Tags >> peace
Mar 18
2010

Kathy Kelly

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , war , speaker , Santa Rosa , protest , policy , peace , news , international , government , events , economy , Congress , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

With the US deeply engaged in two active wars in the Middle East, it’s past time for peace activists to revive their opposition, says Visiting Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly.

There are lessons to be learned from the war in Iraq, agrees Peace activist Kathy Kelly, a coordinator for  Voices for Creative Nonviolence, but the purported success of so-called “Surge” is not one of them.

War begets secrecy at the highest levels of government, which  distances national leaders from the citizenry, Kelly cautions.  She’d like to hear the Obama administration clearly and publicly spell out the reasons for our military presence in Afghanistan, but suspects the real rationales are too murky and complex to  meet any tests for transparency.

Kathy Kelly will report on her recent visit to Afghanistan in Santa Rosa tomorrow evening at 7 pm at Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Avenue. Her presentation, co-sponsored by the peace and Justice Center, Sonoma County, is titled, "The Cost and Sorrows of War:  Pakistan, Gaza,Iraq, Afghanistan."  Information: (707) 575-8902.

 

 

Jan 26
2010

Nonviolence

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , students , rights , protest , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , media , law enforcement , justice , journalism , international , Ideas , history , government , families , education , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

Conflict doesn’t have to be violent. In fact, proactive non-violence can be used to force change, and those skills and tactics can be taught and practiced. That’s what Cynthia Boaz is doing at an international conference in India this week.

Cynthia Boaz, a Sonona State University professor of political science, has studied the mechanics and practices of non-violence, and is presenting on that subject this week at an international conference hosted by War Resisters International. All true and effective non-violent movements for change must first gain a measure of popular support within the repressed indigenous populations, she explains, then as the movment gains strength, the oppressor is left with nothing but force to try to sustain itself.

Ghandi and the Rev. Martin Luther King are often seen as exemplars of non-violent leadership, but Boaz says the high-profile charismatic individual at the head of a movement is atypical, and not necessarily the most effective model.

But just as grassroots leaders can study and learn the skills and tactics of nonviolence, Boaz observes that oppressors, too, can and do try to understand and deflect those efforts.

 

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Jan 25
2010

Ecoliteracy in Bhutan

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , religion , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , history , government , education , conservation , children

Bruce Robinson

The modern idea of sustainability education in northern California is also finding a home in the schools of a small ancient culture nestled high in the Himalayas.

 

Zenobia Barlow is Executive Director of the  Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley. She is also a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, which is based in Sebastopol. She is seen here with Bhutan's Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley. Barlow co-founded the Center for Ecoliteracy 20 years ago, and while their principles are gaining ever wider acceptance, she still is often asked to define the term. Here’s her answer.

Under Bhutan’s governance model focused on promoting “gross national happiness,” there are four priorities:  (1) good governance; (2) environmental conservation and preservation; (3) preservation of their ancient Buddhist culture; and (4) a non-destructive economic development strategy. But Barlow observes that it has only been in recent years, as the county slowly opened itself to the west, that Bhutan’s culture and traditions faced any real threats to their preservation.

All the beautiful photographs on this page were taken by Barlow or document her trip. To see more, go here.

There is also a blog entry about her visit on the Post Carbon Institute website.

 

 

Jan 22
2010

"The Empathic Civilization"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , Sonoma , sacred , resources , research , religion , peace , Ideas , history , government , environment , energy , community , climate change , author

Bruce Robinson

Empathy, not self-interest, is the core impulse of human nature, according to social analyst Jeremy Rifkin. And that realization may hold the key to successfully responding to the environmental and economic challenges that now confront humanity.

One key to recent scientific research relating to empathy is the discovery of  “mirror neurons,” a finding that originated, Rifkin relates, in a chance encounter during some unreleated experiments with monkeys in an Italian laboratory.

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