Author of Nonviolence Now! joins fight to promote peaceful assembly; ‘Nonviolence Commitment Card’ introduces first free resource library dedicated to the Freedom of Assembly
The Article 20 Network, a human rights organization recently formed to defend and advance the right to Freedom of Assembly worldwide, announces that Alycee Lane, activist and author of Nonviolence Now!, is joining the Article 20 Network as our Nonviolence Adviser. In this role, Lane will explore practical and philosophical issues of nonviolence in the context of the human right to peaceful assembly.
Lane says, “I am honored to work with the Article 20 Network because it is an organization that understands nonviolence as both an assertion of our fundamental right to peacefully assemble and a challenge to the forces of injustice.”
Like the most successful public demonstrations of the past, protests in 2016 will be characterized by their commitment to peaceful resistance in the face of intimidation and violence. With Black Lives Matter and now at Standing Rock, the most resonant images are of armored police with military-grade weaponry bearing down on composed demonstrators, stoic in their struggle against injustice.
“The water protectors in North Dakota have shown us the power of prayer and self-restraint when the pepper spray comes out,” says the Article 20 Network co-founder and executive director Dan Aymar-Blair. "Drawing a clear distinction between violent and nonviolent behaviors in the public forum influences the public’s perspective about who is right and wrong on other moral issues; in this most recent case, about clean drinking water."
“Nonviolence is ultimately a way of life that constitutes a loving refusal to cooperate with violence and injustice wherever they manifest, including in our own minds, in our own homes, and in our own communities,” says Alycee Lane. Lane’s first contribution is a Nonviolence Commitment Card to facilitate the organization of peaceful protest campaigns. “It is a promise to transform our world by transforming ourselves through daily practices of nonviolence.”
This Nonviolence Commitment Card is a contemporized re-creation of the 1963 Birmingham Campaign “Commitment Card,” a pledge form that campaign volunteers were required to sign before they could participate in the nonviolent movement to end racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.
Like the commitments in the original card, the promises contained in this revised pledge are intended to serve as the guiding principles for, and underlying logic of, specific political campaigns, political organizing, and strategic, nonviolent direct actions.
The Article 20 Network promotes practical knowledge of the human right to Freedom of Assembly. The Nonviolence Commitment Card is, therefore, the introduction of the first free online resource library exclusively dedicated to the Freedom of Assembly. Community leaders such as teachers, city councils, law enforcement and ministers of faith will find resources to engage their audiences in novel ways about peaceful assembly, thus making our public forums livelier and safer.
ABOUT THE ARTICLE 20 NETWORK
The Article 20 Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New York City. It takes its name from Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which secures the human right to peaceful assembly.
ABOUT ALYCEE LANE
A graduate of Howard University, Alycee Lane studied English literature and later obtained her Doctorate of Philosophy from UCLA, where she specialized in African American literature and culture of the civil rights and black power movements. From 1995 to 2003, she served as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, after which she obtained her Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall).
Lane is also the author of Coming in From the Cold, a blog where she explores political issues through the prism of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolence.