Nonviolence News (Wk of Nov 24)

Challenging the belief that only violence is newsworthy, we humbly submit this briefing of nonviolence in the news. Catch it every other week on Nonviolence Radio.


Listen and/or Download Audio Here


Juliana Vs. US: Oral Arguments in the 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals. 

On December 11, 2017, a three-judge panel of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from lawyers for the youth and for the government on the Trump administration’s request to overturn U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken’s November 10, 2016 Order, which confirmed the fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution to a climate system capable of sustaining human life. The youth will explain in open court why their case should go to trial.


The Roots of Resistance

Rivera Sun has completed a new young adults book that explores the way of nonviolence, as a sequel to the Dandelion Insurrection. She engages with community publishing so you can order a book while joining that campaign. Plus you’re invited to the launch party of her book on December 2nd. Not in Taos, NM? You can join via Zoom. More information can be found here.


+ Occupy Sonoma Countyembraces the egalitarian, deep democracy principles of the Occupy Movement with a regional strategy for effectively organizing county-wide social justice campaigns that are globally relevant.” Many informative (and funny) videos, campaigns we can get involved in, including: SONOMA COUNTY CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVISTS, Climate change groups and individuals working together to coordinate efforts and make action plans. This meeting is a follow up to the July 31 summit to make plans and collaborate together, Monday, January 29, 7-9 PM




There’s a game for that… 

Looking for a game to share with your family around the holiday season? Some folks in the Netherlands came up with a game to inspire conversation and to help people playing the game really get to know one another. It’s cards with a series of questions and played in three rounds: last year, this year, and what’s to come… It’s called Vertellis.


P is for Palestine: A children’s book

P is for Palestine is the first children’s alphabet book ever published about Palestine in the English language—it is a classic, playful and pedagogically sound ABC (picture) rhyme book with lots of references to the Culture, Geography, and the Diversity, Multiculturalism of Palestine (to some also known as the Holy Land), to Arabic terms, to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, to Christmas, to Bethlehem, and to Palestinian, Arab, Middle Eastern Food and Dance among others.

The simple story of Palestine is today shrouded in convoluted misinformation and contested narratives. But at the heart of the matter stands a proud people with a compelling truth which sustain their historic struggles to tell their story of dispossession to the world. Our P is for Palestine is a modest step in that direction.

The story of Palestine is the story of our humanity at large. It is a story of all people, all nations, throughout history, seeking a pride of place. —Golbarg Bashi, Ph.D. (author)

Find it on Etsy.


+ Film: “The Guru and the FARC”: How Sri Sri Ravishankar brought peace to Colombia, ending the longest running war in the Western Hemisphere that had claimed 250,000 lives and stifled the hopes of generations., It brought tears to our eyes. Watch it here.

+ WRI: Selene Rivas presents for the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth a series of brief articles exploring how the U.S. citizenry has been normalized to accept a permanent state of militarism through popular culture: Movies, video games and comic books. From Monday, November 20th and continuing through Sunday the 26th of November, 2017, a new segment of this series of short articles are featured for each day.…Find out more about the Week Of Action at War Resisters’ International. And the above link.

+Other film; on “moral injury.” This critically important concept could play a major role in bringing down the war system! Without a name, you can’t get a handle on anything, esp. something unpleasant to think about. Rachel Mac Nair coined Perpetration Induced Traumatic Stress, (PITS), and wrote a book by that name, but it’s too cumbersome for popular use.

+Two ICNC webinars to end their year: 1) Véronique Dudouet, Can Integrating Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding Strategies Improve Movement Effectiveness? This looks like an exploration of what we call respectively Obstructive and Constructive Program. Glad they’re doing it. 2) and our own Stephen Zunes, How Can Civil Resistance Work Against Violent Coups? I like the positive assumption; but I still sigh every now and then about their refusal to say ‘nonviolence.’

+Blog by Maciej Bartkowski gives good insights into what makes ‘nonv.’ mvts. “work.” Including this on Constructive Program: “Long-term strategy of constructive resistance

To sustain their gains and increase capacity to implement lasting positive change, movements must pursue a strategy of disruptive actions plus long-term constructive resistance. The latter is based on building networks and coalitions, and setting up alternative and parallel processes, practices, norms, and institutions to those that exist (which are often rigged against ordinary people). The movement’s capacity to sustain its victories can be strengthened through resistance that builds self-reliance, self-organization, and self-governance, and constructs a new, positive social and political reality well before this reality becomes a new norm for state practice.”

+ – has aired hundreds of one-hour interviews on a wide range of issues related to peace, social justice, nonviolence, the environment, economics, and other vital topics over nearly 31 years. You can watch 146 of them through their website.




Nonviolence comes to middle school. 

