Nonviolence Charter: Progress Report #9 (Oct 2016)
Robert J. Burrowes, Anita McKone & Anahata Giri – TRANSCEND Media Service
Dear fellow signatories of the Nonviolence Charter
How are you all? And welcome to our most recent signatories and organizations!
This is the latest six-monthly report on progress in relation to ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ together with a sample of news about Charter signatories and organizations.
Our collective effort to build a worldwide consensus against the use of violence in all contexts continues to make progress, even against rather overwhelming odds!
Since our last report on April 2016 – which Antonio C. S. Rosa kindly published in the TRANSCEND Media Service Weekly Digest: https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/04/nonviolence-charter-progress-report-8-april-2016/ – we have gained our first individual signatories in another three countries – Bulgaria, Tunisia and Turkey – a total of 96 countries now. We also have 109 organizations/networks from 35 countries, the latest of which is the International Association of Educators for World Peace. If you wish, you can see the list of organizational endorsements on the Charter website: http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com/organisations/
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 ‘Gandhi: “My life is my message”‘ was recently distributed to many progressive news websites: it was published by a number of outlets in thirteen countries, thanks to very supportive editors (several of whom are Charter signatories: special thanks to Antonio Rosa https://www.transcend.org/tms/ , David Swanson http://warisacrime.org/ , Gifty Ayim-Korankye http://ghanawebonline.com , Korsi Senyo http://awakeafrica.com/ , Dr Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese http://popularresistance.org/ and Pía Figueroa http://www.pressenza.com/ ). If you like, you can read the article here: https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/10/gandhi-my-life-is-my-message/
If any of you would like a copy of the progressive World Media List, then you are welcome to email Robert at email@example.com and he will send you a copy. An increasing number of Charter signatories are using some or all of the list and it is apparent that our articles are being published more or less widely. Many progressive news website editors are very supportive of our efforts.
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…. Thanks to Anahata, the Nonviolence Charter is on Facebook and it has links to some useful articles: https://www.facebook.com/thepeoplescharter
You may remember that in the last Charter progress report, as usual, we repeated our promise to report on those of you about whom we knew less by asking you to send us some information about yourself 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!
Apart from those signatories mentioned in the article ‘Gandhi: “My life is my message”‘ cited above, here is another (inadequate) sample of reports of the activities of ‘ordinary’ people and organizations who are your fellow Charter signatories. And, if you read nothing else, please consider reading Troy Troyer’s poetic tribute to Berta Cáceres, the courageous indigenous rights activist assassinated in Honduras earlier this year.
So first: A couple of new websites for those of you who are interested in nonviolent strategy for your campaign or liberation struggle (and with photos of several Charter signatories):
Nonviolent Campaign Strategy: https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/
Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/
If any of you have high quality photos of nonviolent actions that you are willing to have published on these sites, please send them to Robert <firstname.lastname@example.org> All photos will be acknowledged where published.
And these articles might stimulate your interest in being involved in recent initiatives:
‘A Nonviolent Strategy to End War’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/08/a-nonviolent-strategy-to-end-war/
‘An Open Letter to the People of Brazil’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/09/an-open-letter-to-the-people-of-brazil-2/ also published in Spanish: ‘Carta abierta al pueblo brasilero’: https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/09/castellano-carta-abierta-al-pueblo-brasilero/ and
‘A Nonviolent Strategy to End the Climate Catastrophe’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/10/a-nonviolent-strategy-to-end-the-climate-catastrophe/
At least four Charter signatories are active in the nonviolent resistance to the recent political coup in Brazil and in trying to provide some support to make this resistance more strategic. Brazilian mathematician Professor Tarcisio Praciano-Pereira, cinema school student César Augusto Machareth Gabriolli, TRANSCEND Media Service editor Antonio C.S. Rosa (a survivor of torture by the previous coup regime in Brazil) who now lives in Portugal and Robert Burrowes in Australia are those known to be involved. César reports: ‘I feel like the biggest problem related to the coup is that too many people in Brazil don’t see the impeachment as a coup. The elite closes their eyes to the unconstitutionality of the impeachment and the hypocrisy of the politicians who made it possible, because the rich people are getting benefits from it. A huge chunk of the lower social classes also don’t see the severity of the situation, because the media in Brazil plays a big part in manipulating us.’ The coup has been denounced by other Charter signatories including Professor Noam Chomsky in the USA.
As the sane world works to try to prevent a (possibly nuclear) war in response to US government antagonism of Russia over Syria (among other issues), two Charter signatories – Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer and CIA analyst (ret.) and Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.) – have signed a recent ‘Alert Memorandum’ to the US president from the organization Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS): ‘Obama Warned to Defuse Tensions with Russia’. https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/02/obama-warned-to-defuse-tensions-with-russia/
And in response to another (possibly nuclear) flashpoint threatening to spiral out of control, Professor Chandra Muzaffar, of the International Movement for a JUST World based in Malaysia, has written thoughtfully on the tragic events in occupied Kashmir while discouraging the use of violence by any party: ‘Kashmir: “We The People” Should Stand Up’. http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/09/21/kashmir-we-the-people-should-stand-up/ Chandra has also had this fine article from 1992 republished, which illustrates that deeper truths bear restating: ‘Hudud: Central to Islam?’ http://yayasan1malaysia.org/2016/05/30/hudud-central-islam/#.V008dL59LIU
Nobel Peace Laureate and Charter signatory Mairead Maguire was one of thirteen nonviolent activists on the Women’s Boat to Gaza intercepted, boarded and seized by the Israeli Navy on 5 October. You can watch a video of why Mairead participated in this initiative here – ‘Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire shares why she is going to Gaza’ https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/news/nobel-peace-laureate-mairead-maguire-shares-why-she-is-going-to-gaza – and read an account and see a good photo of some of the women (Mairead second from the right) here: ‘WBG participants free soon, 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza still blockaded’ https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/news/201610071030 Mairead was shot with a rubber bullet on 20 April 2007 in a previous nonviolent action in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Bilin. You can watch a video of this here: ‘Nobel Peace Prize Winner shot by Israeli army in Palestine’
In deep appreciation of your ongoing and courageous willingness to act in accord with your conscience Mairead. You are an inspiration! And given the number of inappropriate Nobel Peace prize awardees over the years, it is great to have one of the genuinely worthy laureates among us.
Our most recent endorsing organization is the International Association of Educators for World Peace – http://iaewp2u.blogspot.com – a worldwide network of educational professionals committed to working for peace. In their lovely introductory video which you can see here
it says that the IAEWP ‘promotes EDUCATION as the language of PEACE’. Dr S.S. Varatharajan Shanmugavelu (Steve) is their very active Vice President for Public Relations and Chief Editor and Publisher of the IAEWP Peace Progress Journal.
On 16 June 2016, the Commonwealth announced that Dr Willy Mutunga, former Chief Justice of Kenya, and a recent Charter signatory in that country, will take up the role of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Maldives. Dr Mutunga is ‘one of the most prominent jurists in the Commonwealth’ and, as a lawyer, reformist, academic and recently retired Chief Justice, has had ‘an expansive career in the areas of constitutional reform, mediation and coalition building. As an exiled Kenyan student, he obtained his Doctorate of Law … in Toronto. Returning to Kenya, Dr Mutunga played an integral role in the country’s constitution-making processes in the early 1990s and lent an important hand to implementing the 2010 Kenyan Constitution.’ Dr Mutunga is particularly known for his ability ‘to listen to all sides’ and his capacity ‘to mediate is second to none’. You can read a fuller account of his achievements and his recent appointment here: ‘Kenyan Chief Justice Mutunga appointed as Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Maldives’ http://thecommonwealth.org/media/press-release/kenyan-chief-justice-mutunga-appointed-commonwealth-secretary-general%E2%80%99s-special Your life of exceptional service to peace and justice is deeply appreciated Willy!
Judy Bello was part of a recent delegation to Syria which tried to get a clearer sense of the possibilities for resolving that conflict. In this interview by David Swanson on ‘Talk Nation Radio’, she gives an informed first-hand account of what is happening: http://davidswanson.org/node/5247 In appreciation of your longstanding commitment and thoughtful insight Judy.
In an evocative account of what is at stake as the Standing Rock Sioux defend their ancestral land against the Dakota (bakkan oil) access pipeline, Bob Koehler writes ‘The Future Cries Out: “Water Is Life”‘ which you can read on his great website. http://commonwonders.com/eco/the-future-cries-out-water-is-life/ If you want to read a lovely account of why Bob does what he does, check out this page. http://commonwonders.com/category/authors/
Pakistani Canadian Dr Mahboob A. Khawaja is a scholar of global affairs with the passion to imagine a new world of ‘One Humanity co-existing in peace and harmony with the Nature of Things and all the living beings’. His family was the first target in Canada of Bush’s fraudulent ‘war on terrorism’. For an account, see ‘How Liberal Canada Defied Reason to Terrorize Its Citizens’ http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/06/23/how-liberal-canada-defied-reason-to-terrorize-its-citizens/ Mahboob’s son Mohmmad Momin Khawaja has been a prisoner of conscience for over 12 years and is still imprisoned at the high security prison in Millhaven, Ontario. For a recent account, see ‘From Legal Injustice to the Tyranny of Torture: The Case of Canadian M. Momin Khawaja’ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/global-right-path/ixnrpTvWPM8 Mahboob himself was arrested and tortured under the false pretext of ‘terrorism’ after initiating political activism against the bogus war on Iraq. Its dreadful consequences have impacted on all aspects of their lives. ‘However, we are stronger in our resolve to enhance peace and the interests of One Humanity all over the globe.’ An earlier book of Mahboob’s is still available – ‘Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict Resolution’ https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780761816522/Muslims-and-the-West-Quest-for-Change-and-Conflict-Resolution – and his most recent book ‘Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking’ is available here: https://www.morebooks.de/store/gb/book/global-peace-and-conflict-management/isbn/978-3-659-00093-5 The suffering of Mahboob’s family is a sobering reminder of one of the many ‘hidden’ costs of the ‘War on Islam’ or even ‘War on all of us’, which the inaccurately named elite ‘War on Terror’ has always been. For a brief explanation of this, see ‘Terrorism: Ultimate Weapon of the Global Elite’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/02/terrorism-ultimate-weapon-of-the-global-elite/
Dr Jason MacLeod continues his vital solidarity work in the nonviolent struggle to liberate West Papua from Indonesian occupation. Working in collaboration with the leadership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), he continues to raise awareness of the nonviolent liberation struggle being conducted by West Papuans while gently guiding this struggle in a more strategic direction. Jason’s latest coauthored report on the situation in West Papua ‘A Historic Choice: West Papua, Human Rights and Pacific Diplomacy at the Pacific Island Forum and Melanesian Spearhead Group’ can be downloaded here. https://www.ulmwp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WP_PIF_MSG_Report_Online_RLR-1.pdf 25 years of commitment to West Papua and counting hey Jason?
Sovannarun Tay continues to learn nonviolent strategy as part of his effort to raise awareness of its potential to liberate Cambodia from its dictatorship.
Aarti Ramana has just completed her Ph.D. in particle physics at the National Institute of Technology at Jalandhar in the Punjab in India although she will defend her thesis on 18 October. Aarti lives ‘in a very comfortable environment which is surrounded by people not so fortunate. In a way I live in the guilt. I write a blog to vent out my feelings from time to time…. In addition to trying to bring up a sensitive and a caring human being, a son at home, I teach for few hours a week kids who do not have any help at home to study and come from lower income background, science and english. I dream to contribute seriously towards the issue of mental illness in addition to bring about peace in this world! … My son, Bharat, is one of my best teachers :). He reflects many of my faults and nothing inspires me more to change :). I feel I am a very selfish mother who wants the entire world to be a safe and secure place for my child, one of my main motivation to have this attitude. Also my long stint with ph.d in particle physics has brought lot of humility in me.’ Aarti’s websites with her thoughtful reflections are here – http://aartiramana.blogspot.in/ – and here: https://aartigirdhar.wordpress.com/ Good luck with the thesis defence Aarti!
