Facilitated by Michael Gagné
Sponsored by BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and Lower Merion United
Saturday, April 18, 2015
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Event is free and lunch will be provided
Friends Center ~ 1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Almost every group in the gun sense movement has – at some time in the last several years – has been confronted by armed and/or aggressive counter demonstrators at one of our public actions. Understandably, the experience of encountering opponents with weapons slung over their shoulders and who frequently employed intimidating and verbally abusive tactics was unsettling for many of our members – and maybe even frightening.
How do we reclaim public spaces for the gun sense movement while acting with courage, powerful nonviolence, and respect for our opponents’ essential humanity?
RSVP to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Terry Rumsey at 484-326-1370
From the trainer, Michael Gagné:
“Without struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” – Gandhi
Any group of people, organization, or campaign working for a significant change will confront entrenched interests. Though many of us would prefer to seek common ground and win-win solutions than engage in conflict, it is difficult – if not impossible – to find examples of major policy change coming about without conflict.
This is even more the case when we seek change on issues closely tied to identity (national, cultural, gender, etc.) and in which some feel their basic values are at stake. The good news is that those of us working for a positive change can dramatically increase our effectiveness in the face of conflict and opposition. Movements of the past and present increase their skills and build their capacity through training (a.k.a experiential, active learning). Through training, we can not only develop our conflict management skills (like managing our own fear, de-escalation, and nonviolent communication) – we can also study nonviolent strategy and the tools that movements use to grow more powerful in the face of opposition. We hope you’ll join us for an exciting workshop – one geared toward assisting gun control advocates in taking our courageous and effective next steps.
Read about Michael Gagné
The next general meeting will be a special presentation and discussion:
“The Campaign to Unload:
the Divestment Strategy within the Gun Sense Movement”
featuring Aaron Black of the Campaign to Unload
Monday, March 2nd
Springfield Friends Meeting/Peace Center of Del. Co.
1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield PA 19064
The Campaign to Unload was formed to provide national leadership and coordination to rising demands to remove public and private investments from gun profiteers after Sandy Hook.
Delco United’s divestment work has focused on asking local municipalities to remove taxpayer funded public employee pension funds from companies that manufacture and sell assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines on the commercial market. Aaron’s talk will put this work in context and illuminate how a grassroots movement to remove the economic underpinnings of the irresponsible gun industry can lead to significant reform.
Aaron Black serves as the Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor to Campaign to Unload. Aaron Black’s ability to mobilize people and build coalitions around a singular issue is unique. In 2011, Mr. Black worked with a small group of activists and organized the game changing tactic that became known as Occupy Wall Street.
During the 2012 Presidential campaign, he was a rapid response coordinator and spokesperson coordinating with the Democratic National Committee, and for Americans United For Change. That same year he started Money Out Voters In, which is a national coalition pushing for campaign finance reform with chapters in numerous locations around the country.
Prior to his work in civic activism and organizing, Mr. Black worked as an independent, award-winning photographer. His photography primarily focused on the effects of economic and income inequality to highlight issues often ignored in the national conversation. He also did photo shoots with high profile celebrities and national political figures such as Radiohead, Outkast, and the Rolling Stones. He currently divides his time between New York City and Washington, DC.
Over 100 supporters of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy gathered at Springfield Friends Meeting/Peace Center of Delaware County on Sunday, December 14, 2014 for the Sandy Hook Memorial and Rededication. The event began with more than 60 people participating in a candlelight procession and vigil in front of the office of U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan.
The vigil contingent returned to join other supports for a program that featured the powerful singing of the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir and the unveiling of two tile mosaics created by local artist, Lynn Fitzgerald, and other volunteers from Delco United. The “Art from the Heart” was made as a gift for families in Newtown, CT. and Chester, PA. Representatives from Chester’s Women of Strength were present to accept the gift of art. Members of Delco United will deliver the other gift to the Sandy Hook Promise office in Newtown.
The families of Sandy Hook Promise sent a letter that was read at the event:
“To the Supporters of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy…Thank you so much for keeping Newtown in your hearts…the “Art from the Heart” is an inspiring project and we very much look forward to experiencing the beauty of the mosaic…we look forward to working together in Delaware County to create safer communities and protect our children. Together we can end the violence.”
The event received coverage from KYW TV 3, WCAU TV 10, and Fox News 29, which did an excellent story.
Please take a moment to view additional photos from the Memorial and Rededication.