No Thanks to Tanks!

i Mar 3rd Comments Off by

Stop the Militarization of the Santa Cruz Police!

Give Back the Bearcat; Let City Council know how you feel! Stop the national rush to militarize local police departments. Help resist efforts to form a local militarized police force in Santa Cruz.

Come out on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting at 4:00pm

Santa Cruz City Council, 809 Center Street, Santa Cruz


SCRAM! (Santa Cruz Resistance Against Militarization !)

(831) 687-9118  -  scram911@gmail.com

Have You Heard of the NDAA?

i Mar 3rd Comments Off by

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense (DOD). Each year’s act also includes other provisions, some related to civil liberties (ACLU.org).

This year the bill added these egregious amendments in regard to closing Guantánamo Bay,

  • Brings Indefinite Detention to the U.S. Itself
  • Bolsters Claims of NDAA and AUMF Indefinite Detention Authority
  • Requires Report on Even More NDAA and AUMF Indefinite Detention Authority
  • Tries to Strip Federal Courts of Ability to Decide Challenges to Harmful Conditions
  • Violates Supreme Court Decision by Stripping Habeas Rights from Detainees Left at Guantánamo
  • Blocks Most Cleared Detainees from Going Home

For more information on the NDAA and how it affects our rights, check out the Santa Cruz Constitution Protection Zone at SantaCruzCPZ.org and like them on Facebook under Constitutional Protection Zones. Also, if you’re interested in the CPZ’s weekly meetings contact kim.w@romeroinstitute.org


Versatile peace activist David Hartsough tells his story March 2

i Feb 26th Comments Off by

Please don’t miss this special opportunity:
We invite you to join us on Monday, March 2, 7:00p.m. for a presentation by DAVID HARTSOUGH, legendary nonviolent activist. David will speak about his new book “Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist.” Since meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. as a teenager in the mid-1950s, David has been actively part of many key nonviolent movements over the last half-century: the civil rights movement, the anti-nuclear testing movement, the movement to end the Vietnam War, the U.S. Central America peace movement, the anti-apartheid movement, and the movements to end the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years he has helped found the Nonviolent Peaceforce and a new global venture to end armed conflict, World Beyond War. Please help us spread the word about this amazing evening. Read more about David.


Global Adventures
of a Lifelong Activist
Monday, March 2, 2015, 7:00 PM
AT the Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines.
“Waging Peace” is a testament to the difference one person can make. Hartsough’s stories inspire, educate, and encourage readers to find ways to work for a more just and peaceful world.
Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. It is the story of one man’s effort to live as though we were all brothers and sisters.
A peace activist’s eyewitness account of many of the major historical events of the past sixty years, including the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements in the United States and the little-known but equally significant nonviolent efforts in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.
Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action. This struggle is waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.
Co-sponsored by the Resource Center for Nonviolence, the Santa Cruz Friends Meeting, WILPF-Santa Cruz. Books will be available for purchase.
For more information: 831.423.1626

Wednesday, January 14, 2015: JOHN McCUTCHEON Benefit Concert for RCNV- Don’t miss this community celebration!

i Dec 28th Comments Off by

John_McSave the Date:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 7:30p.m.



at the Resource Center for Nonviolence

612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR: $20-35 suggested sliding scale donation. Cash or checks preferred. Doors open at around 7:00p.m. or whenever John finishes his sound check.

Join us for a rousing concert with John McCutcheon! This year, John has generously agreed to donate his time. We want the biggest crowd ever for this musical celebration. Please help us to spread the word far and wide!

We’re counting on you!  Buy Lots of tickets and invite your friends! This is one of our biggest fundraisers, and part of our January series Celebrating Compassion & Courage: In the spirit of MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. John is generously donating his time this year! Enjoy a great concert and support RCNV at the same time. 

In ’22 Days,’  John McCutcheon wanted to honor his friend Vedran Smailovic, the “Cellist of Sarajevo,” who chose to respond to violence and ugliness with a counterintuitive act of beauty, echoing a 1958 quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Don’t ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love.”  “22 Days” highlights courage, current events and love. “Forgotten” is inspired by Malala Yousafzai, targeted by the Taliban for her support of education for girls in Pakistan.

