- 25 November 2011
- Charlotte Observer
- By Mike Littwin
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.
- 24 November 2011
- Toronto Star
- By Rick Salutin
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.
- 23 November 2011
- Between the Lines
- Excerpt of speech by Mazin Qumsiyeh, Palestinian professor, author and activist, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus
- By Mazin Qumsiyeh
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.
- 22 November 2011
- Washington Post
- By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
[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.