Saturday, November 14, 2015

Every Evil You Oppose

Protest and defund every evil you oppose:  Use public transportation whenever you can!

Park your car for Peace, whenever you can, as long as you can.  It is up to us to be the change.

Every gallon supports every evil you oppose.  Don’t forget.    

If we work at it, we can all find ways to use less.


We are Praying for Peace.  Not just for a few, but for everyone everywhere. We are Praying for all those who are victims of violence, for those who are driven to violence, for those who feel violence is the patriotic or religious thing to do.

And we are praying for all of us who inadvertently support violence through our beliefs, spending habits, and our inattention to the suffering of others.  Suffering caused, not just by guns and bombs, but also by economic injustice, by rules of law that support the resource raiders, by the destruction of climate and the resultant hunger and homelessness:  All of which is rooted in or connected to the exploitation and use of fossil fuel.

We are all in this together . . .

Park your car for Peace!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Speak the Truth

Change will follow . . . 

"Laws that allows us to diminish the humanity of anybody are not laws, they are frame works for crime."


In 1769, as the movies begins, Britain has a far flung empire and its economy is very much centered in the slave trade.  Dido Elizabeth Belle, the beloved and acknowledged mulatto daughter of Sir John Lindsay, was raised in high society by his uncle, William Murray,the Lord Chief Justice of England

"A land whose laws sanction, not control, the barbarous among its citizens; that is a country whose hope is lost." 

The story is richly and beautifully told with all the drama, romance, and heart break of those times.  Belle, through her eloquence and passion, along with the man who loves her "with every breath" influence her great uncle, the Lord Chief Justice, to do the right thing, simply by speaking the truth.  William Murray, in addition to the ruling depicted,made other rulings and is credited with helping to end the British slave trade entirely.  This movie, Belle, gives us hope and reminds us that change does indeed happen.   

The quotes above are from the movie, spoken by the character of John Davinier, Belle's beloved, who is portrayed as a passionate law student who aspires to change the world for the better.

A few key points for activists are well illustrated in the film.  1. Speak the truth, even if it is not well received.  2. Meet and brainstorm with like minded activists.  3.  Organize to bring your message to those who will help your cause, even if their reasons may be different than yours.  4. Don't give up, even though your heart may break.  5.  If you are in the right, justice will win.   

Worth watching repeatedly.  The emotional impact, the stunning sets, flawless acting, and the fabulous photography may overpower the deeper message, initially.  Watching once for the beauty, watch again, and rewind when necessary, to catch the deeper meaning behind the script and the action.

View the trailer here:

Available on request from most public libraries or where ever you normally rent DVDs.


Check out our other recommended DVDs:


Participate!  If you know of other  DVDs that inspire us to believe in change, please leave a message about them in comments.  We may be able to feature them in upcoming posts.


Boycott for Peace!


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Monday, August 17, 2015

The Story in Film

File:16mm filmhjul.jpg
Understanding the Palestinian – Israeli conflict, surprisingly, can be easily achieved.  While there are many books, articles, and blog posts on the subject, through the medium of moving pictures we can take in a broad sweep of events in a short time.  The questions we are left with, of course, can be researched further in books and on the Internet.  Film, however, is the quickest way to begin to get a grasp of the issues and complexities behind and within the conflict.

We recommend starting with the video ‘The Land Speaks Arabic.’  The very idea of creating a modern, secular, geo-political Israeli State in Palestine is only a little more than 100 years old.  Our review as well as links to more information can be found on the post titled, ‘History.’

To begin to bring your understanding up to current times, our next film recommendation is ‘Five Broken Cameras.’  This film shows the landscape of Palestine, the plight of the Indigenous people still living on their traditional lands today, and their struggle against Israel’s relentless oppression and annexation.  Our review and links to more information can be found here:

Palestinian youth also have a story to tell. ‘Slingshot Hip Hop’ shares the story of their efforts to find their voice, not just among Palestinian people, but also in and related to the wider world where many of us are engaged in resisting racism and oppression.  In the film we begin to grasp the effects of Israeli ethnic cleansing on the families that have been displaced within Israel as well as in the West Bank and Gaza, and we get a glimpse of what it is like to live under the illegal Israeli occupation.  We get a good look at the separation walls, the check points, the lack of consistent electricity, and what the effects are on the people’s lives.  The Palestinian Hip Hop movement is traced from its infancy up to today, where it has become a powerful voice.  A powerful voice that is ignored by mainstream media.  

Slingshot Hip-Hop

"When delivering a message, art is more effective than violence.

I consider art to be the most important messenger.

Violence only breeds more violence and destruction."

The movie starts out in Arabic.  After the title shot, there are subtitles in English as well as versions which can be purchased with French of Spanish subtitles.  A portion of the music and discussion is also in English.  You can view the official trailer here:

"Tears can't extinguish hope."

dvd image

'Slingshot Hip Hop' is an important part of the education of anyone who wants to understand the Palestinian - Israeli conflict today.  Available on request from most public libraries and wherever you normally rent movies.  Copies can also be purchased for home use, by educational institutions and libraries, as well as non-profit organizations.  For more information please see:


Image Credits:

The reel to reel film photo is from Wikimedia Commons
All other images are from Slingshot Hip Hop's web page.


For all our posts about films or that include information on films, please see:


Participate!  If you have a favorite Palestinian DVD, especially if it tells a part of the story we haven’t covered yet, please use the comments section below to tell us about it.  We may be able to feature your recommendation in an up-coming blog post. 



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Monday, July 20, 2015

Confronting our Privilege

Araya, the film, is billed as high art and high cinema.  

It has much been reviewed to critical acclaim in this regard.  The film maker, Margot Benacerraf, in addition to thinking of this film as a ‘tone poem,’ also intended the film to be commentary on the loss of traditional culture due to modernization.  She glorifies the stark and impoverished lives of the salt miners and their families. The people she dehumanizes as gestural art worked relentlessly, from childhood to old age, and for many hours every day.  For this continual labor, they secured a marginal and bare existence, so that she and we could salt our food at extremely little cost or effort.  This is the privilege that is unmentioned yet front and center in the film.  This is the same privilege that ultimately took apart the traditions that Benacerraf found so quaint and artfully dear—not for the good of the people involved—but rather to reduce the cost of producing salt even further.  

While this film was produced in 1959, unfortunately, the lives of abject poverty depicted—where labor starts in childhood—are still common in many salt producing parts of the world.  However, we have a choice.  We can support ethically produced and Certified Fair Trade salt, and if we do the idea of fairness will spread.  In fact, when purchasing imported foods or other items, you are probably supporting corporations that degrade and devalue human life if you don’t insist on Fair Trade.  Salt, as it turns out, is still one of the worst offenders when it comes to child labor and other labor abuses.  And of course, these abuses are not art.  Other particularly egregious abuses in today’s world concern coffee and chocolate production.

For more information please see our posts on --

Meanwhile, educate yourself and your friends.  The film, Araya, is available through college, public, and school libraries as well as other video outlets, on request.  And while this isn’t our favorite film, it does help us all confront our privilege.

Check out our post on ‘Peace Making and the Power ofNarrative.’  It starts out with a short essay on privilege that we think is very worth reading.


Our recommended DVDs can be found here:

Participate!  If you know of other media that helps us confront and understand our privilege, whether they are articles, books, CDs, DVD’s, periodicals, or websites--please share in comments.  We may be able to feature your recommendations in an up-coming blog post!
Boycott for Peace!


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