Publication of the Research/Action Team on Nonviolent
Large Systems Change,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Vol. XX, No.2 Winter, 2006
Nonviolent Change Journal helps to network the peace community: providing dialoguing, exchanges of ideas, articles, reviews, reports and announcements of the activities of peace related groups and meetings, reviews of world developments relating to nonviolent change and resource information concerning the development of human relations on the basis of mutual respect.
Reviews, Notes, and Websites
Review of Paul R. Dekar, Creating the Beloved Community: A Journey
with the Fellowship of Reconciliation (
The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) began symbolically on the eve
of the First World War as Henry Hodgkin, a British Quaker, and Friedrick Siegmund-Schultze, the German pastor of
Hodgkin who had been a missionary doctor
in China had good contacts among American Quakers as well as among the YMCA
which had been active in China and with others such as Grace Hutchins, a
former principal of a school in Wuchang, China, who became the associate
editor of the FOR magazine. He drew upon these contacts to organize a branch
After the war in 1919 Christian peacemakers
At the end of the First World War, the newly organized US-FOR turned its attention to economic injustice which had been partly hidden by the war effort. FOR leaders were active in defense of trade unions and cooperatives, public ownership of important means of production, a universal minimum wage. As Reinhold Niebuhr, the chair of the national council in 1931 and 1932 wrote "A society which tries to create truth, beauty and goodness while it rests upon untrue and unjust foundations deserves to be convicted of hypocrisy and must inevitably lose the good will of those who are victimized by its injustices. There can, therefore, be no health in the cultural and spiritual life of Western society as long as its present economic system is not seriously modified."
Norman Thomas, the Socialist Party
Closely linked to the struggle against economic injustice was the challenge to racism.
Many African-Americans were both poor and discriminated against in housing, employment, transportation and education. FOR activists helped to adopt techniques of Gandhian non-violence to challenge racism. As Bayard Rustin, one time FOR staff member wrote "At times freedom will demand that its followers go into situations where even death is to be faced. Resistance on the buses would, for example, mean humiliation, mistreatment by police, arrest, and some physical violence inflicted on the participants.
"But if anyone at this date in history believes that the 'white problem' which is one of privilege, can be settled without some violence, he is mistaken and fails to realize the ends to which men can be driven to hold on to what they consider privileges.
"This is why Negroes and whites who participate in direct action must pledge themselves to non-violence in word and deed. For in this way alone can the inevitable violence be reduced to a minimum."
The title of the book "Creating the Beloved Community" comes from an oft-used phrase of Martin Luther King Jr. in describing the aim of overcoming the tripartite personal, economic, and political oppression. As James Lawson, who later became FOR chairperson, wrote in 1959 " Only if the Negro is strong enough to love and forgive, while pressing on for a new society, will the end to segregation and racial hatred arrive."
As Dekar points out "FOR members have not typically held a narrow view of peacemaking. FOR members have sought not only to oppose war, but also to identify and alleviate causes of war." As Alfred Hassler, FOR Executive Secretary from 1958 to 1974, wrote " Those of us who believe in the ability of non-violent methods to deal effectively with this problem of social change and revolution must consider whether it is enough to apply the tactics of non-violence to individual circumstances in isolated places, or whether we must not now seek a total strategy that envisions a non-violently organized total world community in which the well-being of all is the responsibility of all." He went on to stress the necessity for individuals of all countries to identify as world citizens and to shape a wider vision of the world at peace. He saw the need to provide concrete, visible, and simple means by which greater numbers of people might contribute to shaping life on earth in different ways and to use new technologies in more appropriate ways.
Dai Dong, a Vietnamese term for "a
world of great togetherness" was such a transnational effort linking
war, ecology, poverty and other social issues, especially at the time of the
1st UN Conference on the Human Environment in
As we look over the history of FOR, we are reminded of a talk in 1967 of Martin Luther King Jr. "The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
Vandana Shiva, Earth
Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace is $15.00 paper, $40.00
cloth, from South End Press,
Elizabeth Boardman, Taking A Stand: A Guide to Peace Teams and Accompaniment Projects is available from Northwest Society Publishers.
The Non-Profit Directory 2005, containing more than 85,000 Non-Profit organizations and Foundations located in the United States and Canada, is available for $149.95 from Canada Books, 26 Bellevue, St-Anne-des-Lacs, Qc, Canada, J0R 1B0 (450)224-9275.
Recent publications from the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation, which can be downloaded from its website: http://www.soros.org , include: Open Society News: The Decade of Roma Inclusion; OSI's EUMAP and Media Program, Television Across Europe: Regulation, Policy, and Independence, indicting the pivotal role of television in supporting democracy in Europe is under threat; OSI, Report of the Second European Forum on Access to Justice; and OSI, Covering Oil: A Reporter’s Guide to Energy and Development.
World Watch Institute produces a number of publications including State of the World published annually at the beginning of each year as a resource "for those who understand the importance of nurturing a safe, sane, and healthy global environment through both policy and action"; Vital Signs an annual providing comprehensive, user-friendly information on key trends and includes tables and graphs that help readers assess the developments that are changing their lives for better or for worse.
Worldwatch Global Trends, an annual CD with instant access to each of Worldwatch's 220 global indicators. Each trend contains a PowerPoint slide and an Excel spreadsheet containing graphs, charts and raw data. The spreadsheets are easily manipulated to include one’s own data for research comparisons or for use in presentations;
World Watch Magazine, a bi-monthly ed on the latest developments in population growth, climate change, species extinction, and the rise of new forms of human behavior and governance; and an ongoing series of Worldwatch Papers by the same team that produces State of the World and Vital Signs. Each 50-70 page Paper provides cutting-edge analysis on an environmental topic that is making—or is about to make—headlines worldwide.
These publications are available separately or together in a subscription to State of the World Library. For details go to: http://www.worldwatch.org/pubs/, or contact Worldwatch Institute, P.O. Box 188, Williamsport, PA 17703, (888)544-2303 or (570)320-2076, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME USEFUL WEBSITES
Global Beat, has been an excellent source of information and further sources for Nonviolent Change, at: http://www.nyu.edu/globalbeat Global Beat also has an E-mail list serve.
The International Crisis Group (IGC) carries regular reports and sets of recommendations about difficult developing situations around the globe, and has been an extremely helpful source of information and ideas for this journal: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm
IGC also has a regular E-mail report circulation sercvice that can be subscribed to on its web site.
Europa World Plus: Europa World/Regional Surveys of the World On Line is at: www.europaworld.com
Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR): http://www.acr.net
Peace Media publishes a monthly web magazine at: http://peacejournalism.com/ReadArticle.asp?ArticleID=6086
The Open society Institute and the Soros Foundation: http://www.soros.org
The inaugural issue of the Culture of Peace Online Journal has been posted at: http://www.copoj.ca