By Dr. Ann Frisch

Nonviolent Peaceforce teamed up with Rotary Clubs of St. Paul, Minnesota and Khuanlang-Hatyai, Thailand to give three workshops on civilian engagement in peace processes for Rotarians in three Thai cities: Pattani, Hatyai and Bangkok.

P1050603 Banner Southern Thailand Peace project Jan 2015One hundred and fifty Rotarians and colleagues in their communities attended the interactive workshops. Shadab Mansoori, NP Myanmar Country Director, and Atif Hameed, NP Program Director, presented case studies of civilians involved in the peace process in their respective countries. Dr. Norbert Ropers and colleagues from the Prince of Songkla University Peace Resource Center facilitated the sessions with presentations on the current civilian peace process in Thailand. Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat, an independent analyst and scholar, spoke about the history of the conflict.

Read more: Nonviolent Peaceforce Partners with Rotary on Peace Workshops in Thailand

Breakfast in Minneapolis: David Hartsough and Linda Sartor -Presenting their Landmark Memoirs in Peacekeeping.

David Hartsough: Co-Founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) and author of Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist

Picture of David Hartsought May 2005

David is a civil resistor who has been organizing nonviolent change for nearly six decades. Since meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. in the mid 1950's, David has taken part in many significant nonviolent movements in the past decades- including the Vietnam anti-war movement and civil rights movement in the United States. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala, has been threatened with arrest in Red Square in Moscow for protesting for nuclear disarmament there and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines. His other nonviolent efforts around the globe included work in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine and Sri Lanka. He is the the Co-Founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce and more recently helped found World Beyond War.

and

Linda Sartor: Former NP peacekeeper in Sri Lanka and author of Turning Fear into Power: One Women's Journey Confronting the War on Terror

Linda Sartor 11 03 2

 

Linda's work is inspired by Gandhi's creative program-focusing on creating models for what we do want as opposed to protesting what we don't want. After 9/11 Linda felt she could not sit still and this inspired her to take action. She spent the next ten years of her life travelling to conflict zones working as unarmed peacekeeper. This included roles from protective accompaniment to directly interpositioning between conflicting parties. Linda Sartor worked with Nonviolent Peaceforce in Sri Lanka from 2003-2008 and continued her nonviolent work in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Bahrain.

Breakfast served before the presentation. 

When: Friday, April 24th, 2015
Breakfast @ 7:30 am
Presentation @8:00 am

Where: Nonviolent Peaceforce Minneapolis Office
425 Oak Grove St
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Intersection: Lyndale Ave S & Oak Grove St.
Parking is available.

RSVP: By April 16th, 2015 by emailing
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 612-871-0005. Guests are welcome.

 

Please join us on Monday, March 9th at 10:30 am if you're in the New York area. For the workshop "What would the UN Peace Panel recommend if it were lead by women, civil society organizations, and local actors living in conflict?" This event is free of charge.

Click on the ad below for more info.

ad women

WomensDay

 

[Form WomensDay not found!]

(Once moderated responses will be posted in 1-2 days). 

Responses

1) Hie Ladies, Thank you so much for being there, for the vulnerable people of South Sudan especialy the children, the good work you have done for them.

I am sending you all a big hug and lots of kisses from the Paradise of Africa : ZIMBABWE.

May the good Lord continue to guide and protect you all the days of your life.

HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY.

-PHILLIPA TEMBO

2) Thanks for the amazing work you're doing!

-Kimberly Sanberg

 3) Thank you for the work you are doing. You are an inspiration to women and men around the world.

-Amy Hansen

Read more: Thank a Women's Peacekeeping Team: International Women's Day 2015

Social JusticeOn February 20, 2015, the international community once again observes the United Nations World Day of Social Justice. At a time when conflict, violence, and inequality are endemic both within and between societies, recognition of the principles upon which this day was founded is more important now than ever.

The pursuit of global social justice must be informed and bolstered not only by our past accomplishments, but also by the grave contemporary obstacles still ahead: a deep and growing chasm between the world's wealthiest and poorest citizens; unsustainable economic development and its corollary, global environmental degradation; and widespread violations of human rights and the rule of law, often resulting in further racial, ethnic, or sectarian conflict.

