OMNI NEWSLETTER ON ACTIVISM, ACTIONS FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND ECOLOGY #7, September 15, 2013. Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, (#2: June 23, 2011; #3 1-1-2012; #4 April 9, 2012; #5 Nov. 27, 2012; #6, March 24, 2013)
My Newsletters cover the fields of peace, justice, and ecology.
My Blog focuses on US empire, militarism, Pentagon, and peacemaking and peacemakers: War Department/Peace Department.
I am also filming Short Takes on peacemaking and peacemakers on Community TV, shown also on my Blog.
My blog: The War Department and Peace Heroes
Newsletters on Peace, Justice, and Ecology:
Most of OMNI’s newsletters could be filed under ACTIVISM: Gandhi, MLKJr, nonviolence, et al. etc. The stories and arguments cover a broad range of striving for world peace, justice, and environmental preservation. The only restriction is the rejection of violence. See the newsletter on Nonviolence.
“Nonviolence, of course, does not mean that we shouldn’t take action in the world. Nonviolence is not passivity; it is not inaction. Nonviolence denounces apathy. In fact, apathy is one of the greatest threats to peace.” Scott Hunt, The Future of Peace, p. 336.
“WELL-INFORMED FUTILITY” SYNDROME?
I heard a speaker refer to this state of mind to explain why she was so determined to work for peace, justice, and the environment. She said it was a widespread mentality among educated and inquiring people. Many gave up on their ideals regarding the government (bi-partisan empire and permanent war, corporate/money/war party takeover of Congress and many state legislators by narrow, callous Tea Party faithful), and devoted their lives to play or to local betterment. May be true. Recently two friends who had spent much of their lives helping national and international projects said they were working locally in the future.
What does this mean? The Platonic/Socratic tradition through the Renaissance and modern Humanism trusted knowledge as the foundation for right direction in the pursuit of the Good. Is the “well-informed futility” syndrome a repudiation of this tradition of education, knowledge, reason? And the alternative? Intensity, passion, violence?
Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters: http://www.omnicenter.org/newsletter-archive/ For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry to recreate the world.
Nos. 3 and 4 at end
Contents of #5 (in roughly chronological order of subjects)
Folsom, the Unemployed Organized Franklin
Bollinger and Tran, From Tecumseh to Harvey Milk
Folsom, Peace March 1986
Film about Brian Willson
Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action
Berlowe, Compassionate Rebel 2002, Anger and Love
Berlowe, Compassionate Rebel 2
Zinn, Collected Speeches
Goodman and Moynihan, Resisters Today
Post-Nov. 6, 2012
Election Movement Building
Dreier and Cohen
Protest, Social Change Film: Let Fury Have the Hour
Rights of Disabled Campaign: Learning Hardball
Mann, Progressive Organizing
Split This Rock Poetry Festival
RESIST: Funding for Change
Dick’s Recent Newsletters
Contents #7 September 15, 2013
Tomgram, Solnit: Occupy Anniversary
Dick: Moyers and Co., Successful Organizing
Sandra Steingraber vs. Epidemic Toxic Trespass in
Marshall Ganz, Madeline Janis, and Rachel Laforest—
Marshall Ganz, Madeline Janis, and Rachel Laforest—
Mindful Occupation Booklet, Successful Organizing
Levine: Get Up, Stand Up Against the Corporations
Levine: Get Up, Stand Up Against the Corporations
YES! Magazine. A news magazine of notes and short articles about pje changers.
Andrew Boyd, A Toolbox for Revolution
Adam Kahane, Power and Love…for Social Change
Alperovitz, What Do? Long-range Organizing for Change.
Michelle Deakin. UU Social Action Heroes
Salsa: Guide for Nonprofits
September 15, 2013
Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, Victories Come in All Sizes
I was electrified, and my own trajectory in life changed, by the antiwar movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. That experience, those years, mobilized me. They shocked me -- quite literally -- about what my country was capable of. They destroyed my rather idealistic urge to be a part of the government. I had long dreamed of becoming a diplomat, and at one point in the 1960s even applied for a job at the United States Information Agency. In the years when I was growing up, the thought that I should and could find some way to represent my country proudly to the world was a powerful and motivating one for me. In it lay a citizenly urge to serve. What I learned in the anti-Vietnam movement stripped me of that urge or, at least, of the urge to apply it to theClick here to read more of this dispatch.
Even when that movement died out and great effort in the popular sphere went into turning the dismal, disastrous, and deeply destructive war that called it up into a “noble cause” and the movement I had been a part of into so many “hippies” who “spit on” the returning troops, I never forgot. Nor, by the way, did I, or anyone I knew in those years, ever see any antiwar activist spit on returning troops. My life then had, in fact, been thoroughly entangled with
Even in the decades after, when I demobilized and my most active work was simply putting good books into the world as an editor at the edge of mainstream publishing, I remained a changed person, primed for I had no idea what. After 9/11, the urge to serve manifested itself powerfully once again and what the antiwar movement had taught me decades earlier helped organize and mobilize me to create TomDispatch.com, which has been the obsession of my later life. Today, I feel that, thanks to what a movement now half-forgotten did to my life and sense of self, I do in some modest way finally represent my country -- the best of it and the worst of it -- to the world (and to us as well).
