The (Road) Rally to Support Saudi Women's Right to Drive

On Friday, June 17, determined protesters took to the roads outside of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC to protest the country's ban on female drivers. Through the combined efforts of Nonviolence International and The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, along with friends from Code Pink and a great group of independent supporters, the protesters made Saudi officials and passers-by take notice of this group’s determination to stand alongside Saudi women. The rally showed solidarity for Saudi women in their fight for the right to drive their own cars, and was one of many rallies taking place around the world.
See photos of the event here

Bahrain Nonviolent Activist Relief Fund

Dr. Mubarak Awad, President of Nonviolence International and an important leader in the first Intefada, has set up the first Nonviolent Activist Relief Funds in order to help nonviolent activists working for social change. Dr. Awad has personally been tortured and jailed by Jordanian and Israeli authorities and knows how important funds like this are for the families of activists and for support upon their release from prison.
The purpose of this relief fund is to provide humanitarian relief to the families and dependents of activists who are imprisoned or otherwise incapable of providing specific support for their families. The fund will be administered on the ground by a group of local volunteers. All distribution decisions will be at the discretion of this local group. To Donate, click here

Mubarak Awad Featured in Book: Blessed Are the Peacemakers



Nonviolence International president Dr. Mubarak Awad is featured in the new bookBlessed Are the Peacemakers by Daniel L. Buttry, the global consultant for Peace and Justice for International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches. Buttry writes of Awad's work in nonviolent organization and tells of his role in the first Palestinian Intifada. The book surveys the work of many well known nonviolent activists, such as Gandhi and Desmond Tutu, along with some interesting additions, such as graffiti artist Banksy and rock superstar Bono. This collection of inspirational stories about peacemakers and their work will prove to be a must-read for those interested in nonviolent action.

Dr. Awad speaks on NPR's Radio Times, J. Kuttab an Pacifica Radio

Dr. Awad, President of Nonviolence International, spoke on Marty  Moss-Coane's show today on NPR with Gene Sharp, and Sherif Mansour.   Dr. Awad spoke out strongly for nonviolence throughout the Middle East and the World. You may find the show here.
Jonathan Kuttab, NI co-founder and long time board member spoke today on WBAI, Pacific Radio on people power in Libya in the Middle East. You can hear him speak here at about the 15 minute mark.

Open Letter From Dr. Mubarak Awad: Nonviolence Must Prevail in Egypt

There is good news coming from the uprising for human rights and against the corruption in Egypt. Millions of people are voluntarily participating in the streets, which shows the Egyptians are still interested in democracy and freedom and they want to change both their social and political situations. The primary success stories of uprisings are those in which people learn to declare little victories and then continue pressuring the regime through boycotts, strikes, takeovers, and street protests until their goal and their message is heard and being implemented. Egyptians must not back down. Diverse Leadership and Unity
The Egyptian objective at this time is a very large one. The main intention is that Mubarak, as the president of Egypt, must leave his office. In order to achieve this, the uprising must continue deploying diverse leaders, both on the national and international scale, who can communicate with Mubarak directly. For example, an American leader such as Jimmy Carter could be drawn in to speak with Mubarak and to give him the option of leaving without violence. They could request the same from an African leader like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has experience in reconciliation, or a more neutral leader from Latin America who does not have any preexisting interests. Some Arab leaders can also play this role.  The leaders of the uprising must show the Egyptian people, the Arab world and the international community that they are interested in democratic change through nonviolence.
Elected Leadership
It is in the interests of the Egyptians to hold democratic elections for community leaders as well as national ones. In these elections, independent people unaffiliated with political parties should be allowed to run. Egyptians as young as 25 run should be able to run for any office in the country, including the presidency. And all parties should have the right to participate in this political process of Egypt. This includes the current ruling party as well as the Communists, Muslim Brotherhood and others.  Competitive campaigns will cause Candidates to meet and listen to the issues that are most important to the people. We are aware that one of the main issues in the Egyptian minds is to get rid of the emergency law that gives the President complete authority. .
Egyptians cannot afford to have a democratic election or an uprising and then have it become an Islamic state “like Iran.” This is also not a situation in which Egyptians just want a change of faces. Many of the fruits of this revolution will be seen in 15 or 20 years.. Unfortunately, this quick fix mentality is what Mubarak did by appointing a vice president that was head of security and appointing a new cabinet.  To prevent a coup d’etat or a group hijacking the revolution or government, the people must continue to organize long after leaving the streets. Social and civil society organizations should organize and flourish throughout Egypt. Egyptians must be prepared to change their culture and devote funds annually to their own nongovernmental groups.  Without a stronger civil society and business class, the State will undoubtedly oppress society.
 
Potential Consequences of Violence
Hundreds of Government supporters will use violence creating difficulty for the military to intervene, thus giving the image that security and stability for the interest of the people becomes the priority.  The demonstrators should prevent and control the crowds from using the gatherings against any minority or any specific ethnic group.
Egyptian people must demand that no violence is used by anyone in Egypt and instead use legitimacy and integrity to make their point. They must create a model in which Egyptians don’t kill or hurt Egyptians and illustrate this model to the army, police, and all Egyptian citizens. They must set an example that says, “We are proud to be Egyptian and we don’t kill each other.” And they have to be very, very aware of those who are given permission by Mubarak’s regime to commit violence or to burn or kill for the sake of making the uprising a violent one and give more power to the army to shoot or to the police to use firearms. These people have to be stopped by the uprising people and condemned publicly to show they are completely against violence.
Egyptians should trust each other. Those who are in the streets in Alexandria have the same aim and ambition as those who are in Cairo or the Suez or any other city. In the uprising, trust will be essential. Discipline and protecting others property and livelihood becomes important in creating a clear and pure uprising in which nobody is hurt while helping others. In any and every society, there are the exceptions of people who take advantage of these circumstances and like to create chaos. Demonstrators need to know that many will sacrifice themselves and possibly have limited food and lack of funds. These hardships can threaten unity and cause people to turn against each other.  To finish the uprising, the people become the law and must prove that they are better than the previous law, which they helped to overthrow. The people, therefore, must act to stop those taking advantage of the situation and of fellow Egyptians. Only by opposing violence and using truth and honesty as a guide will the uprising success and rights will prevail.
We wish you the best in Egypt.
Dr. Mubarak Awad
Nonviolence International

New Game on Nonviolent Action is Both Educational and Entertaining


By Michael Adamsky
One minute, I was standing in the picket line, chanting against Blue River Waste Management and their ecologically unfriendly practices; the next, the police are breaking up our protest. I read in the paper the next morning to see the headline on the front page: “Government Decries Activist Group.” My heart sank. The movement I had worked so hard to build in Smithville, had suffered a terrible blow.
The Smithville Campaign is the first in PeoplePower: The Game of Civil Resistance (York Zimmerman 2010), a game designed to educate players on how nonviolent movements work and grow. When I first got the opportunity to play PeoplePower, I have to admit that I was leery. Most of the time I’ve spent playing video games has been spent on games where you can shoot your way to victory (with the occasional sports game thrown in for good measure). Strategy games have never really been my thing because I usually don’t like to think and plan in video games.
However, I thought that PeoplePower, despite the fact that it really made me think and plan, was actually a lot of fun. Although the game has lots and lots of options and available courses of action, the game is surprisingly simple to understand. The tutorial is in depth enough that I understood how to play, but didn’t feel like I was being babied. The game is incredibly detailed, too, which is definitely a good thing for a strategy game. With tactics to weigh, connections to be maintained, and neighborhoods to win over, there is always something to do.
More important than the game’s fun level is its educational level. I learned how difficult it could be creating a maintaining a good image and how much trouble an obstinate regime can give to movements. I think the fact that there is no “easy” way through PeoplePower means that players are forced to learn as much as they can about nonviolent movements in order to complete the scenario.
All in all, I think that PeoplePower made for an extremely interesting, educational, and challenging play. It could be sold to schools or to students and then used as curricula, with students playing in class for a few days before being allowed to take the game home to learn for themselves. Activists could also use this game as a tool to train recruits. Once introduced to PeoplePower, other students like me may be surprised to find how entertaining and addicting the game can be.
Click here for a special promotion to help Nonviolence International when you purchase PeoplePower.
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Acclaimed Nonviolence Trainer Releases New Book

George Lakey, founder of Training for Change and visiting professor and research fellow at Swarthmore College, launched his book tour on October 21 in Washington, DC at an event co-sponsored by the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation and Nonviolence International. Facilitating Group Learning: Strategies for Success with Diverse Adult Learners, published by Jossey-Bass, encapsulates 50 years of experience in the field of adult education and social change. If you are a teacher or trainer, you will want to be the first to read this ground-breaking work.