At Fulmore Middle School in Austin, Texas, students staged a walk-out protest after a teacher allegedly told a student to “Go back to Mexico.” Students chanted, “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.” And demanded that the teacher be held accountable for her statement. Unfortunately, the protestors were not fully prepared to accept nonviolent discipline, and broke windows and caused other property destruction of their school during their protest, which can problematize protest at their school at later times.


Native American Women taking on Divestment in Europe

An article from Yes Magazine’s Shannon Stoll relates: Last month, a delegation of indigenous women returned from a trip to Europe where they met with leaders of financial institutions in Norway, Switzerland, and Germany, the “home bases for several of the world’s largest financial and insurance institutions supporting dangerous extraction developments,” according to the news release. The delegation was organized by indigenous women leaders in partnership with the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network.

According to Jackie Fielder:

The purpose was to demand European banks divest from fossil fuel companies that violate indigenous peoples’ right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, as outlined in the United Nations declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples.

We met with [major banks] and asked them to exclude Energy Transfer, Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, and other fossil fuel companies that have violated indigenous peoples’ rights to deny or grant permission for projects on their territories and that fund tar sands pipeline expansion.


 Building his way out of homeless: by making homes…

Would people be homeless if they had homes? Imagine.

One man in Bristol, who had been homeless for 17 years, came up with the idea to build homes for those without homes out of shipping containers. He found someone to support his efforts financially and employs others who are also living without homes. Is this constructive program? Partially!


19 Countries Plan to Phase Out Coal!

According to the Guardian:

A new alliance of 19 nations committed to quickly phasing out coal has been launched at the UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany. It was greeted as a “political watershed”, signaling the end of the dirtiest fossil fuel that currently provides 40% of global electricity.

The alliance will work by encouraging new commitments and using financing and shared technology and best practice to encourage others to phase out “unabated coal” – plants where carbon dioxide is not captured and buried below ground. Its national members are Angola, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

And in related news, a new study has found that renewables are less expensive than existing coal and nuclear plants in many areas!


Statues that tell a new story: Irish erect statue to Native Americans

This is from the website, the

A sculpture of nine eagle feathers commemorates the time in 1847, during the Great Hunger, when the Native American Choctaw People donated a substantial amount of money to the Irish famine relief.

In 2015, a statue was commissioned to be built in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland, to honor the kindness of the Choctaws. But the story begins in 1831, when the Choctaw people were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in Mississippi.

Jump ahead a century and a half. It took a year for artist Alex Pentek to create Kindred Spirits. With its nine eagle feathers reaching 20 feet into the air, the statue represents “this great moment of compassion, strength, and unity,” said Pentek.


Challenging Tradition: Undocumented Youth Block Macy’s Parade

This is from Popular Resistance

“Immigrant youth from across the country converged in New York City on Thanksgiving Day to participate in a civil disobedience action and pledge their commitment to winning permanent protection for Young Undocumented Immigrants in the Country. Four DACA recipients and allies were removed from the parade, blocking traffic by the Macy’s Day Parade.

“Undocumented youth are refusing to put our destiny in the hands of establishment politicians. We are choosing to fight for the dignity of our entire immigrant community, and that begins with us. We are your classmates, your coworkers, and your neighbors” said Hector-Jario Martinez, one of the Undocumented Youth who was arrested at the Macy’s Day Parade. “We are not just the future of this country, but we are also the present workers that it depends on. We are millions of young undocumented students and workers who are the backbones of our schools, industries, and communities. We are calling on our community members to stand up and fight for our right to work and live in this country.


+ Co-operatives are providing opportunities for refugees to integrate into the communities they join. The co-operative potential in addressing the refugee crisis was explored during a session at the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Conference in Malaysia. Another example of a nonviolent institution making things better in unexpected ways. Nonviolence is nonviolence, and vice-versa.


+ Catalonian peace and nonviolence education. … all Catalonian schools from K-12 and up teach peace and nonviolence education. “If you’ve seen any of the videos from the election day struggle, you will have probably been stunned by the level of nonviolent discipline in the face of violent repression. I have been amazed. Here is the curriculum.” The link.

…such a curriculum begins to affect outcomes of political movements and struggle immediately, as seniors graduate and enter either society or colleges. The impact accumulates in young people, year after year, until we have a total population aware and at least familiar with nonviolent struggle.”


+ “Promise to Protect” (remember the Pledge of Resistance?) Joye Braun, leader of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, said, “It gives me a great sense of hope and community to see nearly 8,000 people who have signed on to the ‘Promise to Protect’ our water, our homelands, our people, and to stand in solidarity with us on the ground. Especially our Indigenous communities, our tribes, and our farmer and rancher friends. This is hope, this is power—people power.”


+ This week Resistance School finished its second semester! “I never imagined that in a few short months we and our partners at Berkeley would produce 20 training videos that reached over 350,000 changemakers across the country.”


+ Father Greg Boyle has spent 30 years working in LA with gang members and young people transitioning out of prison. His new book is ‘Barking to the Choir.’
Read more at this link. We note a few gems from his interview: They create an “Irresistible culture of tenderness;” … “if you don’t transform your pain you’ll transmit it.” “Gang violence is a language.”


+ And on the legislative front, from The Peace Alliance: “Peacebuilding advocates visited 128+ legislators during Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. in October, 2017. We lobbied for 7 peace-related bills, including creation of a Cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding (H.R. 1111/DoP). During the advocacy and follow-up from 9/1/17 to 11/10/17, 53 new co-sponsors signed on to the peace-related bills. We visited 40 of those new co-sponsors/sponsors. In addition to DC visits, peacebuilders called from home to amplify the efforts to gain co-sponsors.”


+ “Rewiring the brain for peace” A useful project of the Shift Network and other organizations, but the term is terrible: squarely ‘Old Paradigm.’ MLK: “We must rapidly begin the change from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. Also brings up the question of symbols and the special symbolism of language: who gets to assign meaning?

+“Army of Moms” stops violence in its tracks, in a gun-shattered neighborhood in Chicago, on 75th & Stewart, where 1200 shootings occurred in the city so far that year, there was “not so much as a fistfight”. Because the mothers got together, stood on the corner with pink tee-shirts, and offered to feed people from a barbeque. The link.


+ COP 21 is winding down: ‘You Claim To Be An American, But We See Right Through Your Greed’: A Song of Protest and Then a Walkout at US Event at Climate Summit during the absurd presentation by Trump’s delegation calling for more fossil fuels. (Common Dreams staff). Also, from Democracy Now: “We’re in Rhineland, Germany, just about 45 minutes from the UN climate summit in Bonn. We’re standing in front of the largest open-pit coal mine in Europe, the largest open-pit mine of any kind in Europe. A banner is being unfurled that. It says, “It’s Up to Us to Keep It in the Ground.” It’s a red banner. People kneeled around it as they unfurled it. And we’re in front of the Hambach mine. This mine has already destroyed 90 percent of the ancient forest in the area. They are saying: “Their point is not to get arrested, but to arrest, to stop, this coal mine from operating.”


+ Great news! On Nov 8 the City of Sonoma’s Community Service and Environment Commission voted unanimously (item 6b) to recommend that the City Council adopt the new Model Solar Photovoltaic Ordinance for new homes built inside the City limits. The CA Energy Commission has determined this to be cost-effective, which means the added initial expense will actually save money by making energy bills more affordable to owners and renters alike.


+ Treesisters: This campaign marks the beginning of their journey from a million trees a year to a billion trees a year. “We don’t know how long it will take us to realize this dream, but we know that it’s the only scale that makes sense in today’s climate.”

Women are powerful and we know it. That’s why we’re gathering all women who feel called to this dream, because together we’re a powerful force of nature.


+ Action item: Amazing news! This week US Congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced a bill to end Israeli detention of Palestinian children! It is historic legislation and they need help get as many members of Congress to sign onto it as possible.

Contact your representative in Congress. Tell them to add their name to the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act


…Representative McCollum introduced the bill with nine cosponsors: Reps. Blumenauer (D-OR), Carson (D-IN), Conyers (D-MI), Davis (D-IL), DeFazio (D-OR), Grijalva (D-AZ), Gutiérrez (D-IL), Pingree (D-ME), Pocan (D-WI). Tell your Member of Congress to join these brave leaders by adding their names now!


+ News or resource? Depends on how you use it: after realizing that student debt ($1.5 trillion) betrays students into believing that education will guarantee them a good position and instead trapping them into docility, “…over 100 leading (Irish) intellectuals founded the nonprofit, debt-free school, The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) four years ago, and just recently opened a debt-free program in Ireland that offers BA, MA and Ph.D. degrees in the interdisciplinary field of social and political thought. “By drawing on available technologies, we are able to bring together students and researchers from all over the world with leading visionaries, philosophers, social scientists and eco-theorists without forcing students into harm’s way through massive debt to banks. In this way, we’re able to both teach how ideas and truths can assist in the process of empowerment and liberation on the personal level, and do so in a way that keeps students out of harm’s way on a social and economic level.”

+ “There is a silent revolution going on in higher education around the world and these are just a few of many extraordinary places of enlivened learning.”

Kelly Teamey and Udi Mandel are partners in the Enlivened Learning Project (and in life.) Covering MST univ. and many others.… “In Brazil we saw first-hand how local production of media can counter the negativity of mainstream media in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro at the Escola Popular de Comunicação Crítica, and how the Landless Movement in Brazil has formed their own university outside of Sao Paulo to enliven learning. The list goes on…” A word on MST, the largest social mvt. in the world.


Please support more good stuff like this. Partner with the Metta Center today.