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Forum Post: Six Facts About Non-Violent Resistance

Posted 12 years ago on Sept. 27, 2011, 1:24 p.m. EST by ZinnReader (92) from Encinitas, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

From his deep studies of Gandhi and his own experience, Martin Luther King Jr. developed a list of six facts to help people understand non-violent resistance and join with him in his vision.

King’s words are as insightful and thought provoking today as they were when he wrote them:

  1. Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace.

  2. The goal is not to defeat or humiliate the opponent but rather to win him or her over to understanding new ways to create cooperation and community.

  3. The non-violent resister attacks the forces of evil, not the people who are engaged in injustice. As King said in Montgomery, “We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.”

  4. The non-violent resister accepts suffering without retaliating; accepts violence, but never commits it. Gandhi said, “Rivers of blood may have to flow before we gain our freedom, but it must be our blood.” Gandhi and King both understood that suffering by activists had the mysterious power of converting opponents who would otherwise refuse to listen.

  5. In non-violent resistance, one learns to avoid physical violence toward others and also learns to love the opponents with “agape” or unconditional love–which is love given not for what one will receive in return, but for the sake of love alone. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate,” said King.

  6. Non-violent resistance is based on the belief that the universe is just. "..our work for justice will bear fruit – the fruit of love, peace, and justice for all beings everywhere.”



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[-] 1 points by Peacefulmind (23) 12 years ago

"AWARENESS" is an important thing for people to have. Also "WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE." A Yogi said this phrase to me, and please pass it on to your fellow Americans. KEEP PREACHING THE TRUTH FOR IT SHALL SET YOU FREE.

[-] 1 points by npowell85 (249) from Montana City, Mt 12 years ago

Great post. Can't be said enough, maintain composure, don't stoop to their level and soon they will rise to yours

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 12 years ago
  1. A commitment to non violence and a simple effort to make sure everything is recorded will in the end sway the population to the activists side as the police are evil scum sucking violent bottom feeders, and the public will eventually come to see this and even now is opening its eyes to it. You MUST maintain the CLEAR contrast between non violent protesters, and violent law breaking police instigators and assaulters. The public WILL judge them harshly...but not if there is ever significant violence from protesters.
[-] 1 points by callogher (1) from Añover de Tajo, CM 12 years ago

I totally agree with you, in Spain was the same: Police/government/economic power will try to drive you to the violence channel because of these two things:

                a)They get an argument to public opinion to condemn your acts

                b) They know they can beat you in the violent terrain.
[-] 1 points by Washington (77) from Khon San, Chaiyaphum 12 years ago

In my opinion, banging on drums and such does not promote an atmosphere conducive to non-violence.

[-] 1 points by Lollipop (15) from Greencastle, IN 12 years ago

Exactly. The way forward is the path of justice and of love.

Worth repeating: , “Rivers of blood may have to flow before we gain our freedom, but it must be our blood.”

All great movements have been long and so many great activists have sacrificed freedom, family, and life. Our cause is no less great and our people no less brave. We will march the path the greats have lit together into a better world.

[-] 1 points by 0815 (58) 12 years ago

Thank you for posting this!