Posts Tagged ‘Non-violence/pacifism’

"Brain Waves for Peace" – Final Chapter of 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Brain Waves for Peace

From the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

I was sitting in full lotus, body wrapped in a blanket, mind rapt in deep stillness, breathing lightly, wisps of air curling into the infinite space behind my closed eyes. My mantra had gone beyond sound to become a pulse of light in an emptiness that contained everything.

An electric shock flashed down my spine and through my body. My head snapped back, limbs jerked, a cry burst from my throat. Every muscle in my body contracted ― neck rigid, jaws clenched, forehead tight. Bolts of pain shot through me. I managed to lie down, then noticed I wasn’t breathing ― maybe I was already dead. I groaned and gulped a huge breath, which stirred a whirl of thoughts and images.

Vietnam again: Rotor wind from a hovering helicopter flails the water of a rice paddy while farmers run frantically for cover. Points of fire spark out from a bamboo grove to become dopplered whines past my ears. A plane dives on the grove to release a bomb which tumbles end over end and bursts into an orange globe of napalm. A man in my arms shakes in spasms as his chest gushes blood. (more…)

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Library

'Refusing the Military' – Chapter 14 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

Refusing the Military
Healing the Virus of Violence

Chapter 14 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. A young Buddhist novice contributed this account, which we then revised together. To protect the people who have protected him, he wishes to be nameless.

Back in high school I’d been good at languages but couldn’t afford to go to college, so I joined the navy for the language training. They have a program where if you pass an aptitude test, they’ll send you to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, for an intensive course that’s worth almost a year of college credit. Plus they have an active-duty education program that offers college courses. I figured after my discharge I could finish my education on the GI Bill, and with my language skills, I could get a job in international business.

The other military branches offer programs like this too, but the navy seemed the best way to stay out of the fighting. I was hoping for a major language like Chinese, Russian, or Spanish, but they assigned me to Pashto, which is spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan. After training, I’d be stationed on a ship in the Arabian Sea monitoring phone calls and radio broadcasts, listening for key words that might give a clue about where the Taliban were, so the planes from the aircraft carriers could bomb them. I didn’t think about this last part, though. I was focused on my future. (more…)

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Library

'Peace Chaplain' – Chapter 13 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Peace Chaplain

Chapter 13 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. A seminarian contributed this chapter about learning to love her enemies. Because of her activism, she prefers to remain anonymous.

To celebrate Armed Forces Day the military base near my seminary held an open house, a public relations extravaganza to improve their image and boost recruiting. They invited the public in for a marching band parade, a precision flying show, and a sky diving demonstration. They even offered free lemonade and cookies.

A subversive seminarian, namely me, decided to disrupt the festivities and remind people that the military’s job is murder. I bought a jump suit and dyed it orange like the uniforms the prisoners in Guantánamo have to wear. I bought two U-shaped bike locks, three diapers, and a pair of old-people’s rubber underpants.

All suited up, I had a friend drive me onto the base before people started arriving for the celebration. She dropped me off at the traffic circle just inside the main gate, kissed me on the cheek for good luck, and drove back out the gate. In the center of the traffic circle stood a flagpole flying the Stars and Stripes. I ran to the pole, fastened my foot to it with one bike lock and my neck to it with the other — pretty uncomfortable — and started shouting, “Close Guantánamo! No More Abu Ghraibs! Free the Prisoners!” People gawked as they drove by, some laughing like I was part of the show, some waving, some giving me the finger. (more…)

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Library

'Saboteur : An interview with a domestic insurgent' – Chapter 11 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

An interview with a domestic insurgent

Chapter 12 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

I first met the man we’ll call Trucker in 1970 at a rally against the Vietnam War. Our demo was going to start on the Berkeley campus and continue with a march down Telegraph Avenue. This was shortly after the National Guard and police had murdered six demonstrators at Kent State and Jackson State, so the mood was extremely tense. The Berkeley city government had denied us a permit to march and called in police reinforcements from Oakland. The Oakland cops had a reputation for brutality (based on their treatment of the black population), and we were expecting an ugly and possibly violent confrontation. Out of fear, many people decided not to march, but others of us argued that marching was now more important than ever. We needed to defy the government’s attempts to scare us into silence.

After speeches and music in front of Sproul Hall, we marched off the campus and were met by a wall of police sealing off Telegraph Avenue. Some of our hard-cores in front tried to break through the barrier but were clubbed down. Cops began firing what looked liked shotguns, and people started screaming and running in panic, but it turned out to be tear gas. (more…)

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Interviews

'Globalizing the Intifada' By William T. Hathaway

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The invaders have surrounded and attacked us, conquered here and there, and built their bases in our lands. So we attack the invaders where we can, determined to retake our lands and drive them out. We would prefer not to be warriors. We would rather raise our children in the ways of kindness. But for our children to have a future, we must now be warriors. So be it.

In Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan this war is most intense, but it is a international war, and people of every religion and race are under attack. The capitalist class is assaulting us worldwide, throttling our hopes of decent lives. We’re now all in the same boat, a global Mavi Marmara, so our resistance must be global. Our foe is not only the Zionists but the forces of Western imperialism of which they are a part. To survive, we must set aside our religious and political differences and form a united front. Shias, Sunnis, secularists and socialists need to work together to defeat our common enemy. If we join in solidarity, we can win. Otherwise the imperialists will continue to divide and rule.

Non-violent opposition is important but not sufficient. To be effective in this war, it must be coupled with armed struggle. (more…)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Library