* Stunning instrumental skills  * Insightful and incredibly entertaining     * Subtly seductive storytelling

“The most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.” - Johnny Cash

For more information about John McCutcheon:  http://www.folkmusic.com/

John McCutcheon’s eclectic catalog of ballads, historical songs, children’s songs, love songs, topical satire, fiddle and hammer dulcimer instruments, and even symphonic works are among the broadest in American folk music. His thirty-six albums have earned 6 Grammy nominations. His songwriting has been hailed by critics around the world; his song Christmas in the Trenches is considered a classic and was recently named one of the 100 Essential Folk Songs.  John McCutcheon is an American folk music singer and multi-instrumentalist who has produced 36 albums since the 1970s.  He is regarded as a master of the hammered dulcimer, and is also proficient on many other instruments including guitarbanjoautoharpmountain dulcimerfiddle, and jawharp

 “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.”  — Pete Seeger



January 13 – 19, 2015: Celebrating Compassion and Courage: In the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.: You are invited!!

i Dec 28th Comments Off by

The NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch, and the

Resource Center for Nonviolence

Invite you to a series of events:


In the spirit of MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

January 13 – January 19, 2015


Two Concerts, a Youth Day, a Film and More!

DETAILS:  www.rcnv.org, 831.423.1626

Tuesday, January 13: 7-8pm AT the Del Mar Theatre mezzanine (2nd floor), 1124 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz


discussion of the film “SELMA”


The following events are AT: RESOURCE CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA:


Wednesday, January 14, 7:30p.m. at RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

Legendary Folk Musician-


Tickets:  Sliding scale $18-35.  www.rcnv.org  831-423-1626 for reservations.  Benefits the Resource Center for Nonviolence.


Saturday, January 17, Noon – 4p.m. . at RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

YOUTH DAY:  “Project ReGeneration- Celebrating Young Leaders”

Free for youth of all ages: *Free food; *Youth Talent Showcase, *Interactive Workshops

Saturday, January 17: 7:00p.m.  at RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

The Annual MLK, Jr. GOSPEL NIGHT honoring Sista Monica Parker

Tickets: $10.00- 20 sliding scale, available only at the door. Benefits NAACP, Santa Cruz Chapter.


Sunday, January 18: 7:00p.m.  Film and Discussion. at RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

AL HELM (the Dream): Martin Luther King in Palestine

An African-American gospel choir goes to Palestine to sing in a play by Clayborne Carson about Martin Luther King Jr.  They become witnesses to life under occupation and a nonviolent movement for social justice. No entry fee. A free-will donation will be collected.     831.423.1626, rcnv.org


Monday, January 19:

Martin Luther King, Jr. DAY OF SERVICE:

A Day On, rather than a Day Off.  Charter for Compassion kick-off.  Volunteer! Call 831-427-5070, scvolunteercenter.org/events/compassion-santa-cruz/


Sponsored by the NAACP, Santa Cruz Branch and the  



John McCutcheon Tickets available at www.rcnv.org or 831-423-1626.

Gospel Night Tickets available at the Door or FMI: call 831-429-2266

DETAILS:  www.rcnv.org, 831.423.1626

THANK YOU to all those who attended and supported our ANNUAL DINNER and Program!

i Nov 26th Comments Off by

THANK YOU to our Resource Center for Nonviolence Annual Dinner hosts, all of those who attended, and our Business Sponsors:

We appreciate your support! All of you made the Dinner the most successful ever!  Proceeds from the Dinner, held on October 22, 2014, support our ongoing Resource Center for Nonviolence programs.

Table hosts: Santa Cruz Friends Meeting, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom- Santa Cruz Branch, Palestine-Israel Action Committee, United Services Agency, Santa Cruz County Community Coalition to Overcome Racism (SCCCCOR), Darrell and KarenDarling, Kris Kennedy and friends

Sponsors: Markley Morris, Senator Bill Monning and Dr. Dana Kent, Diane K. Pike, NAACP-Santa Cruz Branch

Supporters: Nancy Abbey, Tatanka Bricca, Maria Elena de la Garza, Debra Ellis and Kali Rubaii- The Islah Reparations Project, Chris Johnson-Lyons, Tom Helman and Mary Ann Balian, Deena Hurwitz, Yolanda Henry, Iverne Rand, Barbara Rogoff, Diana Rothman, Dan Spelce and Yolanda Provoste-Fuentes, Joe Williams, Stephen Zunes and Nanlouise Wolfe


