100 new peace activists

By Kathie Malley-Morrison & Anthony J. Marsella

Be not afraid!  You are not alone! There are thousands of advocates and activists across the world bringing conscience to the struggle for peace and justice–individuals from all walks of life, willing to endure the trials and tribulations of speaking for peace and justice in settings in which abuses and oppression of human and legal rights are violated by people in power.

In the face of abuses and oppression, we immediately recall the iconic peace and justice leaders of the past, including Mohatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Samuel Gompers, Caesar Chavez, Larry Itliong, Rachel Corrie, Philip & Daniel Berrigan, Glenn Paige, Hedy Epstein, and Malcom X. Past and present peace and justice advocates and activists are testimony to the enduring human quest to resist oppression and to claim liberty, even when the costs are life itself.

This is the second list of living peace and justice advocates and activists we have compiled and published to celebrate Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s enduring contributions to peace and justice.

We are eternally grateful for Reverend King’s efforts to free people and nations from brutal oppressions imposed by governments, nations, societies, organizations, and individuals willfully supporting and sustaining the evils of racism, prejudice, violence, and war.

We have chosen to demonstrate our responsibilities and commitment to Reverend King by identifying another 100 living peace and social justice leaders and models, starting with 50 new names today. You will recognize many of the names; others have not yet received the electronic media attention they deserve but we acknowledge them here. 

Please help us make the lists grow. We are as interested in the emerging local community activists as in the ones who’ve already received national and international media attention. Moreover, there is a preponderance of journalists and academics in our current lists. Please use the comment section at the end of this post to nominate individuals from a wider range of peace and justice activists for inclusion in later lists.

  1. Abu-Nimr: Mohammad Abu-Nimr 
  2. Adams: Glenn Adams 
  3. Arbuthnot: Felicity Arbuthnot
  4. Arrigo: Jean Marie Arrigo
  5. Arredondo: Patricia Arredondo
  6. Awad: Murbarak Awad
  7. Baez: Joan Baez 
  8. Barber: Reverend William Barber 
  9. Barnat: Ilyad Barnat 
  10. Bassett: Larry Bassett
  11. Belle: Deborah Belle
  12. Bigombe: Betty Oyella Bigombe
  13. Blackmon-Lowery: Lynda Blackmon-Lowery
  14. Blume: Art Blume
  15. Bowen: Kevin Bowen
  16. Bretherton: Diane Bretherton
  17. Bryant: Brandon Bryant
  18. Burghardt: Tom Burghardt
  19. Cacciatori: Joanne Cacciatori
  20. Campos: Pam Campos
  21. Caputi: Ross Caputi
  22. Carruthers: Charlene Carruthers
  23. Chappell: Paul Chappell
  24. Chomsky: Avi Chomsky
  25. Chossudovsky: Michael Chossudovsky
  26. Christie: Daniel Christie
  27. Clark: Ramsey Clark
  28. Connolly: David Connelly
  29. Cox: Lynell Cox
  30. D’Andrea: Michael D’Andrea
  31. Dunbar: Edward Dunbar
  32. Correia: Antone De’Jaun Correia  
  33. Degirmencioglu: Serdar Degirmencioglu
  34. Drake: Thomas A. Drake
  35. FihnBeatrice Fihn
  36. Finklestein: Norman Finklestein
  37. Flowers: Margaret Flowers
  38. Fox: Matthew Fox
  39. Furtado: Michael Furtado
  40. Gagnon: Bruce K. Gagnon
  41. Giffords: Gabrielle Giffords
  42. Gillotti, Michael Gillotti
  43. Goldberg: Whoopi Goldberg
  44. Green: Paula Green
  45. Hall: Mitchell K. Hall
  46. Handwerker: Steven E. Handwerker
  47. Haney: Craig Haney
  48. Hazare: Anna Hazare
  49. Hines: Denise Hines 
  50. Jackson-Lowman: Huberta Jackson-Lowman

This is a somewhat condensed version of a post that appeared today on Transcend Media Services.  Part 2 will appear 2/19/2018 on this blog.

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Another profile in activism: Alicia Garza

1.BlackLivesMatter/Happy New Years action-I CAN’T BREATHE-SING IN @ Grand Central Station. January 1, 2015. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Author: The All-Nite Images from NY, NY, USA.

by Kathie MM

This post, in celebration of Black History Month, honors Alicia Garza (included in EP’s second list of 100 peace and justice advocates), a model of the characteristics that define peace and peace activists.

Nonviolence: Alicia’s main goal is the elimination of violence, particularly the forms of structural violence that may be the source of most other forms of violence.  She notes, for example, “The fact that we have half-a-million black immigrants living in this country, living in the shadows, who are undocumented, is a product of state violence. The fact that black queer and trans folk… are being targeted for various forms of harassment, violence, and in some cases, elimination, is state violence.”

