Robert J. Burrowes.
Nonviolence in Harmony and Peace
Global Peace Science coauthor: http://peacefromharmony.org/docs/global-peace-science-2016.pdf
About Global Peace Science
Human beings are rushing headlong to the precipice of extinction. Why is this? Because we are engaged in an orgy of violence against life: our fellow humans, our fellow species, the Earth itself. To survive, we must do many things ranging from nonviolently resisting those insane western elites that threaten us with nuclear obliteration to learning to nurture our children so that they lead lives of fearless, compassionate power in the struggle for peace, justice and sustainability. Global peace science has a vital role to play in this endeavor.
Robert J. Burrowes, author of 'Why Violence?', Australia
Many thanks for your excellent report below! You create an encyclopedia and Network of Nonviolence - this is a very important job! Both are an essential tool of the Global Peace Science (GPS: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=585), why we published a few of your articles in it, and this report I was glad to publish on our website on a special page called: “Robert J. Burrowes. Nonviolence in Harmony and Peace”: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=679.
GPS cannot exist without your tools of non-violence, but it is also true and vice versa: your tools of non-violence cannot be successful without GPS. Only together they are able to achieve practical results, and their separateness is dooming them to extinction, death and oblivion. Therefore, the GPS co-authors signed your wonderful Nonviolence Charter. (Again, I invite the GHA members, who did not sign this Charter, to sign it!). At the same time we hope that the Charter supporters will actively support GPS by all available means. only in such cooperation, mutually supporting each other, we can hope for recognition and success.
I'm waiting from you (and others) 3-4 lines about the GPS importance in this spirit to publish their on our website (http://peacefromharmony.org). Thank you. Best wishes for peace and nonviolence from harmony via GPS.
Dr. Leo Semashko, GHA Honorary President
An Open Letter to the People of the United States:
Election or Revolution?
26 September 2016
Robert J. Burrowes, Ph.D.
As citizens of the USA with a presidential election approaching you have a wonderful opportunity to ponder whether to participate in this election or to participate in the ongoing American Revolution.
Your first revolution might have overthrown the authority of the British monarchy and aristocracy but the one in progress must remove the US elite which have executed a political coup against your government. And you cannot remove elite coupmakers in a fraudulently conducted election in which the ‘choice’ is essentially between two violently insane individuals, each of whom represents the violently insane US elite. See ‘The Global Elite is Insane’ https://www.transcend.org/tms/2014/02/the-global-elite-is-insane/ and ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence
The real value of this second revolution, which moves along steadily with routine outbreaks over a multitude of peace, environmental and social justice issues and occasional ‘uprisings’, such as the Occupy Movement in 2011 which spawned a range of new and visionary initiatives, is that it could give citizens of your country the chance to finally reclaim the Republic for those people who genuinely care about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. And, just as importantly, have sufficient vision to regard these aspirations as something to be shared with the entire US population, starting with Native Americans, and even those of us in the rest of the world including those countries that are currently victims of US elite violence, whether it be wars, drone strikes, coups, economic exploitation or ecological destruction.
Such a revolution might rewrite your constitution and replace the second amendment ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms’ with the right to live free of the fear of gun violence. It might result in a form of social organization that distributes wealth equitably (perhaps by actually taxing the wealthy and outlawing the use of offshore tax havens) while reallocating the annual military (killing) budget to life-enhancing projects such as poverty alleviation, affordable housing, free education, free healthcare, clean water, renewable energy technologies, and a substantial budget for compensation to those countries that the US elite has systematically exploited or simply destroyed during the past 200 years. This would allow the 50 million US citizens who live in poverty, and another billion people around the world who also live in poverty, the chance to live a decent life.
Now, you might ask, ‘How are we, the ordinary citizens of the United States, even with our handguns, rifles and assault weapons, going to take on the US military and police to remove elite control of our government?’ Well, the answer is that you do not need even one weapon for this ongoing revolution and, in fact, you are vastly better off without them. Weapons have only one use – to kill people – and any revolution worth the name has a more profoundly ambitious aim than this.
What you need is intelligence, commitment, courage and a sound nonviolent strategy. The US elite controls your government and has crippled your republic because, over successive generations, you have let them. Every time you cooperate with the elite, because you are scared, by paying your taxes (more than 50% of which finances US wars and other military violence), putting your money into their corporate banks, shopping at their corporate shopping malls, buying and consuming the ‘news’ presented by their corporate media, rationalizing their policies as reasonable, participating in their unjust and violent legal system, fighting (as an enlisted person or as a mercenary) in their military forces, working in their prison system, accepting exploited employment of any kind, eating their poisoned and genetically mutilated foods (GMOs), going along with their endless attempts to divide you along racial, class, religious and other lines, you simply consent to their control. Why?
You have a simple alternative. Consciously and systematically participate in the ongoing nonviolent revolution that is already taking place and give it added life by your presence. Remake the US republic as you want it by withdrawing your cooperation with elite structures and processes while creating alternatives that meet your needs and the needs of those around you.
