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Planning a tour for a new and hopeful book

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By George Lakey

In a report to the October 2017 CPMM newsletter I summarized my year-and-a-half travel in the ministry of equality featuring the book Viking Economics.  Starting in 2016, I travelled to 20 states and four foreign countries, usually at the initiative of Friends but also speaking at bookstores, universities, and other public forums.


U.S. inequality grows, along with the predictable increase in ugly polarization.  Many Friends have been in touch with me since I reported to you.  Because of the Nordic emphasis on vision, Vermont Quakers are organizing a broad statewide summit to begin this September to draft a vision for their state.  Others have been stirred by the book to a larger and more hopeful perspective for the work they already are doing. 


The enormous power shifts required to change majority-poor Sweden and Norway were, a century ago, fueled by nonviolent direct action campaigns.  These campaigns were waged in the midst of polarization when Nazi parties were growing. The nonviolent campaigns succeeded in opening the space for new, egalitarian economies.  The Nordics are now among the most peaceful societies on earth. 


Nonviolent direct action campaigns for the U.S.? 


While I was home recovering from the book tour I heard from activists around the U.S. who urged me to write a guide for such campaigns.  (Half a century ago I’d co-written A Manual for Direct Action for the civil rights movement.)  My publisher joined in the chorus, and with help from others I wrote How WeWin: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning. Discounted pre-publication orders are already being accepted by Melville House Publishing. 


The book is based on lessons from a century of successful campaigns in the U.S. as well as elsewhere.  I draw heavily from the soul force and strategy of the civil rights movement, as well as from our own Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT).  The book is practical, down-to-earth, and full of “how-to” stories, including how to respond nonviolently to violent attacks. 


Quakers and others around the country are hoping that I will once again appear with the new book to respond to questions and local circumstances.  I cannot undertake as ambitious a tour as before – travel is tiring—but I will do what I can and hope that financial support will as before materialize to make it possible.  From CPMM Friends, who know me and my ministry so well, I request support to go before the Pemberton Fund of Yearly Meeting which is set up to facilitate such witness as I am once again willing to undertake.