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Welcome to our online resource center

documenting, honoring and encouraging

peace, justice, and nonviolent social change

around the world ( and right here at home, too! ).


INTRODUCING   PEACEWORKERS   USA

We live in a world deeply addicted to violence and war, resulting in tremendous devastation to human life, the natural environment and the hopes and dreams of future generations. The danger of nuclear war threatens the very existence of life on this planet. In the face of all this fear and destruction, millions of people around the world are experimenting with powerful and effective nonviolent tools to break the rules of war. They are building nonviolent movements to challenge and change violent and oppressive conditions and regimes, and laying the groundwork for a just and lasting peace These movements have taken place all over the world, with inspiring examples from Chile, South Africa, Serbia, the Ukraine, Georgia, India, China, Burma, Tibet, Zimbabwe, and the United States. We, the world’s people, need to learn more about these lessons and join together to foster more of these successful nonviolent responses to the world’s most pressing challenges.

The mission of Peaceworkers is to support, strengthen and promote nonviolent movements for peace and justice and nonviolent peacemaking efforts in the US and around the world

In carrying out this mission, Peaceworkers is

1. Consulting with and building relationships among nonviolent movements as they work to change violent or oppressive situations through peaceful means.

2. Spreading the word about the growing experience and success of nonviolent movements and nonviolent peacemaking through public presentations, media outreach, workshops and written publications. Click here for the Peaceworkers’ Reading List

3. Providing resources about the power of active nonviolent movements and People Power in history by distributing DVDs, books, journals, articles, and training materials.

4. Promoting the work of peace team organizations around the world including the Nonviolent Peaceforce, Peace Brigades International, Christian Peacemaker Teams and Friends Peace Teams.  Please click here for a story about our participation in a peace delegation to Iran.

5. Encouraging and facilitating regional and world bodies, including the United Nations, to institutionalize and sponsor nonviolent peacemaking, peace-building, and peacekeeping.


Recent Documents and Evolving News Stories:


 


The Spirit of Freedom Square in Cairo, Egypt,

Comes to Washington, DC, October 6, 2011

Dear Friends,

The wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq rage on. For ten years the people of Afghanistan have suffered US bombing, invasion and occupation of their country. Thousands of innocent people have died. Through our military actions there we are recruiting ever more people to Al-Qaeda and the war on terrorism could continue forever. The wars and US addiction to militarism are bankrupting the United States and our government is forced to make drastic cuts in social services including funds for schools, libraries, job training, and programs for the young and elderly.

We have prayed, we have written letters to our Congresspeople, we have vigiled, demonstrated and gone to jail, but our government has not listened to the majority of American people who want to end these wars. If not now, When, If not us, Who?

NOW is the time to speak with our lives and bodies that this senseless killing and destruction must end. This is the time the American people must DEMAND that we bring the Billions of dollars squandered in these wars home to meet human needs at home.  Security is found not through wars, military bases all over the world and a new generation of nuclear weapons, but in  building a world in which every person can live with dignity with food, education, healthcare and a home to live in. How much safer we would be if we contributed billions for improving the lives of people all over the world rather than for weapons to kill?

Now is the time to bring the Spirit of Tahrir Square in Egypt to the United States and demand that our government listen to the people instead of the military industrial complex and the corporations.

We invite you to join thousands of us who will gather in Freedom Plaza in Washington DC October 6 to begin sustained nonviolent resistance to the wars and American militarism and demand that we bring the billions of dollars home to our communities across this country which so badly need these funds.

Please look at the website www.october2011.org and if the Spirit moves you, join us for a day, a week or as long as you can. Thousands of us will nonviolently demand:

  • End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending and bring the billions of $ home
  • Tax the Rich and corporations
  • Protect the Social Security net, strengthen Social Security and Medicare for all
  • End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests
  • Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation
  • Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages
  • Get Money out of politics

Hope to see many of you in Washington and please help spread the word!

Peace,

David and Jan Hartsough

September, 2011


 Stop the Wars! Create a New World!


A Call to Action from the Oct. 2011 movement: 

check out the website: www.october2011.org

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.

We call on people of conscience and courage—all who seek peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment—to join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011, in nonviolent resistance similar to the Arab Spring and the Midwest awakening.

A concert, rally and protest will kick off a powerful and sustained nonviolent resistance to the corporate criminals that dominate our government.

