Nonviolence Charter: Progress Report 6 (Apr 2015)


Robert J. Burrowes, Ph.D., Anita McKone and Anahata Giri – TRANSCEND Media Service

gandhi220 Apr 2015

Dear fellow signatories of the Nonviolence Charter

How are you all? And welcome to our most recent signatories and organisations!

Here is the latest six-monthly report on progress in relation to ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and a sample of news about, and reports of forthcoming events by, Charter signatories.

Building a worldwide consensus against the use of violence in all contexts is quite a challenge but we are making solid progress!

Since our last report on 8 October 2014, we have gained our first signatories in another seven countries – Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia, Morocco, Peru and Somalia – a total of 82 countries now. We also have 101 organisational endorsements in 31 countries. If you wish, you can see the list of organisational endorsements on the Charter website:

If you wish to see individual signatories, click on the ‘View signatures’ item in the sidebar. You can use the search facility if you want to look for a specific name.

The latest ‘progress report’ article ‘Saving Passengers of the Good Ship “Titan… Earth”‘ was recently distributed to many progressive news websites and mainstream newspapers: it was published by a number of progressive outlets in 12 countries, thanks to supportive editors (several of whom are Charter signatories: special thanks to Antonio, David, Gifty, and Pía). If you like, you can read the article here:

If any of you would like a copy of the World Media List (which is primarily newspapers but no Murdoch outlets), then you are welcome to email Robert at and he will send you a copy. Several Charter signatories are using some or all of the list and it is apparent that our articles are being published more or less widely. We are not naive about the corporate media but sending them regular doses of the truth cannot do them any harm!

If you feel inclined to do so, you are welcome to help raise awareness of the Nonviolence Charter using whatever means are easiest for you: email, articles, Facebook, Twitter …

You may remember that in the last Charter progress report – which Antonio kindly published in the TRANSCEND Media Service Weekly Digest: – we promised to report on some of you about whom we knew less by asking you to send us some information about yourself with the encouragement ‘don’t be shy, modest or humble’ and the reminder that you don’t have to be world famous to be valued here. Well, the good news is that a number of people responded and, in addition, we did some more research ourselves. However, as we continue to find, extraordinary people seem to invariably consider themselves ‘ordinary’. So, irrespective of how you consider yourself, we would love to hear about you for the next report!

Here, then, is another (inadequate) sample of reports of the activities of ‘ordinary’ people (and organisations) who are your fellow Charter signatories:

Mahad Wasuge lives in Mogadishu in Somalia and is our first signatory in that country. If you want to be inspired by an extraordinarily committed individual dedicated to helping rebuild his devastated country, check out Mahad’s website:

And if you want to be inspired by the great and passionate work of a Native American activist, check out the work of Trace Lara Hentz, who is a Shawnee-Cherokee multi-genre author, poet, journalist and activist whose work is heavily focused on Native Americans and Native American adoption issues:

Have you ever heard of AntiGravity Aerial Yoga? Well, you have now! Jo Stewart teaches it in Australia but also in other countries. If you want to see a photo of Jo hanging upside down, check out her website:

Daniel Dalai is the visionary founder of The Earthgardens in Bolivia, which nurtures the leadership potential of girls. If you would like to read something about Daniel’s fascinating life, you can do so by scrolling down this page:

Alphonso Quamele lives and works in the Du-Port Road Community in Monrovia, Liberia and is our first signatory in that country.

Zakia Haddouch is our first signatory in Morocco. Zakia is a mother and grandmother but has lived ‘many lives in one’! She has degrees in linguistics and Industrial Safety and Environment Management and has done many training sessions abroad in fields such as biodiversity, waste management, water policy, climate change, the oil industry and geopolitics. She has worked as a teacher, journalist and editor, Adviser to the Minister of the Environment, Translator and Interpreter, PR and international Manager, and international coach. She now works as a Unit Manager at the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication, which is the TV and radio regulator in Morocco and she is currently in charge of translation (Arabic, French, English, Spanish and Amazigh which is her mother tongue). She has worked with NGOs dedicated to citizenship and unions and was the co-founder of the Moroccan Network of The Environment and Sustainable Development (REMED). ‘But, as collective action is very difficult here, I participated at the UN COP 7 (2001) with an individual action named “Free Flowers for Controlled Emissions”, alone with my baby I resisted police harassment at the gate of the Conference palace. I also drafted the “Ourika Call” that was signed by nearly 70 local and international NGOs (among them Rising Tide, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Alternative Media…).’ And in a lovely summary of a philosophy with which we are sure most of us would agree, she says ‘I believe any human being should have the right and the duty to make change: change their life, change the country’s life, change the social order and culture, not for a better life of the coming generations, but simply for their survival.’

