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→
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.
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.
Occupy Wall Street celebrates its 4th Anniversary in New York City with a 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!)
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.
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.
Libraries 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→