Join those US visionaries who are creating cooperatives where people are both managers and valued workers, take your money out of elite banks and put it into financial organizations that exist or which you create to serve the interests of their members (or, if you prefer, use LETSystems), refuse to participate in or pay for (with your taxes) US imperialism (and win friends all over the world), grow or buy healthy locally-grown organic/biodynamic (and, if you are concerned about the climate catastrophe as well, vegetarian) food, read progressive news outlets so that you know what is really going on in the USA and the world, read literature that deepens your understanding and concern for humanity and doesn’t just offer you a distraction from the horror in which you live, and support or even become one of those many fine nonviolent activists in your country who take personal risks in the struggle to create a better world.
If you want more of what you have, then you should vote and/or buy a gun. They have an equivalent outcome: they both legitimize elite violence and exploitation directed at you and those you love.
If you want to participate in this second and ongoing American revolution, then spend your time participating in the wholesome activities that many grassroots organizations already offer and in creating its next manifestations in your own neighborhood. It is the powerful conscience-based choices that you make as an individual that define your Self. And it is these choices that will have most impact on your family, neighborhood, community organization, trade union, religious organization and elsewhere and that will help decide the future of the USA and its role in the world.
Now you might say, I do some or even all of the sorts of things you mentioned above, so why not vote too? My answer is simply this: Voting is an act of disempowerment. It’s essential message is ‘I appoint you to govern for me’. I prefer to govern myself (both meanings intended). And you?
So what of those who present the ‘lesser evil’ argument: one candidate is so bad that it is better to have the other. This ‘argument’ is not worthy of scrutiny. If you are deceived by this argument, you will vote forever in the delusional hope that you will one day get a choice to vote for someone genuinely decent. In 2008, Barack Obama was supposed to be the candidate of hope and change. Did you get that hope and change? Are you going to get it with Clinton or Trump? Of course not. Elites simply ensure that change via the electoral system cannot happen; its function is to absorb and dissipate our dissent.
If you vote you are saying that you endorse this system of electoral exploitation. The tragedy is that even third-party candidates, who may be people of genuine principle, have no chance. Even worse, they add a veneer of legitimacy to your corrupt electoral system.
In essence, if you vote for the ‘lesser evil’ you are still voting for an ‘evil’ and, more importantly, you have participated in and endorsed an ‘evil’ system: one which denies you a genuine ‘free and fair’ choice to vote for a candidate who actually represents your interests and views and has a reasonable chance of winning. And, having won, is then able to actually implement their policies (rather than be stymied by a power structure that has no intention of letting this happen). Given your circumstances, ‘the only winning move is not to play’ their corrupt game and to put your energy into a genuinely winning move: working for the regeneration of American society.
Look at it this way. If there are two rotten eggs, would you choose the one that is less rotten and eat it? Presumably you would seek another option and only after you have identified and fixed what is causing the problem in the first place. The point is this: Unless you spend your time deeply contemplating the nature of the society in which you want to live and then devoting your time and energy into creating that society, you will never have it. And you have betrayed yourself.
The reality is that either Clinton or Trump is going to be president of the USA for the next four years and a lot of people (both in the US but particularly in foreign countries) are going to die because of it (through US military violence and corporate exploitation). What we can do is to invest our political energy into creating a United States in which, at some point in the future, the likes of Clinton and Trump, and those they represent, no longer drive outcomes in our world.
To reiterate: I am not saying ‘Don’t vote and do nothing’ (as so many people do already). I am suggesting that you ponder the dysfunctionality of your society, do some research into the secretive ‘deep state’ (or military-industrial complex or power elite or the 1% or however you wish to describe it) that controls your ‘republic’ with its electoral system designed to delude you into believing that you have a say in governing your nation, and then consider how you want to engage politically and act in accord with your conscience in doing so. It is only by doing this that we will have any chance of getting the society and the world that we want, even if it is beyond our lifetimes (and assuming we can avert extinction at our own hand in the meantime).
In summary, profound change only occurs from the ‘bottom up’ when enough ordinary people take the initiative to remake their own society. And if you are really interested in doing this, one important place to start is by reviewing the way in which you nurture children.
See ‘My Promise to Children’. https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/constructive-program/my-promise-to-children/
Other straightforward options, in addition to those mentioned above, include participation in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’ http://tinyurl.com/flametree and signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’. http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com
But for those of you who are serious strategic thinkers, I have outlined a strategy for removing coupmakers on the website Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/ which is a straightforward presentation of the more detailed explanation offered in the book The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2176-the-strategy-of-nonviolent-defe.aspx
Is our destiny in our own hands? only if we have enough people of courage to accept responsibility for it. Are you one of them?
A Nonviolent Strategy to End War
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 15 August 2016
Robert J. Burrowes, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service
10 Aug 2016 – There is a long history of anti-war and peace activism. Much of this activism has focused on ending a particular war. Some of this activism has been directed at ending a particular aspect of war, such as the use of a type of weapon. Some of it has aimed to prevent a type of war, such as ‘aggressive war’ or nuclear war. For those activists who regard war as the scourge of human existence, however, ‘the holy grail’ has always been much deeper: to end war.
There is an important reason why those of us in the last category have not, so far, succeeded. In essence, this is because, whatever their merits, the analyses and strategies we have been using have been inadequate. This is, of course, only a friendly criticism of our efforts, including my own. I am also not suggesting that the task will be easy, even with a sound analysis and comprehensive strategy. But it will be far more likely.
