
  3. Drink more water, but not bottled.
  4. Have a car-less day.
  5. Throw out your TV.
  6. Grow a garden.
  7. Share hand-me-downs.
  8. Use your library.
  9. Support local arts.
  10. Make your own music.
  11. Support local and independent media.
  12. Only donate to nonprofits where you know how the money is being used.
  13. Only support candidates and political parties who don’t take corporate donations.
  14. Teach people how to write-in on the ballot when they don’t like the choice of candidates.
  15. Cook family meals at home.
  16. Oppose war.
  17. Oppose insurance companies and support single payer health insurance
  18. Spend less
  19. Barter
  20. Join a CSA {Community Supported Agriculture].

TWL: Libraries

TWL: Things We LoveLibraries are the most American of institutions: community-based, democratic, pull-yourself-up by- your-own-bootstraps gathering places. Libraries were kicked off in this country by the most American of our founders: the self-made , earthy, inventor-scientist polymath Ben Franklin.

Libraries are about community.  They are a barn-raising or quilting bee for the mind, especially the young mind.  Everyone pools their resources so we can all have more than anyone of us could individually have access to when we need it.  and when we don’t need it, we leave it their for someone else to use.  Libraries are the well in the town square, where all can draw water and all have a stake in keeping them available.  Continue reading TWL: Libraries