Still, if you had looked at my life in the 1980s or 1990s, you might have been hard-pressed to know just what, if any, effect those antiwar years had on me. You might well have said: none at all. Similarly, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Solnit points out -- in a piece adapted from her introduction to Nathan Schneider’s Thank You, Anarchy -- we tend to want to measure the importance of any oppositional movement by its instant results, not by the seeds it may plant in its participants that sometimes don’t sprout for years or decades. Tom
Joy Arises, Rules Fall Apart
Thoughts for the Second Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street
By Rebecca Solnit
I would have liked to know what the drummer hoped and what she expected. We’ll never know why she decided to take a drum to the central markets of
To the beat of that drum, the working women of the marketplace marched all the way to the
She strode out of the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City during which parts of the central city collapsed, and so did the credibility and power of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI that had ruled Mexico for 70 years. She woke up almost three years ago in
Such transformative moments have happened in many times and many places -- sometimes as celebratory revolution, sometimes as terrible calamity, sometimes as both, and they are sometimes reenacted as festivals and carnivals. In these moments, the old order is shattered, governments and elites tremble, and in that rupture civil society is born -- or reborn.
MOYERS & CO. Sample Programs. I recommend Moyers strongly. The films cost only $20 to show to friends or good gifts.
Author of new book Raising Elijah.
Interviewed Moyers & Co. April 21, 2013.
Strong opponent of fracking gas and methane and other acts of “toxic trespass” in our land. Moyers pressed her with dozens of hard questions, which she answered well, out of her long experience and study. She offered much scientific information, exposed numerous harms in our presently underregulated society, but she was equally good in suggesting how we might avoid the “well-informed futility” syndrome by taking action. I warmly recommend the film, $20, from Moyers & Co.--Dick
May 12, 2013 Interview
Another excellent program in two parts about organizing for successful political and social change.
Marshall Ganz, civil rights organizer, discussed the Freedom Democratic Party’s confrontation with the Dem. Party in the 60s, and urged the motto Polarize to Mobilize, that Democracy is conflict for a better world. Ganz also emphasized the importance of the story and the urgent need to overthrow the dominance of the “free market” narrative that determines value by price and replace it with one of cooperation and collaboration.
Madeline Janis and Rachel Laforest, two organizers of
successful campaigns of change for poor people. One by Janis was the Living Wage Campaign for hotel workers in ?
Long Beach. One by Laforest centered on housing and
making the American Dream not home ownership but affordable housing for all.
All three reject the business/corporate/Chamber of Commerce propaganda (narrative) that the market solves all our problems. A hopeful, exhilarating program (no wishful thinking but real achievements from struggle), as usual. --Dick
Welcome to the web home of the Mindful Occupation booklet!
Last year, a group of us who have years of experience practicing peer-based community mental health support got together to compile a manual for organizers and participants in the #occupy movement. This is what came out of our work.
We believe that there is an urgent need to talk publicly about the relationship between social injustice and our mental health. We believe that we need to start redefining what it actually means to be mentally healthy, not just on an individual level, but on collective, communal, and global levels.
We know that many people at Occupy sites around the country are struggling to figure out how to build spaces of support and healing. We also know that police violence and the stresses of street protest can have very real mental, emotional, and energetic effects that are all too often not taken seriously.
Our aim with this booklet is to stimulate discussion, raise awareness, provide support, contribute to maintaining a more sustainable movement, and lay the foundation for the next stage of the movement. We want it to be a living document: open to revisions and remakes. We also hope this helps start conversations. Many people are doing amazing healing work within and around the Occupy movement – street medics, health professionals, bodyworkers, herbalists, energetic medicine practitioners, radical therapists and social workers, and others. We want to facilitate more discussions and get the word out about more good practices and techniques.
We have released our booklet under a Creative Commons license and our working draft is now available digitally. Our first large print run is on its way, set for late May 2012.
Lastly, a next step many of us envision for some of this material is a multi-day training intended for those that identify as doing support or healing work within the activist community. If you are interested in being part of that discussion, please let us know!
[A similar version published in Win Magazine (vol. 28, no. 4). It gives these links: theicarusproject.net, mindfuloccupation.org, mindgulliberation.wordpress.com --Dick]
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As oil and gas get harder to find, industry heads to suburbia—and the neighbors aren’t pleased.
Nerds, Jocks & Conscientious Objectors: The Hidden World of Israel’s High School War Resisters
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YES! Summer 2013 is typically packed with people, ideas, actions for peace, justice, and ecology: young leaders discussing strategies to climate crisis, the real power of online activism, live the revolution, Gandhi’s ahimsa, making radical the new normal, empowering low-wage workers, Dar Williams’ protest songs, and much more. –Dick
BEAUTIFUL TROUBLE: A Toolbox for Revolution
Prank websites. Militant carnivals. Flash Mobs. Virtual sit-ins. Guerrilla musicals. Social activism has a creative new edge that is melding prank and PR, and blurring the boundaries between artist and activist, direct action protest and pop art. Until recently these audacious actions were the preserve of a bold and zany few, but the “beautiful trouble” of creative activism is spreading.
is not another how-to manual; it’s a . We gathered artists and activists together (often with the assistance of much alcohol) to tease out a core set of interlocking design principles—what the design field would call a ““—so that this collective wisdom can become useful to the next generation of change-makers. It’s a widely collaborative effort that was written–in a somewhat novel fashion–in the Google cloud, with me serving less as head writer and more as Editor and Wrangler-in-Chief.