Given my own preoccupation with human violence, of which I see war as a primary subset, I have spent a great deal of time researching why violence occurs in the first place – see ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’. http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/ – and by taking or teaching strategic nonviolent action in response to many of its manifestations.
Moreover, given that I like to succeed when I work for positive change in this world, I pay a great deal of attention to strategy. In fact, I have written extensively on this subject after researching the ideas of the greatest strategic theorists and strategists in history. If you are really keen, you can read about this in The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2176-the-strategy-of-nonviolent-defe.aspx
However, because I know that most people aren’t too interested in scholarly works and that nonviolent activists have plenty of worthwhile things to do with their time, I have recently been putting the essence of the information in the book onto two websites so that the strategic thinking is presented simply and is readily available.
One of the outcomes I would like to achieve through these websites is to involve interested peace and anti-war activists from around the world in finalizing the development of a comprehensive nonviolent strategy to end war and to then work with them to implement it.
Consequently, I have been developing this nonviolent strategy to end war and I invite you to check it out and to suggest improvements. You can see it on the Nonviolent Campaign Strategy website. https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/
If you are interested in being involved in what will be a long and difficult campaign, I would love to hear from you.
You might also be interested in signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com where the names of many nonviolent activists who will work on this campaign are already listed.
Ending war is not impossible. But it is going to take a phenomenal amount of intelligent strategic effort, courage and time. Whether we have that time is the only variable beyond our control.
Robert Burrowes, Ph.D. is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? Websites: (Charter) (Flame Tree Project) (Songs of Nonviolence) Nonviolent Campaign Strategy: https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/
Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/
http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear fellow signatories of the Nonviolence Charter
How are you all? And welcome to our most recent signatories and organisations!
Here is the latest six-monthly report on progress in relation to 'The
People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World' and a sample of news
about Charter signatories.
Building a worldwide consensus against the use of violence in all
contexts is quite a challenge but we are making solid progress!
Since our last report on 14 October 2015 - which Antonio C.S. Rosa
kindly published in the TRANSCEND Media Service Weekly Digest:
- we have gained our first signatories in another four countries -
Argentina, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan and West Papua - a total of 93
countries now. We also have 104 organisations from 33 countries, the
latest of which is the Associação Internacional de Poetas based in
Brazil. If you wish, you can see the list of organisational endorsements
on the Charter website:
If you wish to see individual signatories, click on the 'View
signatures' item in the sidebar. You can use the search facility if you
want to look for a specific name.
The latest progress report article 'Ending Human Violence is a Task for
Each of Us' was recently distributed to many progressive news websites
and mainstream newspapers: it was published by a number of progressive
outlets in fourteen countries, thanks to very supportive editors
(several of whom are Charter signatories: special thanks to Antonio Rosa
https://www.transcend.org/tms/ , David Swanson http://warisacrime.org/ ,
Gifty Ayim-Korankye http://ghanawebonline.com , Korsi Senyo
http://awakeafrica.com/ , Dr Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
http://popularresistance.org/ and Pía Figueroa http://www.pressenza.com/
). If you like, you can read the article here:
If any of you would like a copy of the World Media List (which is
primarily newspapers but no Murdoch outlets), then you are welcome to
email Robert at email@example.com and he will send you a copy. An
increasing number of Charter signatories are using some or all of the
list and it is apparent that our articles are being published more or
less widely. We are not naive about the corporate media but sending them
regular doses of the truth cannot do them any harm! Besides, many
progressive news website editors are very supportive.
If you feel inclined to do so, you are welcome to help raise awareness
of the Nonviolence Charter using whatever means are easiest for you:
email, articles, Facebook, Twitter .... Thanks to Anahata, the
Nonviolence Charter is on Facebook and it has links to some useful
You may remember that in the last Charter progress report we repeated
our promise to report on those of you about whom we knew less by asking
you to send us some information about yourself and the reminder that you
don't have to be world famous to be valued here. Well, the good news is
that a number of people responded and, in addition, we did some more
research ourselves. However, as we continue to find, extraordinary
people seem to invariably consider themselves 'ordinary'. So,
irrespective of how you consider yourself, we would love to hear about
you for the next report!
Apart from those signatories mentioned in the article 'Ending Human
Violence is a Task for Each of Us' cited above, here is another
(inadequate) sample of reports of the activities of 'ordinary' people
and organisations who are your fellow Charter signatories.
Sadly, Charter signatory and a wonderful human being, Professor Dietrich
Fischer, passed away on 18 October 2015. You can read a brief account of
Dieter's tremendous talent and compassion, as well as his work for peace
and justice, in 'Obituary – Dietrich Fischer 1941-2015':
Delasnieve Daspet in Brazil is a lawyer, poet and longtime activist
working for peace, humanitarian causes, a culture of peace, solidarity,
the environment, human rights, and for minorities. Delasnieve is also
the founder and a key figure at the Associação Internacional de Poetas
(International Association of Poets). We don't know what she does in her
Some of our recent signatories are definitely among our more senior
nonviolent activists: Sr Elizabeth Salmon, M.M. is an 85yo nun in the
USA, Jack Gilroy is an 80 year old US Army and Navy veteran who has
recently spent three months in prison for a nonviolent action protesting
against US drone strikes, and Sr Megan Rice is an 85yo US nun who
recently spent two years in prison for her nonviolent action
(splattering blood and painting the words 'Woe to an Empire of Blood' on
the wall) at a nuclear plant in Tennessee that holds enough highly
enriched uranium to make thousands of nuclear warheads. We deeply
appreciate your inspiring and courageous nonviolent leadership Sr
Elizabeth, Jack and Sr Megan.
