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George Lakey in Waging Nonviolence: 10-point plan to make gains in justice and equality

A 10-point plan to stop Trump and make gains in justice and equality

I was among the 100,000 who marched in San Francisco’s Women’s March the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. While enthusiasm for the struggle seemed high, an important question was looming: What’s the strategic plan, as we head into the Trump era? Although there’s no simple answer, I offer this 10-point plan — fully open for discussion and debate.

1. Recognize that we represent the majority, not Trump. 



Three times more people participated in the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., than were present at the inauguration the day before. He lost the popular vote in the election. Many of his own voters admitted in exit polls that they consider him unqualified to be president. Furthermore, Trump plans to target progressive policies that polls find to be supported by solid majorities of Americans.

Trump does have strengths in addition to his brilliance in manipulating mainstream media. Key parts of the economic elite have decided that they can use him for their own goals. So, they will support him — as long as he can deliver acceleration of school privatization, for example, or the fossil fuel pipelining of America. His core voting base (the minority of a minority) may support him for a period, until his failure to deliver unrealistic promises becomes apparent.

Even before the inauguration, he alienated significant parts of the security state that he needs to depend on. He needs a vast professional bureaucracy to carry out his will, but it has many subtle ways of thwarting him. Harry Truman famously admitted, publicly, his frustration after he was repeatedly stymied by an uncooperative bureaucracy.

Trump’s bullying is both a strength and a weakness. His style alienates many, including among his own voters, and stirs opposition.

Stopping Trump is not a slam dunk, but it is possible when he is given his due as a cagey opponent. It also helps when we decide to be strategic rather than led by fear and moral outrage, jumping from whichever tactic feels good in the moment, but has little impact. Now is the time when we can identify his pillars of support and lay plans to undermine them.

2. Strengthen civic institutions and their connections with targeted populations.

Trump will continue to turn to the age-old weapon of scapegoating to shore up his working-class base, and he’ll feel more pressure to do that as his own programs for “making America great again” fail to deliver the goods to that base — even while enriching the economic elite.

Some sanctuary cities have already made a good start by declaring their resistance to anti-immigrant moves by the federal government. Activists can reinforce these initiatives with a range of civic and religious institutions, urging them to strengthen their connections with scapegoated groups like Jews, immigrants and African Americans. The civics may not by themselves always think of this, so it may take activists within or near them to alert them to their responsibility of solidarity.

Because we are the majority, we can make full use of Bill Moyer’s four roles of social change. Consider: How can advocates, helpers, organizers and rebels strengthen their solidarity impact? Training for Change organizer Daniel Hunter brainstormed some possible moves: Advocates persuade cities and states to give drivers licenses to undocumented people. Organizers create circles of solidarity in which citizens could physically intervene — when immigrants are in danger —and surround the vulnerable ones. (The New Sanctuary Movement in Philadelphia calls this “sanctuary in the streets.”) Helpers could insist that they provide food and healthcare to people in deportation centers, and if entry is refused, collaborate with rebels to break in with food and risk arrest.

3. Play offense, not defense.  

The last time progressives in the United States faced this degree of danger was when Ronald Reagan became president. One of Reagan’s first acts was to fire the air traffic controllers when they went on strike, putting into question national air safety. Strategically, he chose “shock and awe,” and it worked – most of the U.S. movements for change went on the defensive.

Gandhi and military generals agree: No one wins anything of consequence on the defensive. I define “defensive” as trying to maintain previous gains. U.S. movements in 1980 made many gains in the previous two decades. Understandably, they tried to defend them. As Gandhi and generals would predict, the movements instead lost ground to the “Reagan Revolution” and, for the most part, have lost ground ever since.

One exception stands out: the LGBT movement. Instead of defending, for example, local gains in city human relations commissions, LGBT people escalated in the 1980s with ACT-UP leading the way. They followed up with the campaign for equal marriage and escalated again with the demand for equality in the military.

LBGT people proved that Gandhi and the generals are right: The best defense is an offense.

