Nonviolence Training for the New Gun Sense Movement: Powerfully Peaceful Action in the Face of Armed and Aggressive Opposition
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.