There are many legitimate styles of activism, and nonviolent activism is just one of them.
Let’s think about whether a practice of nonviolence speaks to our personal ethics as carefully as we think about our tactics of activism. Our energy is precious, our resources too–so let’s give vector to our struggle for liberation in a way that is true and honest from our tiniest cells outward to our biggest actions.
The history of nonviolent activism asks us–demands, even–to be thoughtful and precise about our motivation. Are we nice because it endears us to Power, or are we nice because it keeps us safe? Are we practicing nonviolent resistance because it works for us in this moment?
Nonviolent struggle is many things, but it is almost always attuned to cultural context, location, and values and tactics of the setting. We must be a part of the fabric in order to shift it. Importing styles or motivations that are not spiritually aligned with who we are and where we are from will weaken our work. Let’s be strong and clear in who we are, what we choose, and why.
Is nonviolent activism a choice available to everyone?
Have you witnessed nonviolent activism succeed? Have you witnessed “violent” activism succeed?
What style of activism feels like a natural fit for you? What attitude aligns with your spirit as you carry out daily acts of liberation?
Do you approach the question of “how” in your activism as a tactical matter? A spiritual matter? Both?