If you would like to read Jack's sober and informative account of 'Why
we are walking across Upstate NY to protest drones' and why Jack spent
those three months in jail for an earlier nonviolent action against
drone killings, you can do so here:
We acknowledge your honesty and courage Jack!
Leon Simweragi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues his
utterly inspirational work which includes empowerment projects for women
and rehabilitation of child soldiers. He is a remarkable individual and
you can read something of his efforts and, if you like, send a gift to
support his organisation the Association de Jeunes Visionnaires pour le
Développement du Congo (AJVDC) via their new website:
A recent highlight of Australian Jason MacLeod's ongoing superlative
efforts (since 1991) on behalf of West Papua was the publication of his
book 'Merdeka and the Morning Star: civil resistance in West Papua'
which carefully describes the evolution of the West Papuan resistance to
three successive occupying countries (is that a world record?) over more
than a century. Jason's book was launched in Brisbane, Australia by
leaders of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua Octovianus Mote
and Benny Wenda. Jason continues to work with nonviolent activists in
West Papua to develop a more comprehensive nonviolent strategy to
liberate West Papua. An evocative excerpt from Jason's book 'West
Papuans Testify' was widely published and can be read here:
And a review of Jason's book can be read here:
Tara Tulku Drimed Drolkhar Rinpoche at Buddha Dharma - OBF International
in Slovenia has recently advised of their Global Consciousness Project,
part of an international effort that had thousands of people meditating
in many countries around the world. You can read about it here:
John Avery in Denmark has thoughtfully had the links to all of his
exceptional work put on one website:
http://www.countercurrents.org/avery130316.htm Given the range and depth
of John's thinking, there is much to ponder from even the most cursory
perusal of his work.
Russian Dr Leo Semashko http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=286
has just been elected Honorary President and lifelong Board member of
the Global Harmony Association which boasts a worldwide network.
Succeeding him as President is Professor Subhash Chandra
http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=583 of India. Under Leo's
editorship and with active support from other GHA members - including
some who are also Nonviolence Charter signatories such as Subhash, Prof
Ayo Ayoola-Amale in Ghana, Prof Bishnu Pathak in Nepal, Delasnieve
Daspet in Brazil, Ime Bisassoni in Argentina, Kae Morii in Japan and
Zaure Khizatolla in Kazakhstan - the long-awaited book 'Global Peace
Science' has recently been completed. The book, co-authored by Leo and
173 others, is being published in two languages - Russian and English -
and is being published in India, Russia and the United States. It is
You can read about the very active Global Harmony Association here:
For an explanation of why the Burmese election last November could be of
no consequence, you can read Dr Maung Zarni's prescient thoughts in 'The
stubborn regime': http://himalmag.com/burma-elections-not-historical/
Zarni's website, which includes all of his wide-ranging articles such as
those on the 'slow burning genocide' of the Rohingya, is here:
http://www.maungzarni.net/ on a lighter and happier note, on 18 October
last year, Zarni was presented with the Cultivation of Harmony Award on
behalf of the Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, USA
by long-time Northern Ireland peace activist and fellow Charter
signatory Mairead Maguire. You can see more about this on his website as
well. Congratulations Zarni!
If you haven't checked out the excellent 'Ghana web online' with news
about Ghana and Africa from an African perspective and edited by Gifty
Ayim-Korankye, you can do so here: http://ghanawebonline.com/
A great nonviolent action, highlighting the need to build solidarity
between activists and workers on three interrelated issues -
anti-militarism, climate sustainability and local sustainable employment
- was conducted by activists associated with the Global Network Against
Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, USA
last November. The nonviolent action took place to protest the US Navy's
launch of another Aegis destroyer, which is designed to fire offensive
first-strike attack cruise missiles while the anti-satellite interceptor
missiles on-board have been developed to serve as the 'shield' after the
Pentagon's first-strike attack is launched against Russia or China. You
can see photos of their action and read Bruce Gagnon's thoughtful
account here: 'Shipyard Protest - Unity of Message'
If you would like to join Sami Awad and friends at the Holy Land Trust
in Bethlehem for their Palestine Summer Encounter 2016 so that you can
experience the culture of the Holy Land as the average tourist never
does, while hearing, meeting, exploring, learning and understanding
peacemaking with the local communities, you are welcome to fill out the
application form here:
Paul Buchheit is finalising his forthcoming book 'Disposable Americans:
Extreme Capitalism and the Case for a Guaranteed
Income' which will be published by Routledge in 2016. We asked Paul
about the book: 'It tells past, present, and personal stories of
neglected Americans, especially low-income minorities, women, children,
young adults, and the elderly. It presents evidence for our extreme
state of inequality, and it offers a solution through the annual payment
of a national dividend for every American.' Given Paul's insightful
critiques of US society, which are regularly published in prominent
progressive news websites, this book will be a gem. Here is one of
Paul's recent articles to give you some idea of what he writes: 'Tax
Time: How Corporations Are Cheating Schoolchildren'
If you haven't read 'Confessions of a terrorist sympathiser' penned by
terrorism expert Professor Richard Jackson in New Zealand, then I have
little doubt you will find it an extraordinarily evocative read. His
confession is on his website:
Kathy Kelly and Buddy Bell have just written a thoughtful article titled
'Once More, Civilians Bear the Brunt of this War' which includes a
collection of quotes from attacked medical professionals in war zones.
