- Get Trained
- The Metta Center for Nonviolence Education
- The Ruckus Society
- Ruckus Media
- Action Planning Manual
- The Functions of Direct Action
- The Symbolic Nature of Direct Action
- Action Development
- Action Medics
- Introduction to Nonviolent Direct Action
- Legal Observer
- Nonviolent Direct Action Prep
- Arts in Action
- Communications for Direct Action
- Nonviolent Direct Action Messaging
- Organizing Skills
- Spokesperson Skills
- Visionary Action
- Nonviolent Direct Action Planning
- Scouting for an Action
- Direct Action Legal Planning
- Introduction to Blockades
- Advanced Blockades
- War Resisters’ International
- Operations & Tactics
- Act Up Oral History
- Audre Lorde
- Barbara Deming
- Bayard Rustin
- Cesar Chavez
- Dolores Huerta
- Equality U
- Eyes on the Prize
- Focus on the Facts
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Oscar Romero
- Nonviolent Legacy
- Original Writings
- Audio, Video & Film
- Other Written Sources
- GandhiServe Foundation
- The King Center
- Contact Us
This presentation introduces workshop participants to several general conceptual frames and basic principles of nonviolent communication.
Slide Show Narrative: [To view a companion narrative script of this slide show, right-click on this link and then click to open in a new tab or window]
- PowerPoint Handout: “Nonviolent Communication” Handout - PDF
- Doing Justice (v1-pledge) — This 2-page handout in .PDF format includes 9 guidelines for Negotiations, 12 guidelines for Direct Action, the “Eight Basic Steps of the Soul Force Process”, and the Soulforce Pledge to Nonviolence.
Also available for download:
Other Online Resources:
- The Soulforce Process - Nonviolent Principles of Direct Action
- Soulforce Pledge to Nonviolence
- The Four Steps
- The Original Journey to Lynchburg
- Doing Justice (v2-credo) (2-page handout, .PDF format) (doing-justice-through-soulforce-credo-version): an alternate version of the “Doing Justice” handout replacing the Pledge to Nonviolence with the Soulforce credos about ourselves and our adversaries.
>> Metta Center — Nonviolence Education
>> LESBIAN… POET… NONVIOLENT ACTIVIST
The fact that she was a child of privilege (her mother was an aspiring singer and her father a Republican political operative) makes Barbara Deming’s life story all the more compelling. She was born in 1917 in New York City, and the entirety of her primary and secondary education was spent in a Quaker school. She studied literature and drama at Bennington College from 1934-1938 and earned a Master’s degree in Drama at Case Western Reserve University 1941. Deming experienced her first lesbian relationship when she was 17. From 1954-1972, she partnered with Mary Meigs, and later, from 1976 until her death in 1984, Deming lived with her partner artist Jane Verlaine at their home in Florida.
Exposed to creative writing influences throughout her childhood, Deming developed a career as a poet, professional writer and film critic until she became interested in Gandhi during a trip to India in 1959. From the 1960s until her death, Deming was involved as a nonviolent activist in the peace and civil rights movements, the movement to end the Vietnam War, feminism, lesbian and gay rights, and working to end violence against women. In Deming’s view, the unifying theme in all these issues was advancing “respect for individual rights and dignity”. (McDaniel and Paley, xi-xii)
After corresponding with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1962, Deming began to advocate the joining of the peace and civil rights movements, and in 1964 participated in an integrated peace walk through several southern states, “The Nashville, Tennessee, to Washington, D.C., Walk for Peace”. She describes some of her experiences on that walk in the essay “Southern Peace Walk: Two Issues or One?”.
Since the publication in 1968 of her seminal essay, “On Revolution and Equilibrium“, Deming has become recognized as a leading thinker in nonviolent theory. According to Dr. Ira Chernus, Ph.D., author of American Nonviolence: The History of An Idea, Deming utilized a “strictly secular approach”. She, “developed a systematic argument for nonviolence with no religious basis. More than anyone else,” writes Chernus, “Deming made it intellectually plausible, and even respectable, for nonreligious people to commit themselves to nonviolence with no religious basis.” (Chernus, 182) Deming argued that a faith-based perspective often clouds the thinking of nonviolent activists and prevents them from being “aggressive” or “bold” enough in resisting injustice.
In addition to her critical evaluation of the faith-based perspective of nonviolence, Deming also advanced a rational argument that nonviolent methods are more effective than violent ones in ending injustice. Not only do nonviolent methods reduce the human cost in conflict situations, they also enable more effective use of moral suasion by the oppressed on the oppressor: “We can putmore pressure on the antagonist for whom we show human concern,” she wrote. (Lynd & Lynd, 415)
In “On Revolution and Equilibrium“, Deming also suggested a theoretical alignment of nonviolence with all justice struggles. She argued that, by obstructing or circumventing oppressive social structures, the coercive power inherent in nonviolent methods could be a potent force in creating social change. Deming assumed that human dignity and the right to exercise one’s free will are self-evident principles–and that because all forms of injustice deprive the oppressed of the right to exercise free will, they are all inherently violent. Because all injustice is inherently violent and, in her estimation, nonviolence is the most efficacious method for resisting injustice, nonviolence and all struggles for justice are inextricably linked.
Finally, Deming also discussed themes familiar to Gandhian adherents–”clinging to truth”, voluntary redemptive suffering, and nonviolence as a method of personal transformation–but her reorientation of priorities and emphasis on the forceful transformation of power dynamics within social structures represented a new and radically different approach to thinking about the philosophy and methodology of nonviolence.
>> WRITTEN SOURCES
- Chernus, Ira. “Barbara Deming“, Chapter 12 of American Nonviolence: The History of An Idea. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.
- Deming, Barbara and Staughton and Alice Lynd (eds). “On Revolution and Equilibrium“,Nonviolence in America. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1995, 2002.
- Deming, Barbara and Staughton and Alice Lynd (eds). “Southern Peace Walk: Two Issues or One?“, Nonviolence in America. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1995, 2002.
- Deming, Barbara and Sky Vanderlinde (editor), Judith McDaniel (biographical essay); Grace Paley (introduction); and Joan E. Biren (photo essay). Prisons That Could Not Hold. Athens and London: The University of Georgia Press, 1985, 1995.
>> WEB SOURCES
- Barbara Deming: An Activist Life
- Ira Chernus, American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea
- Barbara Deming Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
- A Random Chapter in the History of Nonviolence, by Michael L. Westmoreland-White
- Barbara Deming (1917 - 1984) @ Queer Theory
- Barbara Deming Quotes — 21 quotes and quotations…
- Amazon’s Barbara Deming Page
Dealing with Everyday Racism by Katrina C. Hopkins
Squad Leader Duties:
- Shepherd new and old Soulforce participants through Soulforce actions with special care given to developing and nurturing a relationship between the individual and Soulforce.
- Organize individuals into a team prepared and equipped to carry out the Soulforce action in the Soulforce way
- Promote and coordinate all activities so that the spirit of Soulforce is as important as the action of Soulforce
- Pay particular attention to ensuring that the health and the safety of all is attended to the best of our abilities.
- Serve as a liaison between Soulforce leadership and squad members.
Qualities Necessary in a Squad Leader:
- Someone who has learned and accepted the Soulforce vows and way of conducting direct actions.
- Someone who can be friendly with new people and focus on relationship building.
- Someone who can welcome diverse peoples and relate to them in diverse settings.
- Someone who can focus on the needs of Soulforce during the periods of the direct action.
- Someone who can trust the leadership team of a direct action and who can follow that leadership.
- Someone who can think on their feet should a squad member have difficulties and/or should their squad meet some hostile adversity.
- Someone who is organized and can follow through on logistical needs (ensuring that their squads comply with whatever paperwork and/other communication and logistical necessities).
- Someone who can follow directions and fulfill commitments.
- Someone who is responsible and committed yet flexible and able to think independently.
- Someone who is of sufficient spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health to perform all duties of a squad leader and who does not need mood altering medications or who is appropriately medicated.
- Most if not all the squad leaders will need to be willing to be arrested or have a co-leader in the squad who is willing and able. It will be helpful if they have been arrested in the past.
- Must be able to identify and work with monitors who can help them with squad nurture and shepherding.
- Must not have outstanding warrants
** Created for Soulforce Inc. by Jean Holsten.
ACT-UP SAN DIEGO - CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
“IT IS THROUGH DISOBEDIENCE THAT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE,
THROUGH DISOBEDIENCE AND REBELLION.” OSCAR WILDE
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE GUIDELINES:
Avoid physical violence, even when faced with hostility.
Meet violence with non-violent resistance.
Do Not Carry Weapons!
Express anger, frustration and pain without abusing anyone.
Maintain an attitude of respect for all people you encounter.
Avoid actions or words that might promote panic or endanger the well-being of anyone.
ITEMS TO BRING WITH YOU:
An amount of money required to prevent a vagrancy charge.
ITEMS TO LEAVE AT HOME:
Weapons, or anything that can be construed as a weapon.
This may include something as tiny as a nail file or nail clippers.
