Nonviolence in the News – October 16, 2017

Listen to Nonviolence in the News, recorded October 16th, 2017. You can also use the controls at the bottom of the page to listen in. If you are looking for nonviolence radio, click here.   “I refuse to accept the journalistic cliche of ‘meaningless violence’. I refuse to believe that there are no answers to the cheapening of life and the rise of violence against it. If we have no answers to such a basic matter as why we can’t live in peace with one another, often can’t go on living at all, maybe we’re asking the wrong questions.” ~Michael Nagler, The Search for a Nonviolent Future.   Resources. With an emphasis on “Leadership”, Resistance School just launched its first session for the year with well-known activist Marshall Ganz, a veteran of the United Farm Workers Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Professor Ganz spoke about Public Narrative, commonly described as framing, enables the empathetic experience to link leaders with participants, participants with each other, and both with broader public values at stake. Their motto: “Practical skills to reclaim, rebuild and reimagine America.” I would have put “reimagine” first, but otherwise this is superb. Meanwhile, here in the West, Resistance School @ Berkeley is taking shape: This semester will focus on effective communications. The first session, Transforming Resistance into a Social Movement, goes live via Facebook on Thursday, October 5 at 3pm PT/6pm ET and will feature renowned organizer Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. The lesson dives into the goals, activities, and skills that organizers should consider in growing their individual organizing efforts into cross-community social movement for lasting social and political change. Other trainings they will mount this semester include: Cross-Cutting Messaging in a Tough Political Environment with Robert Reich, Former Secretary of Labor and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley (Thursday, October 19 at 3pm PT/6pm ET) Shifting Public Opinion Through Strategic Messaging and Metaphors with Anat Shenker-Osorio, Principle of ASO Communications (Thursday, November 2 at 3pm PT/6pm ET). Communicating About Race in Politics and Organizing with Ian Haney López: Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley (Thursday, November 16 at 3pm PT/6pm ET). … and for more on communication, you might take a look at Sightline. They will send you ‘flash cards’ with elevator-like arguments from their latest research on the closely related issues of climate and democracy, and I think also with research into communication strategies.   A good film, among the many coming out: Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock Or How To Let Go Of The World And Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change. Check Netflix and HBO to watch it.   From the venerable journal Acorn, “Philosophica Studies in Pacifism and Nonviolence,” is now online as well as print; for the philosophically minded. It was founded by members of […]

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How Unarmed Protection Will Save Our Soul

Here’s a fact: unarmed civilians can stop and transform violent conflict without laying down their lives and without killing others. Tiffany Easthom and Gilda Bettencourt join us in the studio to give us an insider’s view of the incredible work of one of our favorite organizations in the world, the Nonviolent Peaceforce, drawing from their own deep knowledge of nonviolence as well as experiences of civilians in conflict zones in key conflict areas in all corners of the earth. When the show is over, you might even be ready to sign up as a protection officer. We dare you to listen. Click here or use the controls below to listen to the show. Looking for Nonviolence in the News? We recorded a special edition just for you! Click here for Nonviolence in the News! 

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Seeing Nonviolence?

The Metta Center–especially our founder, Michael Nagler– has been interested in the science of nonviolence for several decades. So the other day, I sent this article out to our awesome volunteers to see if it would spark some cool insights about how we understand nonviolence: Hi everyone,  The Metta Team has started exploring questions related to nonviolence every week, and so here is one! What do you think:  Here’s an article from the NYT about the phenomena of perception and expectation.  My question for you all is whether you think that we might be able to extrapolate some insights about how nonviolence works–or what it is–from these (non)observations.  Looking forward to hearing from you!  Stephanie  Here are some responses. After reading, you are warmly invited to add your own insights in the box below. We’d love to hear from you!   LOU:  As a magician and photographer, I am very aware of how misdirection and composition can hide things.  Both of these attributes are operating in the sample images in the article that made me “miss” seeing the big toothbrush, and less so the parking meter. The strongest way this relates to nonviolence for me is how people often don’t “see” nonviolence because we are culturally conditioned to focus on conflict and who’s to blame for it. Like the toothbrush, we’re looking for what we are expecting – someone or something to be wrong.  If we’re more in the habit of seeing the basic human needs being expressed in a conflict then we would see human beings struggling, feel compassion, and maybe our imaginations would be sparked with something new.   Annie: Hi everyone, and thank you, Lou, for your (very clear!) response. I completely agree that our current culture conditions us to see violence, which in turn tends to cause us to be blind to actions — even movements — of nonviolence. Unfortunately, in most mainstream media, unlike in the images of the big toothbrush and parking meter, the stories about nonviolence are simply not there. That said, one aspect I liked about considering parallels between this and the workings of nonviolence is the fact that we seem to be particularly unaware of ‘out of scale’ objects. My hope is that, like the toothbrush and the parking meter, nonviolence is, in fact, enormous in our world, we just need to learn to ’spot’ it. If this is the case, we should try to think about what might trigger our capacity to do this, to see the truth which is in front of us, One way might be to think about the fact that it was easier to identify the parking meter because we’d been alerted to its presence. So perhaps then part of spotting NV is having its presence suggested. This is a pretty…unexciting conclusion and I’m sure there’s more we can draw from this example, but simple awareness raising seems pretty important.   Thuy: Thanks, Stephanie, for bringing forth this interesting article and food for thought for the day. Lou and […]

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