I hear many American progressives unconsciously talking about Trump defensively, preparing to make precisely the same mistake as an older generation did with Reagan. The LGBT’s lesson is obvious: heighten nonviolent direct action campaigns and start new ones. Instead of defending Obamacare, let’s push for an even more comprehensive health solution, like Medicare for all.

direct action campaign is defined by a pressing issue, a clear demand, and a target that can yield that demand. Powerful social movements, even those that overthrew military dictatorships, have often been built in exactly this way.

These days, campaign design needs to take account of the recent impact of social media. Because many people have allowed social media to draw them into an isolating bubble, activists need to design campaigns that deliberately increase their base through building relationships “beyond the choir.” Increased use of training may be necessary to maximize impact.

4. Link campaigns to build movements.

Standing Rock is a current example of the synergistic and expanding effect of linking campaigns. Pipeline fights, indigenous rights, and even the role of Veterans for Peace — in raising questions about the U.S. empire — were all amplified through linking to the ongoing campaign in North Dakota.

The classic American example of campaign linkage grew from the simple act of four college students in North Carolina on Feb. 1, 1960, starting their campaign to desegregate a lunch counter. Students in other towns followed the example, and the wave of sit-ins became a movement. The movement helped grow existing organizations — for example, the Congress of Racial Equality, or CORE, which then started a new kind of campaign, the Freedom Rides. Multiple freedom rides were linked and further built the strength of the civil rights movement.

These campaigns did not have the American majority on their side, nor did they win all their demands, but their cumulative value forced major changes and eventually changed public opinion as well. The civil rights movement illustrates the crucial difference in mode of operation between direct action campaigns and political parties’ campaigns.

Democrats, for example, are hugely about polls and focus groups. Their power rests on current public opinion and its manipulation through electioneering and political maneuver. Even for progressive-inclined Democrats, the ability to act is tightly limited by the narrow range of current opinion (not to mention by what the economic elite is willing to allow).

Social movements, by contrast, can take stands that go beyond current opinion and wage campaigns that have transformative impact, such as women’s right to vote, gay rights and stopping pipelines. This difference helps explain why progressive Democrats habitually fight defensively, while movements are free to stay on the offensive and win. Bernie Sanders, for example, is now defensively fighting to save Medicare. By contrast, a social movement is free to launch a fight for single-payer health care. Such a struggle could threaten to split off part of Trump’s working class base and — even if it failed to fully achieve its goal – save more of Medicare.

5. Link movements to create a movement of movements.

When times are out of joint, a successful movement around one issue inspires campaigns on other issues to link and become new movements. That’s what happened the last time the U.S. took major steps toward justice. The civil rights movement begat the Berkeley Free Speech campaign and the national student movement for university reform, the draft resistance campaign and the anti-Vietnam war movement, and so on — energizing seniors, people with disabilities, mental health consumers, women, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, auto workers and many more.

With so many movements developing, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin catalyzed the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, hoping to start linking movements into a movement of movements. They glimpsed an opportunity to amass so much power independent of the major parties that the United States could develop a counter-force to the economic elite and bring about democratic socialism. Creating an independent movement of movements was the successful path taken by the Scandinavians, and both Randolph and Rustin wanted it for the United States.

Substantial linkage, however, was not available at that time. For one thing, the U.S. economy was booming, and there wasn’t enough discontent in the white working class — let alone the burgeoning middle class — to create an opening. What’s more, racism was still too intense, although the United Auto Workers had successfully found a way forward by uniting black and white workers to fight employers in the auto industry. In the past half century, much has changed on both those dimensions.

My point is that multiple campaigns on the same or similar issues generates a movement, and that multiple movements provide the opportunity for a movement of movements. The closer we come to that point, the more pressure there is on the Democrats to co-opt us. The Republicans’ historic role is usually repression, while the Democrats’ job is to limit and control grassroots movements by pulling them into the party.

We saw that happen to the later stage of the civil rights movement and again with the Democrat-embraced health reform movement of 2007-9, when the single-payer option — and even the public option — was dropped to pass the medical industrial complex-friendly Affordable Care Act.