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Colman McCarthy Receives El-Hibri Peace Education Prize

The El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, an annual award to recognize outstanding peace educators, was awarded to Colman McCarthy on September 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. Mr. McCarthy has taught thousands of young people peace and nonviolence while writing numerous books and newspaper columns over the last several decades. NI President Mubarak Awad chaired the Prize selection committee, on which NI Executive Director Michael Beer also served.
NI helped found the award in 2007, along with Fuad El-Hibri, who has increased the cash amount of the prize this year to $15,000. Past winners include Dr. Addul Aziz Said, Dr. Mary King, and Scott Kennedy. For more information about the prize, including how to apply for next year, visit the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize website.
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Sami Awad Stars in New Documentary about Palestine

Sami Awad, Nonviolence International Program Director for Palestine and the Executive Director of Holy Land Trust, is one of three protagonists for nonviolence in the new film, "Little Town of Bethlehem" (trailer below). A particular highlight of the film is a discussion with Sami Awad about his experience visiting Nazi death camps in Poland. The film also features Ahmad Al'Azzeh, a nonviolence trainer at NI's partner organization Holy Land Trust, and Yonatan Shapira, an Israeli activist working with the group Combatants for Peace.
To promote the film, Sami will be speaking at press events and film sreenings throughout the US this month. For a list of currently scheduled screenings, click here.


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A New Accompaniment Project in Honduras

An alarming number of human rights activists have been assassinated in Honduras since the coup d'etat in 2009. A group of dedicated international human rights defenders, including Nonviolence International's Director of the Program on the Americas, Andres Conteris, is initiating a new accompaniment project in Honduras in an effort to counteract this trend. The accompaniers will seek to protect social movement leaders, human rights workers and others working for systemic change in Honduras, which is plagued by repression and political persecution under the de facto government. The project will especially support the National Front of Popular Resistance in its historic, nonviolent, struggle to transform Honduran society.
In addition to direct accompaniment, the project will support the documentation of events and human rights abuses, provide consistent and accurate information to the international community, and communicate with international partners regarding emergency response needs on the ground in Honduras.
The current team includes Caitlin Power Hancey, who has done accompaniment work in Guatemala; Jenny Atlee, who is based in DC and has done accompaniment work for many years in Central America; and Andres Conteris, who is serving as an active adviser for the effort.
For more information, including how to make contributions in support of this initiative, contact Jenny Atlee at jennya[at]friendshipamericas.org.
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Mubarak Awad Gives Keynote Speech at Conference in India

Mubarak Awad, President of Nonviolence International, was the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the International Conference on Global Warming, Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Secular Spirituality in Kerala, India. On September 9th, Mubarak Awad, along with Jose Ramos Jorta, President of East Timor, spoke about the need for global cooperation and local initiative to combat global climate change.
He shared an Arab view of global warming, noting that, with a corrupt political leadership, economic hardship and civil strife, few are paying attention to the heating of the earth. "Oil production soon will be in decline," he said. "Vast changes in citizen consciousness and action are needed. A commitment to nonviolence should engender people to take risks without harming others."
Mubarak will continue to speak this fall in various venues about nonviolence and Palestine. Those who would like to have him come and speak should quickly contact NI at info[at]nonviolenceinternational.net.


Why Nonviolence?

An interview with Nonviolence International's President and Founder, Mubarak Awad



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NI to express condolences to Turkish Ambassador in Washington DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517 Joan Stallard, 202-422-6275 Michael Beer, 202 244 0951
US Peace Community Brings Condolences and Support to Turkish People after attacks on its citizens and sovereignty by Israeli Government:
Turkish-American Citizen Among Victims

