Non-violence Workshops

Report on the non-violence meetings delivered by the academic Johannes (Juan) Diederick Mienie in different areas, 4-10/12/2010.

Juan is a visiting professor from South African with ample experience and knowledge in non-violence action and the South African experience in that field.

Juan’s objective is to share with young people in Palestine lessons about nonviolence he experienced and life under apartied with examples and facts about the situation. Joan has been invited to give talks in many places such as universities (Bethlehem Un., Beir Ziet Un. And Alquds Open University), youth centres and NGO’s in Jerusalem (Old city Community Action Center), Bethlehem (AEI Sumud Story House, Wi’am Center, Popular resistance community against the apartheid wall), Beit Sahour (Alternative information Center), and Ramallah (Friends International Center in Ramallah).

The meetings in these location locations were under the title:”from Apartheid to the checkpoint” in which it focuses on three intertwined aspects: firstly, he presented a depictive description of life under Apartheid in SA in which he described the interaction of white and black communities, giving examples about detention without trails, cheap labour, education, curfew on the black majority, health and other aspects life in the period. Second, he talked about his experience as a child living under the apartheid regime and his involvement as peace activist.

At the end, he talks about the transitional period from apartheid to the current South Africa with examples and a parallel comparison between the two periods.

Finally, he gives a comparison between the experience in South African and the experience of non-violence in Palestine drawing some conclusions but stressing the uniqueness of each experience. During his numerous presentations, people ask questions related to the experience the Palestine situation and the learning that we can get form the South African transition from Apartheid to Democracy. At the end, the participants appreciated his visit and the experience and knowledge he shared with them. They reach a conclusion that international pressure is needed in Palestine to get rid of occupation, the same as the situation in SA in which international help and sanction help topple the aggressive regime.