Sobering reading. You can read it on the Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Professor Chandra Muzaffar and colleagues Fah Yen Yin, Nurul Haida Binti
Dzulkifli and many others at the International Movement for a JUST
World, based in Malaysia, continue their inspirational efforts. You will
get some idea of this from the JUST website:
Our good friends at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in the
USA, including Tom Shea and Leonard Eiger, continue their untiring
efforts to end the nuclear arms race. This and other news of their
ongoing nonviolent resistance to Trident and efforts towards a nuclear
weapons free world can be read on their website which includes links to
their highly informative newsletters: http://www.gzcenter.org/
Rivera Sun, who never fails to be creative in her advocacy and
application of nonviolence, recently suggested that we 'Celebrate
Boycotts on St. Patrick's Day'
And for her brief exposition of why Gandhi's use of salt was so
effective, her article 'Gandhi's Salt: How a Fistful of Mud and Seawater
Shook the British Empire'
is well worth reading. Good on you for presenting nonviolent history and
theory in a way that makes it interesting to modern readers Rivera. We
really appreciate it!
Based in Mozambique, Marianne Perez de Fransius continues to teach us
how to present peace as sexy, possible, profitable and fun! You can see
how to do this here: http://www.peaceissexy.net/
Professor Emeritus Marc Pilisuk recently wrote a beautifully understated
and very thoughtful article on 'Engaging the ISIS Threat'.
https://www.transcend.org/tms/2016/02/engaging-the-isis-threat/ It is
well worth reading.
Robert Dubois has been a progressive activist/social democrat 'for
longer than I can remember'. He served nearly three terms as an elected
Town Councillor in Franklin, Massachusetts, USA and as Chairman of
Trustees for a Unitarian Church in the town. He is a retired Physics
teacher, having taught at both high school and the University of
Houston. He is also a retired Research Chemist for Dow Chemical. He and
his wife Susan, who is a Printmaker and an Art Psychotherapist, have
just moved from Houston to Albuquerque.
Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire continues her lifelong effort to
end violence and war with her latest news release urging the UK to End
Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia and the Saudis to End Their Bombing Campaign
in Yemen. See
Rajesh Makwana at Share the World's Resources based in the UK has
responded, with his usual insight and compassion, to the ongoing refugee
crisis in Europe in his article 'The global refugee crisis: humanity's
last call for a culture of sharing and cooperation'.
Korsi Senyo is co-founder and Executive Director of the African Centre
for Peace Building http://afcopb.org/ and has over six years experience
working directly at local and international levels focusing on
peace-building, youth development, education, web development, social
media, marketing, microfinance and in other fields. He is the Founder
and CEO of Senyo Global Group – 'a company that is into business media,
ICT, real estate and agriculture'. Korsi is also chief editor for the
news website 'Awake Africa' http://awakeafrica.com/ (an online
pan-African magazine) and http://ghadverts.com (an online business
magazine), which includes advertisements for 'Ghana's premium
Alternative Dispute Resolutions company'! In February 2014, he was
invited by H.E. Dennis Sasso Nduaso, the President of the Republic of
Congo to join five Head of States, Noble Peace Prize winners, Defense
Ministers, Senior Government Officials and other world leaders to
celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Signing of Brazzaville Peace Accord.
At this world peace gathering, Korsi Senyo joined in discussions in
shaping world peace and development. He is currently the West Africa CC
Liaison Officer for United Religions Initiative – a US base interfaith
and peace-building organization. He is also now serving as a Mentor on
the Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme/Youth African Leaders
Initiative. 'He is married and blessed with two boys.'