When a social movement is independent, it can force the Democrats to become allies instead of controllers. The civil rights movement did exactly that before 1965; we see what it can look like in the excellent film “Selma.” On a more micro level, Daniel Hunter — in his book “Strategy and Soul” — reveals how a neighborhood-based movement forced politicians to come to the campaigners, instead of the campaigners seeking help from the politicians.

Whatever our partisan sympathies, a quick look at political trends in the United States shows why movement independence is more crucial now than at any time in the last half-century.

Public alienation from the major parties – Republican or Democratic – has gone off the charts. Voters stay away from the polls, as if afraid of catching germs. The Tea Party gains more cred when it trashes the Republican Party. Donald Trump reassures his voter base by verbally attacking Congress – both parties, no less — in his inaugural address. Much of his voter base had long since left the Democratic Party because of its own betrayal of working-class interests. Black working-class voters also signaled their alienation by failing to give full support to Hillary Clinton, despite Barack and Michelle Obama’s entreaties.

Such a period of alienation is just the time for direct action campaigns that fight for progressive demands — like $15 per hour and Medicare for all — to signal independence from the politicians who bear so much responsibility for U.S. decline. Such independence appeals to the vast majority, including many Trump voters. A self-respecting movement of movements knows that the Democrats will then come to them and offer to be allies.

6. Avoid one-off demonstrations.

This political moment adds force to the sizable advantage of direct action campaigns over single demonstrations, however large. Protests are by their nature reactive. In these next years, predictably, Trump will act and progressives will react, then Trump will act again and progressives will react again. Trump, an accomplished fighter, knows that staying on the offensive is what enables him to win. Progressives, often led by people with a track record of loss, take the bait and react, over and over.

Simple protests, no matter what the issue, essentially signal to Trump that he is winning — he has manipulated us into reacting.

I realize that reactivity is a habit among many activists, and may take heroic self-discipline to avoid. An alternative is to organize a campaign, or join a campaign near you, even if the issue is not your favorite, and plunge in with full talent and energy.

7. Heighten the contrast in confrontations between the campaigners’ behavior and our right-wing opponents.

Many have noted Trump’s signals to his white supremacist and other allies that violence is an acceptable means to use against us.

This is an old story in the United States, and there’s no reason to let it throw us. Through clear nonviolent policy, like that of the Women’s March that urged against bringing anything that could be considered a weapon, we remain centered and able to attract large numbers. Some movements have made grave mistakes by responding to violent attacks in kind, losing ground on their goals as a result. Others have performed brilliantly, as did the civil rights campaigns that faced down the largest sustained terrorist organization in U.S. history, the KKK, often without protection from local law enforcement and even federal authorities.

The Global Nonviolent Action Database presents campaigns in almost 200 countries, including many nations where repressive violence was far worse than it has been in the United States. The database makes it possible to search for campaigns that faced repressive violence and to learn how they handled it. It is easy to find out, therefore, what worked and what didn’t, and to reinforce the lessons through training.

8. Aim to unite around a vision for justice, equality and freedom.

Individuals, campaigns, and movements all gain greater power and credibility through projecting a vision of what they want, as well as what they don’t want. They grow more easily, withstand attacks more easily, and have an easier time maintaining their boldness and creativity. “Protest movements” like Occupy are notoriously fragile and precarious; sustainable movements like the struggle for LGBT rights and equality have a liberating vision. The homophobes were right: We did have a “homosexual agenda!”

The good news is that on August 1, 2016, the Movement for Black Lives offered a visionthat can be a draft for dialogue for many campaigns and movements. Many groups have already endorsed it. The vision is bold, substantive and so different from the present that it is even in alignment with the best practices of the Nordic countries. In that sense, it is highly practical and backed by a half-century track record. Compared with the ever volatile and shifting Donald Trump act, a rough agreement on vision by a movement of movements could enhance our credibility and divide his base.

9. Make the vision more real by extending new economy institutions and coops.

These often fly under the radar in our highly politicized discourse, so two things need to happen. People who are active in campaigns and movement development need to honor the development of economic infrastructure that reflects the values of our united vision.

Second, the new economy institutions need to brand themselves as part of the justice movement, giving up the advantages of modesty. They may find new advantages and surprising opportunities for growth. After all, a majority of Americans polled have already said they like the concept of employee-owned companies.

