Activist David Hartsough to visit D.C. for 'Waging Peace' book tour 11/18-11/22

Executive director of Peaceworkers, cofounder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce and long-time global activist David Hartsough will be visiting Washington D.C. from November 18-22 as a part of his speaking tour for his newly published memoir Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist.
,In Waging Peace, Hartsough reveals his lifelong commitment to nonviolent action inspired by role models including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The memoir includes Hartsough’s riveting experiences with active nonviolence all over the globe from Montgomery, Alabama to East Berlin, Cuba and everywhere in between. The book emphasizes the power of one human being in contributing to global efforts to stop the perpetuation of violence and war.
As a part of the book tour, David Hartsough will be a guest speaker at the following events and venues which are open to the public:
 Tuesday November 18 
11 am – 12:30 pm       Montgomery Community College- Rockville
7 pm – 8:30 pm           University of Maryland
Wednesday November 19
7 pm – 8:30 pm           Friends Meeting- Washington
Thursday November 20
5 pm- 6:45                   American University
In addition, Mr. Hartsough will be a guest speaker at the following campuses in the Washington D.C. area: Montgomery Community College, University of Maryland- College Park, American University, George Mason University and Georgetown University.
Following his stay in Washington D.C., David Hartsough will travel to the Philadelphia area and New York City before concluding his tour in California. David Hartsough is based out of San Francisco and identifies as a Quaker. He holds a BA from Howard University and an MA in International Relations from Columbia University. For any further questions or concerns please contact Jan Hartsough at

Nonviolent protests in Hong Kong persist

A pro-democracy protester ties up a yellow ribbon to one of the fences blocking the access to Liaison Government Office during the rally in Hong Kong (9 November 2014)This past weekend marked the seventh week of nonviolent protests in Hong Kong advocating for full freedom in the 2017 elections for chief executive. Current Chinese policies enacted for the elections would present voters with a list of pre-screened candidates approved by authorities. Protestors object to the inherent restrictiveness of the government’s policies and demand civil nomination of candidates. The protests have gained notable international attention and recognition as the “umbrella revolution,” alluding to protestor’s use of umbrellas to block tear gas utilized by officials. Most recently, protestors organized a “yellow ribbon” march, in which participants tied yellow ribbons on the gates of the China liaison office, symbolizing the protestors’ calls for greater democracy in the upcoming elections. The confrontation of pro-democracy protestors and pro-government supporters outside of the executive office, proved significant yet quite characteristic of the relatively stable and nonviolent movement. The Hong Kong protests are credited with implementing groundbreaking techniques in nonviolent resistance. Large youth populations characterize the protests due to the grim economic prospects and lack of job opportunities for Hong Kong’s youth. Despite the heavy presence of youth protestors, the movement has been predominantly orderly and respectful. Participants have taken unprecedented measures to maintain the civility of the protests, even composting the peels of consumed bananas to use the resulting vinegar as solution for cleaning up following demonstrations. Tents for rent, public bathrooms stocked with shampoo and combs and recreational areas for studying, using the internet and socializing characterize the occupied streets where the protests occur. In addition, volunteers have been recognized for distributing water, biscuits and other necessities such as toiletries to protestors. The combination of the orderly and respectful nature of the protests in addition to the innovative displays of art, music and public speech have lead many to declare the current protest environment in Hong Kong as an almost functioning utopia of peaceful demonstration. Although the government has yet to concede to protestors’ demands, experts commend the civility of the movement and emphasize the importance of the protests remaining orderly and respectful for greater effectiveness. The main bargaining chip for protestors in Hong Kong with the government appears to be the disruption of economic activity and functioning of normal life, which could adversely affect the business and banking community. Although residents and officials and may be growing weary and tired of the presence of the protests in the occupied streets, groups like Occupy Central with Love and Peace, which have been pivotal in leading demonstrations are continuing to hold their ground and make peaceful advancements to greater democracy in Hong Kong.
Sources: Miquiabas, Bong. "Seven Weeks On, Hong Kong Protesters Remain Committed To Occupying Streets." Forbes. November 10, 2014. "Larry Diamond on Political Change in Hong Kong." Sinosphere Dispatches from China. October 30, 2014. Accessed November 10, 2014. Professional interview by Qitong Cao. Westscott, Lucy. "Hong Kong's Protesters Say Peaceful Resistance Is Key." Newsweek. September 29, 2014. Accessed November 10, 2014. "Hong Kong Protestors Carry out "yellow ribbon" March." Occupy Central with Love and Peace. November 10, 2014.

