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First Steps! Collective Nonviolent Direct Action Study

August 23, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

At Niagara Square, as well as on Facebook live. Hybrid event with masks and physical distancing.  Join us for an initial session (also done on July 26) which will also be broadcast and recorded. Collective Nonviolent Direct Action will be key to our keeping and vastly improving our democracy, especially in this critically important time of clear and overwhelming change. These FIRST STEPS are part of a series for shared learning as we prepare, plan, and strategize. Will cover the principles and the spirit (including some music, a great tool for such actions too often not used), Know Your Rights – with Daire Brian Irwin, and Safety info re protective gear, etc, from Nick of Buffalo Action Medics.
Sponsored by the WNY Liberation Collective and the WNY Peace Center.

To prepare, please watch the videos below to allow more time for discussion @the end! The planned agenda follows. Thanks so much!

Ted Talk on nonviolence literacy by Alia Braley

Please see this Ted Talk by Alia Braley, nonviolence educator, on strengthening our collective abilities to deliver nonviolent direct action and improve our nonviolence literacy.

A Force More Powerful – film

Please see A Force More Powerful, a documentary series on one of the 20th century’s most important and least-known stories: how nonviolent power overcame oppression and authoritarian rule. It includes six cases of movements, and each case is approximately 30 minutes long.

Collective Nonviolent Direct Action Study Agenda

(This is an agenda for a longer training. The July 26 study that we did on City Hall steps included much but not all of the below. The abbreviated agenda will be repeated [and recorded] on August 23, 3pm-4:30pm in Niagara Square.)

Collective Action is #PeoplePower. We use our solidarity as a tool to strengthen us – that, and the clear Justice of our campaigns, result in our having and/or being a Force More Powerful.

De-escalation is important, achieved in large part by the twin elements of rejecting the violence or bad deeds of a person while showing the utmost caring and regard for him/her/them as an individual; in other words, Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love.

1 Peace Agreement
2 Underused Peace Tool: Song! Sing – Everybody’s got a right to live!
3 Brief Go ‘Round – intros

3.1 Collective Action
• Nonviolence literacy – See Ted Talk by Alia Braley above. (“How to win vs ISIS”)
• A Force More Powerful: film (see above) – talks about:
o India ejecting the British – Gandhi’s Nonviolence, Salt March
o Danish in World War II – all wore Star of David to support Jews
o US Civil Rights Movement – Rev Dr King and all
o Anti-Apartheid in South Africa
o Polish Solidarnosc

3.2 Territory – In pairs. Directions to be announced.

3.3 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Six Principles of Kingian Nonviolence
o Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
o Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding
o Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people
o Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
o Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
o Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

3.4 “On Revolution and Equilibrium”
We can put more pressure on the antagonist for whom we show human concern…We put upon him two pressures – the pressure of our defiance of him and the pressure of our respect for his life – and it happens that in combination these two pressures are uniquely effective.” – Barbara Deming

4 Small Group Discussion
What is your rally/protest hot button?

5 Know Your Rights –Daire Brian Irwin, Esq.; John Curr, NYCLU

6 SAFETY – Be Prepared – Nick et al from Buffalo Action Medics
(Info on protective gear, tear gas, sound cannons, etc)

7. Questions not yet asked…. and I liked/ I learned/ I wish

8. Announcements

9. Closing

Preparatory videos and the planned agenda, as well as exercises to do in future at a time to be determined, are also on the carousel on our home page here.



August 23, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm