A Renewed Commitment to Nonviolence

MLK Day 2017
Opinion • Views: 43,689

“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”-Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a student at UCLA, I had the extreme fortune to study Nonviolence and Social Movements under the iconic Reverend James Lawson. In this class we learned not only about the civil disobedience actions he led during the lunch counter sit-ins and freedom rides that are such an integral part of the Civil Rights struggle in America, we also learned about Gandhi, the Polish Solidarity movement, and the DREAMERs. Of all the courses I took in college, this one made the most lasting impression on me. I walked away from that course with a strong conviction that nonviolence is the only way to go about effecting social change.

As we prepare to inaugurate Donald Trump, many of us are looking towards the future and anticipating the need to come together for rallies, protest and civil disobedience. We have already seen a taste of this during and after the election, when thousands of people took to the streets all over the country to protest the election of a person who is so reviled. What we saw in these first protests of the Trump era was the eruption of violence, and even some isolated incidences of rioting. While the vast majority of the people protesting were peaceful, the evening news and social media focused on the violence. If our goal is to win people over to our point of view, violence and destruction of property is antithetical to our movement. It is imperative that we train a new generation of activists on the importance of nonviolent civil disobedience and on how to respond to violence that they face during their civic actions.

If what I am seeing with online organizing comes to fruition over the next few years, our “slacktivism” is about to turn into sustained activism. And I am afraid we are wholly unprepared for this moment in time. We must understand that the people who were part of effective social change in the past were trained and disciplined in the art of nonviolence. Reverend Lawson and his counterparts spent months preparing for their sit-ins. They planned everything that they could plan, down to how they should dress, and they anticipated and prepared for the responses they knew they would get. They took turns playing the role of agitator and agitated, they made people commit to responding to provocations with peace.

As I prepare to attend my local Women’s March on January 21st, I have been trying to find videos of nonviolent civil disobedience training. I have been looking for short videos which I can spread to fellow marchers which teach not only the principles of nonviolent resistance, but actually show situations that marchers may face, and illustrate the proper way to respond. I haven’t had any luck finding such videos. If you have a talent for making informative and entertaining videos, you could do us all a real service by producing some training videos for #TheResistance. If you plan to get involved in this movement, educate yourself on peaceful social movements of the past. Find people who can train you, and your friends, and your activist groups. If we want this movement to be successful, if we want to win hearts and minds of our fellow Americans, we need to reinvest in the philosophy of Dr. King and nonviolence.

“When they go low, we go high.” — Michelle Obama

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
The Internet - Roll (Burbank Funk) (Official Video) The Internet's "Roll (Burbank Funk)" taken from the new album HIVE MIND - out now Get it everywhere: smarturl.it GIFs from the video: giphy.com Director: Joe WeilProducer: Sam CanterCo-Producer: Christian SuttonProd. Company: @psychofilmsDirector of Photography: Philips ShumEditor: Tyler Sobel-MasonLight ...
Thanos
10 hours, 45 minutes ago
Views: 73 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Jack White - ‘Corporation’ (Lyric Video)Lyric video for “Corporation” from Jack White's new album BOARDING HOUSE REACH available now: smarturl.it facebook.cominstagram.comjackwhiteiii.com (C) 2018 Third Man Records under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, and XL Recordings Ltd.
Thanos
1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 110 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Glass - Official Trailer [HD] GlassIn Theaters January 18, 2019glassmovie.com M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s Unbreakable, from Touchstone, and 2016’s Split, from Universal—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: Glass. From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David ...
Thanos
1 day, 16 hours ago
Views: 105 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Official Trailer 1 facebook.comtwitter.cominstagram.comgodzillamovie.com Following the global success of “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse, an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in ...
Thanos
1 day, 16 hours ago
Views: 120 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
DIY Guns: A Landmark Ruling Opens the Door for Homemade Firearms Massive catch 22 here. First Amendment right vs public safety in the mass/school shooting era and increasing gun and ammunition controls. Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered Wilson a settlement to end a lawsuit he and ...
Unshaken Defiance
2 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 154 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
James Bay - Pink Lemonade Pink Lemonade (Official Video)Song Available on the new album Electric Light (Pre-Order Today)jamesbay.lnk.to Connect With James Bay:jamesbay.com facebook.com instagram.com SoundCloud @JamesBayMusic Directed by Phil AndelmanProduced by Thalia MurrayEdited by Barney MillerFor Happy Street Entertainment “Pink Lemonade” Lyrics:Don’t fall into ...
Thanos
3 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 415 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 5 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Death Cab for Cutie - ‘I Dreamt We Spoke Again’ (Lyric Video) Official lyric video for Death Cab for Cutie "I Dreamt We Spoke Again". ‘Thank You for Today’ the new album from Death Cab for Cutie is out August 17th, 2018. lnk.to Live Dates: deathcabforcutie.comExclusive merchandise: smarturl.itSubscribe for more content: ...
Thanos
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 116 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Decemberists - Once in My Life Statement from Colin Meloy: We were searching for a video idea for “Once In My Life” that would somehow capture the spirit of the song. In my mind, the song is a meditation, a plea to the cosmos that ...
Thanos
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 113 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Lenny Kravitz - Low (Official Video)New Album RAISE VIBRATION Released September 7, 2018. Preorder Now: lennykravitz.lnk.to Directed by Jean Baptiste Mondino Follow Lenny:instagram.comfacebook.com@LennyKravitz vevo.ly
Thanos
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 150 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Iron Fist - Season 2 This isn't a fight. It’s just a warm-up. Season 2 of Marvel’s Iron Fist debuts exclusively on Netflix September 7, 2018. Watch Marvel's Iorn First on Netflix: netflix.com SUBSCRIBE: bit.ly About Netflix:Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service ...
Thanos
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 157 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0