WHAT: Peace Community holds press conference outside the Turkish Embassy
WHEN: 11am Friday, June 4, 2010
WHERE: Turkish Embassy: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W Washington, D.C. 20008
WASHINGTON- Members of the U.S. peace community will be meeting with Turkish embassy officials to deliver a wreath, cards and other expressions of condolences for the deaths of the Turkish citizens on the nonviolent Gaza Flotilla. Israel’s brutal and illegal attack, that occurred in international waters on a Turkish-flagged vessel, also took the life of Furkan Dogan, an American citizen of Turkish decent.
The group, consisting of interfaith peace activists, will also thank the Turkish people and their government for the strong stand they have taken in support of the Flotilla and in opposition to Israel's blockade against the Gazan people. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rightly characterized the Israeli operation as "a blow to world peace and against international law" and vowed not to "sit by in silence."
The group appreciates Turkey's position of condemning the Israeli attacks on peace activists in international waters, demanding an end to the siege on Gaza and reaffirming its commitment to aid the Palestinian people.
"We thank the Turkish government for its vigorous condemnation of the Israeli attack and wish that our government would take the same position," said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, one of the event organizers. "We will be pushing our President and Congress to follow Turkey's lead in calling for accountability and pressuring Israel to lift the crippling siege of Gaza."
“We also mourn one of our own American citizens, 19-year old Furkan Dogan, who was killed with weapons donated by our government to Israel’s military and used indiscriminately on Palestinian, Turkish and American unarmed citizens,” said Mubarak Awad, President of Nonviolence International.

NI activities: Honduras, Nuclear Weapons, and Palestine

Andrés Conteris Speaks in Washington D.C

Andrés Thomas Conteris, Founder of Democracy Now! en Español spent four months in Brazil's embassy in Honduras along with democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya who was ousted in a June 28, 2009 coup. Conteris was the only member of the media that stayed inside the embassy for 129 days and filed many stories with independent news outlets around the world.  Assaulted by chemical attacks, ear-splitting noise weapons, intense lights during the nights, and constantly in the gun sights of military snipers, Conteris lived, ate, and slept along side the ousted president and was witness to the hopes and fears, negotiations, threats and violence as Hondurans struggled to return democracy to their homeland.
After departing Honduras with Zelaya upon the inauguration of Porfiro Lobo, who was elected president in a coup government-run process, Conteris returned recently to Honduras to lead a delegation of US residents which met with many groups still determined to develop real democracy in Honduras. Their efforts are being met with murder, beatings, intimidation, and false imprisonment under the Lobo government.
On March 29th, Conteris spoke at the St. Stepehns Episcopal Church in D.C., reporting on and working with the Honduran citizen resistance to the coup d'etat. Conteris shared moving stories of resistance to the coup. The movement was widespread, remarkably disciplined, and well led by former president Zelaya and others.
Repression unfortunately has continued with the new government which has kept on many of the old guard.  Five journalists have been killed in recent weeks, more than have been killed in the past 25 years.  In addition, arrests, assassinations, and attacks continue on resistance members.
Conteris calls for increased international pressure upon the current government. Prosecutions are necessary for coup plotters.  A new constitution is necessary to enfranchise the citizens of Honduras.  Conteris calls on international solidarity activists to go to Honduras to learn about the movements for democracy in the country.  He recently led a delegation from the West Coast of the US to Honduras that met with many community leaders.

Mubarak Awad Attends Conference in Bethlehem

Last Month Nonviolence International's President Mubarak Awad journeyed to Palestine where, among other things, he attended a Conference in Bethlehem.  The conference, held at Bethlehem Bible College from March 12-17, was titled "Christ at the Checkpoint: Theology in the Service of Peace and Justice."  The events included lectures by people who have been working on the subject of the rapture as a church prophecy regarding the coming of Christ and its implications for the Palestinian Christians and the Palestinian population at this time.  There were local Palestinian theologians in attendance that spoke about the theology of the land from a Palestinian perspective, including Naim Ateek, Alex Awad, Yohanna Katanacho, Salim Munayer, and Mitri Raheb. The group expressed their theological point of view with a great emphasis on the current issue of the political trends in the Holy Land.  The purpose of the conference was to enlighten the attendees regarding issues of Palestinian Christians.  This brought to light difficulties Palestinian Christians face in dealing with the rhetoric of Christians in the west who have supported Israel as a Jewish state and Israelis as a chosen people without any consideration to the plight of the Christian Palestinians, or the fact that they even exist. Mubarak Awad gave a lecture on the use of nonviolence as a Christian ministry and was accompanied by many other speakers. Alex Awad, Mubarak's brother, spoke of his experiences travelling around the world as an evangelical Christian Palestinian and not being recognized as a brother in the evangelical community due to his nationality.  Sami Awad, of the Holy Land Trust and a co-sponsor of the conference, spoke about the Holocaust and his visits to Auschwitz and the ways he was able to reflect upon his emotions as a Palestinian with regards to the many deaths of Jews on the hands of Christians in Germany.  Bishara Awad, the President of the Bethlehem Bible College, made it clear that this conference is not political but more educational, and it is in the spirit of reconciliation and the spirit of Christianity.  The subjects of Christian Zionism, anti-semitism, dispensationalism, and the ethical responsibility of the evangelical church towards Palestinians were discussed in detail both in the form of formal lectures and workshops as well as informal discussion during meals.  NI board member Jonathan Kuttab introduced the Prime Minister of Palestine Salam Fayyad, who spoke on supporting a strong church in Palestine and about the emphasis of enacting Palestinian liberation through the use of nonviolence. Mubarak later took some of the participants for demonstrations against the bulldozing of olive trees and the erecting of the separation wall in a town north of Bethlehem called Beit Jala.
Click Here to read about an anti-wall rally Mubarak attended in Bethlehem

