The Waihopai Ploughshares take issue of New Zealand spy base to court

The jury trial of three Ploughshares peace activists, Adrian (Adi) Leason, Peter Murnane and Sam Land is being held in Wellington, New Zealand this week. People are coming from around New Zealand and Australia to support them and to give voice to the issue behind their trial—the need to close the Waihopai Spy Base and end New Zealand’s links with the US war machine. Waihopai is New Zealand’s most important contribution to that war machine, far more so than any Special Air Service presence in Afghanistan, and has been operating as an outpost of US intelligence 24/7.

Hat-tip: The Waihopai Ploughshares take issue of New Zealand spy base to court (at WagingNonviolence.org)

Interview with Gene Sharp

I am a huge fan of Gene Sharp, Director of the Albert Einstein Institution and the world’s leading scholar of the politics of nonviolent struggle. He literally wrote the book on the topic! How someone who’s books have been used as training manuals for democratic revolutions and other nonviolent campaigns of worldwide significance has been ignored by academic scholars remains one of life’s great mysteries to me.

Anyway, Dr Sharp recently gave a (rare) interview to Boston’s PBS radio on his take on nonviolent action, what’s going on in Iran, and far-left critics who think he’s a secret government agent (one of my favourite conspiracy theories). You can listen to the interview here.

Workshop: Nonviolence in the mainstream – the daily practice of peace

Perth
April 25-30 and Nov 28 – Dec 3

As individuals on a journey towards a sustainable practice of peace and nonviolence, we are seeking wholeness. We need to know who we are and how the dominant culture into which we were born shapes and conditions us. Sustainable spiritual growth requires the integration of the inner and outer journeys. Throughout the week, our conversation will move between the inner and outer concerns around developing a nonviolent foundation for living.

Download the brochure

Anzac Day Weekend 2010 Conference ‘Putting an End to War’

This conference will be held from 23-26 April, starting with Friday dinner and an evening session and ending probably soon after Monday lunch at the Australian Quaker Centre, “Silver Wattle” 1063 Lake Road Bungendore, NSW.

The conference is entitled “Putting an end to War” – a 3-day workshop on personal resistance to war and military action. We will consider the Beatitudes as a call to radical action, reflect on celebrations of ANZAC Day, and hear about individual witness such as being a human shield, intervening in armed conflict, entering prohibited military areas and refusing to pay war taxes. Recent actions in Pine Gap, Talisman Sabre, Iraq and Palestine will be some of our examples.

Speakers include: Gerry Guitton “Walking the Way of Peace”, Simon Moyle “Radical Action’, Helen Bayes “Getting in the Way – Christian Peacemakers”, Waratah Gillespie “Out of Love Courage Grows”, Helen Gould “War Tax Resistance”, Doug Hynd “Reflections on Anzac day”.

For full details of program, accommodation costs etc check the web site: http://www.aqc.quakers.org.au

The Daily Practice of Peace – Perth Workshop

Every day people face the challenge and consequences of violence and injustice. Some people confront violence with violence. Others remain passive. Neither approach is sustainable.

As individuals on a journey towards a sustainable practice of peace and nonviolence, we are seeking wholeness. We need to know who we are and how the dominant culture into which we were born shapes and conditions us. Sustainable spiritual growth requires the integration of the inner and outer journeys. Throughout the week, our conversation will move between the inner and outer concerns around developing a nonviolent foundation for living.

Friday, 6-11 December 2009.
Nathanael’s Rest, 800 Gill Street, Mundaring
Commencing 7pm Sunday and concluding 3.00pm

Costs – Includes program fees, accommodation, & meals/tea-breaks (and gst):

Early Bird Rates (up to November 2):
• Corporate = $660
• Individual = $550

Regular Rates (from November 3 onwards):
• Corporate = $700
• Individual = $600

If any individual finds the suggested costs might present an issue, please contact George to discuss.

Download the full brochure and registration form.

Nonviolent Peacemaking: in your community … in your world

23-25 October 2009 (Friday 7pm – Sunday 5pm)
Katoomba NSW
Cost: $100 / $70 conc.

A weekend retreat for beginners and experienced practitioners in the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Mountains.

Come and learn about:

  • the principles and power of active nonviolence in the tradition of Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr;
  • connecting personal transformation and social change;
  • concrete skills for putting nonviolent power into practice.

Whether we like it or not, most of us are enrolled in a class called “Violence 101” throughout our lives. This violence is all around us, in the media, in our families, across all parts of our society. Consciously or not, we are continually being schooled in the logic and practice of emotional, verbal, physical or structural violence.

Take time to discern the movement of God’s spirit at work, breaking down the logic of violence, calling us to be peacemakers in every aspect of our personal and collective lives, drawing us out into creative possibilities we never imagined for ourselves.

role play silent vigil at baxter detention centre

Using materials from From Violence to Wholeness and Engage: Exploring Nonviolent Living, together we will be inspired to rise above the destructive logic of violence, learn new ways of resolving conflict nonviolently, and practice the art of nonviolent peacemaking – in our community, in our world.

Download the flyer here

Great videos from the Peace Convergence

Report by Peace Journalist Jake Lynch, Director of the University of Sydney Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sMsniEwA3o&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

The Bonhoeffer 4 by Julian Masters
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOM-GR9MkB4&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

WIN News Report of 7 protesters entering the war games site, followed by footage of them explaining their action
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVXJTb_zO6k&hl=en&fs=1&]

Christians, Climate Change and Nonviolence

coal power station vigil

Saturday 15th August, 1-4pm
Quaker Meeting House, Lower Hall
119 Devonshire St, Surry Hills

Learn about:

  • Why nonviolent direct action in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Desmond Tutu is a legitimate response to the climate crisis
  • The spirituality and theology of nonviolent direct action (NVDA)
  • The power of NVDA
  • How to get involved in potential actions

With:

  • Justin Whelan, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service
  • Jonathan Moylan, Rising Tide
  • Catherine Cresswell, Greenpeace
  • Anne and Ian Hodgson, climate activists

Gold coin entry

For more info contact Miriam by email or 0447 730 772

Ordinary people around the world are participating in nonviolent direct action at coal infrastructure, government offices, carbon exchanges and more. Among them are Christians, who are moved by the urgency of climate change and the failures of the political process to address it, and by a long Christian legacy of nonviolence.

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

We all know that times change, and what was acceptable in one era may not be acceptable in another. You have heard of how it was once legal to own other people, how it was illegal for women to vote. Well one way or another we are going to have to stop burning coal and move on from the fossil fuel era. And that means that the law will eventually have to change and acknowledge the harm that carbon emissions do to all of us, by making them illegal. The only question is whether the law will catch up in time for there to be anything left to protect.” (Closing Statement, Drax 22)

Download the Flyer here

Please pass on to your friends!