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Posted by Ryan Hall

On May 7, we held our fourth national conference call to prepare and organize for the Campaign Nonviolence actions in September and to share news about this growing movement.  Below you will find the notes from the Thursday call. 

Campaign Nonviolence National Conference Call

May 7, 2015, 5pm Pacific/ 8pm Eastern (60 minutes)

Listen to the audio here

Facilitator: Ryan Hall
Maestro coordinator: Ryan Hall
Notetaker: Ryan Hall

Introduction (5 min.):

  • Welcome (Ryan Hall)
  • Centering (Veronica Pelicaric)
    • A promise to one-another and to all our sisters and brothers everywhere in this time of violence, of confusion, of indescribable grace. Each time in gratitude we come together in a circle so much larger than ourselves. Surrounded by sacredness and sustained by the loving source of all that is. With hearts broken open we pray for compassion that opens our arms wide to embrace our sisters and brothers and each person with whom we share this lovely planet; for wisdom that clears our sight to recognize the light and goodness that flow in abundance always in every situation, every place and within every created being; for wisdom that discerns well and brings forth the thoughts words and acts that will bring harmony and peace to earth. By Mary Litell
  • Roll call: read names of people on the call and their states (Ryan Hall)
    • 44 people registered for the call.  

CNV Updates (20 min.):

  • Campaign Nonviolence Events (5 min)
    • CNV September Actions (Ryan Hall)
      • Ryan mentioned that we will be doing actions again this year during September 20-27, 2015.  We’ve got over 100 actions confirmed, we’re hoping to get to 500!  A few states are not represented yet, like Alaska, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Virginia.  If you know folks in those states, help us reach out to them to plan an action!  If you are planning an action and haven’t let us know yet, you can sign up here.  If you want to organize with some of the current action planners, contact those organizers listed on the Actions page.
    • Skill Building WorkshopsSan Diego May 16-17, Manchester,CT June 27-28, Online Webinar May 12,19, 26. (Ken Butigan)
      • Ken said that these workshops are critical to help build a world where everyone matters.  Last year we organized 4 workshops, 2 in California, 1 in Illinois, and 1 in MA.  
      • If you are in the area join us at the currently scheduled workshops in Manchester, CT and San Diego, CA
      • You can also join us online for the first CNV Webinar.  Click here to learn more.
      • These workshops will help people organize an action.  
      • Ken mentioned that 20 years ago he went to a retreat with activists from South America.  One of the participants from Chile spoke about how they overcame the dictator there.  He said they resolved that they were going to build a nonviolent revolution.  They took 5 years to train people.  Then each person taught another person, by the early 1980’s 30,000 people a year were being trained in what King called the love that does justice.  The challenges are so monumental today that we need all the training we can get.  
    • Engage Online study group May 16-17 & 30-31 – (Veronica Pelicaric)
      • Veronica said that she has been doing an online study course that past five weeks with about 7 people.  She said it has been going very well.  The hope is that afterwards people will start their own little group as well.  
  • We have more power than we think.  A brief talk by Ken Butigan on how the power of nonviolence is growing everyday.  (Ken Butigan) (5 min)
    • Ken invited everyone to imagine a world free from poverty, war, and the climate crisis.  Violence is anything that dehumanizes people.  In our workshops we try to get people in touch with their humanness.  We don’t long for a utopia, but for a world where everyone is equipped with the vision and toolbox for nonviolence.  We want to challenge the belief system in violence and experiment in the active and creative nonviolence.  We live an era that is establishing for us that his kind of power actually exists.  We have more power than we think and we’re seeing it all over the world.  See the Global Nonviolent Action Database here.  We hope to see a world where we regard every human being as important.  These changes won’t happen overnight, but we can make it happen.  At CNV we hope to help this process by mainstreaming nonviolence, building a movements of movements that makes the nonviolent people power possible and connects the various movements together.  CNV is a long term vision where we get the training to build this movement.  Ken encouraged people to see themselves as an agent of nonviolent change.  We need everyone, ordinary, cranky resilient human beings.  Then join us for actions in September.  
    • Ken also spoke about how in San Francisco they created a religious witness that engaged in a series of actions to help the homeless. They created a banquet in front of city hall for the homeless that made it a challenge to arrest people.  
  • CNV Santa Fe Conference: (John Dear) (5 min)
    • John mentioned that the only way change happens is bottom up which is what we’re trying to do with CNV.
    • John said that our conference can only hold 250 people and we’ve got about 20 spots left.  Register soon or seats will be gone.  We’ve also got some great peace vigils happening in Los Alamos on Aug 6 and 9th.  
  • Rivera Sun Tour updates (Rivera) (5 min)
    • Rivera just got back from her tour in the Northwest.  She said she met some fantastic people working on nonviolence.  Rivera thanked Arthur Galus in Idaho for his work to help CNV and her tour be promoted on Twitter. She will be heading to Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin next week. She is honored to be part of these folks lives and work together to build a culture of active nonviolence.  
    • Read Rivera’s reflection about her recent tour here.


Large Group Discussion: (30 min) (Ryan Hall)

  • What are your ideas or plans for the September 20-27, 2015 actions?
    • Jerry Maynard in Houston, TX:  Jerry said that they have lots of ideas.  They have a large LGBT population. They are working with local activists to  create a march building awareness about the LGBT population.  They are also working on their second annual peace day on Sept 21.  They will also have Rivera there next week and are working on a meditation flash mob where they collectively meditate and send peaceful energy into the world. He is also working on starting a CNV Committee to build a network so that when the week of actions comes they’ll have more people involved.
    • Jane Baker, Cathy Kreuter and Susan in Utah:  They don’t have specific plans for Sept just yet, but will be doing something.  Jane said they are making Cranes for the conference as well.  
    • Julie Ames in California:  Asked about whether she can bring the peace cranes with her to the conference or do they have to send them in.  Rivera said that people can do whatever they prefer.  Julie is trying to get her local school to learn about the peace cranes project as well. Rivera also mentioned that people from Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Norway are sending Cranes in as well.  Also prisoners in Santa fe will be folding cranes as well. Julie also mentioned that she is starting an Engage Study group soon.
    • Arthur Galus in Idaho:  He thanked Rivera and said that Liz Paul and others will be meeting in June to plan for September.  
    • Sherri Maurin in California:  She just returned from Afghanistan and spoke to the Afghan Peace Volunteers who will be participating in the Sept actions.  They also just recently had Kathy Kelly speaking in their area about nonviolence.  They are working on connecting the dots for Sept between boycott/divestment/sanction, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the environmental impact.
    • Mary Lou Anderson in Nevada:  Her and Julia are giving community study groups on Engage.  She also mentioned that she recently took a tour of the Nuclear museum and Nevada test site with a Japanese group.  They are still working on their ideas for September as well.  They also wrote to the Las Vegas Mayor about stopping nuclear waste coming into the city/state as well, which they got a very promising response.  

Closing–Campaign Nonviolence Pledge (Veronica)

   Sign the pledge if you haven’t done so yet.


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