Forty-seven years ago, Mario Savio, an activist student at Berkeley, said, “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

Those words have an even greater urgency today. We face ongoing wars and massive socio-economic and environmental destruction perpetrated by a corporate empire which is oppressing, occupying and exploiting the world. We are on a fast track to making the planet unlivable while the middle class and poor people of our country are undergoing the most wrenching and profound economic crisis in 80 years.

“Stop the Wars! • Create a New World!” is a clarion call for all who are deeply concerned with injustice, militarism and environmental destruction to join in ending concentrated corporate power and taking direct control of a real participatory democracy. We will encourage a culture of resistance—using music, art, theater and direct nonviolent action—to take control of our country and our lives. It is about courageously resisting and stopping the corporate state from destroying not only our inherent rights and freedoms, but also our children’s chance to live, breathe clean air, drink pure water, grow edible natural food and live in peace.

As Mother Jones said, “Someday the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit!”

We are the ones who can create a new and just world. Our issues are connected. We are connected. Join us in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6, 2011, to End the Wars and Create a New World!


‘Arab Spring’ Revolutions Follow Game Plan from 1993 Book:

'Arab Spring' Revolutions Follow Game Plan from 1993 Book


Nonviolent Revolution in Egypt!

Another step toward mainstreaming nonviolence
by Ken Butigan | February 12, 2011, 11:47 am

The movement that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s thirty year autocratic rule not only has created a spectacular breakthrough for Egyptian democracy, it has bequeathed a priceless gift to the rest of us in every part of the planet.

For eighteen days the Egyptian people carried out an unarmed revolution with determination, creativity, and a daring willingness to risk.  They marched, they improvised, they prayed, they connected with one another.  Most of all, they stayed put—and invited the nation to join them.

Faced with a corrupt and dictatorial police state, such a movement might have been tempted to wage armed struggle. Instead, they reached for, experimented with, and remained largely steadfast about another way: nonviolent people power.

  

arab-protesters1

  

Hence the tactics they chose: Massive demonstrations, brazen and ubiquitous use of social media, befriending the army, work stoppages, and eventually the call for a general strike.

Nonviolent people power operates on the assumption that systems of violence and injustice are not absolute and implacable.  Rather, they are kept in place by pillars of support.  These props include the police and army; the media; economic forces; cultural and ideological structures; and the general population.  The job of a nonviolent resistance movement is to remove this support.  Key to this process is alerting, educating, and mobilizing a growing number of people throughout the nation or society to withdraw their consent – and to overcome their fear of the consequences for doing so.

By staying this challenging course over the past three weeks – in the face of jailings, torture, organized thugs, demonization by state media, as well as a series of government half-measures designed to prevent real change – the Egyptian pro-democracy movement pulled down these pillars of citizen consent, economic viability, a number of elites, and even state media.  (According to an Egyptian blogger who writes as Zeinobia, one of the state television news readers today said, “We apologize, we read lies against our own will.”)

As each of these supports gave way, the Mubarak presidency, despite its hubris and long-time projection of invincibility, was rendered powerless.

The gift that the Egyptian people have placed in each of our hands is the crystal clear example of the power of ordinary people to unleash seismic social change.  It is the latest in an increasingly long line of such examples—from the labor movement and the struggle for women’s suffrage, to the Indian Independence movement and the US Civil Rights movement, to the string of breath-taking nonviolent people-power movements that have toppled dictatorial regimes, including in the Philippines, Chile, the Soviet Union, Indonesia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Tunisia.

Each of these prior cases has been incalculably important.  What makes the accomplishment in Egypt especially valuable to the rest of the world at this time, however, is that (given the determination of the demonstrators, the stubbornness of the regime, and the ubiquity of social media and other technological innovations) many of us were able to follow this struggle step by step in real time and to therefore see in minute detail how this kind of monumental change happens.

We were able to see this campaign in slow motion: the initial call, the gathering momentum, the series of repressive attacks, the galvanizing power of Days of Prayer, the lulls, the unexpected developments (the release of Wael Ghonim, for example, and his electrifying television interview), the government’s ineffective sticks and even more ineffective carrots, the wave of strikes that began to spread across the country, the much anticipated resignation speech that turned out to be a defiant declaration of authority, and then the undoing of that authority the next day.

This eighteen day saga riveted the world.  It offered us a new, three-dimensional awareness of our power to make change through determined, nonviolent action.  And it offers us a glimmer of hope as we stand at a monumental crossroads in human history.

