Tag Archives: Eric Stoner

2011 Gandhi-King Conference

From Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23 I attended the Gandhi-King Conference in Memphis, TN. This was my third time attending and presenting at the conference and, like always, it remains one of the highlights of my year. This year the conference was organized in partnership with the Peace and Justice Studies Association, which brought in even more outstanding presenters and scholars. I was part of two sessions this year. The first was a panel organized by Michael Nagler, president and founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence. The topic was, “Nonviolence: Principled and Strategic,” which looked at the ongoing conversation that seeks to clarify the distinctions and commonalities between the two orientations to the practice of nonviolence. The second session was a participatory workshop I designed and facilitated called, “Teach the Struggle: Nonviolence in the Classroom,” which engaged participants in a variety of activities and exercises they can use with their own students to explore various concepts related to nonviolent action and civil resistance. The amazing thing about that workshop is that about ten minutes into it, Dolores Huerta walked in to join us!!! More on that later. Continue reading to learn more…

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Why I Got Arrested

On Saturday, August 20th at 11:30am I, along with 65 other people, were arrested for “failure to obey a lawful order.”  I was hand cuffed with my hands behind my back, stuffed into the back of a police wagon with 16 other men, where we remained for over an hour and a half in 90+ degree heat, many of us in suits and ties, sweating profusely as the wagon temperature steadily rose. We were driven to the Washington, DC processing center in Anacostia where we were eventually taken out of the wagons and lined up against the wall, still in handcuffs.  To combat the heat and prevent dehydration we were provided fluids by tilting our heads back as water was poured into our mouths.  The handcuffs were finally taken off after we were escorted into the building where our possessions were bagged – shoe laces, belts, wedding ring, watch – and our bodies thoroughly frisked.  We were finger printed and our information was recorded – address, age, race, eye color.  We were crammed, 13 to 14 people at a time, into 6×8 holding cells equipped with one metal bench welded to the wall and a small metal toilet/sink combo, where we held for several hours.  I, along with 6 other arrestees who lived in the area, was released at around 7:00pm that same day, while the others who were from out of town, spent the next two nights in jail.  This is the story of my first arrest.  It was hot, crammed,  enlightening and amazing all at the same time!

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