How to Balance Power and Love
Scenario planning and social change expert Adam Kahane suggests that to master large and difficult challenges, leaders need to learn to act and empathize simultaneously.
Reviewed by Art Kleiner
Photograph by Fiona Muirhead
Adam Kahane’s book Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change(Berrett-Koehler, 2010) opens with a quote from one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speeches, his last presidential speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “Power without love,” said King, “is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.”
This is a concept that business leaders need to understand, because in times of crisis (and afterward), the people of an enterprise are put under a great deal of stress. Many people in major corporations today are still wondering if they will lose their jobs. A system that follows only the impulses of compassion and solidarity (which Kahane calls love) will lose its competitiveness; a system that follows only the impulses of resolve and purposefulness (which he calls power) will sacrifice its people heedlessly and risk its capability for growth and recovery. A mix of power and love, however, becomes a stance that a leader can hold, and this stance may, in the end, be the single most important factor in enabling a leader to accomplish great things.
Kahane is a partner in the small global consulting firm Reos Partners. He has a background in both business and the not-for-profit world, generally in leading multi-stakeholder groups as they work together on complex, intractable problems. For example, he has led projects involving warring Israeli and Palestinian factions, siloed organizations in the global food system, and antagonistic Canadian stakeholders wrestling with climate change. Originally trained as a physicist, economist, and energy policy expert, he worked for years at Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s renowned group planning department — the part of the company that developed much of the current-day practice of scenario planning. In 1991, Kahane was recruited to facilitate a seemingly quixotic conversation among 22 representatives of the diverse multiracial factions involved in the transition away from apartheid in
: If they were going to
make this epoch-defining move peacefully, how would they organize the economy?
The storylines they developed are known today as the Mont Fleur Scenarios
(named after the conference center in South Africa where the discussions took place in 1991 and
1992). One of them, “flight of the flamingoes,” depicted all parts of the
population gradually rising together in mutual economic advancement. This
became a core theme of the economic policy of Nelson Mandela’s government.
Kahane’s first book, Solving Tough Problems: An Cape
Town Open Way of Talking, Listening, and
Creating New Realities (Berrett-Koehler,
2004), recounts the stories of Mont Fleur and other similar efforts around the
world, both successes and failures.
Despite the success of his South African efforts, many participants at Mont Fleur, and in the discussions that followed, found the premise of basing policy on harmony naive. As one African National Congress leader put it, “The only birds that matter here are [not ostriches and flamingoes but] hawks and sparrows!” It turned out that love-oriented solutions are almost impossible to sustain in the predatory atmosphere of any political or competitive power structure. To really make change happen, you need to balance love and power. During the following years, Kahane came to recognize the tension underlying this reality, and to develop some ways to resolve it. That is the basis of the courses he teaches on social change — for example, at the Alia Institute’s annual summer Authentic Leadership in Action program, where he and I are both on the faculty. Kahane sat down with me at last year’s institute, in June 2010 in
Halifax, Nova Scotia; he is repeating the course this summer, at
the 2011 Alia Institute in . Columbus,
Social Action Heroes: Unitarian Universalists Who Are Changing the World
Product Code: 3784
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Publication Date: 10/14/11
Size: 5.5" X 8.5" Inches
Binding Information: Paperback
Availability: In Stock
Also available as an eBook on the Amazon Kindle Store.
Unitarian Universalists are committed to acting on important issues of social justice throughout the world. Award-winning journalist Michelle Bates Deakin explores the actions of eleven individuals and the impact their actions have had on their communities and their souls. Compelling and inspiring, Social Action Heroesilluminates the potential for deep change inherent in each of us, and in Unitarian Universalism as a whole.
Michelle Bates Deakin is an award-winning journalist and author of Gay Marriage, Real Life: Ten Stories of Love and Family from Skinner House Books. Deakin's work has been featured in regional and national media, including the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and UU World, Inc. Magazine, where she is senior editor. She lives in the
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Contents of #3
Sending a Petition
Z Magazine January 2012
Yes! Fifteen Activists
New Book: Becoming the Leaders We Need
New Book: Save the Humans?
New Book: Dream of a Nation
New Documentary on Effects on People of US Capitalism and Remedies
Occupy Wall Street
Justice for Tomato Field Laborers
Global Rallies for Renewable Energy
Journalistic Dilemma in Reporting Protest
Contents of #4 April 9, 2012
The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World
Book: Dream of a Nation
John Graham, Giraffe Project
Nonviolent Method: Shame
3 Dissenters: Press, Joya, Jacob George
How to Organize an Event
END ACTIVISM NEWSLETTER #7