In New Zealand, Professor Kevin Clements continues to cast his thoughtful eye and penetrating analysis on world events. One recent article responded to the massacre of disabled people in Japan: ‘Civilised communities will be judged by how well they serve the interests of the weak and disabled – Reflections on the Sagamahira Tragedy’ https://kevinclementspeaceandconflict.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/civilised-communities-will-be-judged-by-how-well-they-serve-the-interests-of-the-weak-and-disabled-reflections-on-the-sagamahira-tragedy/
In her invariably evocative and gently questioning style, a recent article by Kathy Kelly, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the fourth time this year, highlighted the stark contradiction between how U.S. resources might be allocated and how they are allocated: ‘to meet human needs or to further enlarge the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and further enrich the corporations that profit from U.S. investments in weapons technology.’ You can read more of Kathy’s article here: ‘A Good Beginning’ http://vcnv.org/2016/09/07/a-good-beginning-by-kathy-kelly/
Australian Kelvin Davies, who works with the Rainforest Trust based in the USA, has recently reported a monumental win. Their local Congolese partner notified that the 2.2-million-acre Lomami National Park in the heart of the Congo rainforest has been officially declared by the nation’s council of ministers! Needless to say, this is a HUGE moment in conservation history. The new Lomami National Park is nearly the size of Yellowstone National Park and is the first national park to be declared in the DRC in over two decades. The park now provides immense protection for the Congo’s imperiled wildlife, like Okapis, Bonobos, and African Forest Elephants, while bringing much-needed security and stability to the region. The local partner is coordinating well-equipped and highly trained teams of park guards that will stop ivory poachers while helping to bring peace to the region. Not content with the creation of Lomami National Park, they are already working on the next step to expand protection even further. Alongside Lomami National Park, they are seeking to help safeguard another 1,194,507 acres by establishing Balanga Forest Reserve for just $0.77 per acre. Together, the two areas will protect a swath of rainforest habitat nearly the size of Connecticut. Congratulations Kelvin and other rainforest activists!
Long time Burmese democracy activist and human rights campaigner Dr Maung Zarni was recently interviewed about the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Burma. You can watch his commentary and read more of his insightful work on this and other subjects on his website: http://www.maungzarni.net/2016/09/dr-maung-zarni-comments-on-kofi-annan.html
Often looking at issues that are easily missed or widely ignored, René Wadlow in France continues to focus attention on these issues with his thoughtful articles. In the forgotten and brutal conflict in Yemen which has had a devastating impact on the people of that country, recent articles have highlighted the phenomenal humanitarian tragedy taking place – ‘World Food Day: A Focus on Food Security in Yemen’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/10/world-food-day-a-focus-on-food-security-in-yemen/ – and suggested a way forward: ‘Yemen negotiations move ahead slowly – post-war planning needed’ http://globalsolutions.org/blog/2016/07/Yemen-negotiations-move-ahead-slowly-%E2%80%93-post-war-planning-needed#.V_3cCCSYrIU
Jill Gough and our other friends at CND Cymru continue their efforts to end UK involvement in both nuclear weapons and nuclear power, with regular nonviolent actions against war and aspects of it. These include protests against the replacement of Trident and the Cardiff Weapons Fair. But they do far more than that while drawing attention to the links to the climate catastrophe as well. You can see some of their fine efforts on their website http://www.cndcymru.org/ which has links to their magazine ‘Heddwch’ (which is Welsh for ‘peace’).
Since the devastating earthquakes in Nepal last year, we have still not been able to contact five Charter signatories in that country. However, Professor Bishnu Pathak continues to publish his fine research. His most recent article, focuses on the ‘long, but neglected history’ of Enforced Disappearances and evaluates the effectiveness of Truth Commissions in their responses to such disappearances. See ‘World’s Disappearance Commissions: An Inhumanious Quest for Truth’ http://www.scholink.org/ojs/index.php/wjssr/article/view/604
Our first signatory in Tunisia, Mohamed Sofiene Kadri, wrote this response to our invitation to introduce himself:
‘It was a great pleasure for me to read and sign “The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World”, i am fascinated with all the work you’ve been doing to make our world a beautiful and prosperous place and i know that one day you and I and all the people who are trying to make a difference will be victorious and we will achieve our goals, i just wish that if there were more people like you in this world and especially in my country which torn down by terrorism and conflicts to act and put an end to all the political, religious turmoils. Your work really gave hope and encouraged me to keep on the for the sake of my country and for the sake of all people around the world.
‘I introduce myself: my name is Mohamed Sofiene Kadri, 23 years old, i am from Tunisia, Muslim, student in my second year in master degree in digital signal processing, active in the civil society in an association entitled “Zaghouan Youth Leaders Council” we work with one of the best promoteur in middle east and north Africa (MENA region) “Search for Common Ground” (SFCG) about conflict management, good governance, and human rights.
‘I hope that it was clear and that I properly introduced my self. I am waiting to hear about your activities. Peace and love from Tunisia.’ Thank you for your report Mohamed and now, here is ours!
Dr Katharina Bitzker in Germany is now writing a draft of her research results into the relationship between love and peace. One of the problems, as she reported last time, is that ‘peace and conflict studies is so crisis-oriented that many peacebuilders have a difficult time acknowledging the importance of love in most people’s lives because it feels like they are not dealing with ‘serious’ or ‘heavy’ issues. So bridging this disconnect between how important love is for most people in their daily lives and how little airplay it gets in peace academic circles (but I am also changing that…one conference at a time :-)) is a challenging aspect that comes up again and again.’ Equally challenging, Katharina is committed to parenting her son Anatol so that he is gently powerful. She spends a great deal of time listening to him and actively helping him to get what he needs so that he keeps flourishing as an emotionally engaged individual.