On this day we must recognize that the causes of injustice are deeply entrenched in failures—both global and domestic—that cut across political, economic, and environmental boundaries. They are rooted in policies and practices that have deprived the world's citizens, especially the poorest and most vulnerable among us, of adequate access to food and shelter, employment and educational opportunities, and the freedom to live in peace without the threat of persecution, violence, or war. Yet these obstacles are not insurmountable; together, guided by an agenda of global security, economic equality, and social inclusion, we can create a more peaceful and just world.

Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) stands committed to this United Nations World Day of Social Justice, and in solidarity with the courageous organizations and individuals around the world that have placed the protection of human dignity at the center of their work. In the face of the challenges of 2015 and beyond, NP will continueto promote the principles of nonviolence and peace not only in the countries in which we work, but on a global level.

 

Doris Mariani
CEO, Nonviolent Peaceforce

Tom Sullivan"In the fall of 2002, a friend invited me to a week-long demonstration in Edina, Minnesota, at the international headquarters of an arms and munitions maker. This was the second one, 33 years after the first. I probably would not have gone to the demonstration but for what he had shared about the impact of these munitions on our own troops and countless thousands of civilians. After working for 30 years with veterans who struggled with the physical and emotional scarring from what they had lived through in past wars, I do not want to see more vets deal with yet another type of pain.
Not only was the demonstration meaningful, but the people I met have had an amazing impact on my life. One couple, Mary Lou and Gene Ott, told me about their involvement in Nonviolent Peaceforce. After the first few months of weekly demonstrations, I made the decision to spend at least as much time working for something as I spend demonstrating against something. Since the spring of 2003, I have committed between four and eight hours a week to volunteer work for the Nonviolent Peaceforce.
I honestly believe that each small task I complete contributes to an effort that resolves conflicts without using violence. In the long run, I believe this approach will result in a more sane, peaceful world for my kids, my grand kids and generations to come."

Tom Sullivan
NP Volunteer since 2003

 

"Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment, but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."
Howard Zinn

Note: To download the full PDF report, please click here.

A Note from Mel…

Mel Duncan, Director of Advocacy and Outreach

Nonviolent   Peaceforce   has   continued   to advance the idea and practice of unarmed civilian protection, and we share with you some of the highlights in recent months. I urge you to share this news with others, and if you want more detail, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

Syria

NP in SyriaThe European Union has notified NP of a grant to develop a civilian protection project in Syria. We have been working on the project for over two years. We will be partnering with the Syrian organization Madani (http://www.madanisyria.com) and contracting with Cure Violence (http://www.cureviolence.org) to train and support locally tailored civilian protection and violence interruption programmes in 45 locations throughout the country.

We will offer intensive training and training of trainers to Syrian civil society organizations and leaders across the entire political spectrum. This will be followed by hands-­‐on  support and consultation with groups as they implement their plans in their local areas.  Periodically we will bring   people   together   to   reflect   on   their   experience,   identify   lessons   learned,   while strengthening  relationships  among  each  other.    We believe that a strong and active civil society network working  across  political,  religious  and  ethnic boundaries provides a foundation for a future pluralistic and peaceful Syria.  When appropriate and safe,   we   will   consider   sending   in   international unarmed civilian protectors.

The project will begin in April 2015 and last for three years.  

South Sudan

The Australian Ambassador to the United Nations, HE Gary Quinlan, has notified Nonviolent Peaceforce that his mission’s International Development Fund has awarded USD 63,000 to NP to enhance the capacity of humanitarian workers protecting civilians under threat in South Sudan.  (http://www.geneva.mission.gov.au/gene/idf.html)

With the return of the dry season, the danger of a full-scale war looms.  By providing training to nongovernmental organization workers, NP is able to spread protective coverage for civilians and at the same time mainstream protection methodologies.  Over the next three months, NP will train 150 people in five areas in South Sudan.  After a summary meeting in Juba to capture lessons learned, NP will work with the Australian mission to disseminate results at the UN.

Read more: Advocacy and Outreach Report (December 2014)