Mubarak Awad Helps Present the 2014 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize

Washington, DC  – At an invitation-only ceremony on October 15, Fuad El-Hibri and Mubarak Awad presented Pietro Ameglio with the 2014 El-Hibri Peace Education Award along with a $20,000 check. Three graduate students also received $5,000 scholarships at the ceremony to further their peace education studies.
Ameglio is an activist and peace educator who is one of the most important teachers and practitioners of active nonviolence in Latin America today.  He has co-founded many vehicles promoting peace in Mexico, including the Mexican Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ, 1987), a chapter of the SERPAJ nonviolence network spanning Latin America; Thinking Out Loud (Pensar en Voz Alta, 1995), a Gandhian-inspired nonviolent action collective to analyze and publicize statistical information on the nature of social conflict in Mexico and promote nonviolent direct actions; and the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD, 2011), along with poet Javier Sicilia and the families of dead and missing persons.  He has authored the book, Gandhi and Civil Disobedience: Mexico Today (2002).
Ameglio has decades of experience exploring the power of nonviolence to promote justice and peace.  He strategized with the MPJD to organize numerous mass actions against violent conflict in Mexico, including the “Silent Walk,” a march from Cuernavaca to Mexico City that concluded with more than 200,000 people hearing the testimony of survivors and victims whose suffering has largely been ignored.  Ameglio worked with others from the MPJD to create the “Caravan of Consolation” and the “Caravan to the South,” which traveled through the areas of México hardest hit by the violence and provided a platform for victims’ families to become active in the struggle for victims’ rights.  All of these activities have tapped into what Ameglio refers to as “the moral reserve” of the Mexican people, the positive values and moral sensibilities that characterize Mexican culture
Born in Uruguay but educated in México, Ameglio is an historian with a Master’s degree in Contemporary History.  For 18 years he served as Chair of the Humanities Department at La Salle University in Cuernavaca.  Combining theoretical knowledge of peace education with practical experience, he has created innovative learning opportunities for students, such as peace camps in Chiapas. Working with SERPAJ and Pensar en Voz Alta, Ameglio has helped develop curricula used by the autonomous education system in Chiapas.  He holds two Special Chairs within the School of Philosophy and Literature at National Autonomous University in Mexico City.
Ameglio joins a distinguished cohort of El-Hibri Foundation Peace Education Prize Laureates, including:
Betty A. Reardon (2013), founding director emeritus of the International Institute on Peace Education, and founding academic director of the Global Campaign for Peace Education for the Hague Appeal for Peace;
Chaiwat Satha-Anand (2012), founder and director of the Peace Information Centre at Thammasat University in Bangkok, the Foundation for Democracy and Development Studies and the Thailand Research Fund;
Gene Sharp (2011), founder and senior scholar at the Albert Einstein Institution in Boston, MA, and author of many influential works on strategic nonviolent activism;
Colman McCarthy (2010), founder of the Center for Teaching Peace, Washington, D.C., and former Washington Post columnist;
Mary Elizabeth King (2009), professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace and Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford;
Scott Kennedy (2008), co-founder of the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz, and former mayor of Santa Cruz, CA; and
Abdul Aziz Said (2007), Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace at American University, and founder and professor at AU’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program.
Judy Barsalou, President of the El-Hibri Foundation, noted with appreciation the large pool of qualified nominations from which Ameglio was chosen by an independent selection committee managed by Nonviolence International.  She commented that this year EHF “intentionally expanded the Prize’s eligibility categories to encompass the wide range of leaders who have championed peace education – policymakers, practitioners, community activists and scholars.”
Nonviolence International coordinates the selection committee for the prize

Happy Birthday, Gandhi!

He left a legacy and wealth of information in the field of active nonviolence. All around the world organizations are using his methods and theory of nonviolence. His books are read and told in many universities and seminars and his influence is still being invaluable. Here are some Gandhi’s quotes: “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man”, “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”

The Mubarak Awad story

Dr. Mubarak Awad is the founder and former president of the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) in the United States. The organization developed from the Ohio Youth Advocate Program (OYAP) established by Awad in 1978 with support from the Ohio Youth Commission (now the Department of Youth Services), the state department responsible for finding placements for "at risk" youth referred to the state from county juvenile courts.
Mubarak Awad Story (Video)

Mubarak Awad Takes the Gaza Rubble Bucket Challenge

On August 28th 2014, NI staff took part in the Gaza Rubble Bucket Challenge in front of the White House to remind President Obama that Gazans are living in rubble caused by US bombs delivered by the Israelis.
This idea was from a Gazan woman who was inspired by the Ice-Bucket Challenge for ALS.  She hoped the Gaza Bucket Challenge would raise awareness of the appalling loss of life and property destruction under an Israeli siege.
Below are video of Mubarak Awad taking the Bucket Challenge for Gaza in front of the White House. NI continues to promote a peaceful and just resolution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict in many ways.

