"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
View Kathy Emery, PhD's LinkedIn profileView Kathy Emery, PhD's profile

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Peace/Civil Rights Veterans speak out on Occupy Wall Street

thanks Lucille!!!  for sending this to me!!
James Lawson: "movements must be intergenerational!"

thanks Wade!!! for sending this to me!!!

by Paul K. Chappell
October 31, 2011
Paul ChappellI graduated from West Point in 2002, served in the army for seven years, and was deployed to Baghdad in 2006. I left active duty in 2009 as a captain, and I am currently serving as the Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, where I work to empower people with the skills and ideals that allow us to effectively wage peace.

If we compare how much the average twenty-two-year-old army officer knows about waging war and how much the average twenty-two-year-old activist knows about waging peace, there is a big difference. Although I admire their deep commitment to waging peace, many activists have not had enough training in the nonviolent methods that lead to positive change. Many activists have not thoroughly studied the brilliant techniques of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, and other peace warriors.

Good intentions are simply not enough. If they were enough, then war, injustice, and oppression would have ended many years ago. To solve our national and global problems, we need more than just good intentions. We must also be disciplined, strategic, and well trained. Civil Rights leader James Lawson, whom Martin Luther King Jr. called “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world,” said, “The difficulty with nonviolent people and efforts is that they don’t recognize the necessity of fierce discipline and training, and strategizing, and planning, and recruiting.”    READ MORE

[In 1959, King sent Lawson to Nashville, TN, where Lawson trained students from the four black colleges there in the history, philosophy, strategy and discipline of nonviolent direct action.  These students -- among whom became the leaders of the Southern Freedom Movement such as Diane Nash, John Lewis, Bernard Lafayette -- formed the critical leadership of the Nashville Movement.  The Nashville sit-ins have been captured in a 30 minute documentary called, appropriately enough, WHEN WE WERE WARRIORS.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Then and Now

Eerily similar or different?
What do you think?

For the record, the UCDavis police clearly broke the law as per:

California Penal Code Section 12403.7 (a) (8)

(g) Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except in self-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years or in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, except that, if the use is against a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months or two or three years or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

It is crazy to shrug at this even if you don't care about the students it's happening to or because you don't believe in the occupy movement. This is a crime. If anyone other than the police was doing this they would be thrown in jail.It's sad to see comments all over the internet that are modern day echos of the past: "Oh look, they're using hoses on black people and stupid yankee college kids who disobey clear police orders to move out of the street. It's so funny! And it's just water, anyway. Not like they're using machine guns on these idiots."

And just for the record, I have in my life been both hosed down with a fire hose (shellback hazing as I crossed the equator for my first time on a US Naval Ship) as well as pepper sprayed (Marine Corps training for riot control). They are both painful in very different ways but I still feel they are comparable to one another. As a disclaimer, I do feel there is a big difference between the Civil Rights Movement and Occupy but the general principle of Non Violence in the face of blatant police brutality remains the same.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Effects

From DailyKos
Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:31 AM PST

Ten stories of people moving their money, despite bank efforts to stop them

Banks are shrugging off the (at least) 700,000 accounts they've lost the last six weeks and claim they don't want your business:

[T]he banks are going to be better off because they are getting rid of their least-profitable or not profitable clients. It helps them stem this tsunami of cash that’s been flowing in that they don’t know what to do with.
But not only do they relentlessly advertise for new business on billboards, TV, direct mail and other places, but they fight tooth and nail to prevent people from closing their accounts. The Daily Kos community and others have chronicled many such efforts, so follow me below the fold for ten of these awesome stories.


From Stephen Colbert

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Occupy U.C. Berkeley
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive


Monday, November 14, 2011

Protest song -- neccesary variable for a social movement!

Songs like this need to be sung at every protest site  --

The songs. [during the Southern Freedom Movement]
      The songs elevated our courage,
           The songs bonded us together,
                The songs forged our discipline,
                     The songs shielded us from hate,
                           The songs protected us from danger,
                              And the songs kept us sane.


Saturday Dialogues - for white racial justice activists

WHAT: Bay Area Saturday Dialogue for white racial justice activists
Here's a little about what we'll be doing at our November event:
Guest facilitator Holly Fulton will be joining us to talk about The Healing Process in our Journeys Around White Awareness, and sharing examples from her experiences with "Traces of the Trade" and "Coming to the Table." Coming to the Table is a program addressing the legacies and aftermaths of slavery by facing history, healing wounds, making connections and taking action.
WHO:  White-Identified People 
  • who want to talk about issues of race, racism, privilege, white identity and liberationist ideas! 
  • who want a community of white racial justice activists!                  
  • who want to invite other white folx to join in conversations about racial justice!

  Saturday, November 19, 2011 1:00pm to 4:00pm

WHERE: Niebyl Proctor Library [wheelchair accessible]
          6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609-1113
  • Bring our anti-racism work into a collaborative community.  
  • Discuss whiteness and our role as white people in the fight against racism. 
  • Build awareness and personal skills to support our racial justice work

FOR MORE INFO or to RSVP to save your spot at

We appreciate your support of this work and welcome your donations to help sustain our development.

P.S. The December 8th Book Group has been postponed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Occupy Oakland and the Port of Oakland

After watching USA Today news videos of the Occupy Oakland Movement, I am disappointed that the "message" I get from these videos is:  Shut down the Port "to shut down capitalism!" ?????????????????

I would think the better message would be

Shut the port until the port pays its fair share of taxes to the city of Oakland; mitigate it's pollution footprint; and stop making real estate deals that harm the public good

Read an excellent analysis of all the issues surrounding the Port of Oakland by Urban Habitat
Dawn Phillips, organizer for Just Cause Oakland, points out that the Port isn’t looking out for the interests of Oakland residents. “The Port represents one of the less accessible and less accountable institutions, even by the generally low standards of Oakland government.” All too often, Port developments lead to “a net loss of jobs, a net loss of small, local, people of color–owned businesses in Oakland.”
Urban Strategies’ Smith point out that, “There [are] several hundred million dollars in reserve accounts over at the Port. And if we’re… looking at a revenue shortfall in the city of around $30 million… we need to think about getting the Port to give the money to the city to solve that problem.”

Ports around the country have varied relationships to their cities. Some, like Oakland, are semi-autonomous; others pay city taxes. Given Oakland’s current budget problems, there is no reason why old laws cannot be changed, say Oakland community activists. The Port, after all, is located on public land, and the pollution it creates is a public hazard. The community would like to see the Port be more of a city asset and less of a private business.

“[The Port] isn’t a business, it’s a public agency,” says Smith of Urban Strategies. “When someone in city [government] says, ‘Boy we’d really like to access some of that money to fix the fiscal crisis but there’s nothing we can do,’ they are wrong. There is something they can do. They can change the charter. And they can enter into agreements with the Port.”
Just Cause’s Phillips says, “The City Council and the Mayor lack the political will to take the Port on.   It will take community, labor, and neighborhood residents organizing vocal and strong challenges: demonstrations, media work, and legal suits. This isn’t an institution that is going to go quietly.”