Friday, 4 April 2014

Nashville USA: Strategic Evaluation of Nonviolent Civil Resistance | 16-23 August 2014 | Apply by 13 April

Filed under: Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:49 PDT
The James Lawson Institute
An Eight-Day Experience in Strategic Evaluation of Nonviolent Civil Resistance

August 16-23, 2014 | Nashville, Tennessee

In the 1960s, the Reverend James Lawson organized and led one of the most effective campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance in the 20th century: the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins for the US Civil Rights Movement. In the years that followed he was involved in strategic planning of numerous other major campaigns and actions and was called “the mind of the movement” and “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The US Civil Rights movement, the US Labor movement in the 1930s, the women’s suffrage movement, the anti-nuclear movement, and other movements in North America and abroad in the decades since did not just engage in activism. They organized people, mobilized them by the millions, and galvanized participation from a broad cross section of society. Collectively, these movements provide a model for how nonviolent change can be organized to win rights, justice and change in very adverse conditions.

The James Lawson Institute (JLI) looks at these past movements, and numerous contemporary ones around the world, from a strategic perspective, and engages participants in depth about a wide variety of aspects of organizing and activism in North America. It is a structured seminar to discuss what kinds of strategies, tactics and practices are effective for people organizing movements and waging civil resistance campaigns.

TOPICS COVERED:

Topics to be discussed include:

  •    The Current State of North American Organizing and Activism
  •    The Core Dynamics of Nonviolent Civil Resistance
  •    Movement Formation, Sustainability, and Coalition Building
  •    Strategy, Tactics, and Planning
  •    Movement Language and Media
  •    Managing Repression, Radical Flanks, and Maintaining Nonviolent Discipline

The content is a mixture of theory and practice and is based on the experiences of numerous activists and organizers around the world as well as leading scholarship in the field of social movement and civil resistance. The daily schedule usually includes two presentations and two exercises, as well as an evening program. We will learn from case studies, theoretical frameworks, participant exercises, planning tools, academic research, and each other.

Sessions will be facilitated by James Lawson and the advisors and staff of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC).

 

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Will Cambodia see a ‘spring’?

Filed under: Cambodia,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:30 PDT

The past seven months in Cambodia can only be described as a roller-coaster ride… Cambodian citizens have repeatedly taken to the streets and public squares to demand reform…

Demands for change are now coming from all corners of society: victims of land grabs, who have been fighting a losing battle to protect their homes; garment-factory workers, who want a living wage; farmers, who remain mired in poverty; and civil society groups, which have been frustrated at a lack of real progress on the myriad of issues they work on. The increasing dissatisfaction and expressions for change since Rainsy’s return in early July have led many Cambodians to ask, will our country see a “spring” like the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East?

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New video pressures Redskins to change name before Super Bowl

Filed under: Film, video, audio,Indigenous Peoples,Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:54 PDT

Just days before Super Bowl XXLVII, the National Congress of American Indians in the United States has released a video? denouncing the term ‘redskin.’

It’s part of an ongoing campaign urging the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change the team’s name.

The video titled Proud To Be highlights the strengths and positive attributes of indigenous peoples, as well as features prominent aboriginal people throughout history.

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Cambodia claims progress on rights amid escalating turmoil

Filed under: Cambodia,Human Rights,Nonviolence,Southeast Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:31 PDT

Late Tuesday night Cambodia wrapped up a review of its human rights record by assuring the United Nations and member states that it was taking pains to improve its rights record and maintain peace amid ongoing political turmoil.

“I promise you that we will make our efforts on human rights in Cambodia, develop progress and improve… even though we find our challenges, even though we just came from the civil war, we will do our best to be in line with your recommendations,” Mak Sambath, deputy chair of the government’s Human Rights Committee, told scores of delegates who had gathered for the Univeral Periodic Review which is held once every four and a half years.

Just hours after Sambath concluded his remarks in Geneva, dozens of riot police and district security guards in Phnom Penh stalked a small group of activists around town. Their offence was that they were going to embassies and UN offices to drop off a petition calling for the release of 23 activists and protesters believed to have been wrongfully imprisoned.