Inspiration:  Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman on murder charges for killing Trayvon Martin, Alicia declared a truth that had never occurred to many colorless people: “Black Lives Matter.” The movement that grew out of that declaration has inspired activists around the world to confront a wide range of social problems.

Tolerating struggle: Alicia has devoted herself to the movement tirelessly. “If I’m clear about anything today…[it] is that we are really in for an uphill battle…This country in particular is having a very, very difficult time with addressing the root causes of the problems that we face and until we actually get to that point, unfortunately I do believe we’re gonna have a lot more chaos and confusion.”

Empathy & compassionAlicia tells us: “[to several deadly police shootings] is one of complete dismay and disgust. My prayers go out to their families and loved ones, who are having to watch the death of their loved one over and over again on multiple news stations.” Her deeds are proof to her words.

Integrity:  “Her activism reflects organizational strategies and visions that connect emerging social movements without diminishing the specificity of the structural violence facing Black lives.”

Courage: It takes courage to combat racism in a racist society—especially perhaps for a woman of color—and courage to declare oneself gay, and to be openly committed to a trans partner.  Alicia has done all these things.

Purpose-driven life: “That really is our work – to make sure that the movement is everywhere … in hospitals and healthcare, in schools, in our workplaces, in our churches,” she says. “That’s what’s going to really accelerate the pace of the change that we seek.”

 

Posted in capitalism, Champions of peace, gun violence, Human rights, militarization, national security state, Nonviolence, Perspective-taking, police violence, politics, Poverty, Prisons, Protest, racism, resistance, social justice, Stories of engagement, Understanding violence, Weaponry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four countries that have nearly eliminated gun deaths

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Author: Coral Springs Talk from Coral Springs, United States.

Anyone who believes that all human beings are hopelessly and incurably aggressive and that nothing can be done to halt the growing number of mass shootings in this country should read Chris Weller’s article in Business Insider.

And please don’t try to tell me we the people can’t move our country in the same  directions as Australia, the UK, Norway, and Japan if we become more active, more educated about political candidates, more willing to speak out on behalf of nonviolence, more willing to speak truth to power.  No community, however rich or white, can be safe from gun violencse while the NRA owns such a large percentage of our Congress.   Do you care about your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews? if so, maybe it is time for you to become a gun control activist.

Posted in capitalism, culture of violence, Democracy, gun violence, militarization, Military-industrial complex, politics, Understanding violence, Weaponry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day Special: A Profile in Activism

 

Stone memorial to civilians killed in war. Courtesy of the Peace Abbey.

by Kathie MM

In a chart in a recent post entitled 100 Living Peace and Justice Leaders, the characteristics attributed to peace and justice leaders and models included:

nonviolence,

inspiration,

tolerating struggle,

empathy & compassion,

integrity,

courage,

and a purpose-driven life.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, 2018, I want to honor one man who exemplifies all those characteristics: Lewis Randa, founder of the Life Experience School  and the Peace Abbey .

Here are brief examples of each of those characteristics in Lewis’s life:

Nonviolence: Lewis explains, “Martin Luther King said, ‘If you haven’t found something worth dying for you’re not fit to live.’ Non-violence is something I’d be willing to die for. I don’t torture myself over whether I’ve done a good job or bad job.” (verdict:superb job)

 Inspiration: From the  founding of The Life Experience School for special needs children and young adults in 1972 (his alternative service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War) to his current nonviolent resistance to any governmental move to use nuclear weapons against North Korea, Lewis has inspired multitudes.

Tolerating struggle: The nonviolent civil resistance in which Lewis has engaged his entire life has consistently demanded tolerating struggle; add to that his engagement in the stone walk— the project involving hauling a one-ton granite stone memorializing civilians 500 miles in the US, many miles in Ireland, and then later, under the able leadership of Dot Walsh, substantial distances in Japan and Korea.

Empathy & compassion: Because of  empathy with and compassion for all living creatures, nonhuman as well as human, Lewis is a vegetarian—as is the rest of his family—and a proponent of animal rights   (You just have to read Emily the cow’s story!)

Courage: Being a conscientious objector in wartime, promoting conscientious objection to war, advocating for interfaith harmony in a nation becoming increasing intolerant of non-Christian faiths,  and his willingness to speak out for peace and peacemakers to a government embroiled in violence testifies to his courage.

To learn more about a purpose-driven life, just watch this inspiring video,  and add meaning to your own life by joining Lewis’s peace-seeking letter-writing campaign to Chairman Kim Jung-un.

 

Posted in Champions of peace, Commemorating peace, Human rights, Nonviolence, Pacifism, Perspective-taking, politics, Protest, Reconciliation and healing, resistance, social justice, Stories of engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments