Tension has been building long before the pandemic and its
resulting shutdowns began. Tension is normal but escalation to violence
serves no one.
Meta Peace Team has been working to interrupt or de-escalate violence
since itsfounding by Rev. C. Peter Dougherty in 1993. A new book by MPT
trainer Julie Thomas-Beckett explains how non-violence tactics are utilized
in areas of tension and how to put hem into everyday action — even at home.
The book uses stories and anecdotes from people on the frontlines doing the
work. Meta Peace Team has been at Ku Klux Klan rallies, Gay Pride marches,
Arab-American festivals, national political conventions, the Flint Water
Crisis, and numerous other rallies and marches. International Peace Teams
have served in Haiti, Mexico, regularly in the Israeli-occupied territories of
Palestine and most recently at the US/Mexico border.
"As our world sits on a fulcrum of sorts, it is up to all of us to decide if we tip
toward anger, division and violence — or if we evolve toward creativity,
courage, cooperation, and nonviolence where all our boats are tied to each
other,” Thomas-Beckett said. MPT founder Dougherty says the book details
many skills needed “in one-on-one situations and on a societal level along
the lines of Gandhi’s vision of ‘Shanti Sena,’ creating a ‘Peace Army.’”
"The skills of effective communication and use of nonviolent strategies to de-
escalate tensions are needed now more than ever as we struggle with the
effects of Covid-19; trying to balance our public health with our financial
health,” Thomas-Beckett said.
At a time when hate speech is free speech, when the press is labeled fake news, and protests turn vitriolic and violent, The Work of Nonviolence shows how and why active nonviolence works, helping develop more "tools in the tool belt" in how to react to conflict, quelling the escalation to violence. The book details effective communication strategies, including Bystander Intervention and Third-Party Nonviolent Interventions.
"The lessons presented in The Work of Nonviolence: Stories from the Frontline provide necessary tools we can all use as we near a national election in America, and experience a transformational time in our nation's history," Thomas-Beckett said.
The book was published May 28, 2020 by Mission Point Press of Traverse City, Mich.
JULIE THOMAS-BECKETT feels acutely aware of a huge Circle of Concern, but has found writing this book as a way to stay focused on her Circle of Influence. She has participated on domestic peace teams and is a trainer for Meta Peace Team. She practices the skills of active listening in her everyday life as a Nurse Practitioner at her family practice in East Lansing, MI. She is a wife, a mom, a daughter, a teacher, a mentor, a rebel. She lives in East Lansing with her husband and their cute little dog named Leo.