Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Making Art, Not War at McCallum High School

Tami and I had a good day tabling at McCallum High School, an arts magnet school.  We had stenciling supplies, and students were really creative in their use of the materials!  We added the "#OccupyWallStreet" action to our Peace Wheel of Fortune, and a number of students had heard about Occupy Austin.  One student said she'd spent the weekend there at City Hall Plaza and that her dad had spoken at the rally.

Thanks to McCallum students and staff for stopping by the table and checking out our wares!  Here is the current Peace Wheel lineup, along with some photos from today, including some of the awesome student stencil art and a copy of a new flier on Active Nonviolence.

  Waging Peace: winning freedom and justice through creative nonviolence

Egypt’s popular uprising began with a mass rally on January 25, 2011 as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians gathered in public squares calling for governmental, economic and social change. The overwhelmingly nonviolent crowds faced violent suppression by their president, but they succeeded in ousting him from power and inspired other Middle East freedom movements happening right now.

#OccupyWallStreet began on September 17, 2011 in New York City as a nonviolent public assembly led by young people who support human needs over corporate greed. Using First Amendment rights and democratic organizing, this movement has spread to many other US cities, including Austin!

Gidon is an award-winning hip hop and spoken word artist in Austin who was president of his class at Reagan High School. He has been active with The Cipher and the Texas Youth Word Collective and the band, Public Offender, whose CD, Drop Jewels, is a call to men to stop violence against women. He teaches performance poetry at the Texas Empowerment Academy.

Wangari Maathai (1940 – 2011) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for leading the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, a tree-planting effort undertaken mostly by women’s groups. Maathai earned a doctorate degree and stressed the connections between ecological conservation and human rights.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) is perhaps the best known of all US Civil Rights leaders. Following methods used by Gandhi and the freedom movement in India, King’s oratory, writings and personal example directed the movement in using nonviolent strategies such as mass marches, boycotts, sit-ins and direct negotiations in achieving equal rights.

Greensboro sit-in On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter where they were refused service, but they did not leave, even when harassed. The next day, more students continued the protest, and the movement grew throughout the south (including Austin) with widespread sit-ins at segregated restaurants, department stores, movie theatres, swimming pools and churches.

Cesar Chavez (1927 – 1993) led worker strikes, boycotts and marches for higher wages and better working conditions for agricultural workers in the US, including South Texas. He and Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers, led the successful California grape boycott and helped organize other labor organizations in Texas and the Midwest. A statue of Cesar Chavez stands on the UT campus.

Julia Butterfly Hill is a poet, speaker and environmental activist who lived for two years on a platform 18 stories high in a 1,000 year-old redwood tree in California as a protest against clear-cutting. Her book about that experience, The Legacy of Luna, was published in 2000.

Flobots is a rock/hip-hop band based in Denver. Lyrics of their release, Fight With Tools, promote nonviolent methods as the tools for social change.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869 – 1948) was one of the most influential nonviolent activists in history. He helped lead India to independence from British Colonial Rule and his nonviolent methods inspired MLK and others in the US Civil Rights Movement.

Helen Keller (1880 –1968) was the first deafblind person to graduate from college. She learned to speak and became a world traveler and author who was outspoken in her advocacy for peace, women’s voting rights and labor rights.

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