Scott Brown's blog

Repairing Environmental Harm with Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice Can Best Address Animas River Toxic Spill

August 10, 2015

An Open Letter to Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper,

Honoring the Dark

My latest blog includes three poems honoring the dark. It can be viewed at
Thanks for checking it out and I welcome your feedback.

Balancing Love and Power

I attended a talk recently that brought home one of the most difficult balancing acts in restoration: love and power. The speaker was Adam Kahane, an internationally recognized expert on conflict resolution and the author of Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change. He led with this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., which kind of says it all:

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” 

Winter Count (and War)

I first came upon the concept and term “winter count” in a short story by Barry Lopez. It’s a practice employed by Native American tribes of the plains to record the most memorable event of each year. Each year is symbolized by one picture (representing the event) drawn onto (originally) a hide. Taken together the pictures form a tribal history. According to the website


The Solstice

 If ever there was a day of the year calling out for ceremony and celebration it’s the winter Solstice, December 21st. The shortest day of the year and the longest night, it’s followed by the gradual lengthening of the days, the return of the sun.


American Autumn

 I got back from my visit to the occupations in NYC and DC 2 days ago. The view from the trenches leaves me feeling humbled and invigorated. Here’s why. The people involved in the occupations that I witnessed, worked with, and supported are:

Sustaining the Sustainers

Today marks the beginning of the third week of the occupation of Freedom Plaza here in DC by people associated with October 2011. I 've spent the past six days and nights on the plaza with them and it's been a great pleasure to participate in this historical moment. The sister occupation (Occupy DC) a few blocks away is also going strong.

On the ground in DC

I spent my first full day with the October 2011 people yesterday. They are surviving the rain and are an impressive group wiith a strong contingent of Vietnam-era veterans.  Their spot in Freedom Plaza includes a full frontal view of the Capitol building. This is the older crowd with the young folks of Occupy DC holding down a different square closer to the White House. I went to the Occupy DC camp  and got some support from the guy struggling to maintain the kitchen to come and talk about sustaining our activism at 2:00 this afternoon.

field notes from the front lines

I spent two days with the Wall Street protesters and the energy is high there. It's youth-led and very organized in it's way - welcome annd media center, a library, kitchen and security, a comfort center with blankets, tarps, etc. and well run meetings. No, they don' t have a clear list of demands but given what they are confronting I think we can cut them some slack.They aren't beating themselves about it either. One of my favorite signs was:" We're here, we're unclear, get used to it"

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