10. See U.S. polarization as opportunity.

Donald Trump frames U.S. polarization in ways that benefit him, trying to increase the loyalty of his base. Many progressives decry the polarization, as if their upset at its ugly manifestations will make it go away. The reality is that the polarization is fundamentally linked to economic inequality and was growing for years before Trump came forward. It is not going away. The question is how to manage our fears and learn to navigate the stormy waters.

The good news is that the greatest polarization in Scandinavian history — Nazis vs. Communists in the 1920s and ‘30s — was also the time when broad people’s movements made their breakthrough, pushed the domination of their economic elites aside and invented a new model of economic justice. The polarization did not stop them — if anything, the movements used the opportunity.

Yes, polarization is dangerous. Germany and Italy polarized when Sweden and Norway did, but went fascist. Their movements made huge mistakes, mistakes avoided by the Swedes and Norwegians. Our most recent period of great polarization in the United States was also dangerous, but the 1960s and ‘70s was our period of greatest progress since the polarized 1930s.

In short, there’s good reason to see the Trump era as an opportunity not only to stop him, but to make major gains in justice and equality. It will help to learn to turn our fear into power. We’ll also need strategy, and the humility to learn from successes of other movements that have come out ahead during hard times. It is not rocket science. If we’re willing to shift personal habits and priorities, support each other through hardship, and come together on a plan, we can win. That is our opportunity.

This story was made possible by our members. Become one today.

George Lakey co-founded Earth Quaker Action Group which just won its five-year campaign to force a major U.S. bank to give up financing mountaintop removal coal mining. Along with college teaching he has led 1,500 workshops on five continents and led activist projects on local, national, and international levels. Among many other books and articles, he is author of “Strategizing for a Living Revolution” in David Solnit’s book Globalize Liberation (City Lights, 2004). His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in and most recent was with Earth Quaker Action Team while protesting mountain top removal coal mining.

Erica Chenoweth on the Women’s March and the Promise of Civil Resistance

Many people across the United States are despondent about the new president – and the threat to democracy his rise could represent. But they shouldn’t be. At no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance.

Today, those seeking knowledge about the theory and practice of civil resistance can find a wealth of information at their fingertips. In virtually any language, one can find training manualsstrategy-building toolsfacilitation guides and documentation about successes and mistakes of past nonviolent campaigns.

Material is available in many formats, including graphic novelse-classesfilms and documentariesscholarly booksnovels, websitesresearch monographsresearch inventories, and children’s books. And of course, the world is full of experienced activists with wisdom to share.

The United States has its own rich history – past and present – of effective uses of nonviolent resistance. The technique established alternative institutions like economic cooperatives, alternative courts and an underground constitutional convention in the American colonies resulting in the declaration of independence. In 20th century, strategic nonviolent resistance has won voting rights for women and for African Americans living in the Jim Crow south.

Nonviolent resistance has empowered the labor movement, closed down or cancelled dozens of nuclear plants, protected farm workers from abuse in California, motivated the recognition of Aids patients as worthy of access to life-saving treatment, protected free speech, put climate reform on the agenda, given reprieve to Dreamers, raised awareness about economic inequality, changed the conversation about systemic racism and black lives and stalled construction of an oil pipeline on indigenous lands in Standing Rock.

In fact, it is hard to identify a progressive cause in the United States that has advanced without a civil resistance movement behind it.

This does not mean nonviolent resistance always works. Of course it does not, and short-term setbacks are common too. But long-term change never comes with submission, resignation, or despair about the inevitability and intractability of the status quo.

And among the different types of dissent available (armed insurrection or combining armed and unarmed action), nonviolent resistance has historically been the most effective. Compared with armed struggle, whose romanticized allure obscures its staggering costs, nonviolent resistance has actually been the quickest, least costly, and safest way to struggle. Moreover, civil resistance is recognized as a fundamental human right under international law.

Nonviolent resistance does not happen overnight or automatically. It requires an informed and prepared public, keen to the strategy and dynamics of its political power. Although nonviolent campaigns often begin with a committed and experienced core, successful ones enlarge the diversity of participants, maintain nonviolent discipline and expand the types of nonviolent actions they use.

