Friday, 25 November 2011

Occupy may just get the last laugh

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:25 PDT

In a shocking development, the Occupy (fill in city) movement is winning.

I know. The tents are coming down across the country. Polls show support slipping for the demonstrators, particularly when violence makes the news. But those numbers have slipped in much the same way that poll numbers have slipped for the tea party. We may not like party establishments so much these days, but we don’t like demonstrators so much, either. It’s America.

Several liberal commentators have pointed out that the late-night raids are actually good for Occupy, because the winter weather and media apathy were going to do the movement in eventually anyway. Now, Occupy gets to have a moment of glory.

But Occupy’s victory has nothing to do with pepper spray and everything to do with how Occupy has changed the conversation.

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Salutin: Non-violence is back and shaking things up

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:24 PDT

This is a time of rejuvenation for non-violence. The Occupy movements were built on what one writer called “the courage of young people to fly into conflict on Gandhi’s wings.” The Arab Spring won its tenuous victories non-violently. A leader of the Tunisian Islamist party said recently, “I wish in the West they would focus on our non-violence when they talk about Islam, how the masses of people did not react to the incredible violence thrown at them.” He meant this in contrast to the bloody civil war that Algerian Islamists fell into after being robbed of their election victory in 1992.

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Although Violence Captures Most Attention, Palestinians Carry on with Nonviolent Resistance

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:23 PDT

Mazin Qumsiyeh, a professor of genetics who worked at several American universities before returning to his native Palestine, is the author of four books, including his latest, “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment.” As an activist as well as an academician, Qumsiyeh had hoped to be a passenger onboard the most recent ship convoy attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in early November, but was bumped at the last minute when the Turkish government forced organizers to reduce the number of passengers by two-thirds. Professor Qumsiyeh returned to his home in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, in time to present a talk on the Palestinian struggle to a group of international solidarity activists.

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Is Non-Violence the way to Peace in Palestine?

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:16 PDT

This past week I helped organize a conference in Atlanta entitled From Birmingham to Bethlehem: The Power of  Nonviolence in the U.S. and Palestine-Israel. The first plenary session on Thursday night featured two speakers, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Manal Tamimi…

Dr. Bernard Lafayette is co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960, and Manal Tamimi is a mother of four children from an-Nabi Saleh, a village in the West Bank, who helps lead a weekly nonviolent protest of an Israeli settlement near the village.

 

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UC Davis pepper spray and the power of nonviolent witness

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:15 PDT

[W]hat has happened on the UC Davis campus following the pepper spraying of students provides a lesson in how to peacefully deal with deep conflict without violence, and indeed a lesson perhaps in how faith leaders can lend a hand in this effort.

Following the pepper-spraying of the students, the chancellor of UC Davis, Linda Katehi, called a press conference. Upset students gathered outside, feeling shut out. The students eventually pushed into the room where the press conference was being held; though they left peacefully, the chancellor retreated into another room.

The campus chaplain, Rev. Kristen Stoneking, was called to mediate between the administration and the students. The outcome was this extraordinary witness of students standing or seated in non-violent and mute witness as the chancellor passes among them, walking safely to her car with Rev. Stoneking.

Rev. Stoneking writes on her own blog about this moment and I believe there are crucial lessons in this for our way forward as a nation.

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