There is a great chapter (titled 'Violence and Terrorism') in
Palestinian Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh's 2004 book 'Sharing The Land of
Canaan'. You can check it out here: http://qumsiyeh.org/chapter8/
We asked Dr Katharina Bitzker in Germany, who is doing research into
love and peace: 'What has been the most challenging aspect so far of
researching the link between love and peace?' This is Katharina's
answer: 'I think there are challenging aspects on many different levels,
so just a few... First off, peace and conflict studies is so
crisis-oriented that many peacebuilders have a difficult time
acknowledging the importance of love in most people's lives because it
feels like they are not dealing with 'serious' or 'heavy' issues. So
bridging this disconnect between how important love is for most people
in their daily lives and how little airplay it gets in peace academic
circles (but I am also changing that...one conference at a time :-)) is
a challenging aspect that comes up again and again. Another challenge
for the interviews - how do we talk about something that makes many
people speechless - in the best sense of the word?...:-). Here we really
traverse territory where many people shy away because it feels either
too cheesy or the words somehow never mirror the full depth of the
experience. And a challenge that has actually proven to be a blessing in
disguise: especially the interviewees who were sceptical initially about
the topic and felt they had nothing to contribute (go figure... how can
a human being say s/he has "nothing to say about love and peace"...?! -
but I've heard this sentence a few times now) really opened up during
the interviews and the whole conversation became a great exploration
together, on what it means to love and how that experience is connected
to peace. Does that make any sense to you? :-)' Great to see you pushing
Despite his already lengthy career as a superbly successful journalist,
Jonathan Power shows no sign of stopping! one of his longer recent
articles asked penetrating questions about the Pope. See 'When the Pope
Turned His Back': http://wpj.dukejournals.org/content/33/1/96.full
René Wadlow, president of the Association of World Citizens
http://www.worldcitizensunited.org/ based in France, offers a thoughtful
way forward on one of the world's longer standing but lesser known
complex conflicts in this article published recently: 'A Federal Syria:
Burt Berlowe, who maintains the Compassionate Rebel website -
http://compassionaterebel.com/ - is also heavily involved in a
forthcoming book titled 'Turning Points: Finding My Passion', ed. by
Laurence Peters. Here is a brief description of a wonderfully inspiring
book: '"Turning Points: Finding My Passion" represents a group portrait
of a generation touched by the turbulent winds of a mid-century world
which tossed so many received values aside. As the '60s slips from view,
becoming either the subject of the nostalgia industry or sensation-laden
documentaries, these writers tell the stories of ordinary people faced
with the new and radical choices opened by an America going through a
series of multiple crises. It was Dylan who warned "Look out kid, they
keep it all hid" and so they did. As the stable and conformist '50s gave
way to the turbulent '60s, we all entered a world in which for both
genders there were no safe and easy choices. A new set of values stirred
by the passions created in the anti-war, civil rights, and women's
movement forced us to make new choices that were simply anathema to our
parent's generation: dropping out of society, moving abroad, protesting
an immoral war or racism, living off the land. These were no longer
extreme reactions taken by people at the margins of the society but
mainstream choices. The pain and idealism of the times are recorded in
this volume in just about equal measure as an element that is too often
missing in memoir writing: What happened next? What did these writers
then do with the new insights and wisdom gained by passing through the
crucible of the '60s? How did those critical experiences then shape them
in later years? To what extent did it enrich the careers and the work
our writers returned to after the war ended and the major civil rights'
battles were won largely as a result of the activism of millions of
young people? What kinds of choices did our writers then make for
themselves? To read this volume is to gain a sense of a generation that
is now eager to make sure that the choices they made and the values they
forged help create a more sustainable and peaceful planet than the one
Sister Elaine Kelley and colleagues at Friends of Sabeel North America
(FOSNA), which is a 'Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice
and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolence and education', continue
their tireless efforts in solidarity with our Palestinian friends. You
can check out their great leadership team and wonderful work here:
Joy First is a member of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
in the US.
If you would like to read Joy's powerful account of her recent trial for
walking onto the Air National Guard Base at Volk Field in Wisconsin, you
can do so in this article: 'Joy First, Grandmother Activist, Found
Guilty of Trespassing in Juneau County, WI'.
Brilliant Joy! You might not get justice in a court but we live by a
higher law hey?
Scholar and playwright Timothy Braatz somehow continues to combine two
very demanding careers! The Boundary County Task Force on Human Rights
formed in 1986 in response to a white supremacist movement in north
Idaho (USA). Recently, when Islamophobia reared its ugly head in the
region and across the country, the task force knew what to do: Offer a
better message. They confronted the county commissioners for passing a
gratuitous resolution condemning Muslim immigrants. on January 9, they
held a public rally in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, with speakers urging
tolerance rather than fear and bigotry. Two local residents, choir
director Vicki Blake Thompson and playwright Timothy Braatz, organized a
theatrical experience with dramatic and comical scenes reviewing the
region's history of racism, interspersed with songs celebrating peaceful
coexistence. Forty choir members and actors performed two sold-out and
emotional shows at the Pearl Theater in Bonners Ferry, on March 4 and 6.
Audience members said 'Thank you for doing this for us' and 'This is
just what the community needed.' Thompson and Braatz are currently
rehearsing a new show, one that examines the mysteries of the cosmos and
emphasizes the shared humanity of all earthlings. It will play in
Bonners Ferry and across the border in Creston, British Columbia
(Canada), in mid-May.
As part of his ongoing and indefatigable efforts, John Dear has
initiated 'Building New "Nonviolent Cities"' which you can read about
Great stuff John!
Since the devastating earthquakes in Nepal last year, we have still not
been able to contact five Charter signatories in that country. However,
for a wonderful tribute to the remarkable and dedicated life of
Professor Bishnu Pathak, you will enjoy the article 'Bishnu Pathak's
Nine Freedoms Doctrine to Truth, Justice and Dignity'.
You are truly an inspiration Bishnu!
For yet another penetrating critique of modern society by Professor Noam
Chomsky, you will enjoy this interview 'Indicting the System with Noam
Chomsky' published on his personal website:
https://chomsky.info/04012016/ In appreciation of yourlifetime of
truth telling Noam!