Alcohol or drugs other then for medical purposes. If you are taking medications, you need to carry them in the original prescription labeled bottle. Also the support team may keep your medications for you.
We all look gorgeous in our jewelry, though it may be wise to leave it at home this time. Better safe then sorry. Police departments can ‘lose’ items quite easily.
Furthermore, dangling jewelry may cause personal injury during a rough arrest.
NOTES ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE:
Affinity Groups operate on the ‘buddy’ system: the members of the group try to stay together and watch out for one another in the scary world of jails and police authoritarianism. The ideal size of an Affinity Group is about 5 – 9 people. The group makes decisions about what risks they want to take during the action. Thus each member should develop a trust for all other members of her/his group. In addition, each Affinity Group should have or be assigned at least one support person. The Affinity group should consider its support person(s) in it’s risk decisions.
SUPPORT is one of the most important jobs in the making of a peaceful, successful and defiant demonstration of Civil Disobedience. Support persons follow-up on the arrestees in their care. This means collecting the support cards of their arrestees, following their people to the jail or citing center, dealing with the police to be sure their arrestees are being processed, keeping bail money, holding arrestees personal possessions and making sure arrestees are receiving their medications and/or medical care if necessary. It is a difficult and frustrating job when the police are not cooperative. Everyone in the group should acknowledge the hard work required of the support team. Furthermore, arrestees must be sensitive to the stress of support positions and not be over demanding. Without support, there is no Civil Disobedience.
LEGAL OBSERVERS should be equipped with pencil, pad, cameras and or recording devices. They record police actions and should try to get as close as possible to the arrestees without risking arrest themselves during the arrest process. These persons do not have to be attorneys, though attorneys maybe necessary in negotiating the demonstrators’ release with the police.
WHAT ABOUT THE POLICE?
Of course, the police are there to arrest you.
While discussing the non-violence guidelines, your group will need to discuss the degree of militancy your group wants to present to the police officers. Sometimes this may mean yelling at the police, resisting arrest by going limp or maintaining one’s position while they try to drag you away. If the police become abusive, look for their badge number and shout it out to your support team. Once you are in the jail, if that is where you are cited, please be conscious of the position of prisoners who are in jail not because of a political choice. In other words, don’t be obnoxious (meaning racist, classist etc.) please be aware.
1. You do not have to talk to the police or FBI or any other investigators.
You do not have to talk to them whether they come to your house, on the street, if you’ve been arrested, or even if you are in jail. Only a court or a Grand Jury has legal authority to compel testimony.
2. You don’t have to let the police or FBI into your home or office, unless they show you an arrest or search warrant which authorizes them to enter that specific place.
3. If they do present a warrant, you do not have to tell them anything other then your name and address. You have the right to observe what they do.
4. Take written notes, including the agents’ names, agency and badge numbers. Try to have other people present as witnesses and have them take written notes, too.
5. Anything you do or say to law enforcement officers, may be used against you or other people.
6. If you do give the FBI or police information, it may mean that you will have to testify to the same information at trial or before a Grand Jury.
7. Lying to an FBI agent or other federal investigators is a crime.
8. The best advice, if the FBI or police try to question you or to enter your home or office without a warrant, is to - JUST SAY NO! Law enforcement agents have a job to do and they are highly skilled at it. Attempting to ‘outwit’ them is very risky, you can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information can help them hurt you.
9. The investigators may threaten you with a Grand Jury subpoena if you don’t give them information. But you may get one anyway and anything you’ve already told them will be the basis for more detailed questioning under oath.
10. They may try to threaten or intimidate you by pretending to have information about you. (‘We know what you’ve been doing, but if you cooperate it will all be all right.’) If you are concerned about this, tell them you will consider talking to them with your lawyer present.
11. If you are nervous about simply refusing to talk, you may find it easier to tell them to contact your lawyer. Once a lawyer is involved, the agents usually pull back since they have lost their power to intimidate. If you are taken into police custody, once you request an attorney, they must cease questioning you until your lawyer is present. But remember, you do not have to answer their questions, even if they keep asking.
POSSIBLE FORMS OF SENTENCING:
Jail fine probation suspended sentence community service combination
TYPES OF CHARGES:
Felony misdemeanor infraction
/ I \
TAKE OR REFUSE OR BAIL
\ I /
/ I I \
GUILTY NO CONTEST NOT GUILTY CREATIVE
\ I \ /
\ / \
GUILTY NOT GUILTY
ACT-UP San Diego CD Guidelines provided courtesy of Wendy Sue Biegeleisen, Membership Coordinator of S.A.M.E. (San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality)