Archive | June, 2013

Discovering the Unexpected Power of Nonviolence

Erica Chenoweth found that from 1900 to 2006, nonviolent campaigns were twice as effective as violent ones in achieving their goals. And when nonviolent movements overthrow unjust regimes, they are far more likely to establish democracies and protect human rights, and less likely to lapse into civil war than violent movements.

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Nonviolent Movements at the Crossroads of History

“George Lakey is one of the foremost strategists for building effective nonviolent movements that I know in the world. And he walks his talk. He’s not just teaching activism — he’s doing it. He has a very skillful way of helping other people grow so they become stronger and more powerful activists.”

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The Street Spirit Interview with Erica Chenoweth

Nonviolent campaigns were effective against dictatorships; against highly repressive regimes that use violent and brutal repression; and also in places where people would expect a nonviolent campaign to be impossible to even emerge in the first place — such as very closed societies with no civil society organization to speak of.

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The Street Spirit Interview with George Lakey

“The reason why people believe that violence is more powerful than nonviolence is not accidental. That is the message that is taught to us by the 1 percent. In all societies in which people believe violence is more powerful than nonviolence, the 1 percent has messaged that, has drummed that into people’s consciousness.”

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Keeper of the Dream: Bernard Lafayette Carries on the Living Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Dr. Lafayette brought into our midst the powerful legacy of the Freedom Movement that won seemingly impossible victories against unimaginable odds — victories won on the “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma; during bus burnings and Freedom Rides in Mississippi and Alabama; and while organizing poor tenants in the tough slums of Chicago.

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The Street Spirit Interview with Bernard Lafayette

Martin Luther King had a new approach — massive civil disobedience and massive non-cooperation. The only reason a system of oppression can exist is with the cooperation of the oppressed. Once the oppressed refuse to cooperate, the system can’t continue to exist. Martin Luther King learned this new method from Mahatma Gandhi.

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Bringing Martin Luther King’s Message to the Next Generation

The message of Kingian Nonviolence can be traced in an historical line from the civil rights organizers of the Southern freedom movement in the 1950s, through the anti-Vietnam War struggles of the 1960s, on through the anti-nuclear and anti-apartheid movements of the 1980s, all the way to today’s young activists.

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Building the Positive Peace Warrior Network: The Street Spirit Interview with Kazu Haga

Our goal is to ensure that Dr. King’s legacy is alive with us, so that when that bullet was fired into his chest, they missed the target. King had a vision that this philosophy could be effective not just in the struggle against segregation, but also in the struggle against militarism and economic injustice.

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Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.