*Howard Clark

Nov. 29, 2013: I’ve put together this page on my memories today about Howard as a way of making sure these bits of memory will last, and with all my love for Howard, Yolanda, Violeta, Ismael, and all the people who had the joy of meeting Howard Clark. It’s also for my students, and anyone who happens to have some interest in the kind of anonymous people who fight for a juster world.

News Dec 17 (evening): More on Howard Clark, an amazing human being. This piece is written by two people he loved and worked with, brothers in the struggle to make the world a better place: Andrew Rigby and Michael Randle ♥ ♥ ♥
http://wri-irg.org/node/22778

News Dec 17: we had to create a YouTube Channel because mujerpalabra.net was going to burst, because of bandwith issues. So here are the direct links, too: Video 1, Video 2.

News Dec 16: second video just published (Howard interview)

Updated Dec 15  – More pics at the bottom

“El mito de Narcisa” For Howard and other people I lost…

Prose translation into English:Self-Reflection by Kristy Gordon I’m so populated by people I love who are lost forever that I wonder if the myth of Narcissus is one more distortion, that of a deeper myth and vital for those who do not believe in spiritual worlds. Perhaps it was a woman who contemplated herself in the water (that beats, flows and transforms itself) to find in the universe of her eyes the cherished company forever lost.

El mito de Narcisa

Estoy tan poblada de personas amadas
perdidas para siempre
que me pregunto si el mito de Narciso
es una distorsión más, la de un mito más profundo
y vital para quienes no creen en mundos espirituales.
Quizá se trataba de una mujer que se miraba en el agua
(que late, fluye y se transforma)
para encontrar en el universo de sus ojos
la valiosa compañía perdida para siempre.

Nov. 30, 2013: I’m including photos people are sending. The first, one of Howard and Ismael sent in by a dear friend — Martyn Lowe. It’s just after Andrea’s pic. I’m also posting thoughts and comments. Feel free to do so, too.

Dec. 1, 2013: I’m including two more pics Chris Booth sent, with Yolanda and Howard and of Howard’s at 55 Dawes St. If you click on Chris’s name you’ll get to a post in his blog where he attached something Howard wrote years ago. See below… + Reinoud‘s pic, too.

My dearest friend, Howard, has just died. After a concert, he went to bed and his heart failed him. He is one of the persons I’ve loved the most, and I learned so much from him that his death physically hurts.

retrato

I learned from him endless skills related to organization, I learned about other people from him, and I learned about countless ideas. We used to have heated discussions which ended up in us pretending we were in a fist fight — laughter.

I believe he’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met — rational empathy, that is what he was capable of.

And what blows my heart right now is that he asked little from others, very little. In spite of the fact that he gave lots.

I protest his death, with all my rage. The species needed him badly.

The human species will miss him.

And I’m sending a big hug to Yolanda (the creator of Educarueca), his partner, and Violeta and Ismael, their kids. Also to all the people in our network of activists fighting for a juster and nonviolent human world.

seva

Howard in 1970: “Guy Fawkes – the only person to enter Parliament with honest intentions. That’s an anarchist flag I’m spreading over the Norwich City Hall lions – 1970. Violeta [his daughter] thinks that it’s a girl.”

1970

Howard in 1976: outside the Peace News office in 8 Elm Avenue, Nottingham. People said he looked like a girl, so at the 40th Anniversary of PN he decided to wear a long skirt.

dejoven

London, 1989: I got to London to volunteer for the Prisoners for Peace Campaign, organized by War Resisters’ International (WRI). Howard, and Veronica, and Chris were the staff then, at this International Secretariat. Volunteers were welcome because there was such a lot of work!! Howard and I were always discussing topics passionately! He was a great opening for me to zillions of things I did not know. One of the people I learned about from him was Myrtle Solomon, whose house I was living in because it had been donated to WRI. Myrtle had been the chairwoman at WRI and had died of cancer. Howard used to tell me we would have loved our mutual company right away. She was a non-dogmatic activist, that created havoc among dogmatic pacifists. Actually, she was a smoker! 😀 And she wasn’t a vegetarian. While staying at a Gandhian site in India, where a WRI international triennial meeting was taking place, she managed to smuggle whisky in her tea flask! 😀 Adorable British lady drinking tea! Another anecdote he told me was that when some activists were moving into a rather violent discussion, suddenly she, who was chairing the meeting, stood up, pulled out her blouse or whatever, and poured a whole jug of iced water over her head. Howard loved to tell stories about Myrtle.

1989. The pics below are in London, at 55 Dawes Street, close to Myrtle’s house. The first was the kitchen, the last floor, where I had my headquarters as a volunteer because although it was not right, they allowed me to smoke here except of course when we were having lunch. Howard and I had just been having a heated discussion, so I was kind of raging furious! 😀 Veronica (who doesn’t look like she does) and Chris had just come up for lunch. In the street, you can see the street market where we often bought apples, or other food. You can also see a poster of the Spanish Insumisión movement (link to one of the groups in this movement: we managed to stop conscription, though we did not achieve the abolition of the military and its replacement with nonviolent ways of problem-solving, but we’re still working on it!!). Actually, I was a good volunteer for developing this contact, because I spoke Spanish fluently! 🙂 And of course there’s a feminist poster, too. This was the place where I started developing my feminist intelligence. And Howard was key for this, too. These adorable people told me, “miX, you should visit Greenham. You’ll probably love it”.

kitchen

I wrote a story in Spanish about this, and gave a copy to Howard, but we never had the time to talk about it: En el edificio torcido (4 pdf pages). They are also mentioned in a story I wrote about my first 24 hours at Greenham: Llegar a la Puerta Azul (8 pdf pages).

Outside the WRI office with Juan DW, too.1989

More recently, in Madrid, Howard giving a present to Andreas, who was leaving the WRI office after many years working there as part of the staff. Howard was now the chair of WRI. He didn’t get any money for this of course, in spite of the fact he, like anyone in our society, needed money to live.
conandreas

Howard and Ismael, sent in by Martyn Lowe: “This is one of my favourite photos of Howard. His death is a great loss to us all.”

howardeismael

Chris Booth: “I’ve made a PDF of “Making Nonviolent Revolution”, I case anyone wants to read it. Howard (as was his way) was a bit scathing of this text in recent years, but for me it was one of the main documents which formed my political philosophy: http://hovercraftfullofeels.org.uk/?attachment_id=548 A perfect blend of anarchism, pacifism and feminism!”

Quote from Making Nonviolent Revolution, selected by Chris.

Pics sent by Chris: Yolanda and Howard in Urnieta, Euskadi, 1995.

yolandayhoward

Pic sent by Reinoud Doeschot: “Howard Clark was the untiring engine of War Resisters’International for many years. Photo: Triennial Conference in Porec, Croatia, just after the war on the Balkans, September 1998. On the left Howard Clark. He wrote the book ‘Civil Resistance in Kosovo’. He gave peace loving people in Serbia, Croatia and Kosov@ a voice.”

reinouds

Howard was the chair of War Resisters’ International now and since 2006.

He had a website where you can read about his work: Peace and Collaborative Development Network.

He edited and produced and wrote for a few books:

Howard gave me a few books:

One, written by him and other activists, called Preparing for Non-violent Direct Action. I would like to share his dedication, because the fact is that he and I along with many others belong to the saga of anonymous people who have tried to change this violent and unfair human world we’ve created.

London 1990

Dear miX

always learning and helping others learn,
always becoming and encouraging other to be,
you live with passion.

Thanks for renewing my spirit.

With love,

Howard

He also gave me two incredible books by two most powerful writers:

I started a video-recorded interview with Hoowee in June 2013 and I hope to publish it on mujerpalabra.net as soon as I can.

Dec. 9: Martyn sends some pics! ❤ 2004

withhowardandmartyn

withmartynandhoward

Howard at the 1990 Berlin Council, pic by Wolfram – thanks!

Howard 1990 Council, by Wolfram

Thomas Hackman and Howard at 55 Dawes Street!, sent in by Chris – thanks! 

thomasyhoward

21 Responses to *Howard Clark

  1. John gibbons says:

    Thank you Michelle. Great memories. Howard was my uncle but I will miss him like a best friend. John gibbons x

  2. MF says:

    Dear John,

    Thanks for posting and thanks for your kind words. I believe what you say.

    Big hug!

  3. John gibbons says:

    Yes, what you saw was what you got with Howard! Very genuine, intelligent, always empathised with people and certainly no ego! I hope to be a little like him!

  4. MF says:

    Oh, John, thanks! I just came to delete my message, like I did on facebook. I thought, “Maybe I’m just not thinking right.” How death makes us insecure about it all!
    If you appreciate those qualities, I’m sure it’s because they are in you!
    Sweet big wonderful dreams!
    So thanks so much for your words!

  5. MF says:

    In Spanish we say “chupar cámara” when people need to have everybody’s attention all the time. Hoowee did not “suck the camera.” He was always himself, but never sucked camera.

  6. MF says:

    Howard was my only connection to the WRI, in terms of activism (although also personally speaking, in many ways, although it’s true I feel connected to some WRI people I know, at a personal level). Throughout the years I tried to reach the Execs, but failed – feminist intelligence matters: tackling rape for instance, analyzing critically sexism in antimilitarism and pacifism, and the like. Actually, it felt cold and distant and even rude in the Not even a reply. I did collaborate with Andreas for the CO Women translation into Spanish, and that was good. Last June Hoowee brought me the copies, that’s why we also did this Conversation-Interview thingy. But Howard was always trying to facilitate that connection because he thought I had something to contribute to WRI. Of course, I’m just a single person, and I don’t represent anybody but myself, but I’m a thinker and an activist, and he was probably one of the very few people who believed this. He wanted me to be there, at different events, and contribute (I was not that convinced, because I’ve learned a lot about people’s reactions in life; and then, I need time to write and paint, a time I’ve never found because I’m always so busy pitching in) but I think — and I may be wrong — he also felt rather overwhelmed in his being the only person into this. Of course, I didn’t mind, though because it came from activism, it did hurt. If I think of it, the truth is that my value as an activist started being an idea because of Howard.
    So logically the connection is broken. Worst of all, now Howard is not there. Howard was someone who could relate directly, without his ego interfering, without lurking agendas in the way. He could listen. And relate. I haven’t found many people in the world who can do this, and I believe that’s why I find so few people with whom I can actually communicate.
    So for me, Howard’s loss is like losing a huge part of life.

