What is Nonviolence?
Nonviolence is a philosophy and strategy for social change and nonviolent action is when social or political actions are taken that do not use violence.
Believing in nonviolence does not mean being passive or doing nothing when facing injustice.
Mahatma Gandhi. Rosa Parks. Martin Luther King. Aung San Suu Kyi. All of these individuals embraced nonviolent action to fight their battles; Gandhi in the decades-long struggle against British rule in India and King in his struggle to win civil rights for African Americans.
In fact the foundation of nonviolence can be found in Gandhi’s quote: “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”
Through this he strived for people to recognize that the doer and the deed itself are two different things. He taught that the oppressor must be respected as a person, not hated, and that it is only the actions themselves that can be hated. By distinguishing between the two, the issue is no longer the oppressor and becomes only the actions. This approach is what makes communication possible on a human level between the oppressor and the victim.
It’s important to understand that nonviolence doesn't deny the existence of conflict, but instead asserts that no conflict needs to be dealt with using violence and armed force.
The aim of nonviolent action is to dismantle the power structures, military systems and economic networks, including arms manufacture and the arms trade, that make violence and war an option. Nonviolence strives for social change, justice and equality.
Our vision and mission are founded on the premise of, and faith in, nonviolent action as a formidable and effective means to discourage against, intervene in and end violent conflict.
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