In spite of Sambath’s pledges to the contrary, Cambodia has shown little interest in aligning its rights record with international standards. The past month has seen a startling backslide on human rights and the worst government sanctioned violence in 15 years.

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

In Suggestions for Victorious Bus Boycotters, MLK’s Powerful Turn Toward Nonviolence

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:17 PDT

AlabamaBusIntegrationdoc7 This document, drafted by the Montgomery Improvement Association, advised victorious bus boycotters on best practices for riding the newly integrated city bus system.

When the document was distributed on Dec. 19, 1956, the bus boycott had been going on for nearly 12 months. The MIA, headed by Martin Luther King, Jr., coordinated the boycott throughout.

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: Mandela — 4 corrections for a teachable moment

Filed under: Africa files,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:29 PDT

Given the ongoing and important discussions this past month on how best to commemorate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, it seems necessary to separate fact from fiction in the recently-released Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. While the film contains some wonderful acting — on the part of Idris Elba, Naomie Harris and others — it also has some serious misdirection from a political point of view. Here are four vital corrections which must be clearly understood – especially if one wants to emulate Mandela and help build movements like the one he led.

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Monday, 16 December 2013

International Center on Nonviolent conflict: Webinar Archives 2010-2013

Filed under: Books, reports, sites, blogs,Film, video, audio,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:08 PDT

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) is making available … all ICNC-hosted academic webinar presentations delivered between 2010-2013…

 Click here to view the library of webinars …

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Canada: The whistleblower

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:37 PDT

Last December, Edgar Schmidt, the general counsel in the Legislative Services Branch of the federal Department of Justice, personally served the Office of the Attorney-General with a statement of claim, alleging that his own ministry had acted unlawfully by failing to properly review the constitutionality of draft legislation.

The next day, Schmidt’s immediate superior, Philippe Hallée, advised him by phone that he was suspended without pay for filing the action. Later, he sent Schmidt an email adding that he was denied access to his office.

The soft-spoken lawyer is now embroiled in a court case that not only goes to the heart of the federal legislative process, but also raises issues about the ethical duties of government lawyers and the tension between whistleblowing legislation and rules of professional conduct. The matter is expected to go to trial in the next six months.

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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Government Less Free After 2013 Election: Elizabeth Becker (video)

Filed under: Cambodia,Film, video, audio,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:11 PDT


VOA Khmer’s reporter Men Kimseng interviewed Elizabeth Becker to get her insight on Cambodian politics.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Analysis of STRATFOR Leaks Misrepresents Nonviolent Movements

Filed under: Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:59 PDT

Carl Gibson and Steve Horn have done an important service in writing their article outlining Srdja Popovic’s inexcusable collaboration with the global intelligence company STRATFOR and his disclosure of the activities of movements and activists with whom he has worked.  Unfortunately, as will be spelled out below, the article falls into a rather simplistic and reductionist analysis of Popovic’s motivations and, more critically, misrepresents the nature of the popular uprisings in Serbia and other countries. The article also contains a number of factual errors and misleading statements…

There are some analyses which offer a more benign explanation for this collaboration than those of Gibson and Horn, but I do not find them convincing. I am assuming, therefore, Gibson and Horn’s depiction of the relationship between STRATFOR and Popovic is mostly accurate, which is very disturbing to say the least.

Even prior to the recent revelations, some of Popovic’s activities were being increasingly recognized as problematic within the network of educators, activists, trainers and other proponents of strategic nonviolent action, including many of us who had worked with him in the past.

 

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Monday, 4 November 2013

Israeli Women Risk Arrest To Take Palestinian Women To The Beach

Filed under: gender,Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:58 PDT

TEL AVIV — Skittish at first, then wide-eyed with delight, the women and girls entered the sea, smiling, splashing and then joining hands, getting knocked over by the waves, throwing back their heads and ultimately laughing with joy.

