Wednesday, April 1, 2009

National Call for Civil Disobedience

In response to the growing equality movement in California and across
the country, community organizers are issuing a call for the use of
nonviolent civil disobedience to further the cause. This call comes at a
time when the equality movement is energized surrounding the upcoming
California Supreme Court decision on the validity of Proposition 8.
Soulforce is collaborating with individual organizers and groups,
including Join the Impact, to issue this call. Jeff Lutes, Soulforce
Executive Director, drafted the call to action which has been signed
already by several community leaders, including Cleve Jones, who is the
founder of the NAMES/AIDS Memorial Quilt, and was a historical
consultant on the Academy Award winning film MILK.

Working closely with other leaders, Soulforce organizer Chris Hubble
created a new website,, to assist in
educating the public on nonviolent civil disobedience. The website
launched Monday and is designed to help community members learn about
the philosophy, practice and history of nonviolent strategies and
connect with others locally who are interested in organizing nonviolent
civil disobedience.

This website is a collaborative effort and is intended to be reflective
of the diverse spectrum of approaches to nonviolent resistance. It is
also envisioned as an open-source set of learning tools for grassroots
organizers. The materials provided suggest a simple outline for
facilitating a training in nonviolence which organizers may adopt or
adapt to fit their needs.

The call to action specifically promotes nonviolent tactics. Community
leaders are urged to sign the call to action at and to begin training in their own
communities immediately. For questions pertaining to the new training
website, please contact Christopher Hubble at

Time to Take It to the Streets
An urgent national call for nonviolent direct action to achieve full
Today, we issue a national call for social change through the ongoing
use of nonviolent direct action - including civil disobedience when
necessary - until the federal government extends equal protection in all
fifty states on matters governed by civil law.

Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged that real change takes time; yet he
also warned against the "tranquilizing drug of gradualism" and
instructed the oppressed to demand equality now - not on the convenient
time schedule of those doing the oppressing.

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such
a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is
forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it
can no longer be ignored."
In addition to Dr. King's legacy, we remember that those of Mahatma
Gandhi, Bayard Rustin, Oscar Romero, Cesar Chavez, the Velvet
Revolution, and countless others are deeply rooted in United States and
world history.

Let's take it to the streets.
Jeff Lutes, Soulforce
Cleve Jones, UNITE HERE
Willow Witte, Join the Impact
Sara Beth Brooks, San Diego Equality Campaign
David Comfort, Equality Network
Kip Williams, Radical Designs
Jeff Sheng, Fearless Campus Tour
David Valk, UCLA Student
Laura Kanter, Orange County Equality Coalition
Christopher Hubble, Soulforce in Colorado
Note: Organizational affiliation listed for identification purposes
Add your endorsement today by going to!


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