In a time of virtually permanent war, growing poverty, threats to civil liberties, ecological devastation, and many other problems, humanity faces the challenge and opportunity to choose powerful and creative nonviolent alternatives. We can continue to opt for the devastating spiral of violence and injustice, or we can build civil societies where the dignity of all is respected and the needs of all are met. True peace and long-term human survival depend on this.

Egypt gives us a clear and radiant example of the nonviolent option.

As President Obama said in a press conference after Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, “It was the moral force of nonviolence, not terrorism, not mindless killing but nonviolence, a moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.”

For eighteen days, Egypt “mainstreamed nonviolence.”  Mainstreaming nonviolence does not mean creating a utopia where conflict, violence, and injustice do not exist. Instead, it is the process of nurturing a culture that advances nonviolent options for addressing complicated challenges in ways that are neither violent nor passive.  We have much to learn from this powerful experiment in this peaceful and determined struggle for justice.

All of us owe debt of gratitude to the pro-democracy movement in Egypt for this monumental gift that reveals for people everywhere the power and possibilities of nonviolent change in a world wracked by violence and injustice.


Messages from Citizen Diplomats in Iran

Reflections from the Tehran Peace Museum

Unusual Conversations at Persepolis Nov 10, 2010

  

Fellowship of Reconciliation Sponsors 2010/2011

Travel to Iran as Citizen Diplomats for Peace

November 5 to 20, 2010, delegation to be led by Peaceworkers’ David Hartsough.

Less than 500 U.S. citizens visit Iran each year. Yet the Iranian people love

Americans, and are famous for their Persian hospitality. How can we bridge the

political divisions between our governments at this time of heightened tensions

and rhetoric of war?   more

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 50th Reunion

By David Hartsough  — May 10, 2010
I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the 50 th reunion of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), April 15-18, 2010, in Raleigh, NC.  Over 800 SNCC workers, their families and friends came together for four days to remember, reflect, share stories, inspire a younger generation, and strategize about how to continue the important work that SNCC students started 50 years ago.     more

Active Nonviolence in Palestine and Israel

By David Hartsough — March 8, 2010

When people think of Palestine and Israel, they often picture Palestinians as suicide bombers and terrorists while the Israeli military are seen as bombing whole neighborhoods in Palestine.  The violence and counter-violence and endless war has created a hopelessness about any peaceful future for the Holy Land.

However, during a month-long stay in Palestine and Israel recently, I found something else.  I found something very positive and hopeful and perhaps the key to a peaceful resolution of this tragic conflict — and a possible path toward a peaceful future for both peoples.  

Click here for 12-page, full report in PDF format.

 


My Visit to Gaza with the Gaza Freedom March

by David Hartsough

On the first anniversary of  the War on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead, close to fourteen hundred people from more than 40 countries came to Cairo, Egypt planning to go to Gaza and help end the Siege, a total blockade which began in 2007 and continues today. Unfortunately, under extreme pressure from Israel and perhaps the United States, the Egyptian government did not allow most of us to enter Gaza. However about ninety from the GAZA FREEDOM MARCH did get into Gaza from Dec. 30, 2009-Jan 2, 2010.  I was privileged to be part of that group.

The people of Gaza were so happy we had come, and also deeply appreciated the more than 1,300 others who were not allowed in, but marched in solidarity with us in Cairo. Gaza is like a large prison.  The people of Gaza are all but completely cut off from the rest of the world. They cannot travel or visit relatives living outside the armed apartheid wall which borders all of Gaza, and family members and relatives living outside the area cannot visit their families in Gaza.  Only very limited food and medical supplies are able to get in, building supplies and all the other necessities of life can not be imported, and no goods are exported.

more…

Gaza Freedom March Issues Declaration

to End Israeli Apartheid

The Cairo Declaration of January 1, 2010

We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:

In view of:

  • Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;
  • the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;
  • the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;
  • the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;
  • the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;
  • the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;
  • and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;
  • all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;
  • in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;
  • and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:

Palestinian Self-Determination

Ending the Occupation

Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine

The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

Read more


Streaming video of current interest:

Peace With Iran — A One-hour Report on Citizen Peacemaking

from David Hartsough, Director, Peaceworkers USA

 

ZD YouTube FLV Player

Please click PLAY > button to start video.

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