Hello Occupiers! I would like to thank everyone for considering our proposal and for taking the issues of conflict resolution seriously. I would also like to report that we held our first peace circle and I think it's safe to say it was a good experience for all involved. We plan to hold circles regularly and hope people will consider participating. There is power in a circle!
The primary reason I am posting is to provide a little inspiration, and to share these Principles of Nonviolence by Dr. King. We are following in the footsteps, however falteringly, of a great man and an inspired tradition.
Six Principles of Nonviolence
by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It is always persuading the opponent of the righteousness of your cause.
2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose is the creation of the Beloved Community.
3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
Nonviolence recognizes evil doers as also victims and not evil people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil, not people.
4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.
Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it.
Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.
Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
Suffering has the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.
5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.
Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility.
Nonviolent love is active, not passive.
Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore community.
Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.
Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.
Love restores community and resists injustice.
Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.
6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.
Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.
From "Pilgrimage to nonviolence" in Dr. King's Stride Toward Freedom, Harper & Row, 1958.