Metamorphosis – February 2014

Bellingham Friends meet at 10 a.m. on Sundays at Explorations Academy
1701 Ellis Street (Creekside Building), Bellingham
Mailing Address:  Box 30144, Bellingham, WA 98229-2144


Advice and Query:  # 6 from the Little Red Book:  “Do you work gladly with other religious groups in the pursuit of common goals? While remaining faithful for Quaker insights, try to enter imaginatively into the life and witness of other communities of faith, creating together the bonds of friendship.”

Schedule of Second Hours:  
February 2, 2014:  Potluck
February 9, 2014:  Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
February 16, 2014:  Jen Marlowe, author of “I Am Troy Davis.”
February 23, 2014:  Worship Discussion led by Ministry and Counsel on queries derived from #17 in the Little Red Book.  How we can respect that of God in others, even when it’s expressed in unfamiliar ways?
March 2, 2014:  Potluck
March 9, 2014:  Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
March 16, 2014:  Available
March 23, 2014:  OWG (Outreach and Welcoming Group) – second hour to discuss inreach / outreach, plus gauge interest in a spring retreat to delve further into the subject.
March 30, 2014:  The first of our “Friendly Lunches” **
** Friendly Lunches: Signup sheets are currently being circulated.  If you would like to host or attend, please ask a member of Minstry & Counsel to help you find the signup sheet!  Our committee would like to pair new attenders to our Meeting with our more seasoned Friends as hosts.    Members of Ministry & Counsel are:  Virginia Herrick, clerk; Susan Richardson; Dorrie Jordan; Joanne Cowan; and Judy Hopkinson.

Other Scheduled Events:
The next Spirit Group meets on Monday, February 24, 7 pm, at the home of Larry and Joanne.
The next Book Group meets on Monday, March 10, 7 pm at the home of Judy & Dave Hopkinson.
February 20 – March 1, 2014 – Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival (Bellingham Friends Meeting is one of this year’s sponsors.)  THREE ATTACHMENTS, describing this festival in more detail, are included in part two of this newsletter.

The Concern of the Month for February is the Opportunity Council’s homeless services center.  This is a continuing of our four-month period focusing on economic justice.

The following Minute was approved at this month’s business meeting:
Support for Lummi Nation Treaty Rights and Cultural Self-Determination
Bellingham Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends calls upon the United States Government to uphold the treaty rights of the Lummi Nation to the full enjoyment of their traditional fishing grounds at Cheery Point, Whatcom County, Washington.  We urge full recognition of, and respect for, the Lummi Nation’s consideration of the Cherry Point site (know as Xwe’chi’eXen) as sacred land and water.  This statement will be transmitted to the Lummi Nation, US congressional representatives, the US Army Corps of ENgineers, the Washington Department of Ecology, Whatcom County Council, and any other agency that may take public comment on the proposed coal shipment terminal and related excavation work at Cherry Point.

FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation)
Please invite a college student or recent graduate to join hundreds of other young people at FCNL’s Spring Lobby Weekend this March 22-25.  Please also consider whether you or your meeting, church or community group can offer some financial support to help that person come to Washington, either directly or through FCNL.
Already, more than 100 young people are planning to make this trip, but we know that many more would like to be here if they had the chance.  The cost of transportation and housing for the weekend can be a major barrier. Your invitation and offer of support could enable someone to attend.  Many young adults who have come to this event in the past have found it to be a transformational experience that has enriched their lives and helped connect their Quaker faith to action.
About Spring Lobby Weekend: Ending the Endless War – This year we will be advocating for the repeal of the law that has kept our country in a state of endless war since 2001, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. This law has been used to justify drone strikes, the Guantanamo Bay prison, warrantless wiretapping, the war in Afghanistan and more.
At Spring Lobby Weekend, young adults will have the chance to act on their convictions for peace and meet with their members of Congress to advocate for the law’s repeal. They will also gain valuable advocacy skills, learn about Quakers and government and how Congress works, and find a community to support their continued growth into a life of political engagement.
What You Can Do
1. Make the invitation. If you have someone in mind, please let them know about Spring Lobby Weekend. You can refer people to our website for information on how to register.  FCNL has some financial aid available—please contact Olivia Henry for details.
2. Spread the word.  Does your meeting or church have an email list? Are there others you think might be interested?  Share this flyer with them, or send out this short summary to let people know about this opportunity.
Drone strikes.  Guantanamo.  Surveillance. Endless war.  One bill, all sorts of terrible stuff. Let’s repeal it.  From March 22-25, more than 100 college students and recent graduates will come to Washington for the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Spring Lobby Weekend to work for repeal of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. I n addition to taking concrete action, you’ll learn valuable advocacy skills and connect with other people committed to action for peace and justice.  Find out more and register at and watch this video for more on why your action now matters.
3. Offer support.  Costs for Spring Lobby Weekend include a $50 registration fee and approximately $120 for three nights’ lodging. Travel costs depend on your location. These expenses can put the weekend beyond the reach of some people. Could your meeting, church or community group offer a scholarship to support a young person to attend the weekend?
You can also make a donation directly to FCNL to help a young person coming to Spring Lobby Weekend.  Any amount that you can give helps us make this event accessible to young people who want to change our government’s actions.
This will be a weekend full of action, energy and community-building. We hope you’ll be able to help encourage young adults to be part of it.
Thank you,
Alicia McBride
Director for Communications