If you are on LinkedIn, you can see Zakia’s profile here: And there is a link to HACA’s website here:

Chris James in Australia ‘really believe[s] in the healing power of creativity, which can take place in many ways’: So check out how she gives people the chance to post their personal stories and their ‘outsider art’, to facilitate their healing, on these websites: and Chris is happy to put any artworks for peace and any poetry or personal stories on these websites so feel free to send her your contributions! Chris’ email address is on her website.

Professor Timothy Braatz, who teaches US history and peace studies at Saddleback College in the USA, wrote a thoughtful article on ‘The Limitations of Strategic Nonviolence’ which Antonio C. S. Rosa republished on the TRANSCEND Media Service Weekly Digest: This article is part of a new book called ‘Peace Lessons’ in which Timothy takes what he’s learned from scholars such as Johan Galtung and others and applies it to historical episodes such as Little Bighorn, the US Civil Rights Movement and WWII. ‘I think the field of history could benefit from peace theory. The trend, of course, is to assume that violent solutions are normal and inevitable and thus to be taken for granted rather than questioned.’ Of course, the history journals aren’t rushing to publish his work yet but this isn’t stopping him.

Another of Timothy’s interesting articles ‘The Satyagraha of John Brown’ was published here: It puts the anti-slavery campaigner’s efforts through a nonviolent lens and is a chapter in ‘Peace Lessons’ too. If you want to find out more about Timothy’s work, check out his website:

And for another extraordinarily insightful critique, see his article ‘Selma: A Gandhian Critique’

Alice Slater in the USA works on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War, is a founder of Abolition 2000 – a global network for the elimination of nuclear weapons – is active with the new ICAN campaign to ban nuclear weapons just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons, works with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear power in Space, and more. She is ‘an old cause junkie’, retired and lives in New York City. Last year she helped organize the People’s Climate March in New York and marched with the Code Pink contingent to draw the connections between war and climate catastrophe.

Annie Whitlocke in Australia does pastoral care and listens to people from all cultures talk about their fears and their past. She also teaches mindful meditation and sits with families who are trying to come to terms with the potential passing of loved ones or even hated ones. She uses mindful breathing to show them it doesn’t have to be this way. Some people get the light bulb moment and some fight it. She hears of resentment and pitiful justification that has lasted many generations….

‘One of my passions is facilitating at Death Cafes, a powerful opportunity for people to speak from the heart. No agenda and it is open to everyone. A rich warp and weft of society gets together to share food, laugh, sometimes cry and be with another’s experience.’ She also visits an ex POW from World War II, during which hundreds of young men, including her uncle, were massacred in the Tan Tue Ambon concentration camp. ‘I sit and listen to the stories of this wonderful old man, 93 years old, tell me of his time in the concentration camp, how he was excited as a young man to go to war and soon after how revolted he was. He was one of a hundred, most could not walk, that were saved and brought back to Australia. He wanted to tell many people and became heavily involved in the Vietnam demonstrations. His family appeared to not be interested and many family members “divorced” him due to his passionate views. But still he stood up and still does.’ Annie also visits an ex monk in palliative care, 81 years old with vascular dementia in its final stage: ‘I read Buddhist teachings to him’.

Rivera Sun is an author/activist who doesn’t spend much time standing still! You can check out her website here: From there you can read about her book ‘The Dandelion Insurrection’, check out the ‘Love-in-Action’ Network she cofounded – – or listen to her cohosting Occupy Radio: She is currently travelling teaching nonviolence workshops and recently saw her ‘first-ever’ alligator! If you want her to run a nonviolence workshop near you, her email address is on her website (above).

Several Charter signatories have offered thoughtful commentaries on the Iran nuclear deal:

Here is Professor Chandra Muzaffar’s article: ‘The Iran Nuclear Agreement: A Step in the Right Direction’:

Is Iran a nuclear threat? Here is Bob Koehler’s candid assessment: ‘The Real Nuclear Threat’

And for Jonathan Power’s thoughtful comments: ‘Will Iran kill the nuclear bomb deal?’

