Category: nonviolence

Not just a billboard, a story

On my rare visits to LA, I am always impressed (negatively) by the blatant violence of the billboards advertising films and TV. This past weekend was no exception. Apparently, there are fashions in violence. A while back it was crime, then a particular…

THE POST: A (somewhat biased) review

For full disclosure, I’m a long-term friend of Dan and Patricia Ellsberg, was a more distant friend but also admirer of Ben Bagdikian, I lived through the era depicted, and since I see very few movies I tend to have strong reactions to those I do. That said, I had a very strong, very positive reaction to this Stephen Spielberg film about the decision by Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), supported by her editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), to publish the devastating “Pentagon Papers” in 1971. I cannot remember being so engrossed in a movie, and while it was not as transcendentally inspiring perhaps as “Gandhi” it was uplifting and spell-binding for me. It depicts a “finest hour” of American democracy, which itself would make it more than relevant to our America’s present dismal time; add to this, however, the superb treatment of the women’s issue and the just plain great acting. Advisory: if you go in expecting the film to be about Ellsberg and his struggle with himself to risk everything to release the devastating news to the public, or the role Patricia played in supporting him, you will be disappointed. That story is in the superb documentary by Judith Ehrlich, “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” as well as Dan’s book Secrets and many other histories. The mark of a great film-maker (or novelist, for that matter) is to have the restraint to tell one story at a time. I appreciate that enormously, as one who has yet to find that kind of restraint. Now the Metta angle: what does the film say about nonviolence? A lot. First of all, how raw courage and the power of that act of will by which a man or woman, seeing beyond the ordinary vision of personal gain and loss, decides to risk even perhaps their life for a higher cause. In Dan’s case, his career and his very freedom, e.g. to be with the wife he loved. In Ms. Graham’s case, the paper she loved and lived for along with the rebuttal of the stereotype against women, that they can’t compete in the “real world” of business, or places of cutthroat competition. Then there’s the glimpse it offers of what Johan Galtung named the “Great Chain of Nonviolence:” the way people low on the social/political latter, seemingly without access to power, can reach the seats of the mighty through those near them, who know others on up the chain. In this case the spectrum goes from street protestors (as I was) to an insider like Dan who “saw the light” (itself a lesson in the humanity and convertibility of our opponents) to the upper echelons of journalism and government. Then, a larger lesson of the more sobering type. Would a whistle-blower on that scale enjoy the protection of the Supreme Court today? What must we do to capitalize on these moments of brilliant courage when they happen; to make sure they are ratcheted up to permanent and beneficial change?

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THE POST: A (Somewhat Biased) Film Review

For full disclosure: I’m a long-term friend of Dan and Patricia Ellsberg, and I was a more distant friend but also admirer of Ben Bagdikian. I lived through the era depicted in The Post, and since I see very few movies I tend to have strong reactions to those I do. That said, I had a very strong, very positive reaction to this Stephen Spielberg film about the decision by Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), supported by her editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), to publish the devastating “Pentagon Papers” in 1971. I cannot remember being so engrossed in a movie, and while it was not as transcendentally inspiring perhaps as Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, it was uplifting and spell-binding for me. It depicts a “finest hour” of American democracy, which itself would make it more than relevant to our America’s present dismal time; add to this, however, the superb treatment of the women’s issue and the just plain great acting. Advisory: If you go in expecting the film to be about Ellsberg and his struggle with himself to risk everything to release the devastating news to the public, or the role Patricia played in supporting him, you will be disappointed. That story is in the superb documentary by Judith Ehrlich, “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” as well as Dan’s book Secrets and many other histories. The mark of a great filmmaker (or novelist, for that matter) is to have the restraint to tell one story at a time. I appreciate that enormously, as one who has yet to find that kind of restraint. Now for the Metta Center angle: What does the film say about nonviolence? A lot. First of all, how raw courage and the power of that act of will by which a man or woman, seeing beyond the ordinary vision of personal gain and loss, decides to risk even perhaps their life for a higher cause. In Dan’s case, his career and his very freedom, e.g. to be with the wife he loved. In Ms. Graham’s case, the paper she loved and lived for, along with the rebuttal of the stereotype against women that they can’t compete in the “real world” of business or places of cutthroat competition. Then there’s the glimpse it offers of what Johan Galtung named the “Great Chain of Nonviolence:” the way people low on the social/political ladder, seemingly without access to power, can reach the seats of the mighty through those near them, who know others on up the chain. In this case, the spectrum goes from street protestors (as I was) to an insider like Dan who “saw the light” (itself a lesson in the humanity and convertibility of our opponents) to the upper echelons of journalism and government. Then, a larger lesson of the more sobering type. Would a whistle-blower on that scale enjoy the protection of the Supreme Court today? What must we do to capitalize on these moments of brilliant courage to make sure they ratchet up to a […]

The post THE POST: A (Somewhat Biased) Film Review appeared first on Metta Center.

Peace Spirit in Iran

  In this episode of Nonviolence Radio, Michael Nagler speaks with activist, educator, and journalist Mr. Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh from Peace Spirit Foundation in Tehran, about the peace movement in Iran and insights from the current political situation and uprisings from within Iran. Part two of the show is your dose of nonviolence in the news for the week. Find Nonviolence Radio on iTunes, Audioport, and Stitcher or listen here.     

The post Peace Spirit in Iran appeared first on Metta Center.

Peace Spirit in Iran

 

In this episode of Nonviolence Radio, Michael Nagler speaks with activist, educator, and journalist Mr. Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh from Peace Spirit Foundation in Tehran, about the peace movement in Iran and insights from the current political situ…

Accountability Without Punishment

  How can we move beyond a paradigm of punishment? Nonviolence practitioner, mediator, and restorative justice workshop leader Joe Brummer joins Nonviolence Radio for a special show where he shares his experience as a victim of multiple hate crimes to helping people transform conflict and violence into opportunities for healing through restorative practices. Listen Now.  Subscribe to Nonviolence Radio on iTunes podcasts, Stitcher, or RSS.    

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Accountability Without Punishment

 

How can we move beyond a paradigm of punishment? Nonviolence practitioner, mediator, and restorative justice workshop leader Joe Brummer joins Nonviolence Radio for a special show where he shares his experience as a victim of multiple hate crim…

Restorative Justice for Petaluma

Photo credit: Restorative Resources A Community Conversation about Justice. Join the Metta Center for Nonviolence and Restorative Resources for a Petaluma community conversation about the practice of restorative justice. What is restorative justice? How does it help us as individuals within our community? How does it help our students perform better in school and in life? How can we work together to help our local schools adopt a restorative, instead of a punishment-based, approach to discipline? And how does it fit into a larger picture of ending the school-to-prison pipeline? Bring your friends! Aqus Cafe will have meals and beverages for sale. Come for inspiration, strategy, and community. When: September 18, 2017 Where: Aqus Cafe (189 H Street, corner of H and 2nd Streets) Time: 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm   “Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.” -Mahatma Gandhi

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NI and Holy Land Trust Create the Sumud Freedom Tour

Nonviolence International has partnered with Holy Land Trust to create the Sumud Freedom Tour! We invite you to join us this December 21 through January 3 as part of a coalition of student delegates who will travel throughout Israel and Palestine with the purpose of engaging in an active and educational tour. Participants will meet […]

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Call-out to arms fair resisters across the world

International activists inside the arms dealers' welcome dinner at ADEX 2015 in SeoulThis is a call-out to arms fair resisters across the world to join a Skype conversation with other grassroots activists.read more