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Medium 9781605098821

chapter seven Grounded in Vision for the Long Haul

Stout, Linda Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.


Anyone who has worked for social change for a few years (or, like me, for decades) has heard stories like the one I told about the nuclear freeze campaign in the preface: important groups and movements with many dedicated people working for them passionately become smaller and less effective—or disappear—over the long haul. Actually, most of the leaders go on to work in new or different groups or on different issues. But wouldn’t it be great to have organizations that continue to thrive and grow in capacity to support social change as our movements swell and start to achieve our dreams? I believe that we need cultural shifts about power and a positive focus, broad and specific cultivation of visionary leadership, and strategies for facing setbacks in order to build strong groups that help us reach our collective visions.

In chapter 5, I discussed how shifts in culture and consciousness are a critical way of making change. We also need cultural shifts in how we think about power and how we learn from past experiences. These shifts could strengthen many groups working for change.

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Medium 9781626562691

7 Working from the Inside Out: Decarcerate!

Schenwar, Maya Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This could be your brother, your son, or your father. This is what’s in our future. We have to stop it.

—Reginald Akkeem Berry, on the need to oppose supermax prisons

In 2006, a letter was slipped in through the door slat in Johnnie Walton’s cell. Johnnie was living—twenty-three hours a day—in a seventy-square-foot cell furnished with a concrete bed, a solid steel door, and a window through which little light traveled. Through the slat in the door, three times a day, Johnnie’s meals appeared. For one hour each day, Johnnie was permitted solitary “recreation” in a small pen just outside his cell.

The same routine went for the roughly 250 other prisoners in Tamms, the supermax prison that had opened in Southern Illinois in 1998. Practices at Tamms were similar to those in other supermax prisons and “Secure Housing Units” (such as the one Abraham Macías occupies at Pelican Bay) around the country: The prison, with no yard, no chapel, no dining hall, no library, and no phone calls (unless a close relative was dying), was designed to extinguish the outside world for the men trapped within.

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Medium 9781609945923

1 Coming Apart at the Middle

Collins, Chuck Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal
ailment of all republics.
—Plutarch (c. 46–120 CE)

For more than three decades, the United States has undertaken a dangerous social experiment: How much inequality can a democratic self-governing society handle? How far can we stretch the gap between the super-rich 1 percent and everyone else before something snaps?

We have pulled apart. Over a relatively short period of time, since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, a massive share of global income and wealth has funneled upward into the bank accounts of the richest 1 percent—and, within that group, the richest one-tenth of 1 percent.

This has been not just a U.S. trend but a global tendency, as the wealthiest 1 percent of the planet’s citizens delinked from the rest of humanity in terms of wealth, opportunity, life expectancy, and quality of life.

There has always been economic inequality in the world and within the United States, even during what is called the “shared prosperity” decades after World War II, 1947 to 1977. But since the late 1970s, we’ve entered into a period of extreme inequality, a dizzying reordering of society.

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Medium 9780253002112

23 From Dialogue to Strategic Community Activation: Some Reflections on Technique

Hillel Bardin Indiana University Press ePub

My thinking regarding Israeli-Palestinian dialogue went through several stages. At first I felt that a single positive experience, like that of Jericho, was a sufficient goal. I believed that such actions would let Israelis overcome their fears of Palestinians: they would visit in a Palestinian home or town, and meet people who could give them a measure of optimism about the chances for a peaceful future. Veronika taught me that there is also a need for ongoing dialogue, in which questions can be discussed in depth and participants can learn if they really trust their colleagues. This type of dialogue also offers more symmetry, since Palestinians learn about Israelis while showing their own peaceful face.

From the Beit Sahour dialogue, I learned the tremendous importance of a dialogue group composed of highly respected members of their community, respected as leaders of their national struggle but with roots in the local community. Unlike a dialogue of individuals, which may be enlightening but does not affect more than the participants, the Beit Sahour dialogue led to large, press-worthy activities that could carry the message of peace far beyond the confines of the dialogue room. These dialogues differed from the meetings of national, rather than community, leaders, such as those between members of the Knesset and members of the PLO, or between national leaders of Israeli peace movements and of Palestinian organizations.

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Medium 9780253016249

24 Paul Tillich Park

Jane Blaffer Owen Indiana University Press ePub

We revere and honour the past, but we do not see these as dead and fossilized stones—they are living stones carrying the past into the future, responding to the new demands and expectations of succeeding centuries.

