Author: Metta Center

Movement Momentum: Newsletter

It’s no surprise that at times like this the Metta Center should be called on, resorted to, and consulted with more and more; and that’s at least one silver lining to the dark clouds on our political horizon, even as the world celebrates the International Day of Peace on September 21. In this week’s newsletter, we share some of our exciting updates in those regards. The image you see above is from the film Dolores, about the feminist labor activist Dolores Huerta. We can’t recommend it enough! Read the September 20, 2017 newsletter. Get the Metta Center’s newsletter. Access the newsletter archives.

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Nonviolence in Western Sahara – Podcast

Dr. Stephen Zunes takes us on a very interesting journey in this episode of Nonviolence Radio. Dr. Zunes, a scholar of social movements and professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Fransisco, joins host Stephanie Van Hook to speak about the conflict in Western Sahara. He describes and analyzes the occupation, and the nonviolent resistance against it. Following the interview with Dr. Zunes comes “Nonviolence in the News,” where Michael Nagler brings you the news that didn’t make it into mainstream radio.  Read more about the articles and resources referenced in Nonviolence in the News. If you have trouble with the podcast player at top, download the show.

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Nonviolence in the News – September 15, 2017

If you have trouble with the player above, click here to download.  Jump to NEWS Jump to EVENTS NOTE: You will see the mysterious letters PP, CP, or S in parentheses after some of these items. What’s up with that? We are coordinating these items with the trajectory on which our Roadmap plan is based, namely the natural progression successful movements tend to follow. It goes, roughly chronologically, from Person Power, the term we invented to shadow “People Power,” a common designation for civil society struggles to put the emphasis on the individual person and his/her empowerment, where it all has to begin, then to Constructive Program, building what you want without waiting for the powers that be to give it to you and thereby strengthening your resistance to the remaining pockets of injustice with, finally, satyagraha. Resources: Want to know more about the situation in Western Sahara? Check out Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution, authored by this weeks’ Nonviolence Radio guest, Stephen Zunes. Is White Supremacy only a problem of the American south? The answer is, of course, ‘no.’ Sarah Van Gelder of Yes Magazine points out that there are many ways to uproot white supremacy within one’s own community. She lists thirteen, but surely there are more. She says, “Rooting out white supremacy is not a task that belongs only to those communities with Confederate monuments, though. Every region of our country has its history of racial exclusion and white supremacy, enforced to this day by domestic terrorism, laws, regulations, and police discrimination. Every region has seen people of color, especially African Americans, forced off of land that they farmed; out of businesses, schools, voting booths; and often into poverty through menial underpaid work, overpriced slums, and policing practices that disproportionately target people of color.” She emphasizes powerful, constructive ways of lifting up the voices for justice for all in our communities. Don’t miss her article. Looking for more nonviolence news? Looking for community? Join the Metta Center for Nonviolence every Weds. morning from 8:15-9:15 am for an in-depth, online discussion about nonviolence and take a look at nonviolence in the news from sources like Waging Nonviolence, and others. Contact the Metta Center for Nonviolence to get involved. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), in partnership with Rutgers University International Institute for Peace (Rutgers IIP) will host a free, moderated online course, “People Power: The Study of Strategic Nonviolent Resistance,” to take place from September 27 to November 10 … successful course participants become eligible for the ICNC grant opportunities and a certificate of completion.  Another university-movement collaboration!  Wonderful development.  And it seems that there’s a great resource from ICNC every episode. (CP)  Truthout reports on an apparently moving and heartbreaking film, “The Last Guardians,” about indigenous struggles against the powerful combinations of  oil companies and ‘their’ government.  It’s the same the world over now; and of course there is another kind of power! (CP) Are you prepared for emergencies?  SF72 is a clear and calming resource that can help people to prepare for disaster. What is important about this resource is that they promote connection and […]

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Mill Valley Seniors for Peace: Michael Nagler a Guest

Mill Valley Seniors for Peace are residents of the Redwoods Retirement Community in Mill Valley, California. The residents’ average age is 86, and each person is committed to the search for world peace, social justice, and genuine democracy. On September 25, Michael Nagler will be a speaking guest at Mill Valley. The subject of his talk: “Nonviolence Now: What’s Going Well, and How Can We Help?” Details: When: 3:00 – 4:30pm PST Where: Auditorium, The Redwoods Retirement Community, 40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA 94941 RSVP: please email your RSVP to angeladawnparker@gmail.com

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Join a Peace Team in Palestine

Meta Peace Team seeks potential members for its upcoming Peace Team work in Palestine. Meta Peace Team (MPT) has been creating nonviolent alternatives to militarism and violence through empowered peacemaking since 1993. As part of their practice, they have been placing peace teams in places such as Iraq, Haiti, Bosnia, Egypt, Panama, Mexico, Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and within the US. MPT’s peace teams act to reduce and prevent violence, utilizing a practice known as third-party nonviolent intervention, which includes tools like protective accompaniment; human rights monitoring/reporting; a peaceful presence; and interpositioning (getting in between conflicting parties to deter them from using violence against one another). The Palestine Peace Team will depart for the West Bank on January 21, 2018, and the program will run 4 – 6 weeks. Team members must have completed MPT’s basic 8-hour Nonviolence Training and the preparation process (includes a 5-day intensive training November 9 – 13, 2017, in Michigan). Estimated cost per person is $3,800 for 4 weeks, $4,600 for 6 weeks. Fundraising is done as a team. Apply by October 11, 2017. Learn more on the MPT website and in the program flyer. Download an application.

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Nonviolence Values: Newsletter

“Knowledge is like a river,” said Sri Mata Amritanandamayi. “Its nature is to constantly flow. Wherever it can flow, it does so, nourishing culture. On the other hand, the same knowledge, if devoid of values becomes a source of destruction for the world.” Nonviolence values are a constructive force. So in this week’s newsletter, we provide resources and inspirations to keep you steady in these unsteady times. Read the September 6, 2017 newsletter. Get the Metta Center’s newsletter. Access the newsletter archives.

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Empathy Circles

Edwin Rutch is the founder of Empathy Tents and the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. In this show, he demonstrates how active listening can be used in a radical way– by bringing together Joey Gibson, a Patriot Prayer rally leader, and activist  Rev. Megan Rohrer, a leader of counter-protests to the Patriot Prayer rally, on a tense evening before scheduled Bay Area protests. Don’t miss this important dialogue. Then stay tuned for the News you won’t find anywhere in the mainstream, Nonviolence in the News!  Click here to read more about the articles and resources referenced in Nonviolence in the News.   If you have trouble with the podcast player at top click here to download.

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Nonviolence in the News – September 1, 2017

More information on topics covered below. NOTE:  PP = Person Power, CP = Constructive Program, OP = Obstructive program, or direct resistance. Jump to NEWS Jump to EVENTS Resources: Have I mentioned Positive News?  It’s both a magazine and a website (https://www.positive.news/) offering news in many categories.  Most are at best indirectly related to nonviolence; but all are changing the mindset, especially in their cumulative effect. Of interest regarding one of Stephanie’s items today: The ‘gangsta gardener,’ Ron Finley, who believes masculinity is about being building thriving communities and being a conscious citizen of the planet. Ron is determined to redefine ‘gangsta’ as being about these values, and not machismo. + Exciting first offering of its kind from Nonviolent Peaceforce: an online course on “Strengthening Civilian Capacity to Protect Civilians Against Violence.”  No one can better address that topic than NP! To be offered through Merrimack College, Begins 9/18, reg. closes 9/11 +  Definitely PP!  From ICNC’s “minds of the movement” blog: Mindful Activism: The Power of Mindfulness in the Streets.  ( The top picture shows Sarah Thompson, whom we recently interviewed, leading a meditation). by Gabriel DayleyAugust 25, 2017 …  This comes decades after Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh founded “engaged Buddhism.”  When asked “What is Engaged Buddhism?” he famously said, “It’s Buddhism!”  You can’t be a Buddhist and not feel compassion for those who suffer, and want to do something about it.  Thay (as he’s popularly called) explicitly joined activism with mindfulness-based practices in a global spotlight, activists in pockets around the world have begun to incorporate techniques of mindful attention to the present moment into their movement activities. However, public and scientific interest in mindfulness has focused heavily on benefits to individual wellbeing, and applications of mindfulness to activism have largely been limited to preventing stress and burnout. This focus on individual wellbeing ignores potentially valuable applications of mindfulness-based practices for increasing the effectiveness of activists and strengthening their movements.  The same goes for the growing movement for mindful schools. Scientists now use the term subtle energy, which the likes of Gandhi & King firmly believed in: we recently heard that wonderful talk of Gandhi’s about “living power.”  Thay is now 91, and about to visit his home village near Hue.  All this is interesting in the light of recent events in S. Korea, where Buddhists are in fact getting “engaged.”  Until recently the only activists in S. Korea were Christian. +  Move to Amend conference call, fourth Wednesday of every month at 5PM PT / 8 PM ET, at their Facebook page.  “Join our national director Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap and national board member Laura Bonham in this interactive monthly report on what’s happening with the Campaign to Legalize Democracy and all things Move to Amend.” + If you feel stuck putting your money in Big Banks like Wells Fargo or Wall Street investment funds, you should know about an alternative option which supports good causes: Aspiration.  “We created Aspiration because everyone deserves a financial firm that brings you fairness, great […]

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Learning Nonviolence: Newsletter

Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia—and many other events before and since the 2016 elections in the US—make it clear that creating a culture of nonviolence requires learning the knowledge, skills, and practices that support it. That learning can happen right now, in two key areas of daily life: our schools and our homes. The Educators section on our website and this latest newsletter offer some great resources for educators and parents. Read the August 23, 2017 newsletter. Get the Metta Center’s newsletter. Access the newsletter archives.

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Nonviolent Action in Charlottesville – Podcast

Reporting on Charlottesville from the angle of nonviolence, Michael and Stephanie weave a story from the ground that you won’t find on your average political and media outlets. First, David Potter from Sojourners, a media group that “articulates the biblical call to justice,” recalls his experience as he followed a clergy group that demonstrated against racism at the recent “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville. Then Michael and Stephanie weigh in on nonviolence in Charlottesville, and a caller asks, “Is it ever okay to punch a Nazi?” Finally, Sheri Wander of Meta Peace Team tells stories from the group’s experience with White Supremacists in Charlottesville and beyond. After the discussions, Michael updates us on news from around the country and world – the kind you’re not gonna find in the mainstream media – in Nonviolence in the News. Click here to read more about the articles and resources referenced in Nonviolence in the News.   If you have trouble with the podcast player at top click here to download.

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