Green Room by Helen Bruner
Tonight —
Bright green has drunk the earth into itself.
Oceaning inhabitants,
The young men have not moss protecting them
One glassy owl hooting in her gleaming tree distracts.
They fall to war, some break —
Shattered bits of jade splinter from the chain.
Only ageless crickets celadon themselves,
and older men no longer green are left to try to sing.
Helen Bruner is a member of Marin Friends Meeting in San Rafael, CA.

The Home Front by Perry Hutchison
Our roads and rails in disrepair,
Whole fam’lies without shelter;
While fossit fuels befoul our air as if it did not matter.
It’s nothing less than villainous that Afghans we dondemn;
Let’s spend our dollars fixing “us” instead of fighting “them.”
Perry Hutchison is a member of Fanno Creek Worship Group of Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, OR.

Why Civil Resistance Works:  The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Cheoweth and Maria J. Stephan
Reviewed by Ruth Yarrow
With the Arab Spring and Occupy movements still making history, this book is important and timely.  Instead of starating from common assumptions about violent versus nonviolent resistance, the authors carefully examine 323 violent and nonviolent resistance campagns between 1900 and 2006, all of which sought regime changes, expulsion of foreign occupiers, or secessions.
The authors consider these campaigns with statistical analyses that strive to control for factors that might skew their conclusions.  They support their statistical analyses with several chapters of case studies.  The result:  between 1900 and 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as compared with violent campaigns.
Considering why nonviolent campaigns have a participation advantage over violent campaigns, the authors conclude they have lower moral, physical, informational, and commitment barriers to taking part.  Higher levels of participation lead to higher costs to the regimes maintaining the status quo, higher probability of tactical innovation, and loyalty shifts by former supporters of the status quo, including security forces.  In the long term, changes brought about by nonviolent campaigns create much more durable and internally peaceful democracies than changes caused by violent campaigns.
The authors focus on resistance campaigns that deliberately avoid the usual political channels and that work instead on the fringes of the mainstream, often illegally.  Their actions employ methods including boycotts, protests, sit-ins, stay-aways, and other acts of civil disobedience and non-cooperation.  These contrast with the bombings, shootings, kidnappings, infrastructure destruction, and other kinds of harm done by violent campaigns.
The authors make clear that resistance campaigns are not guaranteed to succeed because they are nonviolent; one in four nonviolent campaigns since 1900 was a total failure.  But some common assumptions about nonviolent campaigns, such as they can only be successful when their adversary doesn’t use violent repression, turn out to be false; nonviolence can be effective, even in brutally repressive regimes.  Repression can backfire and turn passive supporters of the resistance into active participants.
While more than one in four violent campaigns have succeedeed, they have often done so by developing a key characteristic of nonviolent campaigns:  broad, diverse bases of participation.  Also, the conditions left behind by the “success” of a violent campaign are often grim, with high human casualties and suffering, and poor conditions for the growth of democracy.
I found this book’s tables of statistical analyses inscrutable until I read the text that accompanied them.  The text is also rather dry and repetitious, however, that dryness is counteracted by juicy details int he case histories that the authors present (The Iranian Revolution, the First Intifada for Palestiniain self-determination, the People Power movement in the Philippines, and the 1988 Burmese pro-democracy uprising).
In the perennial debate about methods of social change, this research recommends the path of nonviolence.  In one particularly moving case study, the book describes nonviolent resisters in the Philippines protecting military defectors with a human shield of tens of thousands of civilians, including nuns and clergy.  Instead of hurling nonviolent rocks at the troops loyal to the Marcos regime, the nonviolent resisters offered them food and appealed to their nationalism to encourage them to join the opposition.  As the book’s subtitle indicates, a nonviolent approach is the strategically logical choice because of its effectiveness.  I hope this book will be widely read.

Ruth Yarrow is a member of University Friends Meeting in Seattle, WA.

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