Why are we marching for peace and nonviolence? Isn't it enough to ask for peace?
The Romans had a saying: "If you want peace, prepare for war." Everybody says they want peace, but so often this talk of peace leads to war. The current conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are only the latest examples in a very long list of going to war in the name of bringing peace.
The problem is that using violence to achieve peace doesn't work, because violence begets violence. Violence doesn't solve anything, it just delays finding true solutions to conflicts, hurting everyone involved in the meantime and setting up a greater spiral of destruction.
Peace cannot be built with violence. Rather we must build a peaceful world through the power of nonviolence.
Nonviolence is an attitude towards life whose key feature is the rejection and repudiation of all forms of violence. Violence is anything that dehumanizes or objectifies people, that ignores or suppresses their intentions and opinions; it can take many forms: physical (assault, torture), racial (segregation, stereotyping), religious (fantacism. persecution), psychological (censorship, propaganda, the imposition of one point of view), sexual (sexism, homophobia) or economic (exploitation, usuary).
Nonviolence is not pacifism, nor is it the resigned attitude of those who through fear avoid confrontation. Rather, nonviolence consists of a personal commitment, a style of life and a methodology for social change. This methodology promotes a profound transformation of the social conditions that lead to suffering and violence in human beings. Its most famous historical figures are Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King – precursors and well-known examples of nonviolent struggle against institutionalized violence.
“Nonviolence of the strong is the strongest force in the world.” —Gandhi
“We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” —Martin Luther King
“Peace will not result from a violent approach to violence. Nonviolence is the only way out.” —Silo
What is Active Nonviolence?
Today, there are new approaches to nonviolence. For example, “Active Nonviolence” proposes a broad and active approach to creating a society beyond violence.
Active Nonviolence encourages people to speak out actively against all forms of violence they encounter: not only physical violence and war, but also working to overcome interrelated economic, gender, racial, psychological, moral, religious, and all other forms of violence and discrimination.
An additional vital dimension is to recognize the connection between violence in the world and inner violence in human beings, and to engage in approaches and methods capable of overcoming the violence that is within each person, transforming society and each person at the same time.
Nonviolence and the World March
The goal of the World March for Peace & Nonviolence is to question the belief in the inevitability of violence and to open the path toward a new “normal” where violence is out of step, where it is recognized as a impediment to human evolution. It is calling upon people everywhere to recognize that creative, organized and participatory nonviolence is the only force capable of changing the violent and inhuman direction of so many developments in society. Through the simple, conscious act endorsing this dignified cause and taking action with others, people are choosing to create conciousness for peace and nonviolence.
Links about Nonviolence and Active Nonviolence: