New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

Lewis Randa: On Civil Disobedience


Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 12:00pm


Friends Meetinghouse
26 Benvenue St.
Wellesley , MA


The Second Hour Talk on Sunday, November 18th, will be offered by Peace Abbey Director Lewis Randa and criminal defense trial lawyer Gregory R. Barison. The talk will provide an opportunity to gain insight and understanding of civil disobedience as an act of conscience. 

We will examine the nature of civil disobedience by considering how various expressions of Direct Action have been or could be defined by a diverse array of vantage points: activists, the public, family and friends, colleagues, employers, law enforcement, the courts. We will grapple with public perception and misunderstanding of civil disobedience and how expressions of resistance impact the way we come to know ourselves, and those unlike ourselves in our rapidly polarized nation. And most important, we will examine acts of civil disobedience by Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali and Daniel Berrigan to discover our own "resister prototype."  

These acts of civil disobedience will be examined: Change the Name Statehouse Protest (removing the R-word from an agency Name); the Big Dig Action (demanding service reimbursement from a state agency); Peace Chain 18 (Closing down the Natick Army Labs following US invasion of Iraq);  Anti-Greed Peace Chain (Closing down entrance to Goldman Sachs Office in Boston following economic collapse of 2008); Inauguration Day Protest (the 12 Peace Chain grievances); and the Refuse the Order to Launch action to protest threatened war with North Korea.

We will examine the assumptions made by the organizers and protesters and the attitude of law enforcement officers charged with maintaining the peace and enforcing law and order as well as the legal defense of such actions.

The discussion will be geared to address the spiritual and emotional challenges, legal implications and moral considerations of civil disobedience as we together come to learn about this empowering technique to bring about social change, and personal transformation.

If you need childcare please contact Roland Stern at [email protected] two days in advance (11/15/2018)


Contact Information

Roland Stern

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]