For many years I have been thinking about the challenges of Peace & Power, and other forms of participatory democracy, and the “Occupy” movement has intensified my thinking about all of this. I live right next door to a vacant lot in Oakland, California, where last week-end the “Occupy” group tore down a fence last week on Saturday night, then early Sunday morning the now-infamous Oakland police peacefully removed the small encampment. We watched it all from our living room window but even more intriguing to
me were twitter, Facebook and blog posts about some of the things happening just before, and during the week-end attempt at taking over the vacant lot. The lot is only 3 blocks from the Frank Ogawa Square outside of city hall, where the police had evicted campers a week before, with not-so-peaceful outcomes. You can read one of the most vivid blog accounts of the experience here – and follow the 26 comments left in response to Rebecca’s description .. it is all packed full of insightful and interesting perspectives.
When word spread that the Oakland general assembly (GA) had decided Continue reading
Ever since the “Occupy” movement started, I have watched, with some amazement, reports of the process that they have developed for the “participatory democracy” that is evolving, and especially their approaches for the General Assemblies! Belief it or not, what is evolving is a version of “Peace and Power” for very
large groups, and I am ecstatic! Of course I would be surprised if anyone involved has actually seen “Peace and Power,” but the important thing is that the ideas that many of us in my circle of friends and colleagues have been using for years are in fact part of a much larger ideal and vision!
For folks who are not (yet) familiar with my long-running book “Peace and Power,” you can peek inside on Amazon! The cover here (and on Amazon) is the 7th edition, but the 8th edition will be out in January!
The video below caught my eye today – it explains the main features of the processes they are using. The “Peace and Power” ideal that is particularly important to notice is that of shared and rotating leadership, and how they are working with shared responsibility and integrating anyone who steps up into the “leadership” process. This is an ideal that baffles most folks in the traditional hierarchies in which I have worked throughout my career, and is met with utter skepticism! But in my heart, I know it works, and brings about Continue reading