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.
“We’re talking about stopping violence with nonviolence.” ~Mary Hanna, Meta Peace Team What kind of training is useful and necessary to use nonviolence to interrupt violence? Mary Hanna, a trainer for the Meta Peace Team in Lansing, Michigan, highlights the work of peace teams and draws on decades of experience in de-escalating violent scenarios to answer this question for Nonviolence Radio. She is recorded at the Metta Center’s office in Petaluma just after hosting a four hour peace team skills and bystander intervention training. In part two of our show, around the half an hour mark, Michael Nagler catches us up on new resources, upcoming events, and general news in the world of nonviolence. It’s inspiring and empowering, so you won’t want to miss it. See If you have trouble with the player click here to download.
Training with Meta Peace Team’s Mary Hanna at the Metta Center… Lou leans into the kitchen, “If we need more room, we can do this training at my house.” “We’ll be fine,” I reply with a grin. Walking back into our office, I see that all the chairs have been filled, and some people have moved to the floor. About 16 people, and one or two people spilling out of the door. We’ve all gathered in about a week’s notice to spend four hours with Mary Hanna of the Meta Peace Team who kindly offered to train us in skills related to unarmed peacekeeping (the work of MPT) as well as bystander intervention while on an important visit to our headquarters in Petaluma. Only an hour earlier, Mary was rushing about, organizing her material, plugging in her flash-drive, looking for her papers, and other preparations. I accidentally kicked over her coffee mug she set on the ground. She’s used to 8-hour sessions, and I’ve halved the time. I wanted people to have an intro to the work, but not necessarily a full day commitment at first go. Leave us wanting a little more. . . We start the training with centering. I smile at the room full of expectant faces, “Mary usually gets five minutes for centering exercises, but we’re at the Metta Center–we’ll do thirty.” At which point our training began–with half an hour meditation, or quiet walking, or sitting in nature. The main rule: turn off the devices. Centering, she said, is essential when you are on a peace team, and it requires daily practice. She compared it to walking through a forest. You do it day in and day out, so that one night, there’s an emergency and you need to dash through down the path in thick darkness. You don’t need to see because your feet know the path; your hands know where you are. On a peace team, she said, we need that path inward–to our calm center– at our fingertips. Throughout the morning, Mary came to life–sharing the amazing stories of the work of Meta Peace Team, and her practical idealism about how everyday people like ourselves can work together to strengthen our human bonds and reduce the violence we encounter and experience in our daily lives. Their most recent interventions took during the anti-sharia “rallies” in Lansing, MI, where a neighborhood of immigrants and refugees was a target for violence. They patrolled the neighborhood, provided protective accompaniment, stationed themselves at potential “flash points” for violent confrontation, and managed to report that no incidents of the day were able to escalate into violence against the neighborhood. “Did this make the media?” someone asked. “Since there was no violence,” she said, “the media wouldn’t pick up that there was even a story there to tell.” In the course of the training, Mary shared tool after tool to help us de-escalate violent situations with nonviolence. We practiced working in conflict situations related to our families, our […]
“The force of the spirit is ever progressive and endless… That force resides in everybody; man, woman, and child, irrespective of the color of the skin. Only in many it lies dormant, but it is capable of being awakened by judicious training.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, February 10, 1946 “Training” has become the watchword of the progressive world, understandably, since the US national elections of November 8. Organizations that offer training, like Meta Peace Teams, or facilitate and help organize it, like the Metta Center, have been flooded with calls. We are like a country flooded with recruits at the outbreak of war; for we are facing the outbreak of a war in which much suffering and waste of spirit is bound to ensue, but in which, if our training is judicious and our courage steady, only good can come. Keeping these words in front of us, that the force of the spirit is in every person, will be a great help and should be featured prominently in all the trainings. Thanks for sharing a comment below. About Daily Metta Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence. Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide. Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the archives Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe
What is a peace team and how does it work? This week on Peace Paradigm Radio, Mary Hanna and Reverend Peter Dougherty discuss Meta Peace Teams; how they started, what they do, and how peace teams can help in this time of high tension in society. They tell Michael and Stephanie some amazing success stories and also give an overview of what peace team training looks like. Following the interview, Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook share news, resources, insights, and conversations in Nonviolence in the News. Don’t miss it! Listen in here! (Or go underneath the bio box below to find ways to download this show or listen through our player on this page…)