Jason MacLeod has done extensive solidarity work for many years with West Papuans struggling to liberate themselves from Indonesian occupation. For a sample of his work, see the articles here: If you want a superb historical summary of the West Papuan struggle for independence, check out this book chapter ‘From the Mountains and Jungles to the Villages and Streets: Transitions from Violent to Nonviolent Resistance in West Papua’ Jason’s forthcoming book, which outlines his thinking about a grand strategy for West Papua, is in draft form. If solidarity work for Papua interests you, Jason would be happy to hear from you: “Dr Jason MacLeod”>

And while we are on liberation struggles, here is a link to an excellent interview of Jon Olsen who has written a book ‘LIBERATE HAWAI’I! Renouncing and Defying the Continuing Fraudulent U.S. Claim to the Sovereignty of Hawai’i’:

You can get his book here:

Did you know that Mairead Maguire is one of 30 women peacemakers from 12 countries who plan to walk across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea? If you would like to know why, you can read Mairead’s explanation on Antonio’s TRANSCEND Media Service Weekly Digest: ‘Why Are We Planning to Walk Across the Demilitarized Zone That Separates North and South Korea?’
Gary Brumback’s most recent (and extremely insightful) book ‘America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying’ can be checked out and bought here: If you like, you can read David Swanson’s review of the book here:

Waheed Ahmad has been nominated as Chair of the Child Rights Committee of the Lahore Court Bar Association for 2015-16. According to Waheed, Pakistan has the worst conditions for children of any country in South Asia, partially because the government has failed to implement legislation and international conventions which would improve conditions for children. As a result, poverty, bad drinking water, exploitative child labour, physical and sexual abuse, as well as child trafficking are widespread. Waheed is an Advocate of the High Court, was Coordinator of the Juveniles and Minority Wing Punjab Bar Council (2012-14) and was a Legal Aid Commissioner for the International Criminal Court (ICC) (2010-13). You can see a photo of him here:

If you would like to read a review of David Hartsough’s memoir ‘Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist’ before checking out the book yourself, you can read the review by Winslow Myers here: You can see an interview of David and obtain his book via the Peaceworkers USA website: On behalf of your fellow nonviolent activists David, we happily acknowledge your lifetime of effort. Inspirational!

Our friends in the Global Harmony Association, based in Russia, have been busy producing the book ‘Global Peace Science or Peaceloveology’ under the leadership of Dr Leo Semashko. You can access the Russian version of the book here: It will be translated into English soon.

Kathy Kelly has been in jail since 23 January 2015 for her nonviolent action, at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, against drone killings. You can read why she took this action in this interview ‘Kathy Kelly Begins Her Three Month Federal Prison Sentence Today!’: If you would like to read something about her prison experience, you can do so in her article ‘The Shift’:

David Polden continues to publish the Non-violent Resistance Newsletter in the UK but, despite my entreaties, doesn’t (yet) publish it online so that we can all read it. Come on David!

For news about Africa and from an African perspective, check out the excellent ‘Daybreak Africa’ edited by Gifty Ayim-Korankye of Ghana.

You can read about the ongoing efforts of our friends at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action to end the nuclear arms race in their latest newsletter (which they do publish online): The newsletter includes Elizabeth Murray’s account of the trip by some of their members to Jeju’s Gangjeong Village, Leonard Eiger’s photos of the community’s nonviolent actions and, of course, some of the accumulated wisdom of Tom Shea, the group’s youngest (ahem) member.

Dr Gary Kohls continues to tell the truth about a range of issues that are very unpalatable to the pharmaceutical industry. Here is his latest article on the lasting damage caused by vaccinations: ‘Open Letter to Eric Holder Regarding the Big Pharma’s Campaign to Get Every Pre-Adolescent Child in America Vaccinated for HPV’

His previous article ‘What Journalists, Lawyers, Laypersons and Healthcare Providers Need to Know About Psychotropic Drugs’ can be read here:

If you would like to access the archive for his penetrating articles of the past three years on a range of key issues, you can do so here:

Paul Buchheit’s latest exposé of the maldistribution of wealth in the USA can be read here (but be warned, it will make you angry!): ‘A Nation’s Shame: Trillions in New Wealth, Millions of Children in Poverty’

Philip Farruggio also has some thoughts on how the US budget could be spent more beneficially. See ‘Apache Helicopter & Hellfire Missile Blues’:

Dr Tess Ramiro continues her indefatigable efforts in the Philippines with Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan – Center for Active Non-Violence. More next time….

Pía Figueroa in Chile is a key figure at and one of the editors of ‘Pressenza’, an international news agency dedicated to news about peace and nonviolence with offices in Milan, Rome, London, Paris, New York, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Hong Kong, Quito, Lima, Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Budapest. They issue a daily news service in English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. Haven’t seen ‘Pressenza’? It’s here:

Jill Gough reports the successful visit to Wales of former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Naoto Kan, to view the proposed site of the second, bitterly disputed Wylfa nuclear power facility and advocate against nuclear power. His message was simple: Fukushima was an avoidable disaster, by avoiding nuclear power in the first place. You can read about his advocacy on the CND Cymru website:

Many of you will have heard of Brian Willson’s courageous nonviolent action in 1987 in which he lost both legs while blockading a munitions train carrying weapons destined to kill people in Central America. Here is the link to a promotional video about a film ‘Paying the Price for Peace’ which features Brian:

Brian’s website, in which he advocates ongoing nonviolent resistance but also a simpler lifestyle in the Gandhian tradition, is here:

Dr Marty Branagan’s recent book ‘Global Warming, Militarism and Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance’ has some valuable information on the origins and use of art in activism. Very thoughtful! You can get it here:

If you would like to listen to a great interview of Marianne Perez de Fransius of ‘Peace is Sexy’ on ‘Portraying Peace in the Media – Peace Superheroes and Peace is Sexy’, you can do so here: And if you haven’t seen it, the ‘Peace is Sexy’ website is here:

Cindy Sheehan was a central figure behind the recent ‘Spring Rising: An Antiwar Intervention in DC’ program and nonviolent actions in the USA: Her focus is to promote ‘a message of peace, justice, environmental sustainability and economic equality’.

Light Wilson Aganwa in South Sudan is the Executive Director of the Mundri Relief and Development Association. Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Sudanese Organization for Nonviolence and Development (SONAD), an organization that he co-founded (among several others over the years) in 1999. During his time as director of SONAD, he initiated relationships with many international peace and donor organizations such as War Resisters International, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Coalition for Peace in Africa. He has also worked as a teacher and been a part-time lecturer at the University of Juba and a local government officer with the Ministry of Administration and Security in the Equatoria Region. As a student activist, he served as a Secretary for Foreign Relations at the Juba University Southern Student Association (JUSSA) from 1992-1993. Despite the fact that he came from a rural area where it is not easy to get an education, he has forged ahead and for many years distinguished himself as a strong proponent of the nonviolence movement, attending many conferences and workshops and presenting papers on the subject in various forums in Africa, Europe and Asia. He was awarded an MA in Public Administration and Study of Governance from the University of Khartoum in 2010 and has an MSc in Rural Development from the University of Juba (2009). He is also been active in church activities with the Mayo Parish Church.

Here is René Wadlow’s superb article on a neglected subject: violence against our cultural heritage: ‘The Cultural Heritage of Iraq and Syria: “Destroyed by Human Ignorance – Rebuilt by Human Hope”‘

Professor Ammar Banni is our first signatory from Algeria. He is a professor of education and coordinator of the Ahmed Arbia College-El oued. You can read something about him here:

If you want an intelligent assessment of what drives terrorism and how to respond to it, you can do no better than follow Professor Richard Jackson’s blog on the subject: Richard is one of the founders of critical terrorism studies and has been studying political violence since 1987. If you don’t have time to follow all of what he writes, try this article for a brief introduction: ‘How not to tackle Islamic State’ which was published on 2 October 2014, You can check out his recent book ‘Confessions of a Terrorist: A Novel’ here: And read Anita’s review of it here: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you want to read Richard’s account of why he became a pacifist, I promise that you will find his story compelling! See ‘My Journey to Pacifism’

And while we are in New Zealand, here is Professor Kevin Clements’ straightforward account of why sending military forces to the Middle East is highly counterproductive, to put it mildly: ‘Breaking Vicious Cycles of Violence: Building Virtuous ones in the Middle East’ But for something more personal, you will find this interview of Kevin ‘the non-conformist’ about his long life in the struggle for peace and justice both revealing and inspiring: Thanks heaps for your lifetime of effort too, Kevin.