Vijay Mehta and friends at Uniting for Peace in the UK have just
launched a visionary initiative called 'Europe for Peace: Count Me In':
http://www.europeforpeace.org.uk/ Intended to highlight how the European
Union has played a much greater role in forging a peaceful Western
Europe than is widely understood, their 'niche' campaign promotes a
wider appreciation of how the EU has created mechanisms that prevent
conflicts before they begin, highlights the dangers to peace and
stability that a
disintegrating EU would present, identifies that many/all of the
problems in the EU are down to its neoliberal 'austerity' agenda, its
alignment with NATO, and its democratic deficit. The campaign is thus
critical of these areas, stressing an urgent need for reform, while
understanding that this cannot be done without a seat at the table. They
also argue that urgent EU issues like migration, the refugee crisis and
increasing terrorism on European soil can only be tackled by mutual
cooperation and shared responsibility. In addition, there is a very
thoughtful lecture, delivered by Vijay on 5 March at the Uniting for
Peace Spring Conference, which was titled 'Middle East Conflict: Impact
on Europe and Prospects for Peace'. A summary, with a link to the full
lecture, can be read here:
The Afghan Peace Volunteers organise a monthly 'Global Day of Listening'
(that is, 'ACTIVE listening to people around the globe conversing about
each other's paths of action toward a peaceful world') from 4-7pm Kabul
time on the 21st of each month. If you would like to listen to previous
days of listening or be part of this ongoing conversation at any time,
you can connect via this website:
http://globaldaysoflistening.org/pages/livestream To request a time to
talk yourself, simply email the APV mentor Hakim (Dr Teck Young Wee) and
his young friends at "Global Days of Listening"
The APVs are very committed! They want
our help to 'build a critical mass of nonviolent relationships for a
green and equal world without war.'
Dr Klaus Schlichtmann of Nihon University in Japan gave an insightful
lecture titled '1950 - How the Opportunity for Transititioning to UN
Collective Security Was Missed' to the Security and Disarmament
Commission at the International Peace Research Association conference
held in 2014. You can see it here:
Kristin Christman is author of 'The Taxonomy of Peace: A Comprehensive
Classification of the Roots and Escalators of Violence and 650 Solutions
for Peace' https://sites.google.com/site/paradigmforpeace More recently,
her newspaper article explains why 'Compassion, humanity better resolve
conflicts: Constructive intelligence a smarter choice to finding peace
in the world'
Gouthama Siddarthan is a noted columnist, short-story writer, essayist
and a micro-political critic in Tamil Nadu, India. For a wonderful
example of his evocative storytelling, spend a few minutes reading 'Dear
Makhmalbaf! There Is Iranian Cinema Even In India':
Pat Elder of our friends at the National Coalition to Protect Student
Privacy in the USA - http://www.studentprivacy.org/ - which campaigns
tirelessly to defend student privacy from military and corporate
intrusion, recently wrote a great article which showcases the importance
of this issue. You can read the article here: 'Military Exploits School
Testing Opt Out Campaign'
Our friends at the Center for Global Nonkilling
http://www.nonkilling.org/ continue their fine work with the recent
publication of their latest book 'Nonkilling Balkans', which includes an
interdisciplinary collection of eleven essays that were presented at the
First Nonkilling Balkans Forum, held in Sarajevo in August 2014.
Inspirational founder Professor Glenn D. Paige stepped down as Chair of
the Governing Council on 1 January 2016. He continues to serve as an
'ordinary member', however. 'Ordinary' Glenn?
Dr Gary Kohls continues to write carefully researched articles on a
number of subjects. In January, his article '14 Lies That Our Psychiatry
Professors in Medical School Taught Us' was published. You can read it
Phillip Farruggio soberingly explores why militarism has penetrated US
culture so deeply in his article 'Militant MadAmerika'
Dr Tess Ramiro in the Philippines continues to guide the organization
Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan – Center for Active Non-Violence
and has offered a report of their tireless efforts on many fronts.
'Internally as an organization, we continue to struggle raising funds
for our projects as our support from our main sponsor ended December
'Last February 1-7, we in AKKAPKA-CANV, FORPhils., Inc., along with our
partners called Uniharmony Partners Manila, finished celebrating the
World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) as called for by the UN under the
General Assembly Resolution No. 10.This year was the 4th year that we
have been celebrating the said event every first week of February.
'The week-long activities included a Breakfast meeting of Diplomats with
the Cardinal (Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Tagle, DD). The said
breakfast was hosted by the Cardinal. This was followed by a media forum
on inter-faith harmony in the context of what is happening in the world
-- terrorism in the name of religion. This activity was organized and
coordinated by us in conjunction with the Tapatan sa Aristocrat (a
regular Monday Forum hosted by a Media Practitioner from Areopagus,
'Other activities such as a Round-table Discussion on Climate Change and
COP21 was organized and sponsored by the Latter-Day Saints; a symposium
on Women organized by a women's group called Teodora; appreciation of
interfaith food and cooking such as halal, kosher and vegan undertaken
by our Muslim women friends; a poster-making contest sponsored by the
Buddhists nuns and laypeople; a youth camp hosted by the Focolare
Movement; a gathering for group meditation; a night of songs and dances
or a festival of languages by the youth representatives from 15
countries organized by the Pacific Dialogue Foundation, and
last but not the least, the peace, harmony and unity aspirations of
children expressed in song and dance, hosted by children. The latter
became our closing activity for the week.
'Other than the above, I as a person and leader of our organization,
have been made a member of the National Convenors' Group of the "Huwag
Kang Magnakaw" (Thou Shalt Not Steal) Movement since September last
year. So I have also been active
in the anti-corruption campaign of the said movement.
'Since we are already in the election campaign period (yes, we are going
to elect our new Pres, Vice-Pres., 12 senators, Representatives of
Congress, Governors, vice-governors, Provincial and City Councilors,
Mayors, vice-mayors and Municipal
Councilors all the way down to the barangay or village officials and
members) one can just imagine the big threat of vote-buying, cheating,
pay-offs which usually mar our elections. We hope and pray through
continued voters' education
and electoral awareness campaigns, poll-watching preparedness and
training for the use of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines
for automated elections, we as citizens of this country, will get to
have an-honest-to-goodness clean, peaceful, orderly and credible
Good on you Tess and we share your hope and prayer on the last point.
The second edition of David Swanson's 'War Is A Lie' has just been
published (on 5 April). You can check it out here:
http://davidswanson.org/warisalie There is a valuable interview of David
about the book conducted by fellow Charter signatory Cindy Sheehan here:
Since the age of 19, when Dr Kulandhaisamy Susaikannu was a student of
chemical engineering, he has been actively involved in the Gandhian
movement in India. Now 63, his primary involvement is through conducting
2-3 day workshops for teachers on the theme 'Peace Education Based on
Gandhian Values' in India, Nepal and other places. He has written a book
'Gandhian Values for Peace' with 50 lesson modules which is prescribed
for the Value Education class in schools. His latest venture was to
Ahmedabad where he spent 15 days conducting workshops in three Teacher
Training Colleges including Gandhiji's Gujarat Vidyapeeth!
Gar Smith from Environmentalists Against War in the USA recently wrote
an insightful critique exposing the role of the Pentagon in the
accelerating climate catastrophe. His very thoughtful article 'Global
Warming's Unacknowledged Threat—The Pentagon'
pointed out that 'The Pentagon has admitted to burning 350,000 barrels
of oil a day (only 35 countries in the world consume more) but that
doesn't include oil burned by contractors and weapons suppliers. It
does, however, include providing fuel for more than 28,000 armored
vehicles, thousands of helicopters, hundreds of jet fighters and bombers
and vast fleets of Navy vessels. The Air Force accounts for about half
of the Pentagon’s operational energy consumption, followed by the Navy
(33%) and Army (15%).'
We encouraged Richard Sroczynski to tell us something about himself and
were delighted to read the following (which brilliantly illustrated how
remarkable people invariably consider themselves 'ordinary'):
'I am easily tempted, and honored to be asked to share.
'I don't think there is much of interest after reading about those
mentioned in your report.
'I am a recently unremarkable retired middle class family man whose
greatest joys these days comes from seeing my grandsons blossom and
having more time to pursue my most heartfelt interests.
'I have a passion for justice, a personal motto of "make a difference
and create possibilities", and a commitment to building thriving
families and community.
'I recently retired from a career in providing social and health
services to indigent, marginalized and underserved communities, most
recently working with urban homeless persons.
'My activism began in my youth finding myself unable to tolerate seeing
anyone else being put down and led to a life of peace, justice,
nonviolence and anti-war work.
'Along the way I've met countless good and caring people willing to put
themselves out for the common good, and firmly believe that if we all
could unite our efforts we could turn the world around.
'I have been privileged to have been able to serve with several UN NGO
committees on Social Development and Poverty Eradication, and would love
to do anything I could to support The Elders in their work.
'Currently my primary organizing and activities are focused on working
with Witness Against Torture to end and redress the indefinite detention
of Guantanamo, eradicating torture and unjust imprisonment, immigration
reform, disaster recovery work, and visiting persons in detention.
'Oh, and I enjoy playing the accordion and rousing sing alongs.
'Not sure if that was what you were thinking but I think it pretty well
And Richard thought there wasn't 'much of interest' in his efforts!
Lastly, if you haven't checked out 'The Flame Tree Project to Save Life
on Earth' in which you are welcome to participate in response to the
accelerating environmental crises, you can do so here:
http://tinyurl.com/flametree Anita's 'The Flame Tree Song' can be heard
Her other 'Songs of Nonviolence' are on her website too.
Well, as indicated above, an inadequate summary but it gives you some
idea of our shared efforts. We must have all of those perpetrators of
violence surrounded by now!
Finally, if you or someone you know has the means and inclination to do
so, any financial support for Anita and Robert to help us do this work
will be much appreciated. You can see how here:
In appreciation of all of your efforts (including all of those not
And don't forget to write to us with a report on what you do!
For a world without violence; Robert, Anita and Anahata
P.S. This Charter progress report is being emailed, in a sequence of
emails, to all signatories of the Nonviolence Charter for whom we have a
current email address.
Anita McKone, Anahata Giri and Robert J. Burrowes
Websites: http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com (Charter)
http://tinyurl.com/flametree (Flame Tree Project)
http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence ('Why Violence?')
http://anitamckone.wordpress.com (Anita: Songs of Nonviolence)
https://globalnonviolencenetwork.wordpress.com/ (Global Nonviolence Network)
April 15, 2016