Opinions on Nonviolence

When I think about nonviolence I can’t help but reflect on Jesus’ words “turn the other cheek,” even though I’m not religious. I remember reading a few things regarding nonviolence in a class on Conflict Analysis and Resolution that focused on some of the tactics that people employ when being attacked; covering your head, walking in a line, ignoring your fellow demonstrators who were being beaten by police, etc. I know that there is a difference between nonviolence and nonviolent – Nonviolence is almost an “art” which has rules and regulations regarding how you should act and react whereas nonviolent just means that you do not employ violent tactics. When people go about using nonviolence as their tactic of choice, they are often up against very violent opposition. I believe that nonviolence is more of a way of reacting to violence than an actual tactic in making a claim. When you know you will be up against violent opposition, the employment of nonviolence in your tactics makes a bigger visual spectacle. The pictures depict police officers brutalizing “nonviolent” protesters, which makes them look ugly and the demonstrators sympathetic.

I think the nonviolent tactics employed by those in the Salt Marches and the Civil Rights movements were neccessary forms of demonstration at the time (police were notoriously more violent then) and they fit the claims that were being made. Sometimes nonviolence wouldn’t make sense, its hard to have nonviolence if you’re not being greeted with violence.

These are just my opinions and they may be wrong, but that’s what i think about nonviolence.


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