Category: nonviolence

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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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.     

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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 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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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

Empowering nonviolent play

We’ve all seen and heard kids playing out violent scenarios–mostly because they have not learned enough about how nonviolence works and what other options they have. In this podcast I share the story of how one mother was able to gently show her son the power of rehumanization while playing his game with him. Listen to the five minute podcast here.  Or below the bio box… Have a story related to this podcast? Share it in the comment section below.      

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Conflict is Natural- Podcast

  Conflict is natural and healthy. Violence is avoidable. In this podcast I talk about a practical approach for understanding conflict as a necessary part of developing our most humane qualities and the art of engaging conflict without resorting to violence.  Podcast time: 5 minutes. Listen here or at with the player below the bio box.

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Celebrating Nonviolence: January 20 & Beyond

January 20, 2017 is Michael Nagler’s 80th birthday. It is also the inauguration date for the 45th president of the United States. “Nonviolence isn’t about putting the right person in power; it’s about awakening the right kind of power in people.” ~ Michael Nagler, Founder & President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence As a lifelong scholar and spiritual practitioner, Michael Nagler has made vast contributions to the field of nonviolence. He co-founded the Peace and Conflict Studies program at UC, Berkeley, and he is the author of the American Book Award-winning Search for a Nonviolent Future. Many of us are familiar with the term “people power;” Michael coined the term “person power,” to describe how nonviolence truly begins—when an individual converts a negative drive (fear, anger, aggression) into a positive drive (universal love, compassion, resilience). Michael’s birthday aligns with the inauguration of a president who will, unwittingly, increase humanity’s desire for nonviolence. So we’re out to accomplish two things: 1. Honor Michael’s birthday and 2. Support the initiatives that he is directly involved in at the Metta Center. We would like to create 100 Person Power Awards for Michael while also raising funds for his beloved life’s work. Perhaps Michael was your favorite teacher at UC, Berkeley. Maybe his webinars and books helped you grow your understanding of nonviolence. Whatever the case, here’s your chance to award him! Head to our campaign page and show your support.

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“We’re friends.”: Parent Power Podcast

How do we express to children we are working together as a team and what effect can it have? In this episode, I explore the power–and challenges of– working together on setting boundaries with children in a respectful way that models for them a productive way of saying ‘no’ as well. Episode length: Six Minutes LISTEN HERE or below the bio box.    

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