The 'Palestinian Gandhi' Who Still Believes Non-Violence Is the Answer

Excerpt from Newsweek August 12, 2014
Amid the smoke, rubble and blood, the idea of nonviolent protest in Gaza seems as preposterous as it is naive.
Indeed, those Palestinians who preached nonviolence and led peaceful marches, boycotts, mass sit-downs and the like are mostly dead, in jail, marginalised or in exile.
Mubarak Awad is one of the latter. Often dubbed “the Palestinian Gandhi” or “Palestinian Martin Luther King Jr,” Awad now teaches the theory and practice of nonviolence at American University in Washington, DC, far from his Jerusalem home.
Israel kicked him out in 1988. Five years earlier, he had opened the doors of the Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, with the goal of fomenting mass resistance to the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. Do not pay taxes, he lectured. Consume only local goods, like the Indians who followed Gandhi’s movement against British colonial rule. Engage in peaceful protest. Plant olive trees on land coveted by Jewish settlers. Above all, do not pick up the gun. March, and sit down, like civil rights protesters in the American South in the 1960s. Take the beatings, clog up Israeli jails.
It started to take, here and there, even though the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Hamas disdained it. Awad was arrested on the orders of then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir and deported.
Today, beefy and white-haired at 71, with his TV flickering images of Hamas and Israel trading bombs and rockets, Awad insists he is optimistic about the prospects for a nonviolent protest movement in his homeland. “I am very hopeful. I mean, you are talking to a very hopeful person,” he says, ticking off negotiated resolutions to what once seemed implacably violent conflicts in Northern Ireland and South Africa. “Of course, there is violence along the way. Germany and France killed each other for 100 years, and now they are friends.”
Read the full story here

No Justice, No Peace: The Women of Argentina and Chile’s Long- Term Mobilization

By Emily McGranachan
During the military dictatorships in Argentina and Chile thousands of people were illegally detained and disappeared by military forces. Out of desperation and despair mothers, grandmothers, and other loved ones of the disappeared began to gather, demonstrate, and eventually demand justice in both countries. Mothers and grandmothers of the disappeared are best known from the work of Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo and Las Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. In Chile, La Agrupación de los Familiares de los Detenidos/Desparecidos is the best-known family organization. For decades they have relentlessly brought attention to the crimes of the military regimes and have demanded the safe return of all the disappeared. While at first glance these two countries and different groups have many similarities, the methodologies, ideologies, and trajectories of the groups are divergent and at times oppositional. Though the years, however, the human rights discourse that is a fundamental identity of the organizations and the members has remained central.
The varied reactions, adjustments, and development of similar organizations that formed for the same reasons raise questions as to why and how the groups differ. How do members of the groups explain their mission and methodology of women-led organizations of family members of the disappeared during and after the transition to democracy? What roles do the makeup of the organizations and the frustrated reconciliation processes play in the ways the groups reacted to the transition to democracy? Through the publications, testimonies, and writings of the core members of the groups, this paper examines the paths of three major family of the disappeared organizations and their very different trajectories over the past several decades.
Read Here: No Justice No Peace

The Role Of Human Development In The Lack Of A “North Korean Spring”

By Rosa Park.
It is undeniable that thus far, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), otherwise known as North Korea, has a severe dearth of social movement at the grassroots level. Although Victor Cha covers the existence of social protests within North Korea, this has not resulted in significant social change for a “North Korean Spring” and argues that a “North Korean Spring” is not likely.[1] Respecting the sovereignty of nation-states, change in the DPRK must not be forced, but come from the bottom-up.
However, to address the likelihood of a “North Korean Spring,” we must first analyze what is required for such social movement. Relying on Randall Kuhn’s work in “On the Role of Human Development in the Arab Spring,” the Arab Spring consisted of three human development factors, which were present: 1) “basic human development led to a significant increase in population needs and expectations, creating new policy challenges and reducing public dependency on regimes;” 2) “human development and new information technologies created new opportunities for political protest;” 3) “collective realization of human development gains resulted in new values conducive to regime change.” [2] Using this framework, the main research question that this paper will address is: why have there been no signs of a “North Korean Spring?” What is lacking for such social movement? The argument put forth in this paper is that despite the beginning stages of two of the three human development requirements for political change, there is a missing element of the people’s new values in order to induce regime change.
Read Here: Lack Of A North Korean Spring

Read: Justice In Morocco: Achieving An Integrative Approach To Reform

Written by: Giselle Lopez.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, governments across the Middle East and North Africa have been forced to respond to public demands for change while facing challenges to develop and reform state institutions. In Morocco, the ruling monarchy avoided the fate of leaders in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen by passing constitutional reforms and holding parliamentary elections soon after the eruption of mass protests in February 2011. Three years after the constitution was passed, however, Morocco has yet to implement these reforms through substantial legal, structural, and political changes. The development of a well-functioning, independent judiciary is considered a critical aspect of the rule of law and has been a particular focus for reforms in Morocco. The judiciary in Morocco suffers from major structural issues including corruption, inefficiency, and a lack of independence. Although the government has long recognized the need to reform the judiciary, thus far, Morocco has failed to implement changes that are necessary to fundamentally address these issues. This essay describes the context in which Morocco responded to the uprisings of 2011, provides an overview of major issues in the judiciary, illuminates challenges to the implementation of reforms, and assesses the potential for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to support the judicial reform process. In light of complex challenges facing judicial reforms in Morocco, I recommend that the government embrace an integrative approach to reform by increasing the inclusiveness of the reform process, empowering organizations to enforce judicial ethics, and supporting the development of ADR mechanisms to enhance access to justice. These steps build upon existing efforts in Morocco and are essential for the government to provide recourse to justice and rebuild public trust in state institutions.
Read Here: Justice in Morocco - Achieving an Integrative Approach to Reform


get updates