Rajesh Makwana at Share the World’s Resources based in the UK invites you to ‘Join the global call for sharing’ and add your voice to the growing demand for a fairer sharing of wealth, power and resources within and between countries. As explained in their report ‘Sharing as our common cause’, which you can download, http://www.sharing.org/information-centre/reports/sharing-our-common-cause ‘the principle of sharing is already central to diverse calls for social justice, environmental stewardship, global peace and true democracy’. The ‘global call for sharing’ campaign aims to build upon this recognition among civil society organisations and the wider public, and ‘promote the role that a call for sharing can play in uniting progressive movements across the world’. You are invited to sign the declaration too. http://www.sharing.org/global-call/english
Dr Leo Semashko in Russia and the worldwide network of the Global Harmony Association continue their unrelenting efforts to encourage world leaders to appreciate the unique contribution that Global Peace Science can play in preventing nuclear war and establishing a lasting basis for world peace. Their latest initiative is an ‘Appeal to the Governments of Russia and the USA to start cooperation in the development of Global Peace Science as a common platform for “nuclear zero” and the world pacifization [not pacification] providing planetary security.’ You can read about this latest initiative on the GHA website: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=710 And, if you haven’t seen it, the recently published GHA book ‘Global Peace Science’, which Leo edited and to which many Charter signatories – including Prof Subhash Chandra in India (who is also president of the GHA), Prof Ayo Ayoola-Amale in Ghana, Prof Bishnu Pathak in Nepal, Delasnieve Daspet in Brazil, Ime Bisassoni in Argentina, Kae Morii in Japan and Zaure Khizatolla in Kazakhstan – contributed, can be read and downloaded here: http://peacefromharmony.org/docs/global-peace-science-2016.pdf
If you would like to read an evocative reflection on the state of US society, Rivera Sun’s article ‘Sing the Body Politic, Electric’ will capture your imagination in a way that US presidential debates do not! http://www.peacevoice.info/2016/09/08/sing-the-body-politic-electric/ And if you would like to participate in one of Rivera’s nonviolent action workshops, which she conducts throughout the USA, you can check out her program here: http://www.riverasun.com/workshops/
John Dear has a new vision for the USA too. His own evocative account of this is written in his recent article ‘Politics of Nonviolence’ which you can read on his website: http://www.fatherjohndear.org/nonviolence/politics-nonviolence.html
And Pace e Bene in the USA continues to expand its Campaign Nonviolence: ‘a long-term movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence.’ During their third Campaign Nonviolence Week held from 18-25 September 2016, nonviolent actions were conducted in all 50 US states and in many countries around the world. For more information on their inspiring efforts, see http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/campaign-nonviolence-week-of-actions/
George Paxton, editor of ‘The Gandhi Way’, the quarterly journal of the Gandhi Foundation in the UK, has recently had a new book published. It is titled ‘Nonviolent Resistance to the Nazis’: ‘War is an extremely costly means of responding to conflict and yet nonviolent defence of a country is normally considered unrealistic because it is considered ineffectual against a ruthless opponent. This book tries to demonstrate otherwise by looking at historical facts focusing on the Nazi tyranny as a specific case. In reality, nonviolent resistance to the Third Reich took place in the occupied countries as well as in Germany itself. While not on a scale to bring down the regime its potential to do so is clearly demonstrated in this well-argued account. More speculatively, the author looks at principled Gandhian nonviolence and asks if this approach would have affected the nature of the resistance.’ The book ‘Nonviolent Resistance to the Nazis’ can be obtained here: https://www.amazon.com/Nonviolent-Resistance-Nazis-George-Paxton-ebook/dp/B01DFPEKFM Good on you George for bringing your particular insight to this perennial!
Apart from her new website mentioned in ‘Gandhi: My life is my message’ (above), Gifty A. Korankye has also created a magazine format website on the same subject ‘Daughters of Africa’ http://daughtersofafrica.org/
Peter van Els coordinates the White Rose Evolution, our first organization in the Netherlands. You can check out his fine work here: https://www.facebook.com/stoptheselfishnessofgreed
At Focusing Australia http://www.focusingaustralia.com/ Jo Kennedy teaches people about focusing: ‘a mode of inward bodily attention…. Focusing offers a new way of being with ourselves – that has all of us in it. Focusing is a creative act [and] occurs exactly at the interface of body-mind. It consists of specific steps for getting a body sense of how you are in a particular life situation. This is known as the Felt Sense. To do this first we must Pause…. We need to pause to really notice what is perhaps best described as our interactional aliveness, what our bodies are carrying for us and how they are carrying it…. This gentle unfolding of the body’s wisdom is what is known as Focusing.’
Sami Awad and our other friends at the Holy Land Trust in Palestine organised a community festival around the theme Yallah Makloobeh, Arabic for ‘Let’s go, upside down.’ Their concept was rooted in a call to take responsibility for the development of Star Street, for the strength of Bethlehem, and for the future of Palestine. The goal was to turn the discourse about the Holy Land upside down: ‘Instead of talking about about is wrong, let each person talk about what he or she is going to do.’ The vision for the festival was ‘to bring the community together … to inspire social change. This starts with Star Street, but it doesn’t end here.’ To accomplish this vision, Sami taught ‘private and public workshops for emerging leaders on nonlinear thinking and social change’. There were also panel discussions and Palestinian films to stir up thought and conversation. ‘We all know that much needs to change in the Holy Land. But the question we’re asking this year is: what are you going to do about it?’ You will get a taste of this festival here: http://www.betlahemlive.com/artists.html And you can check out the website of the Holy Land Trust here: http://www.holylandtrust.org/ Great work Sami and other friends at HLT!
John McKenna, a leading advocate for people with disabilities in Australia, recently organized a video to demonstrate the utility of the Autoslide sliding door opener. You can see this video and get more idea of John’s remarkable work on his personal website: http://www.johnmckenna.com.au/ Inspirational, as always, John!
Leonard Eiger at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action – http://www.gzcenter.org/ – was recently invited to attend the international conference ‘Building a nuclear-weapon-free world’, attended by parliamentarians, mayors, religious leaders, government representatives and disarmament experts and held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. The conference was held on 28–29 August 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan. http://www.astanaconf2016.org/en/ Leonard found the conference extraordinarily worthwhile with a wide range of highlights including, as always, the wonderfully inspiring people he met, including Waheed Ahmad of Pakistan, mentioned below. You can read Leonard’s account of this conference and read its final declaration ‘The Astana Vision: From а Radioactive Haze to a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World’ here on one of Leonard’s websites: http://nuclearabolitionist.blogspot.com.au/ If you want to check out Leonard’s photos, which we highly recommend, you can do so here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskGiuDv9 You will soon see that it wasn’t all work and no play despite the fine assembly of fellow activists at the conference! In his email, however, Leonard highlighted his meeting with Karipbek Kuyukov, an artist from Kazakhstan. ‘Born without arms, he is one of the scores of multigenerational victims of nuclear testing during the Cold War. He tells the story through his paintings, and expresses the pain of the people of Kazakhstan who continue to suffer from this legacy of the Cold War’. Kuyukov presented a statement to the conference which you can read here: http://www.kuyukov.com/about.html You can also learn about the Atom Project, for which Kuyukov is the Honorary Ambassador, here: http://www.theatomproject.org/en/ Thanks, as always, Leonard for your own superb contribution and an invaluable report.
