About 60 people, some long-time activists and some new comers, gathered at Capitol Park in downtown Boise, across the street from the Statehouse. We decorated our space with posters and banners. Our event was nestled between two recently scheduled events – a People’s Climate and Rally and the Idaho Democratic Latino Caucus Power of the Vote March and Rally. We connected with those event organizers to coordinate and support each other.
We had about 12 volunteers who did a marvelous job. Our participants were greeted and asked to wear a name tag and they were invited to sign the pledge, donate $ and take a flyer promoting our upcoming week of events. After brief opening words and a few songs, participants took to the art tables to put their message on a circular piece of poster board – their DOT. We then dispersed a bit in the park to begin a ceremonial walking together to Connect the Dots. It was lovely. Once together, dot-to-dot, we went around the circle and introduced ourselves and shared our message. The messages were varied, inspired, emotional, loving and original. Then we had a young man lead us in reciting the Nonviolence Pledge. We enjoyed organic watermelon and received many compliments on our event. People liked it.
Every noon hour this week, we are staging a street action focused on Campaign Nonviolence and another key issue. Today the focus was Idaho’s own Add the Four Words campaign – the nonviolent citizens campaign to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. This is a campaign to get the Idaho Legislature to amend the Idaho Human Rights Act, and hundreds of people were arrested in support of this campaign at the Idaho legislature last winter.
Today 15 people came for all or part of the hour. We made a lovely sight and we spoke with interested passers-by including a retired Episcopal minister. Local TV station Chn 6 came and interviewed volunteer Dave Monsees. The reporter was interested in the national events as well as the local action. A few people signed the Campaign Nonviolence pledge and we promoted the rest of our week’s activities.
Photo’s include Dave Monsees being interviewed by television news reporter, Participants holding Campaign Nonviolence posters at today’s noon street action in Boise, Idaho and the CNV group teamed up with activists from the local human rights campaign Add the Four Words.
We held the 2nd of five noon-hour street actions this week. Our focus for today was opposing the use of drones, and we developed a petition to ban drones in the City of Boise. With the onset of U.S. bombing in Syria, we quickly made new signs and included this issue in our action today. Got into a few lively discussions – people are seeking vengeance. It’s always feels good to stand witness – silence is paralyzing.
The Idaho Peace Coalition/CNV Boise joined a long-running weekly vigil against the death penalty today in the heart of downtown Boise. It felt good to support the incredible group of people who have stood witness against the death penalty for more than 15 years. We had new and returning nonviolent activists for today’s action
CNV Boise and the Idaho Peace Coalition hosted a participatory workshop on becoming a person of nonviolence. Our guest speaker, Fidel Nshombo, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 30 people gathered to hear Fidel share his story and his practices of nonviolent living. When he was 12 years old his village was attacked while he was at school and he couldn’t find any of his family when he returned. Fidel fled the DRC and experienced ten years of danger and deprivation before being relocated to Boise in 2006. While happy to be in the United States, Fide’s past haunted him to the point of nervous breakdown. Fidel eventually began to spend his sleepless nights pouring out his past on paper, and he discovered that writing and sharing his story was the perfect way for him to live in harmony with his past. He told us that he “resets” himself every 2 hours, to prevent himself from being bound by the past. In this way, he’s able to be a loving father and positive example to his children and to bring good energy and hope to those he encounters. After Fidel’s talk, we shared our reflections and our practices in small groups. We read the Campaign Nonviolence pledge and reflected on Gandhi’s 8 Principles before closing.
CNV Boise and the Idaho Peace Coalition teamed up with the Idaho Citizen Action Network to make a splash for immigration justice in downtown Boise at the noon hour today. About 14 people held signs reading “Stop Separating Families.” ICAN has registered nearly 3,000 voters this season, and they registered seven more during our action today. An unexpected highlight of today’s event…Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) was sighted across the street and Krista, lead organizer with ICAN, was right on him urging him to support immigration justice. Very exciting for Krista and the rest of us too.
Photo Credit: Idaho Peace Coalition