They constantly increase their base of supporters, build coalitions, leverage social networks, and generate connections with those in the opponent’s network who may be ambivalent about cooperating with oppressive policies.

Crucially, nonviolent resistance works not by melting the heart of the opponent but by constraining their options. A leader and his inner circle cannot pass and implement policies alone. They require cooperation and obedience from many people to carry out plans and policies.

In the US on Tuesday, dozens of lawmakers have said they will boycott confirmation votes for Trump nominees. Numerous police departments countrywide have announced that they will not comply with unethical federal policies (particularly regarding deportations). And the federal government employs more than 3 million civil servants – people on whose continued support the US government relies to implement its policies. Many such civil servants have already begun important conversations about how to dissent from within the administration. They, too, provide an important check on power.

The Women’s March on Washington and its affiliated marches – which may have been the largest single-day demonstration in US history – show a population eager and willing to show up to defend their rights.

Of course, nonviolent resistance often evokes brutality by the government, especially as campaigns escalate their demands and use more disruptive techniques. But historical data shows that when campaigns are able to prepare, train, and remain resilient, they often succeed regardless of whether the government uses violence against them.

Historical studies suggest that it takes 3.5% of a population engaged in sustained nonviolent resistance to topple brutal dictatorships. If that can be true in Chile under Gen Pinochet and Serbia under Milosevic, a few million Americans could prevent their elected government from adopting inhumane, unfair, destructive or oppressive policies – should such drastic measures ever be needed.

Erica Chenoweth is the co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

Alicia Garza: Collaborate to Build a Movement

Our cynicism will not build a movement. Collaboration will.

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By Alicia Garza

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I’ve been grappling with how to challenge cynicism in a moment that requires all of us to show up differently.

On Saturday, I joined more than a million women in Washington, D.C., to register my opposition to the new regime. Participating in the Women’s March — if you count satellite protests around the country, the largest one-day mobilization in the history of the United States — was both symbolic and challenging.

Like many other black women, I was conflicted about participating. That a group of white women had drawn clear inspiration from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, yet failed to acknowledge the historical precedent, rubbed me the wrong way. Here they go again, I thought, adopting the work of black people while erasing us.

I’d had enough before it even began. 53% of white women who voted in the 2016 presidential election did so for a man who aims to move society backward. Were white women now having buyer’s remorse? Where were all of these white people while our people are being killed in the streets, jobless, homeless, over incarcerated, under educated? Are you committed to freedom for everyone, or just yourselves?

For weeks, I sat on the sidelines. I saw debates on list-serves about whether or not to attend the march, the shade on social media directed at the “white women’s march.” Unconvinced that white women would ever fight for the rights of all of us, many decided to sit the march out.

Yet as time went on and the reality of the incoming Donald Trumpadministration sank in, something began to gnaw at me. Do I believe that a mass movement is necessary to transform power in this country? Do I believe that this mass movement must be multi-racial and multi-class? Do I believe that to build that mass movement, organizing beyond the choir is necessary? If I believe all of these things, how do we get there and what’s my role in making it happen?

I decided to challenge myself to be a part of something that isn’t perfect, that doesn’t articulate my values the way that I do and still show up, clear in my commitment, open and vulnerable to people who are new in their activism. I can be critical of white women and, at the same time, seek out and join with women, white and of color, who are awakening to the fact that all lives do not, in fact, matter, without compromising my dignity, my safety and radical politics.

In the end, I joined an estimated 1 million people who participated in the Washington, D.C. march and the estimated 3 million who marched around the world. I have participated in hundreds of demonstrations, but this was one of the first times where I didn’t know or know of most of the people there.

A crowd packs Independence Avenue during the Women’s March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington.Source: Alex Brandon/AP

Sandwiched between other protesters like a sardine in a can, I spoke with demonstrators in the crowd who said this was their first time participating in a mass mobilization. I saw people for whom this wasn’t their first time at a demonstration, but who thought that the days of protesting for our rights was over. I asked them what brought them there. They said they wanted to stand up for all of us. They realized that they, too, were under attack. They wanted to live in a world where everyone was valued, safe and taken care of. They were in awe of just how many people were there, just like them, to oppose the values of President Donald Trump’s administration. They wanted to do something besides feel hopeless.