Annette Brownlie and fellow activists at the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network recently conducted a conference at Alice Springs in central Australia. Following the Close Pine Gap protest convergence – a nonviolent protest camp, working together with local indigenous peoples, to protest the 50th year of operation of the US military communications base at the secretive Pine Gap (used, among other functions, to guide US drone strikes around the world) – from 26-30 September, IPAN hosted a public forum and conducted its national conference: ‘Pine Gap: Serving US Militarism for 50 years – Time for Independence?’ You can check out details of their fine peace and antiwar activities on their website. http://www.ipan.org.au/#/
In response to a convicted sex offender in the US receiving a very light punishment for rape, scholar and playwright Timothy Braatz offered this thoughtful commentary: ‘The Confessions of Brock Turner and a Culture of Punishment’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/06/the-confessions-of-brock-turner-and-a-culture-of-punishment/
Offering a thoughtfully considered and wide-ranging critique Roger Copple recently wrote ‘Capitalism, Imperialism, and the Lies of Western Culture’ http://www.opednews.com/articles/Capitalism-Imperialism-a-by-Roger-Copple-Buddhist_Capitalism-Over-Humanity_Christianity_Culture-Of-Corruption-161013-173.html#comment622928
Jonathan Power based in Sweden continues to cast his experienced journalistic eye into the world’s trouble spots and offer candid analyses of what is taking place. A recent article discussed the way in which ‘Israel’s Self-Obsession Obstructs Path To Peace’ http://www.eurasiareview.com/05102016-israels-self-obsession-obstructs-path-to-peace-oped/
Burt Berlowe, who maintains the Compassionate Rebel website – http://compassionaterebel.com/ – advises that the forthcoming book in which he has been involved is now due for release. Titled ‘Turning Points: Finding My Passion’, and edited by Laurence Peters, the book ‘represents a group portrait of a generation touched by the turbulent winds of a mid-century world which tossed so many received values aside. As the ’60s slips from view, becoming either the subject of the nostalgia industry or sensation-laden documentaries, these writers tell the stories of ordinary people faced with the new and radical choices opened by an America going through a series of multiple crises.’ The book features some Charter signatories such as Marianne Perez de Fransius who is based in Mozambique and continues to teach us how to present peace as sexy, possible, profitable and fun! You can see how to do this on her website ‘Peace is Sexy’ http://www.peaceissexy.net but find out more about this compassionate rebel in the book ‘Turning Points’.
Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, http://www.space4peace.org/ traveled to Ukraine to be part of the second anniversary commemorations of the Odessa Trades Hall massacre of nonviolent activists on 2 May 2014. As he notes on his blog: ‘Ukraine is coming apart at the seams following the 2014 US sponsored coup d’état in Kiev that installed a puppet regime fully under the control of corporate interests.’ In a compelling video titled ‘The Scene of the Crime: Bruce Gagnon at Odessa Trades Hall’ filmed outside the Trades Hall in Odessa, he carefully explains the threat of nuclear war posed by US military strategy against Russia: http://space4peace.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/our-final-video-from-odessa-before.html If you would like to sign a petition calling for a U.N. investigation into the Odessa massacre, you can do so here: http://odessa2may.wesign.it/en We acknowledge your commitment and courage Bruce in reminding us of what is at stake in Ukraine.
In addition, Bruce, along with two other Charter signatories – Dud Hendricks and Tarak Kauff – and nine fellow activists were arrested at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, USA during a nonviolent action against the christening of a ‘Zumwalt’ class stealth destroyer. One of the arresting officers later told them: ‘You all are the conscience of the community.’ You can see a video of the speeches just prior to their action here:
Dr Kulandaisamy Susaikannu started his career as a chemical engineer but is now secretary of the Gandhi Peace Foundation in Chennai, India. He describes his life mission in these words: ‘Promote a culture of peace and harmony based on Gandhian values and empower the youth to empower themselves as peace-volunteers.’ He is the author of many books, especially for children, but the latest initiative absorbing his time is the forthcoming year to celebrate the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, starting on 2 October 2018. The aim is to initiate a humble and micro movement called “SWA-ORACLE FOR PEACE”: ‘SWA means Self Woven Art, i.e., the art of self-thinking evolving into self-reliant micro actions that can be undertaken by all the world youth with a faith in culminating them into Macro World Peace. The ORACLE represents the simple six rules to be followed by all the people of the world: 1. Observation holistically, 2. Restraint one’s own behaviour – free from complaining, blaming, gossiping, accepting one’s wrongs. 3. Acceptance of what cannot be changed, 4. Celebration of one’s innate goodness, 5. Love Labour, and 6. Evolve together with the Evolution of Nature to flower as a Peace Educator.’ If you are interested in finding out more about this project, you can contact him: “Dr Kulandaisamy Susaikannu” <email@example.com>
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, ‘a bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home’ is busy as a nonviolent activist but also as director and research supervisor at the Palestine Museum of Natural History. ‘The PMNH and the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity Research work to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment.’ If you want to check out more of their great work and see some superb photos of wildlife in Palestine, you won’t get better than this website. https://www.palestinenature.org/ Good on you Mazin!
In a recent report on activities by the convenor of Peace Studies at the University of New England in Australia, Dr Marty Branagan highlighted the annual Nonviolence Film Festival since 2009 (showing thirty free films to students, staff and the general public). The department has an Introduction to Peace Studies unit, and units at undergraduate and postgraduate levels which examine post-conflict peacebuilding, reconstruction and reconciliation, conflict transformation, nonviolence, globalization and development issues, and refugee and human rights issues. ‘Increasingly, amidst widespread concern over global warming, we are focusing on environmental peace, with a unit on Environmental Security, and an Environmental Advocacy major in the MA. We also have a large, multicultural cohort of PhD students, and frequent guest speakers, such as Ellen Furnari from Nonviolent Peaceforce, and Norwegian academic Professor Magnus Haavelsrud.’ A great program Marty!
Some Charter signatories are involved in the 9/11 Truth movement. Kevin Ryan is a key figure. His work as Site Manager for the environmental testing division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) led him to begin investigating the tragedy of 11 September 2001. ‘UL fired me, in 2004, for publicly asking questions about UL’s testing of the structural materials used to construct the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings as well as UL’s involvement in the WTC investigation being conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).’ Since 2006, Kevin has been the co-editor of the ‘Journal of 9/11 Studies’ and a founding member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice and the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington. He has served as a board director at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and co-authored several books and numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles on the subject. He has also given public presentations around the USA and continues ‘to do research into the crimes of 9/11 in order to help people come to a better understanding’. If you like, you can see his heavily documented website. https://digwithin.net/ In deep appreciation of your fine efforts at considerable cost Kevin.
