By Staff for Peace and All Good - Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term grassroots movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence. We invite people and organizations in the U.S. and worldwide to take action during CNV Action Week around the International Day of Peace, September 21. Together we will join our voices from around the planet to support a global nonviolent shift! During this year’s Campaign Nonviolence Week, September 16-24, 2017 our goal is 1000+ marches, vigils, rallies and more for a culture of peace and nonviolence in cities and towns in all 50 states and in nations around the world. Together we will march against violence and for a world of peace, justice and sustainability. We will connect the dots between war, poverty, racism, climate change, and the epidemic of violence — and join forces for a culture of peace.
By Dipanita Nath in Indian Express - Threads criss-cross a patch of a wall like a colourful cobweb gone chaotic. Through the artwork, a third-year student of Applied Art, Aditya Verma, is registering his protest against the College of Art, Delhi. “Look at the base of this wall, it is cracked like the system here. The college covers the crack with paint but does not repair it. My threads may be weak and break, but they sure as hell can highlight the problem of the crack,” said the 21-year-old. Students of the college have been on strike since August 31 to demand better infrastructure, equipment, staff and sanitation facilities, among others. Since Tuesday, the 16th day of the protest, the students have been “occupying” the campus the way only artists can — by covering the walls and pathways with graffiti.
To Gandhi, noncooperation was the nonviolent counterpart of guerrilla war while the constructive program was the counterpart of a parallel society from below similar to parallel hierarchies important in the Mexican, Chinese, and Viet Nam revolutions. He increasingly believed that noncooperation and withdrawal of consent, taken by themselves, were woefully ineffective, sometimes using the term useless, since they do not feed the hungry or permanently relieve the oppressed. Positive action was imperative to actually pursue social betterment and justice in every village. Nonetheless, he strongly believed that satyagraha was always available as necessary, and kept in mind its goal of conversion and moral transformation, not retribution. He rejected western materialist values and industrialism. But to achieve political independence, a fundamental and moral reconstruction of society from below was required which, to repeat, was centered on economic renewal of autonomous village life and sardovaya (social uplift for everyone).
Our movements are nonviolent, and are not to blame for the killing of Officers Liu and Ramos. The peaceful demonstrations and direct actions carried out by tens of thousands of people of all ethnicities in recent months are born of a frustration with a system that guarantees impunity to state agents who kill young African American men. We will not be silenced. We hang this banner proudly on the Muste building, and we will continue to fill the streets with our feet and our voices, because racism and police violence are an affront to our values, and because we believe, as A.J. did, that persistent nonviolent protest will ultimately prevail in creating a more just world.
As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong. I have to admit, I am somewhat puzzled by this announcement. None of the demonstrators in this city have in any way exhibited any propensity for violence or indicated, even verbally, that they would harm anyone. I can understand how you may feel that your ideologies have been questioned but I am not aware of any occurrence that would give reason for someone to feel physically threatened.
Mark and Paul Engler’s well-reasoned piece published just a few days ago reminded me of what was, without question, the most personally impactful action I have ever taken part in, over 44 years ago, in Rochester, N.Y. on the Labor Day weekend of 1970. I was 20 years old at the time, and for the previous nine months I had been actively involved with the Catholic Left, which at that point in time was the name for the network of priests, nuns, Catholic lay people and others who were neither Catholic nor, necessarily, religious. What this network of hundreds of people did for a period of several years in the late 60s and early 70s was to pull off or inspire nonviolent “actions,” as we called them, to disrupt the war machine.
If you want a nonviolent action to be maximally effective, there are two preliminary points to consider. First, spend time developing a carefully elaborated nonviolent strategythat will guide each and every aspect of your campaign. And second, make sure that each nonviolent action that your group undertakes is governed by its strategic goal, not its political objective. If your nonviolent tactic (demonstration, strike, blockade…) is the strategically chosen and focused tactic for this stage of your campaign, and you undertake it with the strategic goal (not political objective) clearly in mind, then, irrespective of the immediate police response (including if it is illegal, violent and/or makes use of provocateurs), your strategic goal will be achieved, your campaign will be advanced and any violent response by police or the military will be either politically irrelevant or strategically advantageous to your campaign.