That evening, I participated in a town hall meeting that drew more than 700 people and had more than 1,100 on the waiting list. Those gathered were mostly white, though there were also people of color present. About half the room said that the Women’s March was the first time they’d participated in a mass mobilization. They were willing to learn about how change happens and how they could be involved. And that was just the beginning.

Checking my social media feed that evening, I read comment after comment dismissing the march — an experience that was transformative for hundreds of thousands of people. I wondered what would have happened if, instead of inviting people in, I’d told people to fuck off and go home. Would they come back? Did it matter if they didn’t?

Anger plays an important place in transforming our political consciousness, but it’s not enough. 

Anger has an important place in transforming our political consciousness, and should be valued as such. The white lady with the pink, knitted “pussy” hat that came to the march was angry as hell when her futurepresident talked about grabbing women by the pussy. Though she may have been sitting on the sidelines up until now, she decided that she was going to do something about it. Anger at the way America depends on immigrant labor yet forces undocumented immigrants to live in the shadows may lead them to join the movement. Black Americans mad as hell about the ways that this country strips us of our humanity might join the movement, even though they didn’t before.

I agree with Solange when she says, “I got a lot to be mad about, and I have a right to be mad.” But that anger is not enough. It is insufficient to build or take power. Anger will not change the fact that Republicans have taken control of all three branches of government and control both chambers of the legislature in 32 states. Anger will not stop vigilantes from terrorizing our communities, and anger will not change an economy that deems too many of us as disposable.

More than a moral question, it is a practical one. Can we build a movement of millions with the people who may not grasp our black, queer, feminist, intersectional, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist ideology but know that we deserve a better life and who are willing to fight for it and win?

Demonstrators march up 5th Avenue during one of dozens of women’s marches, Jan. 21, 2017, in New York City. Source: Mary Altaffer/AP

If there was ever a time to activate our organizer super powers, this is it. I’m not going to argue that black people or other people of color need to stop holding white people accountable. White people are not going anywhere, but neither are we if we don’t start to think and do differently.

Hundreds of thousands of people are trying to figure out what it means to join a movement. If we demonstrate that to be a part of a movement, you must believe that people cannot change, that transformation is not possible, that it’s more important to be right than to be connected and interdependent, we will not win.

If our movement is not serious about building power, then we are just engaged in a futile exercise of who can be the most radical.

This is a moment for all of us to remember who we were when we stepped into the movement — to remember the organizers who were patient with us, who disagreed with us and yet stayed connected, who smiled knowingly when our self-righteousness consumed us.

Building a movement requires reaching out beyond the people who agree with you.

I remember who I was before I gave my life to the movement. Someone was patient with me. Someone saw that I had something to contribute. Someone stuck with me. Someone did the work to increase my commitment. Someone taught me how to be accountable. Someone opened my eyes to the root causes of the problems we face. Someone pushed me to call forward my vision for the future. Someone trained me to bring other people who are looking for a movement into one.

No one is safe from the transition this country is undergoing. While many of us have faced hate, ignorance and greed in our daily lives, the period that we have entered is unlike anything that any of us has ever seen before.

We can build a movement in the millions, across difference. We will need to build a movement across divides of class, race, gender, age, documentation, religion and disability. Building a movement requires reaching out beyond the people who agree with you. Simply said, we need each other, and we need leadership and strategy.

We can tell people a hundred times over that because they haven’t been here, they have no right to be here now. But I promise that the only place that will get us is nowhere.

