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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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”