All Our Issues Are Connected
Part of A Retrospective Series on the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 2014 as We Approach the Week of Actions 2015.
by Rivera Sun for Campaign Nonviolence
In large cities and small towns, universities, churches, peace and justice centers; with book clubs and study groups; in the streets, sidewalks, offices, and legislative buildings; Campaign Nonviolence’s thousands of participants in all fifty states and beyond have raised the rallying cry, “all our issues are connected”! Tracing the threads between poverty and war, healthy planets and happy children, justice and respect, this two year old movement initiated by the thirty year old Pace e Bene along with hundreds of endorsing groups works to transform all types of violence with the audacious strength of nonviolent alternatives.
During the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions Sept 21-27th, 2014, people across the country gathered together to end war, poverty, the climate crisis, and to build a culture of active nonviolence. Bringing study groups out of small rooms and onto the streets, ideas into action, and visions into reality, Campaign Nonviolence participants paired creativity with dedication as they demonstrated for change on an interconnected set of issues.
In Newaygo County, Michigan, the Women In Black group devised a clever theme that played upon the homonym, know/no, raising awareness and reflection through the pairing of words, as in the classic chant and slogan, No justice, No peace, which was reworked as No Violence, Know Peace. Women and children carried the signs in the local Harvest Festival. No Revenge, Know Forgiveness read one sign. Another used a traditional Christian phrase to highlight the nonviolent message of the faith: No Swords, Know Plows.
In Madison, Wisconsin, a group used brightly colored signs and a march through the Farmers Market to the capitol building to connect human values with tangible demands. Jobs Not Jails, read their signs, and Words Not Weapons. Along with their messages Bring the War Dollars Home and Housing Not Tanks, the group also constructed a large armored police vehicle to protest the recent military acquisitions by Dane County Police Departments.
These examples (just two of the hundreds of actions that occurred nationwide during the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 2014) highlight the creativity and solidarity that occurs each time we move out of our organizing bubbles and find ways to connect with others. A growing, definite Movement of Movements is emerging across the social-political landscape of the United States, arising out of crisis and vision in equal measures, aided by movements such as Campaign Nonviolence that bring people together on a web of issues.
This year, the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions Sept 20-27th, 2015, is expected to include more that 300 events in a single week, raising awareness not only of problems, but also of the viable alternatives such as living wages, K-12 nonviolence education, peace building skills, renewable energy sources, community policing, restorative justice and much more. The cities and towns that took action last year are being joined by new locations and groups as an ever-increasing interest in collaboration and cooperation brings citizens together on many issues.
Thousands nationwide will be engaging in nonviolent action during the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions Sept 20-27th, 2015, to end war, poverty, the climate crisis and all forms of violence. You can participate and join with others in your local community! Learn more, find a local action, or add an action here.
Author/Activist Rivera Sun is the social media director for Campaign Nonviolence and Pace e Bene. She is the author of three social protest novels, The Dandelion Insurrection, Billionaire Buddha, and Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars. She is the cohost of Occupy Radio and the cofounder of the Love-In-Action Network. Her essays on social justice movements appear in Truthout and Popular Resistance. Rivera Sun lives in an earthship house in Taos, New Mexico. www.riverasun.com