Friday, March 21, 2008

From the kingdom of fear and my fearless attempt to stand up against our country's use of torture

My friend, Pat Denino, who blogs at Wondering Wanderings, has been creating stick figures with signs for my anti-torture campaign, which I posted about on March 18th.

Pat picked up on what I’m trying to do and on March 19th posted "From the Kingdom of Fear," linking to my post.

Pat is an artist. Her stick figures have a life of their own. She’s created a group of them (click on picture to enlarge):
I’m a word person. I’m working on what it is I’m trying to say to the people in my community about our country’s use of torture. I’m trying to do it nonviolently, meaning without anger.

On March 11th, I first learned about Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication - A Language of Life. I’ve decided to try to apply the principles I’ve been reading about to all aspects of my life, including standing up against torture,

On page 6 of the book, Rosenberg describes the nonviolent communication (NVC) process as having four components:
1. observation
2. feeling
3. needs
4. request

Here’s my effort to apply NVC regarding torture:
1. observation: I am observing that our government is condoning the use of torture. David Cole, legal correspondent for The Nation says it so well in his comment in the March 31st issue of the magazine, "The Torture Veto," which Congress failed to override.
2. feeling: This is so wrong! On March 13th I posted "No Torture. No Exceptions," linking to the Washington Monthly special edition featuring 37 articles about why our country shouldn’t be using torture. I rest my case.
3. needs: I need to speak out about this. In a democracy, what our government does in our name creates a responsibility in us to visibly and vocally oppose actions that are contrary to what this country is all about. I am choosing to stand on a street corner with a sign showing that I’m opposed to our country’s use of torture.
4. request: I’m asking that the people in this country, starting with my community, do something to oppose torture. I don’t expect everyone to stand on a street corner, but surely those who oppose our use of torture can contact the media or our Congressional representatives.

(stick figures with a message thanks to Pat Denino)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a very long, very good article about an Army woman who took lots of pictures at Abu Ghraib in the March 24th issue of the New Yorker.

The authors of the article are Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris.

Specialist Sabrina Harman got in trouble for taking the pictures -- of course. The article points out that no one above the rank of Sergeant had been successfully prosecuted for the torture crimes.