Erica Chenoweth studies political violence and non-violent resistance. Her research indicates that nonviolent campaigns have been more successful than armed campaigns and that movements are effective when they (1) attract widespread and diverse participation; (2) develop a strategy that allows them to maneuver around repression; and (3) provoke defections, loyalty shifts, or disobedience among regime elites and/or security forces. Her TED talk and an interview.
Some video game aficionados are now trying to beat violent games without killing any other characters in the process.
Pakistan's pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulam-i-Islam Party (JUI) has denounced the armed struggle by Islamist militants. "It is a unified decision of all the religious parties in Pakistan enshrined in this document that we call for an unarmed struggle within legal and constitutional limits," (via RFERL)
Violence and nonviolence are, after all, two different forms of theater. They both depend and thrive on the response of an audience.
"If we, as a global audience, focus solely on violence and militarism, we reinforce the notion that they are the most effective form of action. On the other hand, if we pay more attention to nonviolent or unarmed efforts, we strengthen the legitimacy and influence of those choosing to use these means." [more inside]
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
Fifty years ago today four black students, Joseph A. McNeil, Franklin E. McCain, David L. Richmond and Ezell A. Blair Jr., asked to be served lunch at the Woolworth lunch counter and so began an extended nonviolent sit-in which energized the civil rights movement. Monday the International Civil Rights Center and Museum will open in that loacation.
The President's hero is a 68-year old preacher, fearless civil rights activist, and Congressman named John Lewis. [more inside]
Three US veterans testify. (If the interrogator is too Christian for you, skip to the Vietnam vet.) Also, Shministim. Utah Phillips on pacifism. A First World War Christian Conscientious Objector Remembered. [more inside]
Saying His Peace: Rare Recording of Speech by Gandhi Landed in Safe, if Unknowing, Hands. [Via Linkfilter]
History is a Weapon -- Featuring Propaganda by the inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays, essays by Bill Clinton, Eugene Debs, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain, the entirety of A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and much, much more.
On June 15th, 2007, the UN unanimously adopted a resolution declaring October 2 to be the "International Day of Non-Violence." October 2 is also Gandhi Jayanti, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi,a national holiday in India in honor of the man called the "Father of the Nation". Previously on Mefi, Gandhi's heirs - five champions of non violence and Everything you wanted to know about Gandhi. [more inside]
From Dictatorship to Democracy. This guide to non-violent revolution by Gene Sharp was the handbook for turning over dictatorial regimes in Serbia, Georgia and the Ukraine. you know... just for future reference.
Mahatma Gandhi. Everything you ever wanted to know about Mahatma Gandhi including image galleries and his complete collected works.
The Miami Model... ["What is the Miami Model? It is several things: extremely violent police response to nonviolent demonstrators, embedded reporters behind police lines - and arresting and harassing "non-embedded" journalists...(and) mass arrests and an arsenal of "non-lethal" weapons.]...represents the next step in the criminalization and repression of dissent that is occurring in the United States right now." It is part of the newly emerging "Technologies of political control" (1.1m PDF) which are rapidly consuming American democracy from within. This is more than crowd control. This is the new Information Warfare. Oh - and thinking of protesting? - The FBI would like your name, please. (more inside)
Five champions of nonviolence. A look at five people who have fought for political and social justice using the principles of Mahatma Gandhi.
Civil Disobedience Training (html version), The Handbook for Nonviolent Action and Civil Disobedience Training, Nonviolent Action Handbook, and Non-violence Discipline. And then there's that crackpot who wrote in the Dhammapada that "hate is not overcome by hate; by Love (Metta) alone is hate appeased. This is an eternal law." One imagines other texts on the timely topics of peace, nonviolence, and war resistance may exist -- Martin Luther King pointedly noted, "there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was seen sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar because a higher moral law was involved. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks, before submitting to certain unjust laws of the Roman empire."
The peace movement that marches this day includes the extraordinary people of Peaceful Tomorrows, "an advocacy organization founded by family members of September Eleventh victims. Its mission is to seek effective nonviolent responses to terrorism, and identify a commonality with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. By conscientiously exploring peaceful options in our search for justice, we choose to spare additional innocent families the suffering that we have already experienced—as well as to break the endless cycle of violence and retaliation engendered by war."
"We are singing for peace. We are against war. We are now singing against checkpoints," said Gabi Baramki, one of the founders of the Jerusalem Chorus. "It's a very sad Christmas." One in ten Palestinians is Christian, and Christians such as Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah are prominent among the voices calling for a campaign of nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation.
In spite of his promise that human rights would take precedence over concerns of state sovereignty, Kofi Annan's philosophy of neutrality and nonviolence in the face of genocide and dictators, costs over 7,000 lives at Srebrenica, and 800,000 in Rwanda alone.
The recent violence in India and in various parts of the rest of the world made me ponder the contemporary relevance of MK Gandhi and his writings, specifically on violence.
Abortion Foes begin using new tactics. Non-violent, yet still aimed to cause fear one way or another...
Is violence necessary to fight The Man? Hey, ya can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. This essay makes some compelling points on the violence in Seattle and at the FTAA protests.