Statement on Nonviolence in response to the deaths of Loren Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler

We at the Resource Center for Nonviolence are saddened that Loren
Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler were killed as first responders to a
troubled person. We send our love to their families and to the family
of Jeremy Goulet.

We appreciate every first responder to violence—counselors, teachers,
social workers, emergency responders, those who work with mental
illness, those who work with drug abuse, people who intervene
constructively when friends and relatives fight, mediators, conflict
resolution facilitators, veterans service workers, firefighters, probation officers, and
police and security officers.

While most of our everyday lives are safe from violence, there is much we can do in our personal lives, in Santa Cruz County, and in the United States to make everyone more safe.

Safety is mutual. We need work together, to learn who are most
vulnerable, and how to support one another to lessen and prevent violence.
The RCNV supports community action for mutual safety that includes
all members and groups of the community, and that continues
to welcome all people and groups of people to participate in our

We at the Resource Center for Nonviolence believe building community
with all our neighbors, engaging needs of troubled and marginalized
neighbors, practicing compassion, refusing to scapegoat any group
of neighbors, respecting all people, learning to engage conflict with
nonviolence, and supporting those who work with people in poverty,
people without homes, people suffering drug addiction, and people in
and recently out of the judicial system are important ways to prevent

We believe nonviolence is a choice, that works. We can go out of our
way to express respect for our neighbors, especially those who are
different from ourselves. When we encounter a conflict, we can speak
up and ask for allies to help. We cannot leave the realm of violence
to the police alone. Nor can we rely on guns to protect ourselves.
True safety is built by turning strangers into neighbors. No method
is fail safe. But fear breeds more violence. We want a democratic
community in which everyone who suffers will not be discarded, but
will be healed.

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