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How to Change a System: Occupy and the Question of Non-Violence


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Oakland police respond to protestors. Photo by Kyung Jin Lee.

The Occupy movement has changed the way Americans view political activism.  And there’s a raging debate over what tactics should be used.  How is social change achieved, and does violence have a role to play?  On this edition, a debate from Oakland, California between practitioners of non-violence, versus those who believe a diversity of tactics is what Occupy needs to move forward.


Josh Shepherd, Navy veteran and Iraq veterans Against the War activist; Kazu Haga, Kingian Nonviolence trainer; Matthew Edwards, Iraq war conscientious objector, Melissa Merin, human rights activist; Paolo, organizer and Occupy Oakland participant; Rev. Phil Lawson, Methodist minister, and civil rights activist; Sean O’Brien, DASW organizer; Starhawk, global justice activist and author; Rahula Janowski, moderator.


Full audio of the December 15th 2011 debate, titled: “How Will the Walls Come Tumbling Down? Diversity of Tactics vs Nonviolence in the Occupy Movement.”

Part 1: Introductions and Opening statements by 8 panel participants.
Part 2: Questions and answers by Panel participants
Part 3: Questions by audience, answers by panel participants
Part 4: Closign statements by Panel participants

Panelists’ opening statements:
Josh Shepherd
Kazu Haga

Matthew Edwards
Melissa Merin


Rev. Phil Lawson

Sean O’Brien


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Music:Fat Cats, Bigga Fish by The Coup
My Favorite Mutiny by The Coup

Author: IreneFlorez

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