Best known as the man who organized the Great March on Washington in 1963, Bayard Rustin was a vital force in the civil rights movement from the 1940s through the 1980s. Rustins's activism embraced the wide range of crucial issues of his time: communism, international pacifism, and race relations.
Rustin's long activist career began with his association with A. Phillip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Then, as a member of A. J. Muste's Fellowship of Reconciliation, he participated in the "Journey of Reconciliation" (an early version of the "Freedom Rides" of 1961). He was a close associate of Martin Luther King in Montgomery and Atlanta and rose to prominence as organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin played a key role in applying nonviolent direct action to American race relations while rejecting the separatism of movements like Black Power in the 1960s, even at the risk of his being marginalized by the younger generation of civil rights activists. In his later years he tried to hold the civil rights coalition together and to fight for the economic changes he thought were necessary to decrease racism.
Daniel Levine has written the first scholarly biography that examines Rustin's public as well as private persona in light of his struggles as a gay black man and as an activist who followed his own principles and convictions. The result is a rich portrait of a complex, indomitable advocate for justice in American society.
Since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the quest for just and lasting peace has been a fountainhead of debate, negotiation, and violent friction. Souad Dajani traces the Palestinians' struggle and argues for a strategy of nonviolent civilian resistance based on deterrence and defense. This strategy would defeat Israel's political will to maintain their occupation and prepare Palestinians for a time beyond the interim period of self-rule agreed upon by Israel and the PLO in September 19932.
Dajani's formulation of nonviolent civilian resistance is examined against a backdrop of early developments in Mandate Palestine, the impact of Zionist ideology, and the realities of life for Palestinians under occupation. Her assessment of the role of the PLO, objectives of the Palestinian National Movement, developments since the Gulf War, and other factors crucial to an effective strategy raises critical questions surrounding the operation of nonviolent techniques for the Palestinian community, Israeli politics, and international actors, most prominently the United States.
The Gandhian Moment
Ramin Jahanbegloo Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DS481.G3J255 2013 | Dewey Decimal 954.035092
The father of Indian independence, Gandhi was also a political theorist who challenged mainstream ideas. Sovereignty, he said, depends on the consent of citizens willing to challenge the state nonviolently when it acts immorally. The culmination of the inner struggle to recognize one’s duty to act is the ultimate “Gandhian moment.”
Since 1972, the Rainbow Family of Living Light, a loosely organized and anarchistic nomadic community, have been holding large gatherings in remote forests to pray for world peace and create a model of a functioning utopian society. In People of the Rainbow, Michael I. Niman offers the first comprehensive study of this countercultural group, also known as the Rainbow Nation or Rainbow Family. Niman's insightful and compelling profile describes the origins and recent history of the Rainbows and explains the eclectic philosophy of environmentalism, feminism, peace activism, group sharing, libertarianism, and consensus government they espouse.
A fictional re-creation of a day in the life of a Rainbow character named Sunflower begins the book, illustrating events that might typically occur at an annual North American Rainbow Gathering. Using interviews with Rainbows, content analysis of media reports, participant observation, and scrutiny of government documents relating to the group, Niman presents a complex picture of the Family and its relationship to mainstream culture—called "Babylon" by the Rainbows. Niman also looks at internal contradictions within the Family and examines members' problematic relationship with Native Americans, whose culture and spiritual beliefs they have appropriated.
The nomadic nature of the Rainbow Family has long exasperated the U.S. government--especially the Forest Service--and has baffled the media. Niman places the Rainbow Family's gatherings in a historical context by framing the group's activities in terms of the long tradition of intentional communities and utopian experimentation within the United States. Concluding with reflections on the successes and limitations of the Rainbow movement, People of the Rainbow provides an extensive ethnography of this intriguing subculture and provides fresh insights into the ongoing legacy of utopian communalism.
The Author: Michael I. Niman is an adjunct assistant professor of American studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a lecturer in the communication department at Buffalo State College.
Gandhi and Nehru helped create a myth of nonviolence in ancient India that obscures a troubled, complex heritage: a long struggle to reconcile the ethics of nonviolence with the need to use violence to rule. Upinder Singh documents the tension between violence and nonviolence in ancient Indian political thought and practice, 600 BCE to 600 CE.
In Ripples of Hope, Robert M. Press tells the stories of mothers, students, teachers, journalists, attorneys, and manyothers who courageously stood up for freedom and human rights against repressive rulers “ and who helped bring about change through primarily nonviolent means. Global in application and focusing on Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone, this tribute to the strength of the human spirit also breaks new ground in social movement theories, showing how people on their own or in small groups can make a difference.
This volume examines the limits Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have set for the use of coercive violence. It probes the agreements and disagreements of these major religious traditions on pacifism (the abjurance of all force) and quietism (the avoidance of force unless certain stringent conditions are met).
The distinguished contributors examine the foundations for nonviolence in each religion, criticize the positions each religion has taken, address the inherent challenges nonviolence poses, and evaluate the difficulty of practicing nonviolence in a secular society. The concluding essay defines the common ground, isolates the points of conflict, and suggests avenues of further inquiry.
The most important contribution this volume makes is to demonstrate that no Western religious tradition provides a basis for the glorification of violence. Rather, each accepts warfare as a regretted necessity and sets strict limits on the use of force.
This work offers new insights for those interested in the ethics of warfare, peace studies, religious traditions, and international affairs.