Chef Eileen Balian, Peace United Church of Christ, Pat Arnold, Liz Klotz-Chamberlin and The Flower Garden Wedding Florist, Maitre’D Brian Murtha, Edgar Ontiveros, Kris Kennedy, Kate Doyle, Stephen Zunes, Joe Williams; Eric Thiermann, Michael Hernandez

THANK YOU to our Business Supporters:

Mitchell Page, Bob Taren, Darling House Bed and Breakfast, Ron and Kay Bailey, Monarch Cove Inn, Land of the Medicine Buddha, The Hotel Paradox, Best Western Plus All Suites Inn, Larry Bernstein, CST, Ron and Kay Bailey, Chardonnay Sailing Charters, La Posta Restaurant, NHS, Inc., Ken Foster, Manuel’s, Restaurant, Hula’s Island Grill, Nickelodeon Theaters, Riverside Lighting and Electric, Linda’s Seabreeze Café, Lundberg Studios, Christokiffer Designs, Go Green Cab, Sones Winery, Pacific Coffee Roasting Company, Play It Again Sports, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Way of Life, Pacific Cookie Company, The Bagelry, Penny Ice Creamery, Artisans’ Gallery, World Market Bazaar, Native Revival Nursery, Martinelli’s, New Leaf Community Markets, Kelly’s French Bakery, Beckmann’s Bakery


Willow Katz, Nanlouise Wolfe, Gabriel Skinner, Dan Spelce, Juan Salinas Robert DeFreitas, Gigo da Silva, Steve Schnaar, Alexander Gaguine, Tom Monahan, Kathleen Eschen- Pipes, Mari Clare Daly, Tom Monahan, Teela Williams, Racquel Felix, Vasiliki Argyris, Leslie Munoz, Shanti Zunes -Wolfe, Kalila Zunes-Wolfe, Felicia Davidson, Christian Villamil, Cappy Israel, Mary Mykhaylova, Karen Puerta, Arlon Johnson, Jamie Epstein and all Staff and Steering Committee members

Support Islamic Center of Santa Cruz

i Nov 23rd Comments Off by

The Resource Center for Nonviolence stands in support of our neighbors in the Islamic Center of Santa Cruz who suffered vandalism on their place of worship. We support free and safe expression of religion for all. We believe each person is responsible, in what we say and do, for violence in our community and culture. We build nonviolence when we renounce violence and stand with victims of violence. We ask neighbors in Santa Cruz County to speak out against intimidation and scapegoating of any person or group.

In Santa Cruz County and abroad, the Resource Center for Nonviolence sees violence as traumatic and counterproductive. We object to all violence by persons, groups, parties, and states in the Middle East. We object to targetting of people and communities because of their group identity, such as people worshipping in a synagogue in West Jerusalem or farmers tending olive groves near Bethlehem, or Sunni or Shiite Muslims or Western journalists.  Scapegoating and collective punishment have been waged by national militaries and political parties as well as by terror groups and distressed victims of oppression. Realistically, we especially renounce violence that we share responsibility for.  American military action in the Middle East, in support of American interests, has contributed to collective punishment of Iraqis, Afghanis, Palestinians in Gaza, disintegration of societies in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and militarization of societies in Israel and Egypt.  U.S. warfare in the Middle East teaches a way of blame and violence that comes home in Santa Cruz County.  As Americans, we share responsibility for this violence, in our community and overseas.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy,” said Martin Luther King. This is not a moral statement. It is a practical statement. Recent Resource Center guest Dr. Erica Chenoweth said,
“We found that during the period of 1900 to 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns are about twice as effective as violent ones in achieving their goals. We also found that these trends hold even where most people expect nonviolent resistance to be ineffective — for instance, against dictatorships and highly repressive regimes.”

The way to peace, justice, and dignity for all our neighbors and our allies and our enemies is to renounce violence in our community, renounce violence by our nation, and support nonviolent civil action for justice, freedom, self-governance,, and mutual security in Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Iran, all the regions of the Middle East and world and our nation and county too.