Nonviolence International Members Attend Anti-Nuclear Protest Outside Nuclear Summit

Dressed up as nuclear missiles in the pouring rain, Nonviolence International staff joined CODEPINK, Prop 1, Peace Action and the Washington Action Group in front of the Washington Convention Center on April 13, 2010.  President Obama and heads of state from all over the world were gathered at the Convention Center for the Nuclear Security Summit.  In this meeting of the world's most powerful leaders, the issues of non-proliferation and dismantling existing warheads are untouched.  Countries such as India, Pakistan and Israel have not even signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The modest group of demonstrators marched up the street towards the Convention Center, holding signs and chanting, "Nukes are bad here and there.  Ban nukes everywhere."  Medea Benjamin, the cofounder of CODEPINK made a speech about the dangers of a world-wide arms race as military police watched the group carefully.  Peace flags were flown as an "arms race" took place between costume warhead-clad NI members jogging down the side walk to emphasize the absurdity of nuclear armament.  The message was clear: No hands are the right hands for nuclear weapons.
Check this link:
Hope for Iranians in French Torture Game by

Upcoming Events for Nonviolence

Register Now for Grassroots Nonviolence Training

Grassroots Advocacy Training Day (March 7-8th) is the perfect opportunity to build your skills as an activist and make an impact on US Israeli-Palestinian conflict policy.  This event will be located at American University in Washington D.C where peace-builders will gather to demand an end to Israel's siege in Gaza.
Click here for more information.
Click here to register.

Apply for the Fletcher Summer Institute

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict is now accepting applications for the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University.  This week long program will run at the end of June and feature a variety of scholars from around the world. Nonviolence International encourages anyone interested to apply.
Click here to view the flyer.
Click here for more information and to download application.

Andres Conteris Available to Speak in Washington D.C. in March

Andres Conteris, the Nonviolence International director of the Latin America programs, is planning on coming to Washington DC around March 15th will be available for speaking engagements for two to three weeks. If you have any interest in hosting him to give a detailed account of his experience in Honduras, talk about his mission as a whole or fund future endeavors, please contact us at info@nonviolenceinternational.net.

Mubarak Awad's Speaking Tour

Nonviolence International is planning a North American speaking tour for Mubarak Awad in May and June 2010.  If you would like to host him for a speaking or fundraising event please contact us at info@nonviolenceinternational.net.

2010 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize Now Accepting Nominations

The El-Hibri Peace Education Prize recognizes outstanding peace educators based in the United States by awarding $10,000 annually to an individual or organization making valuable contributions to peace education and social justice in the Middle East.
We are currently accepting nominations until June 6, 2010.
Click here for more information.

Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation


Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta's new book Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation, presents the viewpoints of many nonviolent activists in Israel and Palestine as they discuss their struggle and hope for change in the future. This includes contributions from NI board members Mubarak Awad, Sami Awad and Jonathan Kuttab.
For full text of publisher's blurb click here.

Gaza Freedom March update

NI intern, Angela Smith is attending the Gaza Freedom March to bring supplies to the Gaza citizens in need. NI has raised more than $5000 and have bought various kinds of supplies like toiletries to distribute to the prisoners of Gaza.  (note all residents of Gaza are living in a prison).
Egyptian authorities have not been supportive.  Foreigners have been detained.  Solidarity demonstrations continue world-wide.
For updated information go to this website
A youtube appeal is here


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