David Hartsough, co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, talks about his inspiring memoir, Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Nonviolent Activist (Oakland: PM Press, 2014).
Saturday, Oct. 18 • 7pm
Multnomah Friends Meeting
Sunday, Oct. 19 • 7pm
First Unitarian Church of Portland
Since meeting Martin Luther King in 1956 and working with the Civil Rights Movement in the south, Hartsough has over and over again found his way to exciting nonviolent direct actions all over the world. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines. Hartsough was a founder of Nuremberg Actions at Concord, California, and witnessed the events in which S. Brian Willson was run over by a US Navy munitions train during a publicized demonstration in 1987.
During the 1990s, Hartsough trained civilians in Kosovo how to use nonviolence to defend themselves in their struggle for justice. Inspired by those experiences, he began seeking partners to expand the defensive use of nonviolence more widely. By 2002, he had partnered with fellow nonviolent activist Mel Duncan to found the Nonviolent Peaceforce with the support of nonviolent leaders from 49 countries. The group’s first project began the next year in Sri Lanka.
Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action. He shows how nonviolent struggle is being waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.
Hartsough’s book will be available for sale and signing at both book talks.