PETER BERGEL – “They didn’t sell any assault rifles today. That’s a start.”
TOM HASTINGS – The unraveling of US democracy continues as the third branch of government, contaminated by Republican dirty tricks, confirms the trend of voter suppression laws designed to prevent entire groups of people who tend to vote Democrat from actually being able to vote.
RANDY BLAZAK, TOM HASTINGS, and SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY – Portland residents hold the key to changing the narrative of violence that has characterized the city. Nonviolent civil disobedience, such as peaceful protesting June 1, 2020, a demonstration for Black lives, can help lessen polarization and build broad support for change.
DR. TOM H. HASTINGS – Greta Thunberg was just a little girl in Sweden who learned about the emerging threats to all of us–literally to every human being on Earth and to all species–from anthropogenic (human-caused) climate chaos. Now Thunberg has greatly increased the momentum of the climate chaos resistance movement.
TOM HASTINGS – Trumpâ€™s budget is out, his Trumpcare bill is introduced, and between them they are astonishingly stupid and promise-breaking.
TOM H. HASTINGS – Democracy, said Winston Churchill, is the worst form of governmentâ€”except for all the rest. This is also true for nonviolence. When people are victims of injustice, especially a violent injustice, a violent response is easy to justify. â€œIâ€™m not going to sit still while someone attacks me,â€ is quite reasonable. But the consequences of our actions are worth considering.
PATRICK T. HILLER – I donâ€™t know any of the 13 activists who lowered themselves from the St. John â€™s Bridge in Portland, Oregon, nor any of the dozens of kayakers paddling in the Willamette River below them, but they succeeded in a temporary blockade of the Shell-leased Arctic-bound icebreaker MSV Fennica. I know that the activists participated in our democracyâ€”they were nonviolent and far more civil than many members of Congress. The ship was in Portland for repairs of damage to the hull, which ironically occurred when it was scheduled to leave for the Arctic as part of the safety conditions Royal Dutch Shell Oil needed to fulfill for federal approval to drill for oil after a series of accidents in 2013.
TOM H. HASTINGS – The US has delivered the first batch of F16 fighter jets to Iraq. How long until ISIS grabs them? How long before Iraqâ€™s BFF Iran reverse engineers them from nose to tail? How exactly is this even remotely in the interest of the security of the US citizens whose government approved this deal?
TOM H. HASTINGS – What can we imagine would be important to ending gun violence in our increasingly Tombstone Territory USA, where cars are getting safer and guns are getting more lethal? Iâ€™d offer four starter steps toward addressing a combination of necessary and contributory causes.
ERIN NIEMELA – A relatively new group engaging in non-state political violence, ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, recently called for the creation of an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria and a continuation and strengthening of jihad during Ramadan, according to a video that emerged through social media. ISIS, born of Al Qaeda members in Iraq and matured in the Syrian civil war power vacuum, is so radical that Al Qaeda â€œdisownedâ€ it. As if its goals of coerced dominance arenâ€™t bad enough, Al Qaeda criticized ISIS for its brutality against civilians and Muslims. Repeat: Al Qaeda criticized ISIS. For brutality.
TOM H. HASTINGS and ERIN E. NIEMELA – In the spirit of sharing what weâ€™ve learned in our obscure field of Peace and Conflict Studies, letâ€™s think about some possible conflict management methods unexamined by our decision-makers in their dealings with Iran and its uranium enrichment capacity.
TOM H. HASTINGS – When I teach about the possibilities of a nonviolent response to terrorism, I try to cover many aspects of this complex topic. One of the main strands is the idea that the objectives of al Qa’ida, as stated by Osama bin Laden on several occasions in the 1990s, were not at all unreasonable, but their methods, we agree, were grotesque.
TOM HASTINGS — San Bruno, California, is about 12 miles south of San Francisco, near the airport. That is where the gas line ruptured and exploded into a massive fireball hundreds of feet tall, burning dozens of homes, killing at least four, and injuring many others. Residents report having gotten whiffs of gas now and then for a period beforehand.
TOM H. HASTINGS: Howard Zinn has crossed over. He was a mensch, a historian and a peace and justice activist. He was not convinced that nonviolence was always the answer, but he often provided expert testimony for nonviolent resisters seeking help in conducting a robust defense of their actions in opposition to militarism and injustice.