Nonviolent Witness

Kurdish Petroleum: Blessing and Curse

On May 21, we  headed out of Sulaymani to learn how the oil industry has affected people at the local level.  We stopped in Chamchamel en route.  This city was formed after the 1988 "anfal" in which 180,000 Kurds were deported and killed by the Iraqi Government.  Some 4000 villages were destroyed.  Some villagers ended up in what today is Chamchamel.  We were about to visit the village of Cormor, now repopulated after the "anfal."

Are They REALLY Talking about Drafting Women??

With the combat restriction for women in the US Armed Forces now lifted, discussion of draft registration is back in the news, the courts, and the halls of congress. But the problems with Selective Service System (SSS) Registration go much deeper than gender equality. There is little political interest in bringing back the draft. Yet draft registration remains a burden upon our nation’s young men – and now, potentially our young women, as well.

Remembering Poet and Peaceseeker Ann Weems

Ann Weems was a prolific Presbyterian poet, the recipient of the 2005 Peaceseeker Award given by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and honorary co-chair of the PPF Endowment Campaign for the last ten years. She was a long-time supporter of PPF and was a member of the Activist Council.

Living Nonviolence Online Class

Monday, April 4, 2016 to Friday, May 13, 2016

Rethinking Our Coverage of Israel-Palestine: Parody as Activism

 If you’ve ever lived in or known someone who has lived in New York, you know that people who live in New York City avoid Times Square at all costs. Yet on Tuesday morning I found myself climbing out of the subway onto 42nd street at 6:30 in the morning to meet up with some activists from Jewish Voice for Peace.

SOA Vigil 2015

For 25 years, the SOA Watch has been a consistent and powerful movement calling for a close of the School of the Americas and an end to the training of Latin American soldiers by the US Army. They organize around a common vision of an end to militarism and empire by focusing specifically on closing the School of the Americas through nonviolence.

Chereth Brook at SOA 2015

And Yet, There is Hope: Reflection on a Visit to the Albany Catholic Worker Community

This morning I sat in the basement of the Emmaus House (the Albany Catholic Worker community), who was a recipient of one of the PPF Peace Communities grants. It was a cold morning, but it was warm inside as we gathered around the Advent wreath with the single candle of hope lit during this first week of Advent. We sang "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and read from Baruch and an Advent reflection by Dorothy Day and prayed for our world and for our communities.

Tales of a Faith-Led Artivist

My vocational calling as a faith-led “artivist" contains a bias toward those artists who are culture keepers, healers, vision casters, whistle-blowers, mirrors to society and midwives to the world we dream is possible. My most moving experiences of dance, theater, music, poetry, and art is when it addresses the social and political climate in which it exists. Many artists, feeling the need to break the shackles of traditional structures, have put their curiosity and impulses above any responsibility to their audience. The undercurrents of social critique preserved in folk-art and in older cultural traditions do not have the same visibility in our world of high production value, novelty, and cleverness. Yet, those justice minded artists keep pouring out their hearts.

Mosaic of Peace Conference

Monday, April 4, 2016 to Saturday, April 16, 2016
Mosaic of Peace 2016
The event website has conference details, a sample schedule, and an online application.  

Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me

Just at the close, one of our company, a grizzled old, wheel-chair-bound vet., native of Poland, asked for the microphone. He wanted to sing to us. And while his voice may well have been a fine one some years ago, of late it had deteriorated into a bleak, stentorian bellow. Nevertheless he could not be denied and, as it turned out, his selection could not have been more fitting. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me…” And as he blasted forth those well-known words there was hardly a dry eye in the place.

He reminded us just what it had all been for. He sang of the pity, the tragedy, the futility, and yes the nobility of it all. He recalled us to the cause so many had died for, that we all had served for, that had yet to be achieved, we hoped, by different, far less self-defeating means. His grand old words of peace, no matter how discordant, spoke more eloquently than all the flags and ribbons, the medals and mementos, and recalled us to ourselves, our better, truer selves.