Saturday, May 19, 2007

Iranian Center for Applied Nonviolence

The United Arab Emirates, the confederation that includes Dubai, has become a nexus of political activity concerning Iran, as numerous governments and groups have seized on the country's location and its longstanding ties with Tehran to get a better understanding of Iran and its people. Also, at least one group run by Iranian-American opposition figures, named the Iranian Center for Applied Nonviolence, has used Dubai to train Iranians in techniques of “civil disobedience”.

About 200,000 Iranians live in Dubai, and contacts with them are considered especially useful because they are not political refugees, as in some other cities outside Iran with Iranian populations.

Iranians in Dubai have been attracted here in large part because of the city's openness and freewheeling business climate. The emirate is an important transshipment point for goods and products headed to Iran. And Iranians can use its banks and financial institutions to do business with other countries, which is harder to do in Iran thanks to trade sanctions and U.S. pressure not to do business with Iran.

Among the nongovernmental groups seizing on those links is the Iranian Center for Applied Nonviolence, which invites Iranians to workshops here to teach them how peaceful revolts in Georgia, the Philippines and elsewhere were set off. The center, led by Ramin Ahmadi, an Iranian-American opposition figure, says he holds the training sessions every three months or so on civil disobedience, hoping to foment a nonviolent revolt in Iran too. The International Center for Non-Violent Conflict, a separate organization based in Washington, helped organize one of the training sessions.

"We wanted to find a place where we were safe, where they can't send paramilitaries to gun you down, and where large numbers of Iranians go," said Ahmadi, who is a physician in the United States. "The last thing the Iranian regime will want to do is cause themselves trouble in Dubai. So it provides us with a degree of protection."
Critics of Ahmadi's work say it threatens to taint opposition figures inside Iran with appearing to cooperate with outside agitators. At least two people were imprisoned after attending one of his sessions last year

Friday, May 18, 2007

Six Principles and Six Steps of Nonviolence developed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

the 6 Principles

  1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

  2. Nonviolence means seeking friendship and understanding among those who are different from you.

  3. Nonviolence defeats injustice, not people.

  4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform people and societies.

  5. Nonviolence chooses loving solutions, not hateful ones.

  6. Nonviolence means the entire universe embraces justice.

The 6 Steps

  1. Gather Information Learn all you can about the problems you see in your community through the media, social and civic organizations, and by talking to the people involved.

  2. Educate Others Armed with your new knowledge, it is your duty to help those around you, such as your neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers, better understand the problems facing society. Build a team of people devoted to finding solutions. Be sure to include those who will be directly affected by your work.

  3. Remain Committed Accept that you will face many obstacles and challenges as you and your team try to change society. Agree to encourage and inspire one another along the journey.

  4. Peacefully Negotiate Talk with both sides. go to the people in your community who are in trouble and who are deeply hurt by society's ills. Also go to those people who are contributing to the breakdown of a peaceful society. Use humor, intelligence and grace to lead to solutions that benefit the greater good.

  5. Take Action Peacefully This step is often used when negotiation fails to produce results, or when people need to draw broader attention to a problem. it can include tactics such as peaceful demonstrations, letter-writing and petition campaign.

  6. Reconcile Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful and constructive. Agree to disagree with some people and with some groups as you work to improve society. Show all involved the benefits of changing, not what they will give up by changing.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of America’s greatest nonviolent movement for justice, equality and peace.

More than 650,000 visitors from all over the world are drawn annually to the King Center to pay homage to Dr. King, view unique exhibits illustrating his life and teachings and visit the King Center’s Library, Archives, his final resting place, his birth home, gift shop and other facilities. Located in Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, The King Center utilizes diverse communications media, including books, audio and video cassettes, film, television, CDs and web pages, to reach out far beyond its physical boundaries to educate people all over the world about Dr. King’s life, work and his philosophy and methods of nonviolent conflict-reconciliation and social change.

In these web pages, you will find invaluable resources to become informed about Dr. King and the ongoing efforts to fulfill his great dream of the Beloved Community for America and the world. With your support, The King Center will make a major contribution to preparing coming generations of Dr. King’s followers to carry forward his unfinished work into the 21st century.

Yolanda King

Here is a new report that was not widely covered by the media this week.

MLK's daughter Yolanda King dies
51-year-old was actress, advocate
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Errin Haines
Associated Press

Atlanta -- Yolanda King, the firstborn child of the first family
of the civil rights movement, who honored that legacy through acting and
advocacy, died late Tuesday. She was 51. The daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King died in Santa Monica, Calif. Family
members did not know the cause of death, but suspect it might have been a heart

"This is just the last thing and the last person that we
expected this to happen to," said Issac Newton Farris, the Kings' cousin and
chief executive officer of the King Center. Former Mayor Andrew Young, a
lieutenant of her father's who has remained close to the family, said King was
going to her brother Dexter's home when she collapsed in the doorway. Yolanda
King, who lived in California, appeared in numerous films including "Ghosts of
Mississippi" and played Rosa Parks in the 1978 miniseries "King." She also ran a
production company.

"She used her acting ability to dramatize the
essence of the movement," said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who
worked alongside King's father. "She could motivate and inspire and tell the
story. I heard her recite I Have A Dream' on several occasions.

"She made it real, made it part of her. I think her father
would've been very, very proud of her."

Yolanda King's death came
less than a year and a half after Coretta Scott King died in January 2006 after
battling ovarian cancer and the effects of a stroke. Her struggle prompted her
daughter to become a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, raising
awareness, especially among blacks, about stroke.

Yolanda Denise
King, nick named Yoki by the family, was born Nov. 17, 1955, in Montgomery,
Ala., where her father was then preaching.

She was just 2 weeks
old when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus there, leading to the
Montgomery bus boycott spearheaded by King's father. When the family's house was
firebombed eight weeks later, she and her mother were at home but were not hurt.

She was a young girl during her father's famous stay in the
Birmingham, Ala., jail. She was 12 years old when he was assassinated in
Memphis, Tenn., in 1968.

"She lived with a lot of the trauma of
our struggle," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who worked with her father. "The
movement was in her DNA."

The Rev. Al Sharpton called King a
"torchbearer for her parents and a committed activist in her own right."

White House press secretary Tony Snow said President Bush and the
first lady were sad to learn of King's death, adding, "Our thoughts are with the
King family today."

Yolanda King founded and led Higher Ground
Productions, billed as a "gateway for inner peace, unity and global

In 1963, when she was 7, her father mentioned her
and her siblings at the March on Washington, saying: "I have a dream that my
four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged
by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Her brother Martin III was born in 1957; brother Dexter in 1961;
and sister Bernice in 1963. King was a 1976 graduate of Smith College in
Northampton, Mass., where she majored in theater and Afro-American studies. She
also earned a master's degree in theater from New York University.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced later, the family said
in a brief statement.

Aslo She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Incorporated (the official national memorial to her father) and was founding Director of the King Center's Cultural Affairs Program. She served on the Partnership Council of Habitat for Humanity, was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a sponsor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and held a lifetime membership in the NAACP