Retired Surgeon Dr David Halpin – – in the UK has been indefatigable in pursuing the truth about the death of Dr David Kelly, a man committed to exposing the truth about the fallacious basis for the war on Iraq. ‘I have thought a great deal about state motivation for the likely assassination of his man who was moral.’ You can see an interview of David after a High Court hearing on 19 December 2011 in which the judge refused his case for a judicial review of the UK government’s decision to refuse to re-open the inquest into Dr Kelly’s death, here:

You might also appreciate this article of David’s ‘”Je suis Ali Abbas”: The Forgotten Victims of State Terrorism’ from 13 January 2015:

Many of you will have heard of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton in Detroit, USA, a Catholic Bishop who is renowned for his work for peace and justice in many fields. For example, he was a key figure in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Pastoral Letter ‘The Challenge of Peace’ written in 1983. You can read something about him here:

Professor Sean Byrne is director of the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba in Canada. You can read more about his great work here:

Here is one of David Swanson’s superb ‘Talk Nation Radio’ interviews, this one of Kristin Christman on her ‘Taxonomy of Peace’:

This is the link to David’s interview of the well-informed Dr Margaret Flowers about the evils of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP):

And here is one of David’s articles on his recent trip to Cuba: ‘Cuba: Land of Opportunity’

And, in this article about the ‘king’ of mercenaries, David ‘[I Just] Asked Erik Prince To Stop Bribing Politicians’:

Joy First is a member of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance in the USA – – and this is her account of a superb engagement with ‘ordinary’ people and police, inviting them to ‘look deeper’ at what drone killing means: ‘What Happens When You Talk With Americans About Drone Murders’

And if you thought the nuclear threat had receded, try reading this recent assessment by Dr John Scales Avery and the Danish Pugwash Group ‘Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe’

Bruce Gagnon adds his thoughts on this issue in his recent article ‘Where Do These Warships Go?’:

For an insightful article exposing the many manifestations of illegal behaviour by police, see this excellent article by Professor Bill Quiqley ’10 Illegal Police Actions to Watch for in Ferguson’:

For an informative personal interview of Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh in Palestine, check out this link:

And Marthie Momberg is one of many South Africans who struggle in solidarity with our Palestinian friends. You might enjoy this article: ‘Who says Israel is guilty of Apartheid?’

Friends of Sabeel North America is also eavily engaged in solidarity work in support of the struggle to liberate Palestine. Boasting an impressive leadership team, you can read about their efforts here:

Last January, Rajesh Makwana <> advised us of a new worldwide campaign of Share the World’s Resources. The campaign to ‘Join the global call for sharing’ can be read and signed here: You can also read the main documents, including ‘Sharing as our common cause’ and the strategy document by clicking on links at the website mentioned.

If you haven’t checked out the World Beyond War initiative yet, which you are invited to consider signing, you can do so here:

And the Center for Global Nonkilling, founded by Professor Glenn Paige, continues to expand its impact around the world:

Forthcoming events:

An initiative of Veterans for Peace in the US is the Vietnam War Full Disclosure movement – – which aims to more fully open up the dialogue of how the history of the American War in Vietnam has to be told.

Doug Rawlings at VFP <> is coordinating this effort and will be happy to hear any suggestions on how to make this event a more meaningful statement about the American War in Vietnam. VfP will also be happy to have your involvement.

Well, as indicated above, an inadequate summary but it gives you some idea of our shared efforts. We must have all of those perpetrators of violence surrounded by now!

Finally, if you or someone you know has the means and inclination to do so, any financial support for Anita and Robert to help us do this work will be much appreciated. You can see how here:

In appreciation of all of your efforts (including all of those not mentioned above)…

For a world without violence.

Onipa’a, lokahi, and imua (‘Be steadfast, have unity, and move forward’ in Hawaiian)


Ngā mihi mahana, Nā (‘Best wishes, from’ in Maori); Robert, Anita and Anahata

P.S. This Charter progess report is being emailed, in a sequence of emails, to all signatories of the Nonviolence Charter for whom we have a current email address.

Anita McKone and Robert J. Burrowes
Websites: (Charter) (Flame Tree Project) (‘Why Violence?’) (Songs of Nonviolence)


Robert Burrowes, Ph.D. is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?‘ Websites: (Charter) (Flame Tree Project) (Songs of Nonviolence)

 Anita McKone is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and has been a nonviolent activist since 1993. Her work on environmental and anti-war campaigns led to further intensive research into the deep psychological roots of violence. She works to fully comprehend and end behaviours that are destructive of the Self. She is the author of ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’ and has also written and recorded eight ‘Songs of Nonviolence’. Website:


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 20 Apr 2015.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Nonviolence Charter: Progress Report 6 (Apr 2015), is included. Thank you.

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