In addition, Dr Gary Kohls continues to expose truths that many would prefer not to know. Another recent article of Gary’s, together with compelling photographic and video evidence, titled ‘Duty to Warn: The 15th Anniversary of the Crime and Cover-up of the Century (9/11/01)’ was published here: https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/09/duty-to-warn-the-15th-anniversary-of-the-crime-and-cover-up-of-the-century-91101/ But Gary focuses on other issues too. Do you think psychiatric drugs are safe? Here is Gary’s response: ‘Psychotropic Drugs, Are They Safe? Fourteen Lies That Our Psychiatry Professors in Medical School Taught Us’ http://www.globalresearch.ca/psychotropic-drugs-are-they-safe-fourteen-lies-that-our-psychiatry-professors-in-medical-school-taught-us/5499516 What about vaccines? ‘Why We Need to be More Cautious About America’s “Over-Vaccination Program”‘ http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-we-need-to-be-more-cautious-about-americas-over-vaccination-program/5509851 And psychiatric electro-convulsive shocking? ‘”Electroshock” Psychiatry: ECT Therapy Damages the Human Brain’ http://www.globalresearch.ca/electroshock-psychiatry-ect-therapy-damages-the-human-brain/5543305 Gary also offers a solid explanation of why the accusation ‘conspiracy theorist’ frightens so many people (especially public figures, academics and journalists) into not questioning the elite narrative on clandestine programs and activities, including the ongoing geoengineering of the climate. ‘The proven fact of the matter is that any jet plane trail that lasts longer than a few seconds is actually a “chemtrail” that is composed of metallic nanoparticles like aluminum, barium or strontium that are sprayed, as part of secret governmental/military weather modification experiments, but which persist in the air, potentially cooling the earth slightly by reflecting the sun’s rays upward. [See] http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org for the documentation.’ Phenomenal work Gary! What do you do in your spare time?
Dr Tess Ramiro in the Philippines and their organization Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan – Center for Active Non-Violence (AKKAPKA-CANV) have been busy as usual. Their recent significant activities have included participation in a symposium on religious freedom through the lens of interfaith dialogue and a forum on the issue of Martial Law (which was historically imposed by the dictator Marcos on 21 September 1972) and whether the citizenry can really ‘move on’ from it. At this forum one of the resource persons was Ms Raisa Robles, who authored “Marcos Martial Law: Never Again”. Ms Robles discussed her documentation, the circumstances surrounding the declaration of Martial Law, ‘the lessons that we ought to continue to remember and to see patterns in the circumstances surrounding the present dispensation’. In addition, through the initiative of the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, DD, Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan, the campaign ‘A Million Roses for the World: Filipinos at Prayer for the Nation’ (20 September 2016 to 23 December 2016) was launched. This campaign encourages every Filipino to pray the rosary daily as a family, community, organization – remembering each province in the Philippines – and praying for the whole nation as a united nation. The campaign says, ‘Let us not allow the darkness to swallow us. Let us pierce the darkness of hate, lies and division with the light of truth and love. God is Truth. God is love. God is peace…’ ‘If my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.’ (2 Chronicles 7:14) Tess concludes that ‘We are also heeding the call of IFOR to continue to pray especially for peace in Syria whose children-refugees are truly victimized given their circumstances’.
In a recent article, psychologist Dr Gary Brumback continues his efforts to identify and mobilise resistance to US ‘actions at home and away [that] are appalling. To summarize them I compiled and reported elsewhere a list of what I call “sadtistics.” They amount to a pitiful portrait of every element of America that matters, whether domestic (e.g., high rates of homelessness and poverty), environmental (e.g. polluted rivers/reservoirs/drinking water) or international (e.g., ubiquitous military bases and destructive and deadly military and CIA operations around the globe).’ See ‘Real America, an Endangering and Endangered Ruination’ http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/03/real-america-an-endangering-and-endangered-ruination/ which also references his book ‘The Corpocracy and Megaliio’s Turn Up Strategy’ http://www.amazon.com.au/The-Corpocracy-Megaliios-Turn-Strategy-ebook/dp/B007IO7D1K And if you haven’t checked out another superb book of Gary’s, ‘America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying’, you can do so here: http://www.amazon.com.au/Americas-Oldest-Professions-Warring-Spying-ebook/dp/B00N6FJ76O Gary also wrote an article debunking the widespread delusion that it is human nature that makes human beings violent. You can read his thoughtful article ‘War, Other Organized Violence and Human Nature’ here:
http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/07/war-other-organized-violence-and-human-nature/ For more articles by Gary, you can check out his personal website here: http://democracyorcorpocracy.blogspot.com.au/ Candid truth telling at its best Gary!
On her personal website, Marthie Momberg reports that, in an historic step on 10 July 2016, the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) issued a clear statement in support of the nonviolent Palestinian struggle. You can read ‘First South African Church to commit to BDS’ here. https://marthiemombergblog.com/
Waheed Ahmad has been appointed Chairperson of the International Peace and Law Committee of the Lahore High Court Bar Association in Pakistan for 2016-2017. He is already Chairperson of the Human Rights Watch Committee of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, an expert on Refugee Legal Aid and Legal Aid Commissioner, International Criminal Court (ICC). Congratulations Waheed! It’s great to see your superlative efforts recognized.
While working on his book, Paul Buchheit still writes an occasional column exposing some of the worst excesses of the corporate world. A recent article identified the ‘Five Deadly Sins of Big Pharma’ which you can read here. http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/09/12/five-deadly-sins-big-pharma Trust the book is going well Paul.
With huge resources and effort devoted to the forthcoming US presidential election, Philip A. Farruggio eloquently describes the vacuity of the two-party political system in this article: ‘The Long Con: Another “Sting” on Working Stiffs’ http://worldnewstrust.com/the-long-con-another-sting-on-working-stiffs-philip-a-farruggio
Veterans for Peace members Tarak Kauff, Mike Tork and World War II combat veteran Jay Wenk were all involved in the launch of a campaign in Woodstock, New York to get Rotron, a local manufacturer of parts for weapons (including drone) systems, to convert to non-military products. Here is a great report by Tarak which also explains the unusual outcome on the day! ‘VFP Targets Drone Parts Maker in Woodstock, NY’ http://www.knowdrones.com/2016/08/vfp-targets-drone-parts-maker-in-woodstock-ny.html Good on you Tarak, Mike and Jay for highlighting such an important aspect of our peace work!
Boston University psychologist Professor Kathy Malley-Morrison was interviewed in this article: ‘Dr. Kathleen Malley-Morrison: Putting a Stop to Violence One Study at a Time’ http://www.datingadvice.com/for-women/dr-kathleen-malley-morrison-putting-a-stop-to-violence-one-study-at-a-time If you would like to read more of Kathy’s work, you can do so on the website ‘Engaging Peace’ http://engagingpeace.com/ and read her forthcoming book which will focus on war, torture, terrorism, and national security. No doubt this will be a light read! :)
There was an important world meeting of eighty people in Rome from 11-12 April 2016, co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Catholic Peace Movement (and Charter-endorsing) Organization, Pax Christi, to participate in the important discussion ‘Nonviolence and Just Peace Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence’. Participants in this event, which included Charter signatories Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire and John Dear, strongly called on Pope Francis ‘to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and Just Peace’; and on the Church to ‘no longer use or teach just war theory; and continue advocating for the abolition of war and nuclear weapons’. You can read an account of this meeting in Mairead’s press release ‘Drop the Just War theory and abolish nuclear weapons!’ http://blog.transnational.org/2016/04/tff-pressinfo-372-drop-the-just-war-theory-and-abolish-nuclear-weapons/#more-4865 You can read John’s account in his article ‘The Church’s Turn toward Nonviolence’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/04/the-churchs-turn-toward-nonviolence/ and listen to his interview by David Swanson on ‘Catholic Church Rejecting “Just War” Theory’ here: http://davidswanson.org/node/5129 You can also read Pax Christi’s ‘An appeal to the Catholic Church to recommit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence’ here: http://www.paxchristi.net/news/appeal-catholic-church-recommit-centrality-gospel-nonviolence/5855
Six Charter signatories were part of a 16 person citizen diplomacy delegation which visited Russia in June to encourage dialogue between US and Russian citizens in light of the heightened threat of nuclear war given recent belligerent US policy and actions towards Russia. They were Elizabeth Murray, retired Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council, who is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. Raymond McGovern, retired CIA analyst (1963 to 1990) who worked in the Washington, DC White House and prepared daily briefs for seven Presidents and in the 1980s chaired the National Intelligence Estimates and the U.S. Presidents’ Daily Briefs. Ray is the founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Kathy Kelly, who is a prominent nonviolent activist, pacifist and author. She is a founding member of Voices in the Wilderness and is currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Kathy has traveled to Iraq 26 times, notably remaining in combat zones during the early days of the US-Iraq wars. Her recent work has been taking her to Afghanistan and Gaza. David Hartsough, co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce and ‘World Beyond War’. David is a life-long peace activist, peace maker, and author of ‘Waging Peace: Global Adventurers of a Lifelong Activist’. Martha Hennessy, who is a retired occupational therapist. Martha volunteers at the New York Catholic Worker. And Hakim Young, who is a Singaporean doctor who lives in Afghanistan for part of the year. He is active with Afghan Peace volunteers and is deeply concerned about US-Russia relations. On 20 June, they issued this call: ‘Call for a National Debate on U.S. “Regime Change” Policy’ http://ccisf.org/call-for-national-debate-regime-change-policy/
Here are some of the words that Elizabeth Murray wrote about this delegation: ‘In light of our delegation’s recent visit to Russia I was invited by Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR) to attend/speak at a small meeting in Everett, Washington with Rep. Rick Larsen on Friday, July 22nd.
‘The meeting was put together by WPSR’s Dr. David Hall, who is also a member of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. Others attending included WPSR’s Bruce Amundson and Steve Gilbert, various representatives from Pax Christi and ecumenical faith communities, Veterans for Peace, and other nuclear nonproliferation activists. PSR’s Washington state branch had worked with Rep. Larsen’s office over a 2-year period to convene this meeting. Dave Hall gave a slide presentation that eloquently demonstrated the dangers of nuclear weapons and need to stop – or at least dial back – the $1 trillion nuclear arms upgrade.
‘Rep. Larsen then invited others to comment.
‘After introducing myself, I mentioned to Rep. Larsen that I had just returned from Russia with a US delegation, and that all the people in Russia I had spoken with – including teachers, students, journalists, medical doctors, entrepreneurs and war veterans – had no desire for a nuclear war with the United States, but instead expressed the wish for peaceful, normalized relations (and the vets fondly recalled the joint US-Russia alliance against fascism during WWII).
‘During our time in Yalta, I organized a “swim for peace” with Americans and Russian war vets swimming together in the Black Sea, which had caused quite a stir in local Russian language media, although I had been unable to find out whether anything was carried in Western press.
- I explained to Rep. Larsen my understanding of why the Russian public is suspicious about US moves in the region (based on what I heard from people there), and why they would expect the United States to be the first to make a unilateral confidence-building measure in the direction of nuclear disarmament.
- Russians were savvy to the Nuland “Yats” youtube recording (in which Victoria Nuland is distinctly heard telling US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt that “Yats is the guy” just prior to regime change in which Arseniy Yatsenyuk became prime minister, and which directly implicated the US in the Ukrainian coup), felt threatened by the recent NATO/Operation “Anakonda” maneuvers that took place during our delegation’s visit, and were extremely concerned about other provocative US moves in the region, including economic sanctions on Russia and Crimea, the latter enacted after a majority of Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia in response to what they saw as outside interference in the affairs of Ukraine.
Larsen immediately responded with rebuttals, stating flat-out he didn’t believe there was a US role in the Ukrainian events — that what I’d just told him was “not what I’ve been hearing” – and he went on to talk about how the Baltic states felt threatened by Russia, etc. He didn’t know what “Operation Anakonda” was and seemed unaware that the largest-ever NATO military maneuvers since WWII had just taken place on Russia’s borders. I offered to send his office additional information about that & the Ukrainian events – an offer he ignored.
- Rep. Larsen also told everyone that the moral/humanitarian angle in the context of nuclear disarmament “won’t wash in Congress” and that only an economic argument could sway them. He noted that Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, wants even more nukes for the US than called for under the current 30-year upgrade plan, underscoring how difficult it was for him to “sell” our appeal.
- After the meeting concluded, one of the participants approached me to thank me for my comments and to note that Rep. Larsen has many Ukrainian-Americans in his constituency, and was not willing to acknowledge certain truths that might be “politically inconvenient”.
‘This meeting reinforced my belief that any real change in US foreign policy – if and when it comes – will arise as a result of pressure from the grassroots, rather than through any top-down initiatives from the political establishment.’