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Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza is special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is an organizer, writer and freedom dreamer based in Oakland, CA. In 2013, Alicia co-founded #BlackLivesMatter, an international organizing network developed after the murder of Trayvon Martin, focused on combating anti-Black racism in all of its forms.

https://mic.com/articles/166720/blm-co-founder-protesting-isnt-about-who-can-be-the-most-radical-its-about-winning#.Yf4yyQ91M

Get in trouble- Good trouble, with Nonviolence! Check it out: interviews with Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis -March-book-three-cover-100dpi_lgGet in Trouble- Good Trouble, with Nonviolence...!  Interviews with Rep. John Lewis

9/1/16: Congressman John Lewis interviewed by Stephen Colbert on Get in Trouble- Good Trouble, with Nonviolence...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ATwisIrtfg

Excerpts below or click links to see the full Comedy Central videos from the August 8, 2016, Trevor Noah interview with Rep. John Lewis, GA,  on nonviolence. John Lewis has just released book 3 in his graphic novel /biography “March” series.

The interviews touch on the  black lives matter movement; nonviolence, the struggle for a lifetime, creating the beloved community; voting as the most powerful nonviolent tool and more… 7 minutes., 12: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/cbcd9r/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-exclusive—john-lewis-extended-interview
 

JOHN LEWIS – GETTING INTO TROUBLE TO FIGHT INJUSTICE
AUGUST 8, 2016 – JOHN LEWIS 

The sit-in was just the beginning. As long as I have strength in my body, I’m going to do my part to do what I can… ….I got into good trouble, necessary trouble….disarm hate… When you see something that’s not fair, not just, when you see something that is not right, you have to do something. You have to move your feet and you have to be prepared to march…  the actions of Rosa Parks and words and leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired me… I couldn’t get a library card…

JOHN LEWIS – CREATING A BLUEPRINT FOR PEACEFUL PROTESTS WITH THE “MARCH” TRILOGY
AUGUST 8, 2016 – JOHN LEWIS 08/08/2016

5 minutes, 34 seconds: 
“March” is a blueprint, a road map. It’s for now, it’s for the future. We’re saying to the young people of American and the world. …Black Lives matter movement….Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud to see….
Say no to racism, no to hate. We must disarm hate and create what he called the beloved community. and redeem the soul of America, and  in doing so maybe we can redeem the soul of the world and save this planet…. 
…You were a founder of SNCC. That was specifically designed around nonviolence.
We studied, we prepared ourselves. We studied the life and teaching of Gandhi. We studied Thoreau and civil disobedience. We studied  about what was happening in South Africa. We heard about Mandela… and others. We accepted the way of nonviolence as a way of  life, as  a way of living. You know, during the  60’s  I was  arrested 40 times, and since I was in Congress another 5 times. And I’ll probably be arrested for something else. But you have to be prepared. You may beat me, you may arrest me and throw me in jail…. I almost died on that bridge for the right to vote. I gave a little blood, but others gave their lives.
…The movement has changed.; the world changes. You were there. Part of what you were working for: voting rights act of 1965 coming to fruition.
Do you sometime think that Racism  is done., over? 
No never,
It’s an ongoing struggle. Our struggle is not a struggle that lasts  a few days, a few months,  or a few years,  Its the struggle of a lifetime, maybe many lifetimes. But you must give it all. That’s why our book “March”is saying: We must continue to move our feet. You must continue to push and pull. Not just to make America better but to make the world a little better.
..America is great. And we can make America greater. But we still have problems. We have states, North Carolina, Texas… trying to make it harder, more difficult (to vote). That’s why the courts acted. They want to take us back.  …We’ve come too far, made too much progress to go back.The vote is precious, it is almost sacred. It  is the most powerful nonviolent instrument or tool that we have in our democratic society. We should make it easy and simple for Everybody to participate. 

Buy tickets to John McCutcheon in Concert: Tuesday, January 17

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John McCutcheon

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2017 CONCERT. AT RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA.  Time: 7:30PM

NO more tickets via Paypal. Come to the concert to pay at the door. There may be a few tickets still available.

Ticket info: Advance Tickets sliding scale $18-35.  Door: $20-35.  

 

Bring in the New Year with Folk music’s renaissance man:master instrumentalist, powerful singer-songwriter, storyteller, activist, and author John McCUTCHEON. All are invited to attend this concert and celebrate RCNV’s 40th Anniversary!

Advance reservations may pay the advance price at the door (cash or checks): $18-35 sliding scale.  