  7. Chris Booth says:

    I’ve posted a few more photos of Howard on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/howard.clark.315

  8. Pingback: Quote from Making Nonviolent Revolution | Plans & What We Did In Class

  9. MF says:

    Thanks, Chris! wonderful! Just updated this page with your pics and pdf! ❤ Hugs

  10. Bernadette Ridard says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all this with us. I have know Howard for many years, but not that good. I enjoyed meeting him and my last memories go back to the Triennial in Germany in 2006.
    Such a lost for his family, but also for the WRI.
    Bernadette Ridard

  11. MF says:

    Dear Bernadette,

    Thanks so much. Yes, the video keeps us company to try and digest the news. Such a loss…

    Big hug!

    miX

  12. Marion Jones says:

    I hardly knew Howard, but I do know that he was a decent man who connected his principles with his life in small things as well as big things. His early loss is especially to be regretted.
    Condolences to Yolanda and the family.
    Marion (distant but close relative of Howard’s sister)

  13. MF says:

    Dear Marion,

    Thanks so much for your kind words.

    A warm hug from Spain

  14. I don’t know how to e-mail you, so I’m posting a link to another photo of Howard – a group pic of the participants in a Berlin Colloquium on nonviolence that I organized in February 2012: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ftgrahep7u7kugt/Howard_NVBC.jpg. After the conference Howard was among a group of participants who joined me for a demonstration for human rights and against electoral fraud in Russia that took place in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Braving the bitingly cold weather, he gave a short speech expressing his hope that “dedovshchina” (hazing) will one day cease to be one of the main words one associates with the life of young men in Russia.

    I still can’t believe he is no longer with us. I still have several e-mails from him sitting in my inbox, offering detailed thoughts on the criteria of success for nonviolent movements and asking impatiently about an English edition of my book. He will continue to be a role model–one of those incredible people who alway remain hubmle about their tremendous achievements and knowledge, and approach everyone, regardless of age or experience, as equals.

  15. MF says:

    Dear Mischa,

    Thanks so much for your words. We’re sure to publish them and translate them into Spanish at mujerpalabra.net, where we will also link to and inform War Resisters’ International, the network that has helped us all learn about each other’s existence. You can send there whatever you want, if you come up with more memories and thoughts: mp at mujerpalabra.net, with “Howard Clark” on the subject line.

    Big hug from Spain

    michelle

  16. MF says:

    Dear all, in case you don’t know: I pasted more pics people sent and the news that the second video is out, on nonviolent struggle. Good to use in class, too… Hopefully, it will inspire. Love, miX

  17. Pingback: More on Howard Clark | Plans & What We Did In Class

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  19. andreas rabl says:

    today i´ve learned that howard has left this world, and warm tears are filling my eyes and a very deep sadness has overcome me.
    i got to know him at the wri meetings in the end of the 80s und 90s till the brazilian triennial, as well as all the icoms during that time. and i guess it was at the icom (although we called it first time ecom) in greece, in 95, where we first time met him with yolanda. just a few weeks within a few years that i was able to share with him, but they left so many moments that i will never forget, thanks howard, you were a great activist and you are a great soul.
    and to miX: thanks for that page, i have lost the conflict you were discribing earlier and in which howard supported you, after 2 years in latinamerica, i came back and my objectors group in austria was dissolved and so i left the wri, as i felt that as an indivdual i have no right to be there, and i have lost.. have lost all of you, too….. con un abrazo fuerte a su familia, a ti, miX, y a todos l@s antimilis y pacifistas

  20. MF says:

    Dear Andreas!
    How good to hear from you! I’ll join you, in crying over this profound loss.
    Listen, if you feel like writing away, memories you have, you can send them to me (at mp at mujerpalabra.net), because in the summer we’re planning to put together all I get in Spanish and English from WRI people (also other languages if the person sends it in them; but I need English at least to translate into Spanish) on Howard. That would be at the Mujer Palabra website, Conoce a… section. Have you seen the two videos where he speaks about why he became a pacifist and nonviolent struggle in the world? I need to edit two more, but those are on sensitive issues, rape and religion in antimilitarism and pacifism. It was an interview I caught him for! Oh! And we couldn’t even finish it out of lack of time.
    Listen, I’ve never found a place to fit in in activism, except when I discovered WRi accepted individual members, and Howard was around, to learn so much from! But r.evolution is wherever we are, and we are full of people and ourselves! So the most important thing is to keep communicating, in touch, to keep each other company in whichever way we can! Imagination to power! ❤
    A big big hug, Andreas! ❤

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