On June 28th we held our monthly National Campaign Nonviolence Conference Call. We discussed the events coming up during the Week of Actions Sept. 15-23, 2018. If you missed the call, you can read the notes or listen to the audio below.
Campaign Nonviolence National Organizing Conference Call July 26, 2018, 5pm Pacific/ 8pm Eastern (60 minutes)
Facilitator: John Dear
Welcome – John Dear
Centering- Veronica Pelicaric
“I believe, with Gandhi, that we need to take an imaginative leap forward toward fresh and generous idealism for the sake of all humanity — that we need to renew this ancient wisdom of nonviolence, to strive for a disarmed world, and to create a culture of nonviolence.” — Mairead Corrigan Maguire
Roll Call – Ryan Hall reads the list of people on the call.
John provides CNV Action and Convergence updates. Fifth year of CNV Week of Actions, and this is a really bad time for the country and the world. This is an important time for grassroots nonviolence movements to connect the dots and work together. Focusing this year on making it public — get the press to come out, do live videos on facebook, send videos and pictures to Ryan to put on Pace e Bene’s website. The effort is to make a public witness. The national march will include speeches, music, and a march to the White House. Hoping for a big gathering there.
Ken Butigan shares that we are now at 1430 events now scheduled. This is the Moment of Truth. Are we going to continue with violence or turn to a culture of nonviolence? We are at a moment where the truth is under attack by the administration. In response, we are asking people to come to Washington, DC for a nonviolent direct action to represent the false statements the president has been making and each carry their peace of the truth. East Coast friends in particular, please consider joining this march to bring truth to the White House.
Lindsay introduces herself and the work she’s been doing in outreach. Will continue to reach out to individuals and organizations as she works through every state. If you know somebody you think should be involved or need a resource, turn to Lindsay for assistance.
CNV Action Organizer Reports
Fr. Harry Bury, St. Paul, MN – Have been following the Carbondale model. 35 organizations in the twin cities will work together over the course of 10 days to arrange nonviolent plays, presentations, and information available to the public. At 9/22 at 9am, 3000 people will be holding hands around Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun, but renamed because Calhoun was a proponent of slavery) in a nonviolent demonstration. Hoping for the twin cities mayors to declare both cities Nonviolent Cities. The steering committee of 12 people have organized contributing members from local organizations to get 3000 people to commit to holding hands around the lake. Working together with catholic, protestant, muslim, and jewish community leaders to gather people together and attract media attention. Fr. Harry suggests that the idea that war is punishment for a country’s bad actions is one of the major things standing between us and a culture of peace. In working towards peace and nonviolence, he suggests a paradigm shift and to embrace nonviolence on a large international scale. https://twincitiesnonviolent.org/
Kim Tull, in Wilmington, DE – Third annual Peace Week DE has surpassed former numbers. Have at least 88 events addressing homelessness, LGBT issues, racial issues, interfaith days of prayer, police meet and greets, interfaith dialogue sessions, three marches scheduled, art, music, children giving MLK speech contest speeches, and planning a group to attend the national convergence in DC. One of their main goals has to put separate organizations in touch with each other to work together to achieve their goals. http://www.peaceweekdelaware.org/
Mary Ellen Quinn, Bangor, ME – Planning fifth annual End Violence Together rally and march in Bangor. Will include music, speakers, informational tables, art projects, and an interactive program. This year the local job corps organization is going to do a reporter on the street scenario to ask passersby how violence affects them. Also working on a great mural of the Tree of Nonviolence. Local youth have helped sketch the design, and people will be working together to create the mural. From there, will also design a poster to distribute to downtown businesses in order to work on mainstreaming nonviolence — discussing with business owners what their concerns are and how nonviolence could help change their town. Asking city councilors to proclaim Bangor a nonviolent city at least for the day in September. Pax Christi Maine and the Peace and Justice Center are the major organizers helping to organize these events. Have also been reaching out to faith communities to be a public voice opposing the issues of violence. Have been working to get all sorts of media involved. Hold a press conference the day before the events to get adequate coverage.
Sr. Paulette Schroeder and Jackie, Tiffin, OH – First year organizing and feeling off to a good start. Made 200 signs that say, “Join the movement for Nonviolent Tiffin” for the launch of their campaign in April, and will bring them back out for September. Have a big board where local kids have placed pictures of children from all over the world and notes about wanting to protect all children. Also working on a float for the heritage parade and a community picnic to get the public more involved. Jackie says they are also hoping to get people in recovery to share their story to raise interest in resources for them to stay clean since drugs and alcohol are a source of violence in the community. The mayor is on board with all of their actions as well. Working to build stronger relationships between individuals and churches — everyone in the community. John reminds everyone to take pictures and send them to Ryan so we can post all of the incredible things people do. Also try to have a youth contingent or a focused event for young people to normalize nonviolence into their lives.
Mary Steenhook and Laurel Freeman, Prescott, AZ – Mission is to inspire community to believe in and work toward a more liveable world. Trying to get people working towards this end to work together. Are going to the city council for a proclamation and have been getting the media involved. There is a local charter school with an emphasis on peace who has been working with them on pinwheels for peace. Also keeping their candlelight vigil for peace. On 9/15 they will kick off the week with a Peace Festival. Figuring out how to bring peace and justice groups together at the festival — with tables and the passport system to encourage people to visit each group. Laurel adds that they will also be screening the Sultan and the Saint and including a discussion afterwards. Also organizing a storytelling event where people share events from their lives about the theme: the kindness of strangers. John suggests ramping up the effort to work towards a Nonviolent Prescott or Nonviolent Arizona. Just print the signs to take the steps in that direction.
Nancy Merritt, CA– Working towards a cabinet level Department of Peace. This year they will be contributing to the World Beyond War event in Toronto and also participating in the national convergence. Annual advocacy day to lobby members of congress for Department of Peacebuilding and other peace-related legislation will be shortly after the day of convergence. Check the events page for a link about how to be involved in the advocacy day. Focus this year is on growth — growing endorsers and members. Check out the website for more ways to be involved. https://peacealliance.org/
Ken encourages people to consider nonviolence training in preparing for the week of actions both in Washington, DC and around the country to prepare us for the actions.
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