Happy New Year PI activist friends. Ready for another year of resistance?
This is Marion Pack and I am the team leader for the Peacekeepers. When PI first started, I began organizing a peacekeeper team to help keep our demonstrations safe. It is a role I have likely played in hundreds of demonstrations and protests over my years of activism. Initially, I stood aside to support Laura Molinaro as team leader as, being a former police officer, she was even more experienced. When she could no longer keep up with her other commitments, such as leadership organizer with the Special Olympics, Laura stepped aside.
So things have come full circle, and I am again team leader. We seem to have had a lot of attrition in our peacekeepers. Besides many being overcommitted, especially this past year when many of us were working on campaigns, I think people do not feel comfortable in the role of peacekeepers. For that reason I am planning a peacekeeper nonviolence workshop. The date for the workshop will be Saturday, February 9th, from 10AM to 2PM. The location is yet to be determined, but likely it will be at Granite Peak Congregation if that date is open. There will be a half-hour break for lunch during which I will arrange lunch for a nominal price, or we can all bring our own bag lunches. (Please let me know your preference.) I will be recruiting people at the next two PI general meetings.
So why such a long workshop? Peacekeepers play varied roles depending on the type of action. We will cover how effective non-violent tactics can be used in many situations. For this reason I want to present some historical background and lead a discussion on the kind of nonviolent civil resistance that has been effective in past social justice campaigns.
I have always viewed successful past movements as being comprised of four actions: 1) Education – We need to know the issues if we are going to be effective speaking about them. 2) Demands for legislation – Communicating with elected officials and sharing our concern, needs to be followed with a request or demand that they share our concern and take legislative action. 3) Speaking truth to power through marches, vigils, and boycotts draws attention to the cause. 4) Non-violent civil disobedience – Nonviolent civil disobedience has been a part of all past successful struggles for justice and human rights. I am not advocating that risking arrest is the right action for everyone.It may be for some.
In struggles for social change these four steps open a wide choice for people’s activism. We know we are most likely facing two more years of Trump, his administration, and the scary rise of fascism at home and in the world. We must continue to speak truth to power. Silence is complicity.
Contact: Marion Pack (firstname.lastname@example.org)