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If you are interested in nonviolence, you will want to learn about Barbara Deming and the War Resisters League. We Are All Part of One Another: A Barbara Deming Reader was published almost thirty years ago and contains writing from the 1950s to the early 1980s. With the broad timeframe, you can experience the development of Deming’s writing and her theory of nonviolence from the point of view of a radical feminist. Deming, a novelist, short story writer, and poet who was born in 1917 and died in 1984, was raised in Manhattan by upper-middle class parents with “traditional habits and opinions.” But at 16, she fell in love with her mother’s best friend (Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sister Norma) and boldly wrote in her journal, “I am a lesbian. I must face it.” Thereafter, she refused to conceal her sexual orientation. After graduation from Bennington, Deming moved to Greenwich Village, worked at Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater, and had a brief affair with Lotte Lenya, the Austrian actress-singer who was married to composer Kurt Weill.Deming, while essentially liberal, had remained rather apolitical until the late ’50s, when on a trip to India she steeped herself in Gandhi’s writings and became a convert to his theory of nonviolence as the path to peace and change, eventually emerging as a leader of A.J. Muste’s Committee for NonViolent Action. It was on her return to the US from revolutionary Cuba that Deming began to put her body on the line and got arrested in a never-ending series of non-violent direct action struggles, both in the movement for black civil rights — she spent several harrowing months in jail in Albany, Georgia — and in the budding movement against nuclear weapons and for peace and disarmament.As she later wrote of these militant actions, they “reverberated deeply a so-called ‘apolitical’ struggle I’d been waging on my own, in a lonely way up until then, as a woman and a lesbian: the struggle to claim my life as my own.”Source: http://queerliberationfront.us/2011/0... Her political work and organizing began when she placed herself in the midst of the nonviolent civil rights movement. Birmingham, Alabama: Summer, 1963 – The words in one of their songs run: “The truth shall make us free.” Within these walls, the truth they affirm is making them free. The same truth that will carry them out into the streets.And now Martin Luther King is speaking: “They can handle violence; but we have a weapon that they can’t handle. They don’t know what to do with us when we are nonviolent; they are confused. You don’t need to strike them in return, or curse them in return. Just keep going. Just keep presenting your body as a witness to the truth as you see it. Don’t get tired. Don’t get bitter. Are you tired?” The answer comes in a great shout: “NO!” It turned out that Barbara Deming was a writer who was often immersed in the action. That day she was an activist forming the eventual words in her mind about her feelings as the newsmen stood across the street watching.” I have begun, even before this day, to feel a sudden unpleasant catch in my stomach each time I step out into the street and see a white man. What is he going to do? So now I know what it is like. Now I am a Negro. Except that I can drive away from it.” The section “On Revolution and Equilibrium” is about the theory of nonviolence. In other sections you see nonviolence in action, especially in the southern civil rights movement in which Barbara participated. The fact that nonviolence practitioners sometimes suffer injury and even death at the hands of violent adversaries is perhaps one of the aspects of nonviolence that is least understood and most questioned. The Salt March lead by Gandhi in India including the beating by British police of hundreds of nonviolent protesters received worldwide news coverage and is dramatically depicted in the award winning 1982 film Gandhi. Police brutalizing nonviolent civil rights activists including children throughout the south with clubs, dogs and high power water hoses was graphically shown to a horrified American public. The “other cheek” response to violent attacks on nonviolent protesters has always been a part of the strategy that many observers do not accept. It is one of the most powerful aspects of nonviolence that is discussed in We Are All Part of One Another. Barbara Deming (July 23, 1917 – August 2, 1984) was an American feminist and advocate of nonviolent social change. She was born in New York City and attended a Friends (Quaker) school up through her high school years.Deming directed plays, taught dramatic literature and wrote and published fiction and non-fiction works. On a trip to India, she began reading Gandhi, and became committed to a non-violent struggle, with her main cause being Womens Rights. She later became a journalist, and was active in many demonstrations and marches over issues of peace and civil rights. She was a member of a group that went to Hanoi during the Vietnam War, and was jailed many times for non-violent protest. Deming openly believed that it was often those whom we loved that oppressed us, and that it was necessary to re-invent non-violent struggle every day.It is often said that she created a body of non-violent theory, based on action and personal experience, that centered on the potential of non-violent struggle in its application to the womens movement.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_... To order a copy go to http://www.warresisters.org/content/w... .ADDITIONAL SOURCES:http://www.soulforce.org/wp/?page_id=341http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/boo...?
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