Gerry Condon wrote a wonderful account of a joint initiative involving our friends at Veterans For Peace and the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action: ‘The Golden Rule at Ground Zero: A Meditation Interrupted’ http://worldbeyondwar.org/the-golden-rule-at-ground-zero-a-meditation-interrupted/
Monika Cenarska in London was kind enough to respond to our invitation to tell us something about herself. Here is what she wrote: ‘Oh, you can tempt me all you like :) I’m struggling to be a human :) I support many different causes which seem to align with my perceptions of the world. I know it’s not saying much, but it’s as much as I can say without deceiving by omission. As a person, I’m very imperfect, and with too big an ego to do anything about it. I just simply don’t like violence of any kind, and try to spread love instead. It is difficult, people do not understand their own motives and can be so hurt by their past that they cannot see that all they do is hurt themselves. But there is hope – I’m corresponding with several people at the moment and am trying to make them aware of an absolute need of compassion towards others in their life. Just today I have been called wise by one of my friends, and it feels very good, and gives me hope for the future. Is this enough for now? Perhaps not, but this is all I can do at present. I’m travelling to Sydney for an extended stay in October and November, perhaps we can virtually catch up in the better time zone :) Lots of love; Monika.’ Hope to catch up soon Monika!
Vijay Mehta of Uniting for Peace in the UK has just published his latest thoughtful book ‘Peace Beyond Borders’ which Professor Glenn D. Paige, who is chair of the Center for Global Nonkilling, commended in these words: ‘Vijay Mehta’s wise, historically informed, presently encompassing, future-oriented, practical “Peace Beyond Borders” should be read by educators, leaders, the public and media commentators everywhere who favor human evolution toward a killing-free world’. You can read reviews of the book on the Uniting for Peace website – http://unitingforpeace.com/Book%20Reviews/2016/peace_beyond_borders_book_reviews.html – and obtain a copy here: http://www.europeforpeace.org.uk/ We appreciate your ongoing activism and engaged scholarship Vijay.
Several Charter signatories made presentations at the recent World Beyond War conference ‘No War 2016’ held on 23-25 September 2016 in Washington DC. These included Leah Bolger, John Dear, Pat Elder, Bruce Gagnon, David Hartsough, Kathy Kelly, Maria Santelli, Alice Slater and David Swanson. You can see the agenda, videos of each individual speaker and the edited video presentation of the entire conference here: http://worldbeyondwar.org/NoWar2016/
Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa, esteemed editors of the renowned ‘Nuclear Resister’ since 1980, have recently reported that, while still publishing, they are also continuing to slowly work through organizing the entire archives of 36 years of publishing the ‘Nuclear Resister’ before giving them to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, as part of ‘remembering our history in the broader realm of working to end war!’ If you are not familiar with their site, you might be interested in the 18 minute slide show they prepared for the Celebrating Nuclear Resistance gathering http://www.nukeresister.org/2010/07/08/resistance-for-a-nuclear-free-future-%E2%80%93-report-on-the-july-3-5-2010-gathering-and-action/ held in 2010 which also has good music: https://vimeo.com/14103255 In appreciation of everything you have done, Jack and Felice, to keep us informed of our fellow activists around the world imprisoned for their acts of conscience. It is invaluable.
Troy Troyer sent this email in response to the last Charter progress report in April: ‘Just received my first Charter Report since signing up. Finished scanning thru it, but will take me a couple of months to just read the highlights. My 80 year old butt is impressed. I’ve fought with the people since 1954 on many fronts each time they made a stand. Whether we won or we lost, I was there and raised my hand. And carry it on still. My only question was: Damn we must be winning again but nobody knows it yet. If you could send what you just sent me to every evil, greedy, thieving, lying (and those are their better qualities) Corporation, they might just surrender ha ha. If possible have a word of praise and thanks in your next encyclopedic report for Berta Caceres. I write a lot of Poems of Struggle and Resistance and read some at rallies and demonstrations. The attachment is a sample dedicated to Berta. Adelante and fight on.’ So here is Troy’s poem in honor of Berta Cáceres, the courageous indigenous rights activist assassinated in Honduras earlier this year.
For Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores. Indigenous Lenca leader assassinated on 3 March 2016 by two Honduran Death Squad agents.
In her tiny eyes
Her newborn raven-dark eyes
In my grandbaby Sophia’s raven-dark eyes
Berta’s spirit endures
Berta’s spirit survives
And lives on in Sophia’s dark eyes
Beyond our grief
Beyond our outraged cries
Her killers will die nameless and forgotten
While Berta lives on in her children’s eyes
In her children’s smiles
And in ours
When I hold Sophia
When I touch Sophia
I touch Berta’s spirit
I touch her dreams
And touch tomorrow in her name
Each time Sophia tries to crawl
I hear Berta’s voice “never give up”
Each time Sophia tries to stand
I hear Berta say “never give in”
Her courage smiles in Sophia’s eyes
Growing like springtime rain
Grows the innocence of flowers
Grows like gleeful children at play
When Sophia cries
It’s how suffering cries
For the martyrs of innocence
Before innocent tears
Become a deluge of rage
Become a hurricane of fury
Demanding more than yard-sale justice
As long as oppression mocks our hearts
It’s too soon to expect justice for Berta
When I cradle Sophia in my arms
I think of your children Berta
When I touch Sophia with holy tenderness
I think of your babies Berta
And in a real sense they too have been martyred
Lastly, if you haven’t checked out ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ in which you are welcome to participate in response to the accelerating environmental crises, you can do so here: http://tinyurl.com/flametree Anita’s ‘The Flame Tree Song’ can be heard here: https://anitamckone.wordpress.com/songs-of-nonviolence/the-flame-tree-song/ Her other ‘Songs of Nonviolence’ are on her website too.
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: http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com/financial-support/
In appreciation of all of your efforts (including all of those not mentioned above)…
And don’t forget to write to us with a report on what you do!
For a world without violence; Robert, Anita and Anahata
P.S. This Charter progress report is being emailed, in a sequence of emails, to all signatories of the Nonviolence Charter for whom we have a current email address. It will also be published on the next TRANSCEND Media Service weekly digest: https://www.transcend.org/tms/
Anita McKone, Anahata Giri and Robert J. Burrowes – Australia – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com (Nonviolence Charter)
http://tinyurl.com/flametree (Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth)
http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence (‘Why Violence?’)
https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/ (Nonviolent Campaign Strategy)
https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/ (Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy)
http://anitamckone.wordpress.com (Anita: Songs of Nonviolence)
https://globalnonviolencenetwork.wordpress.com/ (Global Nonviolence Network)
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 October 2016.
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 #9 (Oct 2016), is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
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