The women were Palestinians from the southern part of the West Bank, which is landlocked, and Israel does not allow them in. They risked criminal prosecution, along with the dozen Israeli women who took them to the beach. And that, in fact, was part of the point: to protest what they and their hosts consider unjust laws…

Such visits began a year ago as the idea of one Israeli, and have blossomed into a small, determined movement of civil disobedience.

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pakistan Muslims Protect Christians From Islamic Extremists, Form Human Chain Around Church

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding,South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:57 PDT

Between 200-300 Pakistani Muslims and Christians united and gathered to make a human chain around a church in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city on Sunday.

Held on Oct. 6, just two weeks after a church bombing killed more than 100 people in Peshawar, the human chain, organized by the citizen group “Pakistan for All,” is part of the movement’s goal to raise awareness about minority rights and concerns.

“Well, the terrorists showed us what they do on Sundays. Here we are showing them what we do on Sundays. We unite,” Pakistan for All organizer, Mohammad Jibran Nasir told The Express Tribune.

Mufti Mohammed Farooq opened the event by reading several passages from the Quran that called for tolerance of other beliefs, while Father Nasir Gulfam, who had just preached the church’s Sunday service, stood by his side before they took hold of each other’s hands, modeling their message.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Copts Unite With Muslims After Extremist Attacks

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:30 PDT

He has stared into the gun muzzle and carried death in his hands. But Coptic Bishop Thomas claims he is not afraid, nor angry about the last month’s bloodshed in Egypt.

“We learned that extremists were going to attack us with machine guns, but we did not prepare ourselves for the attack with weapons. We did something simple,” says Bishop Thomas, about that day he received a message that armed hardliners were on their way to his episcopal residence in the Al Quosia-region of Lower Egypt.

Determined to defend themselves without violent means, the church fathers applied soap and water on the rocky path leading to Bishop Thomas’ residence.

“I saw them coming with their machine guns far down the road. They tried to get to the house, but they slipped and fell. They tried over and over again, without succeeding,” says the Bishop, smiling with grief as he talks about the episode.

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Syria’s nonviolent resistance is dying to be heard

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 13:12 PDT

Many civil society activists who continue to defy the Assad regime are not convinced by the case for U.S. air strikes.

The Syrian Non Violence Movement continues, despite being largely ignored in the conversation about Syria.

Much of the debate over U.S. intervention in Syria boils down the conflict there to a clash between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and an armed rebellion in which al-Qaeda affiliates play a significant role. Typically ignored in that conversation are the voices of the non-violent opposition movement that took to the streets to challenge Assad in March 2011, and which has persisted against great odds.

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Thursday, 5 September 2013

In an Unsettled Cambodia, Preparing to Confront the Government

Filed under: Cambodia,Film, video, audio,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 19:56 PDT

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — He screamed, “This is so unjust!” But Yann Rith, a 25-year-old resident of Phnom Penh, did not struggle against the group of men who carried him away.

A supporter of Cambodia’s political opposition, Mr. Yann Rith was taking part this week in a practice protest, a role-playing exercise intended to show other supporters how to submit peacefully if arrested by the riot police.

“We will be nonviolent!” Mr. Yann Rith declared, as he patted down his rumpled, button-down shirt.

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Friday, 30 August 2013

Glimmers of hope in Aleppo’s war-torn streets

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:46 PDT

“Osama bin Laden is my leader!”

When Kamal, a young man from Aleppo in Syria, uttered these words on my first day there, I almost fainted. Feelings of humiliation and disbelief choked me. As a Christian Arab who considers Islam to be part of my culture and who has been enriched by the beautiful Islamic heritage of my city Damascus, it was distressing to hear a Muslim straying so far from the wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad, who taught that killing another human is equivalent to killing all of humanity.

I suddenly doubted myself, my revolution, my struggle, and my mission to Aleppo. Kamal was one of 40 participants in a conflict-resolution workshop in Aleppo I organized for my NGO, the Toronto-based Syrian Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. We aim to reach every Syrian and empower them to work together toward building a new liberal and democratic Syria.

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

“I Have a Dream” | Roger Alford, Opinio Juris

Filed under: Film, video, audio,Human Rights,Nonviolence,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:54 PDT

Fifty years ago today, on the morning of August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King looked out from his suite at the Willard Hotel as crowds began mulling around the Washington monument. He had stayed up until four in the morning drafting and redrafting his speech. As King looked on, his aides were furiously typing the finished draft for distribution to the press. King’s greatest fear was that the march would turn violent. “If that happens,” King told Ralph Abernathy, “everything we have done in Birmingham will be wiped out in a single day.” Turn-out was a close second on King’s list of concerns. He had hoped for 100,000 marchers, but at the scheduled start date of 9:30 a.m., less than 25,000 had gathered at the Washington monument.

Within an hour the numbers surged to 90,000 with many more on the way. By the time entertainers had finished their warm-up act and the formal speeches began, the crowd exceeded 200,000. The following day the New York Times described it as “the greatest assembly for a redress of grievances that this capital has ever seen.”

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Antoinette Tuff: Meet the Woman Who Prevented a Mass School Shooting Yesterday

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:50 PDT

In Tuesday’s terrifying incident in which a man carrying a rifle and other weapons entered an Atlanta elementary school, Antoinette Tuff helped convince the gunman to surrender.

Fortunately, Tuesday’s gunman incident at an elementary school near Atlanta ended with no injuries or deaths. This is mainly thanks to Antoinette Tuff, a school clerk who spent about an hour calmly persuading the gunman to put his rifle down and surrender. Tuff feared the worst when she encountered the gunman carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons in her school office. She told reporters, “I saw a young man ready to kill anybody that he could.”

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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Strengthening Policy and Practice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments

Dates: 9-14th March 2014

Location: Birmingham, UK

Course fee: £1100 (includes full board accommodation from the evening of 9th – afternoon of 14th March)

Course description

Strengthening Policy and Practice: meeting the challenges of working in complex environments is designed to draw on the experience and practice of participants, working in development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding to influence internal policies and programmatic approaches. The course will identify how organisations can strive to balance their organisational mandate with the demands of working in complex and rapidly changing political contexts.

Course aims

The course will enable participants to contribute to developing constructive organisational and programmatic policies that will guide practical responses in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. It will draw on the experience of participants and tutors to examine the key issues that are emerging from field-based work.

Course objectives

Participants will:

  • deepen their understanding of their work, from a conflict transformation perspective
  • apply appropriate conflict analysis to their own organisational contexts
  • explore the relationship between organisational policy and practice in situations of instability, conflict or violence
  • examine issues relating to aid and conflict in order to develop conflict sensitive policies for their organisations
  • consider the key policy and practice issues relating to the prevention of violent conflict and of building peace
  • strengthen their competence to contribute pro-actively to the development of appropriate policies and best practices in their organisation/ institution for working in environments affected by conflict or violence

Suitable for

This course is for staff of international and national agencies and those with advisory and management responsibility for emergency, relief, development, and peacebuilding programmes. It is particularly relevant for those engaged in the planning and implementation of field-based programmes, and those concerned with developing policies for appropriate responses in complex political emergencies.

2013 participant feedback

“The structure was very interactive with joint task exercises, team work and opportunity for self reflection, critical learning and experience sharing.”

“Both facilitators made the learning fun and reflective. We are taking away not only the knowledge and skills but also the approach of delivering this knowledge and skill.”

“I have learned too many things to choose just one. What I think will be the most valuable in my work are practical tools for conflict analysis and transformation.”

For more information about the course and to apply, please visit our website www.respond.org or contact us at courses@respond.org.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Nonviolence Goes Mainstream: A Surprising Result of the Syrian Tragedy – Part I

Filed under: Middle East,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:50 PDT

Part I: The Failure of the Military Option

It may seem odd to speak of nonviolence in the same sentence as Syria, one of the bloodiest and most tragic destructions of a state and a culture in contemporary history. But the fact is that we are inching closer to a mainstream and politically realist understanding of nonviolence as a legitimate course of political change… full article

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