March 6, 2012 —
Five regional organizations have joined forces to sponsor training in a powerful tool that has historically been used to confront power and bring about change—nonviolent action.
Catskill Mountainkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Citizens for Water and The Crones Club, all of which are involved with the struggle for safe water and air, will offer the training on March 11 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon, NY.
The event is being organized by veteran activist Beverly Sterner, founder of the Upper Delaware Community Network, and Marcia Nehemiah, writer and environmentalist. Joanne Sheehan, an experienced educator and trainer in nonviolence for over 40 years, will conduct the training.
Although one of the most effective tools for social change, nonviolent action requires careful implementation and discipline, according to Sterner. “Whether we are organizers, activists or simply part of the 99% who may attend hearings, rallies or direct-action demonstrations—and whether they take place in our own backyards or we travel elsewhere in our region in support of our common cause—the importance of maintaining a nonviolent discipline cannot be overstated,” she said.
Sterner maintains that a movement is growing, as evidenced in actions ranging from Occupy Wall Street to initiatives on behalf of the Delaware River, and it is important to be prepared with the skills involved in nonviolence.
“Whether from the need to protect our community and our country from environmental devastation or the cry for economic justice, people are rising up all over the country,” Sterner said. “As we join together, it is crucial that we maintain a strategy of nonviolence which, at its core, is based on the spirit of nonviolence which guided the great freedom and justice movements of our time.
“The training is not exclusive to those interested in civil disobedience, but inclusive to activists (or potential activists) in general,” Sterner said. The training will be free of charge but advanced registration is required. Register by e-mailing Sterner at firstname.lastname@example.org  or by calling 570/729-7068.