—Esther de Waal, Seeking Life: The Baptismal Invitation of the Rule of St. Benedict


I needed stones large enough for Tillich’s healing messages. My geologist husband once again held a lamp to guide my feet.

“Great-grandfather Richard was the first professor of geology at Indiana University, and its first building bears his name, Owen Hall. I’ve contributed to a room in his memory. I know a young teacher who may be able to locate a few sizable native Indiana rocks for in between your evergreens.”

Kenneth’s call to Dean Pennington in December 1965 brought immediate results. The alert geologist knew that a highway was under construction outside Indianapolis, and he headed there on the chance that road equipment would turn up long-buried boulders. I’ll never forget the excitement in Pennington’s voice when he telephoned Kenneth, for I was listening in.

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Medium 9780253009722

1 Parameters of European Integration

Andreas Staab Indiana University Press ePub


Parameters of European Integration

Given the multitude of treaties, political actors, and policies, trying to gain an understanding of European integration can indeed be a daunting task. Coming to terms with the European Union is further complicated by often confusing official terminology with similar sounding names. What is the difference, after all, between the European Council, the Council of Europe, and the Council of the European Union? And exactly how does the European Community differ from the European Economic Community and the European Union? In answering these questions, this chapter introduces the key processes, actors, and developments that have shaped European integration ever since the start of the project in the 1950s. The key issues are the following:

1. Policies, political actors, and political developments involved in supranational or intergovernmental integration.

2. The factors contributing to early European cooperation that were common to all West European states versus those relevant only in certain countries.

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Medium 9780253016744

3 Religion and Politics in Bahrain

Justin Gengler Indiana University Press ePub

IN BAHRAIN ONE may readily distinguish Sunni from Shi‘i from any number of details: speech and accent (the former pronounce the Arabic kaf as the English k, e.g., the latter as ch1); facial hair and dress (Salafis keep unkempt, often henna-dyed beards, while Shi‘a are less likely to wear the typical Gulf Arab head-dress); given (Husain versus Khalifa) and, if all else fails, family name. Yet among the most straightforward methods is to observe the unmistakable adornment of private property.2 Shi‘a houses, clustered together in tight formation, fly black or multicolored flags bearing the name of the Imam Husain and other religious figures, eulogizing, “O Husain! O Martyr!” Sunni houses, often with gated entrances and garden courtyards, fly the red and white national flag of Bahrain.

Vehicles driven by Shi‘a are decorated invariably with an embossed sticker decal bearing the words “God bless Muhammad and the House of Muhammad.”3 This line, with which they conclude each prayer and whose invocation of the family of the Prophet flies in direct defiance of Sunni practice, reiterates that they are indeed the Shi‘a: shī‘atu ‘alī, or “the partisans of ‘Ali” and the hereditary line of the Prophet against rival claimants to the Islamic caliphate.4 For their part, Sunnis don their vehicles with the familiar Muslim profession of faith and first pillar of Sunni Islam, the shahāda bearing witness that “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger.”

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Medium 9780253009685

21. Dramas of the Authoritarian State

Edited by David McMurray and Amanda Ufhe Indiana University Press ePub


During August of 2011, which corresponded with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, viewers of the state-run satellite channel Syrian TV might have stumbled upon quite a strange scene: A man watches as a crowd chants “Hurriyya, hurriyya!” This slogan— “Freedom, freedom!”—was a familiar rallying cry of the various Arab uprisings. It was heard in Syrian cities, including Damascus, when protesters first hit the streets there on March 15, 2011. But it was odd, to say the least, to hear the phrase in a Syrian government-sponsored broadcast. Until that moment, state TV had not screened any such evidence of peaceful demonstrations in Syria.

The scene went on to show the same bystander ordering policemen to shoot at the protesters. Immediately afterwards, he seems to regret his order, muttering: “Maybe I should have…” At this point it becomes clear that this scene was no news bulletin or user-generated YouTube clip documenting an actual protest. Rather, it came from a musalsal (pl. musalsalat), as the thirty-episode miniseries that accompany Ramadan in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere are known. The grand finale of this musalsal, Fawq al-Saqf (Above the Ceiling), featured the two main characters overlooking a desolate landscape. “What happened to this country?” asks one. “I am responsible for this. I knew it was going to happen…but, in the end, precaution cannot stave off destiny.” The other character replies by repeating the phrase: “Thank God, around us and not on top of us.”

