An emerging force for peace / Waging Nonviolence – People-Powered News and Analysis

“Building a Rainbow” is the title of an old poster I picked up somewhere along the way. The rainbow’s swath of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet layers is dazzling—and only half finished.


In the picture, this symbol of peace is not an idealistic dream but something real. It is under construction, with a troupe of cranes carefully maneuvering sections into place, countless trucks and overworked paint wagons, scaffolding everywhere, and a flotilla of helicopters lumbering across the sky, each with its own precarious splotch of color dangling below.


We live in a violent world. But we also live in a world where a growing number of people everywhere are determined to confound the assumption that there is nothing we can do about this. They gamble that violence need not have the final word. They wager that there are options. They assert that we needn’t be victims of a cycle of violent history; rather, we can dare to be active subjects of a more nonviolent history that engages and transforms the violence around us. For them, violent history isn’t a given, it is made. So, too, is a nonviolent one.


The poster reminds us that this is not an easy task. We are building a rainbow, not simply hoping for one. It requires the kind of gumption and creativity only barely hinted at in the poster’s fanciful construction site. It means a profusion of projects, organizations, and movements offering plausible and effective options for the well-being of all. And it means slowly discovering that these innumerable initiatives do not exist in isolation but are part of a mysterious and self-organizing design: a rainbow in the making.


We only have to look around us to see this growing profusion. Countless campaigns and movements (for equality, democracy, peace, social justice and sustainability). New techniques (in nonviolent communication, restorative justice, trauma healing and anti-racism training). Research and education (on empathy, forgiveness, cooperation and conflict transformation). And all reinforced by an emerging worldview stressing the interconnectedness of the planet and its inhabitants.


Nonviolent Peaceforce is part of this creative profusion…