John’s got a brand new CD!– Trolling for Dreams.  “John McCutcheon is the Bruce Springsteen of Folk Music … a national treasure!” “You can’t help but feel more connected to the world after his concerts.”  Proceeds benefit RCNV.  More about John.

MORE INFORMATION: call 831.423.1626 

NAACP and RCNV Project ReGeneration YOUTH DAY, Saturday, January 14

Young people and youth allies will celebrate nonviolent action for justice and peace at RCNV Saturday, January 14, noon to 4 pm. Workshops on spoken word and nonviolent action, resource booths, and food. All is free. Call Sarah at RCNV, 423-1626.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gospel Night, January 14

The NAACP, Santa Cruz Branch, hosts its annual Gospel Music Night, with recording artist Tammi Brown, and more gospel choirs and soloists, Saturday night, 7 pm, at RCNV. Tickets $20. Feed your soul and celebrate King’s actions: “true peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.”

Nonviolent Direct Action Trainings Jan. 12 and 15, 6:30-8:30

All are welcome to join in the 2nd and 3rd sessions of Nonviolent Action Training led by Drew, Sarah, and Peter. Preparing for January 20 and beyond, the trainings are helping community members organize one action and prepare for more actions to resist the regime of injustice and aggression against many people. 40 people attended the first training Jan. 5, and all are welcome Jan. 12 and 15. Donations $1-$15. At the RCNV Community Room, 612 Ocean Street. Sign up on Facebook or call 423-1626.

George Lakey speaking Monday, January 16, on Organizing for Equality–New Light from Scandinavia

Community organizer and nonviolent action trainer George Lakey will discuss his new book on how Scandinavians moved from a huge wealth gap to economic equality. The book, “Viking Economics,” was called “completely fascinating” by Bill McKibben for its desription of Scandinavian achievements in meeting the climate crisis. George Lakey is a nonviolent action trainer who cofounded the Movement for a New Society and Training for Change. His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in and most recent was with Earth Quaker Action Team while protesting mountain top removal coal mining, in a nonviolent campaign that won. Lakey’s talk will be at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz., at 7 pm. Donations $5-$15, all welcome.

Bob Fitch Memorial: 5/27/16– Link to video and 2015 radio interview with Bob

Bob Fitch Portrait RGB 2x 200jAutumn Sun took some nice photos at Bob’s memorial in May, 2016:

https://www.facebook.com/autumn.sun.58/media_set?set=a.10208879829008074.1073741943.1085185228&type=3

Thank you to Eric Thiermann and Impact Creative for videotaping Bob Fitch’s memorial on 5/27/16 at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz. See link to video below.

We encourage people to share it and download it to your computers if you want to save it.  It is about 2 hours long.

https://impact.wiredrive.com/present-project-gallery/token/0f02475caf0dccf023c458e4b4f029b8

HEAR a 2015 radio interview with Bob Fitch by Ruth Copland, from her “A Question of Balance” show. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to click the link:   http://www.itsaquestionofbalance.com/physical-community-interview-iconic-photographer-photo-journalist-bob-fitch/

Bob’s memorial was a wonderful celebration and tribute to his life. Local singer/songwriter Aileen Vance began the service by leading Bob’s version of the song “All the Good People.” Good friend Brian Murtha emceed. Bob’s daughter Ma Ka Wa Alexander, sons Jaxon Raven and Ben Fitch spoke, and Ben sang a song. California  State Senator Bill Monning remembered Bob’s work with the United Farm Workers and connected with him through the Resource Center for Nonnviolence. Assemblymember Luis Alejo remembered Bob’s active support in Watsonville. Bob’s son Jaxon Ravens, chairman of the Democratic Party in Washington state, read a statement from Bernie Sanders, who knew Bob during the civil rights movement. Bob’s partner Karen Shaffer shared memories and led the group in singing one of Bob’s favorite songs: “Get Up and Go”. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s close colleague and lawyer Clarence B. Jones spoke about Bob’s impact on the civil rights movement. Numerous community members, including former RCNV staff member Sandino Gomez and many friends shared their reflections about Bob’s impact locally, regionally and nationally. A potluck and contradancing followed the memorial.