the situation in Syria is getting worse and worse. Citizens are being massacred, the state denies any responsibility for its affiliated troops and the opposition (at least the part that gets media time here in Germany) is calling for civil war. And yet, there is still a small hope. We have seen how slow and driven by self-interest large nations are reacting or changing their position. But apart from finding a way of removing Assad from office
and ignored ceasefires, we have also seen that pressure is rising from all sides on the UN Security Council to act.
Right now though, there is another chance to help, and that is by trying all we can to stop weapon deliveries to Syria! One chance has been identified by the avaaz network and they started a campaign today for which they need as many signatures as possible. A Russian weapons manifacturer, Rosoboronexport, is delivering weapons to Syria still. To put pressure on them, we can pressure the two biggest buyers of their weapons, India and USA, into stopping their contracts, if Rosoboronexport continues to deliver weapons to Syria.
You can sign the petition here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/us_and_india_stop_syrias_merchants_of_death/?cQPgFab
and as important, you can share this link so others can sign it, too! This is not the perfect solution, but it definitely is worth a try! If doing View full article »
If you are on one of the social networks or read news in the last two days you likely noticed a video called "KONY 2012
" which has gone viral with millions and millions of views. The video itself describes horrors by a group called "Lords Resistance Army" (LRA) and calls for 'supporting the arrest' of its leader, Joseph Kony. In four days, the video was viewed 65 million times - and voices world wide have joined to speed up the hunt for Joseph Kony, often in understandable outrage against the horrors inflicted on victims of all ages.
Care is called for to several aspects, number one, the content itself. The LRA has has not been active in Uganda since 2006
and is by far not Ugandas most eminent problem. So one question raised by many is, why not highlight the problems of Ugandas government which would have much ? Ugandas president was 'elected' by votes which were heavily critized
due to allegations of fraud and surpression of opposition. The Times has a short report
on the violent crack down on opposition protests from early last year, while on Reuters you can read about the continuation
at the end of 2011. The Ugandan government is investing lots of money into military while unemployment is as high
as economy is depending on coffee sales mostly! View full article »
From the last seminar from which I still want to write a report for you at one point, here some thoughts I had around different concepts and words surrounding non-violence. They will hopefully provide some food for thought, ideas or inspiration or you can use them as a starting point to draft your own definition against ;)
These are working definitions I use in seminars and for myself to gain deeper understandings - these all are work in progress and worthy of discussion, not fix and may not even represent my current opinion on them :)
What is nonviolence?
Any interaction which does not limit the possibilities of other beings without their free-willed consent.
Mohandas K. Ghandi developed a more elaborate concept of nonviolence based on three attitudes:
The dedication to not injuring any being.
The search and proclamation of truth and only truth while keeping in mind that one’s own truths may very well not be the truths of others or even be grounded in some form of objective truth.
Taking suffering onto one self instead of causing it to others. To Ghandi this was very important when trying to make others understand truths, as together with not wanting to hurt anyone, suffering can only be exerted onto yourself. Never upon others. View full article »
the application form for the new seminar in November is finally finished and you can download the Call for participants
and the application form by clicking on your preferred format (pdf
You can find the details of the seminar in this post as well:
Forget fists, forge voices - the power of nonviolence
The No-More-War team warmly invites you to our second topic based seminar:
"Forget fists, forge voices - the power of nonviolence" from the 12th to 18th of November 2011 in Helmarshausen, Germany, financially supported by the Youth in Action programme of the European Union. View full article »
Today, I found a very beautiful gem, a peace broadcast called Peace Talks
Here one of their longer programs on 'Peace economy' - really quite interesting and a good resource: If you are looking for input on that issue - a great start into a peaceful weekend, I am sure :) :
"Today on Peace Talks, we’ll explore the relationship between economic development and peace. We’ll talk with two representatives from the Institute for Economics and Peace. Steve Killelea is the founder of the Institute and the creative force behind both the Global Peace Index
and the United States Peace Index
. Clyde McConaghy, a Board Director for the Institute, has been involved with the development of the Global Peace Index since its inception in 2007. Their annual rankings hope to identify View full article »
The 'Lead Peace' - seminar in Stockholm over Easter was very refreshing and interesting. For those of you who would have liked to go but were not able to (there were lots at least three times more applications than places), here a short report about topics and some pictures:
First a short summary again of the cycle creating the four steps in practicing nonviolent communication - which was shortly introduced in the seminar again and practiced during the whole training:
Concentrate on specific behaviours instead of inferring what others intend. Be as specific as possible and only relate to what you observed oposed to judgements and evaluations. Judgements and evaluations can easily block your empathy and the empathy of others (instead it is more likely they will hear criticism) if not handled with care and awareness. View full article »
Due to some feedback I received it appears that some unfortunate misunderstandings have arisen in respect to the article I wrote below, which I would like to shortly clarify here as follows:
1. As stated in the article, I do not condone any form of violence against human beings whatsoever, including of course terroristic attacks.
2. I never wrote and did not mean to be understand in a way that would endorse the methods or ideology of Al Quaida or Osama bin Laden.
3. All articles on this blog, as stated on the "About" page, are personal points of view, shared stories, informations and contents and do not reflect the views of the whole No More Team as a whole unless specified otherwise.
Warm regards to all readers :)
Georg from the No-more-war team
To catch up with the world I was saddened by todays 'news' that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I just want to take this moment to express my sincere condolences to his relatives - noone should die by another mans hand. Once again, violence was used to deal with a conflict - killing another man was once again excused by important values as justice. Some took the stance to speak of revenge, justice's perverse counterpart.
I will quote a part of Tom H. Hastings book 'Nonviolent Response to Terrorism' which I just read during my stay in Sweden:
"Imagine an international community in which Osama bin Laden might have presented his complaints about overbearing U.S. influence in his native land, Saudi Arabia. If the people of the U.S. truly understood the offensiveness of foreign influence the Saudi people felt, perhaps the people of the U.S. might have ended their support for politicans who voted military aid to the Saudi regime. If a despotic royalty loves U.S. military hardware, an oppressed population will eventually hate the nation enabling the oppression." (p. 57-58) View full article »
The last months have seen remarkably results of nonviolent protests in Tunesia and Egypt. Yemen may finally see a nonviolent solution to its people's struggle, after many lives were lost in the last days.
The people of other countries were not so lucky (yet) - and probably not as experienced in nonviolent protest as the people in Egypt.
Right now, the UN security council resolution 1973
regarding Libya based on chapter 7 of the UN Charter
calls all UN member states to help the people against their own government. The resolution mainly consists of the following tools:
- Immediate cease-fire
- facilitate dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessaryto find a peaceful and sustainable solution
- establish a No Fly Zone
- Enforce the arms embargo
- Asset freezing View full article »
Do no harm
- that idea is broadly derived from medical contexts, where it first was phrased like this in the 16th century and was used to make medics aware of the possible dangers any treatment could contain and compare those dangers to the dangers and benefits of instead not intervening (A bit more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First,_do_no_harm
For volunteers and professionals in any kind of helping situation, this was and still is a hard learned lesson.
Just 'helping' by giving food to starving people can create a backslash on local food economy and thus create future dependencies for foreign food supplies. It can also lead to people getting used to the taste of non-local food and changing their taste-preferences, again hurting local sustainable food economy.
For this very reason and to prevent problems like these, the European Commission created a Code of Conduct
for food aid donors and organisations. View full article »
The SCI branch in Sweden has organized again
a wonderful seminar dealing with nonviolent communication - this year with a special focus on group leading (but also for people who did not participate in the seminar last year). This seminar is going to be under the no-more-war umbrella of SCI (and not only because I am going to participate ;) but because it fits well into the international strategic plan and our own aims :D). The no-more-war team is still working on creating an even more awesome toolkit and other helpful stuff for no-more-war actions in 2011!
There is still about 20 places free so if you do not have a really good reason to avoid this seminar, I suggest you better write an application :D
Here the details from the facebook call for participants:
"There is no way to peace - peace is the way, they say.
So what is peace and how do we "do" peace - as human beings and - as we will focus on during this training - as leaders?
How do we for example help a group to reach their goals? How can we support the group to handle conflicts? How do we manage our inner judgements at the same time as we are present with the group? How do we take care of our fears around leading and being a leader?
View full article »