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Medium 9780253018571

How to Freak Out Your American Roommate

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

THE FIRST TIME you meet your first roommate, you are jetlagged from the nineteen hours of flying to the United States. You barely register the names of his mother and father and siblings as he introduces them to you. But you do register how friendly and chatty they all seem to be. It strikes you, also, how everything he says appears to end with an inflection, so that he always seems to be asking a question. And when his family leaves, he tells you how he thinks it’s awesome? That you are like from Africa? And everything? You do not understand why being from Africa is “awesome,” but you smile and say thank you. He tells you then that he is from Maine, and when you reciprocate by telling him that this is “awesome,” he looks at you with a mildly puzzled smile and asks why. “Exactly,” you do not say.

You are wide awake that night when he begins to unpack his suitcases. And since you have nothing else to do, you ask if there is anything you can do to help. You install his television and his refrigerator, both of you, and he tells you that, although he understands you might want to buy your own fridge, he has brought a relatively big one so that you might share his, since he figured you couldn’t possibly bring one all the way from Africa. You tell him—and you really mean it—that this is very considerate of him, that it’d be nice to share his fridge. You can use his electric kettle as well, he says, and his printer, too. And, oh, his mom had gotten him a lot of snacks—too many, in fact—so you can help yourself to those as well. “Oh, nice!” you respond, laughing.

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Medium 9780253012234

5 Terrorist Frontier Cell or Cosmopolitan Commercial Hub? The Arab and Muslim Presence at the Border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina

PAUL AMAR Indiana University Press ePub

Rabossi calls for a reframing of the discourse surrounding South America’s Tri-Border Region. He moves away from stereotypical discussions of terrorism to explore alternative narratives that are informed by migration trajectories, commercial engagements, and political complexities of the region’s Arab and Muslim populations.

Reading the international media, one would infer that the Tríplice Fronteira (in Portuguese) and Triple Frontera (in Spanish)—the region where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet, known as the Tri-Border Region in English—is a threat to international security. It condenses all aspects of a contemporary security agenda: terrorism and transnational mafias, piracy, smuggling, laundering of money and stolen goods, drug and arms trafficking. The region became (in)famous during the 1990s after being denounced as the logistical base for the attacks in Buenos Aires against the Israeli embassy in 1992 and against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AIMA) in 1994. The existence of an important Arab and Islamic business community actively involved in cross-border commercial activities was enough to lead to the conclusion that Islamic terrorism existed in the region. Once suggested, the connection that linked Muslim Arabs, terrorism, commerce, and all kind of illegalities across the borders became a vicious circle that reinforced the accusations and insecurities.

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Medium 9781607320548

PART V Politics and the Roles of Science

David M. Freeman University Press of Colorado ePub

The three basin states and the Department of the Interior signed on to the 1997 Cooperative Agreement on the premise that they would find ways to negotiate a program rooted in solid, peer-reviewed science. That vision has been noble but deeply problematic. How do program participants balance today’s need for immediate action on behalf of listed species with the need for further study to understand habitat requirements? What observable indicators can establish that the program is or is not working? Who gets to define those indicators and the criteria for assessing progress? The promise of “regulatory certainty” had been the bait the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) used to keep water users at the table, but how could that concept be meshed with inevitable scientific uncertainty amid dynamic ecosystems?

The USFWS is statutorily responsible for determining whether the program has served as a reasonable and prudent alternative, but what is the status of state critiques? Who will pay the considerable costs of doing “good” science in a complex world that is always richer than the simplifications captured by theoretical and methodological models? When important issues remain unclear after time and money have been expended in the quest for understanding, who will bear the burdens of uncertainty—species habitat or water users? The Endangered Species Act (ESA) clearly places the burdens of uncertainty on human society, not the species. That is the glory of what has come to be known as the most important and powerful environmental legislation the world has ever seen. Yet everybody knows that the USFWS has limited means to protect species, and if it pushed too hard, the ESA itself would become politically endangered.

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Medium 9781608680221

16. Light Up Your Life by Lars Goeller

Amy Walker New World Library ePub

Lars Goeller

The electric light, wrote Marshall McLuhan, is pure information; it is a medium without a message. The light creates an experience that wouldn’t otherwise exist: on a bike it is a medium that the rider fills with black asphalt, dirt paths, and overhanging branches. It doesn’t matter if a light is used for brain surgery or bike riding at night; some things can only be done safely with an electric light.

Cyclists out at night adopt a few different styles to deal with the danger of being fast, quiet, and only lightly armored while mingling with car traffic. On the deadlier end of the spectrum, there are the ninjas. Dressed in black and gliding silently through the darkened streets, they trust in their catlike agility to save them from disaster. Without so much as a single reflector on their bikes, nothing else will. Then there are the moving stop signs. These are riders who wear highly reflective clothing in the hope that a combination of street lamps and car headlights will keep them visible. These people may well be a thousand times brighter than the ninjas, but that isn’t really saying a lot. A driver making a sharp left turn will probably lose sight of them somewhere as the car’s headlights swing around, and then just barely catch a flash of reflected light as the “stop sign” disappears underneath the car.

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Medium 9781605093048

6 Walking

Kahane, Adam Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WHEN WE WALK, we employ rhythmically first one leg and then the other. When we walk, we engage both our power and our love, each balancing out and bringing in and building up the other. When we walk, we move forward, learning as we go.

Hal Hamilton is a farmer, activist, and researcher who has worked for decades on the economic, environmental, and social challenges involved in producing food. When we first met in 2002, he explained to me why food production—the largest industry in the world, one on which every person in the world depends—cannot be sustained in its current form. Food production has kept up with the population growth over the past decades (through the use of a lot of fossil fuel–based fertilizers), but it has done so in a way that delivers inexpensive food to rich people and expensive food to poor people, leaving one billion people undernourished. It uses half of the earth’s habitable land and three-quarters of its fresh water, has decimated many fisheries, and has degraded continent-sized expanses of soil.

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Medium 9780253009685

2. Tunisia’s Post-Ben Ali Challenge: A Primer

Edited by David McMurray and Amanda Ufhe Indiana University Press ePub


The January 14 departure of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali amidst popular protests was a long overdue demonstration of the possibility for genuine democratization in the Arab world. Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose self-immolation set off the protests, tapped a deep vein of anger in Tunisian society at police harassment and the general arbitrariness of the state, but also at severe, endemic economic inequality sharpened now by rising global food prices. It remains to be determined, however, to what degree the toppling of Ben Ali will transform Tunisia into a representative democracy whose citizens enjoy greater economic opportunities. Ben Ali was the head of a system of one-party rule, and that system did not board a private plane along with him and his immediate entourage as they headed into exile.

As Ben Ali’s personal grip weakened, the international headlines blared news of the deep corruption and extravagant privilege associated with the former dictator’s clan. His family’s extensive control of the economy, reaching into banking, telecommunications, import-export, cars, agriculture and food distribution, petroleum, tourism, real estate, and nearly every other sector, had long been an open secret in Tunisia. Two of the family heavyweights, Ben Ali’s son-in-law Sakher al-Materi and his brother-in-law Belhassan Trabelsi, also fled the country in mid-January, and Tunisian authorities claimed to have rounded up others within days. Yet dismantling the structures that facilitated the concentration of political-economic power in the hands of Ben Ali will be a difficult task. In fact, while Ben Ali exploited the system to unprecedented personal and family benefit, the consolidation of one-party rule dates to the tenure of the first president of independent Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba (1956-1987).

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Medium 9780253002112

3 Jericho III: The Black Scorpion

Hillel Bardin Indiana University Press ePub

Before our second dialogue, Yusra called me to say that her sister Wajiha was still in the Moscobiyye, the Russian Compound jail in Jerusalem. The men held in Jericho had all been released, but no one seemed to be paying attention to Wajiha. Yusra wanted to come, with a couple of girlfriends, to visit her sister in jail. I agreed to meet them at the jail, where I would try to help, as an Israeli, to get them in. We met there, but they weren’t allowed to visit. I spoke with a police detective in the “Minorities” section, but he said that Wajiha was still under investigation, and therefore no one could visit her.

We decided to go to Shammai, my commander, whom Yusra trusted, to enlist his help. Shammai worked at a laboratory a few buildings away from my office on the Hebrew University campus. We told him the problem, and he said that Wajiha should never have been arrested. He told us to wait and he would telephone the governor of Jericho. He called every hour, but each time was told that the governor was in conference. Finally, toward the end of the day, he got through and told the governor that the reserve officers had discussed Wajiha’s arrest, and they all thought it was a mistake, and she should be released. The Israeli governor said that he had no problem with this, but he wanted the Palestinian mayor of Jericho to be the one to request the release.

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