KEN BUTIGAN – The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will issue his annual World Day of Peace message for the first time on the theme of nonviolence. Entitled â€œNonviolence: The Style of Politics of Peace,â€ the January 1, 2017 papal message will be sent to all foreign ministries worldwide. Announced by Vatican Radio this week, the traditional message is intended to indicate â€œthe diplomatic concerns of the Holy See during the coming year.â€
KEN BUTIGAN – Daniel Berrigan has died, and so we have lost our great teacher who, flinty and generous and relentlessly persistent, taught us how to live in a culture of death and madness: â€œFind some people you can pray with and march with.â€
KEN BUTIGAN – Itâ€™s synchronistic that, the same week Pope Francis brought his message of peace, people and the planet to the United States, thousands of activists were dramatizing many of these same themes by taking to the streets in hundreds of cities for a culture of peace and nonviolence. It was a coincidence that Campaign Nonviolenceâ€™s second annual week of nonviolent actions took place during the popeâ€™s visit. But the fact that both happened at the same time underscores the importance of two critical elements of nonviolent change: vision and action.
KEN BUTIGAN – An organizing summit held this past weekend [November 23-24] at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. â€” called Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance â€” signaled another important milestone in the growth of the anti-drones movement. With 400 participants, including people from nations regularly under drone attack, the conference was a mix of research, analysis, networking and concerted movement building. The news delivered at the gathering was grim, but the convergence gave attendees a sense that the struggle is gaining traction, both in the United States and internationally.
KEN BUTIGAN – The December 14 rampage that claimed the lives of 28 people, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn., has prompted a vigorous new debate on gun violence in the United States and the emergence of a spate of legislative proposals that the president and Congress may broach sometime this year. While policies designed to outlaw or control guns are needed now more than ever, for many of us these efforts must be rooted in a larger imperative: coming to grips with the culture of violence that makes this kind of tragedy possible and seeing our way clear to an alternative.
BY KEN BUTIGAN – Larry taught me that everyone matters, and it was this primal lesson that consciously and unconsciously fueled a longing within for a world whose policies, structures and conditions reflected this most basic fact.