Erica Chenoweth on Why Nonviolence Works…

i Oct 28th Comments Off by

“We found that during the period of 1900 to 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns are about twice as effective as violent ones in achieving their goals. We also found that these trends hold even where most people expect nonviolent resistance to be ineffective — for instance, against dictatorships and highly repressive regimes.”            — Erica Chenoweth

Erica Chenoweth was the featured speaker at our Resource Center for Nonviolence Annual Dinner and Program on Friday, October 24, 2014

We will have a link soon to video and photos from the event. If you missed it, see:

Interview with Erica Chenoweth by John Malkin, in the Good Times:  ”Melt The Guns”:  http://www.gtweekly.com/index.php/santa-cruz-news/santa-cruz-local-news/6003-melt-the-guns.html


Discovering the Unexpected Power of Nonviolence: Street Spirt Interview with Erica Chenoweth: http://www.thestreetspirit.org/discovering-the-unexpected-power-of-nonviolence-street-spirit-interview-with-erica-chenoweth-4/

Friday, October 24! ANNUAL DINNER & PROGRAM to feature Erica Chenoweth, Friday, October 24, 2014

i Oct 17th Comments Off by

Why Civil Resistance Works


There’s plenty of room at the Program, and still a few spaces left for the dinner, but RSVP SOON!

Friday, October 24, 2014

AT: Peace United Church of Christ

900 High St., Santa Cruz

NEW this year:

5:00 – 6:00p.m.

Social Hour and Silent Auction

6:00p.m. Dinner

Gourmet Vegetarian fare

7:00p.m. Program featuring political scientist,

author and professor Erica Chenoweth speaking on

“Nonviolence is Participatory.”

The Annual Dinner celebrates the community that supports and participates in the program work of the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Political scientist Erica Chenoweth, Ph.D., coauthored “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict.” Dr. Chenoweth is Associate Professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and is Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo. Foreign Policy magazine ranked Chenoweth among the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2013 for her efforts to promote the empirical study of civil resistance.

The Annual Dinner is one of our biggest annual fundraisers. Please be as generous as possible. If you cannot attend, please consider a scholarship donation so youth and families that would not otherwise be able to attend will participate thanks to your support.

We invite you to come early to find easy parking, socialize, enjoy wine, locally brewed beer & other beverages, and peruse our Silent Auction, featuring local Restaurants and Businesses, Bed and Breakfast stays, hotel stays, SF Warriors tickets, and much more! The Annual Dinner is one of RCNV’s biggest fundraisers- it supports our staff and programs. Please be as generous as possible.
If you cannot attend, consider a Scholarship Donation to help others attend.

NEW this year:  5:00 – 6:00p.m. SOCIAL HOUR 

(wine and beer available) and SILENT AUCTION

6:00p.m. DINNER- Gourmet Vegetarian fare

7:00p.m. PROGRAM 
featuring political scientist, author and professor
Erica Chenoweth  

speaking on 


“Nonviolence  is Participatory.” 


Tell us how many of you are attending. You can pay at the door (cash or checks) or click below to pay now via Paypal.

(prices here include 3% paypal fee):

GENERAL RESERVATIONS: $42-100 per person sliding scale for the Dinner and Program.

Table Host $500 -$1000  Reserved seating for a table of 8.

Organizational Host $300 – $500  Reserved seating- table of 8 for community organizations

Sponsor $200 – $300  Reserved seating for 4 people.

Supporter (2) $100 – $200 Reserved seating for 2 people.

Supporter (1) $60 -$100 Reserved seating for one person

Scholarship Donation: if you cannot attend: any amount

Program Only: $8.50 – $25 sliding scale.


& more Details

Our Souls Turned into Weapons… Eulogy for an Afghanistan Vet: “During basic training, we are weaponized:our souls turned into weapons.”

i Oct 17th Comments Off by


This is a very moving story from Common Dreams, of an Afghanistan Vet who served three tours and then came home to work for peace through activism and through his music – he recently took his own life… Click link or read story below…


U.S. veteran Jacob George, a deeply admired anti-war activist who ended his own life last month, had gone from being a soldier of war to a warrior for peace. (Photo: Ward Reilly)

“During basic training, we are weaponized:our souls turned into weapons.”

Jacob George’s suicide last month — a few days after President Obama announced that the US was launching its war against ISIS — opens a deep, terrible hole in the national identity. George: singer, banjo player, poet, peace warrior, vet. He served three tours in Afghanistan. He brought the war home. He tried to repair the damage.

Finally, finally, he reached for “the surefire therapy for ending the pain,” as a fellow vet told Truthdig. He was 32.

Maybe another war was just too much for him to endure. Military glory — protection of the innocent — is a broken ideal, a cynical lie. “Times for war veterans are tough because we know exactly what is going to happen with the actions that Obama talked about in his recent speech,” his friend Paul Appell told Truthdig. “Jacob and other war veterans know the pain and suffering that will be done to our fellow man no matter what terms are used to describe war, whether it is done from afar with drones and bombs or up close eye to eye.”

And wars don’t end. They go on and on and on, inside the psyches of the ones who fought and killed. War’s toxins hover in the air and the water. Landmines and unexploded bombs, planted in the earth, wait patiently to explode.

In a chapbook that George published called “Soldier’s Heart,” which contains the lyrics to a number of his songs accompanied by essays discussing the context in which they were written, he explains his song “Playground of War.” It was written when he returned to Afghanistan with a peace delegation — George was one of the first Afghan vets to do such a thing — and at one point visited, God help us, a landmine museum.

The guide, “hard-faced,” overflowing with emotion, explains, George writes, that “it would take over a hundred years of working seven days a week to clear every single landmine out of Afghanistan. He says their fathers and grandfathers used to work their fields with plows, but now they work their fields with metal detectors and wooden rods. Instead of harvesting potatoes, they harvest explosives. He tells me all kinds of things that change my life in a matter of minutes.”

This is war. War never ends. George came home with the war raging inside him and rode his bicycle across the country to promote peace. Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, he understood that veterans “can help lead the healing of the nation” In 2012, he marched in Chicago in protest of NATO and returned his medals. Marching with fellow vets, he led this cadence call: “Mama, Mama, can’t you see/What Uncle Sam has done to me?”

He called his peace work a “righteous rite of passage.” He said it was “how we transform PTSD into something beautiful.”

He also chipped the last letter off the acronym: post-traumatic stress is not a disorder, he realized, but a completely natural, sane reaction to causing harm to others. He called it a moral injury.

A fellow vet, Brock McIntosh, interviewed on “Democracy Now” shortly after George’s suicide, said: “. . . he saw a lot of killing in Afghanistan, and he also talked about seeing fear in the eyes of Afghans. And the idea that he could put fear in someone kind of haunted him. And he had lots of nightmares when he returned, and felt kind of isolated and didn’t really tell his story. But over the last few years, he’s had the opportunity to tell his story and to build long-lasting relationships, not only with other veterans who are like-minded, but also with Afghans.”

In “Soldier’s Heart,” George talked about the dehumanization process that begins in basic training. Young people’s souls are “turned into weapons.” This is an image I can’t move beyond. It’s an insight into the nature of war that cannot be allowed to remain trapped inside every used up vet — that our deepest hunger to do good, to contribute to the good of the world, is commandeered by selfish and cynical interests and planted back into the soil of our being like a landmine.

“Through my personal healing from PTSD, I’ve discovered it’s not possible to dehumanize others without dehumanizing the self,” he wrote in “Soldier’s Heart.”

George, unable to find a place in the society he thought he was leaving home to protect, spoke primarily to all the other returning vets trapped in the same existential hell. What he came to realize was that only by surrendering the rest of his life to the elimination of war could be himself find any peace. In doing so, he made a spiritual transition, from soldier to warrior.

“You see,” he wrote, “a soldier follows orders, a soldier is loyal, and a soldier is technically and tactically proficient. A warrior isn’t so good at following orders. The warrior follows the heart. A warrior has empathic understanding with the enemy, so much so that the very thought of causing pain or harm to the enemy causes pain to the warrior.”

And now one more warrior lets go just as another war begins.

“We have been at war for 12 years. We have spent trillions of dollars,” Bernie Sanders said recently on CNN. “What I do not want, and I fear very much, is the United States getting sucked into a quagmire and being involved in perpetual warfare year after year after year. That is my fear.”

I’m sure that was Jacob George’s fear as well. I’m sure he felt it in his soul.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.