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A Force More Powerful 8 examples of the use of non-violence as a tactic to secure peace and justice.

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Presentation on theme: "A Force More Powerful 8 examples of the use of non-violence as a tactic to secure peace and justice."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Force More Powerful 8 examples of the use of non-violence as a tactic to secure peace and justice

2 Successful Violent Action to Secure Justice? American Revolution (1777) (independence) The Civil War (1861-1865) (end of slavery) Mexican Revolution (overthrow of Porfiriato) World War II (1939-1945) (end of fascism – Hitler) Bombing of Hiroshima / Nagasaki (1945) (end of Japanese aggression) War in Afghanistan (2011) (Assassination of Osama Bin Laden)

3 Example #1: Rosenstrasse Women in Berlin The injustice: On Jan. 27 th, 1943, Jewish husbands of non-Jewish wives in Berlin were rounded up for deportation to Auschwitz. The nonviolent action taken: The wives and others began to protest at the Rosenstrasse Community Center. Within a few days as many as 6,000 protestors demanded the return of the Jewish men. The outcome: Over the next week, the protestors convinced the Nazis to release the husbands. A total of 1,800 men were saved from possible death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, many who were already there were returned to Berlin.

4 Example #2: Danish resistance to the Nazis The injustice: Nazi occupation of Denmark from 1940-1945 (censorship, curfews, political and social freedoms removed, violence, Jewish deportation). The nonviolent action taken: General strikes were used throughout the war (go- home-early, two-minute-stoppages). Warnings were sent to the Jewish communities before alleged roundups and Jews hid in non-Jewish homes. Sabotage of Nazi infrastructure occurred daily. The outcome: Eventually fishing vessels transported nearly 8,000 Jewish men, women and children to safety in Sweden. The use of these nonviolent tactics secured the lives of the Jewish population and the sovereignty of the Danish national government.

5 Example #3: Freedom Riders in the U.S. South The injustice: In the American South, blacks and whites were not allowed to sit wherever they would like to on interstate busses. The nonviolent action taken: Starting in May of 1961, groups of whites and blacks began to ride busses into the South in violation of these Jim Crow laws. The riders faced mob violence in several cities and over 300 individuals were arrested and placed in jail for disorderly conduct. The outcome: By September 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) began to enforce earlier rulings and busses, bus depot waiting rooms, restrooms, and lunch counters began serving all, regardless of race.

6 Example #4: Grape Workers Strike - California The injustice: Farm workers suffered through poor working conditions and poor wages (average income was $1,400 annually or 38 cents / hour). The nonviolent action taken: Mass farm worker strike and picket. Boycott of grapes and wine (eventually became nationwide). Noncooperation with the grape industry (longshoremen in Oakland). Marches on Sacramento (the California state capital). Chavez hunger strike. The outcome: By 1970, 17 million Americans and Canadians participated in the boycott. Every major grape farmer signed a contract with the UFWA to increase wages and provide benefits for workers.

7 Example #5: Solidarity in Poland The injustice: During the 1970s, workers throughout Poland went on strike for better pay and working conditions. In the Soviet bloc countries only the government supported unions were allowed. When an anti-communist union called Solidarity found support, the communist government violently cracked down on Solidarity as well as implementing martial law throughout the country. Strike leaders were randomly arrested. The nonviolent action taken: Solidarity found the support of nearly 10 million workers and general strikes were imposed. The outcome: The Soviet-backed Polish government finally allowed for free labor unions. By 1989, the Solidarity movement had secured political freedoms and a multi-party government for Poland.

8 Example #6: Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace The injustice: A civil war had raged in Liberia for years. Rebel and government troops recruited boys as child soldiers and roamed from village to village raping and pillaging each community. Thousands lived in IDP camps. The nonviolent action taken: Women, wearing white, a color that represents peace, began meeting at the local market to protest for peace by praying, dancing, singing and holding signs. The next week the 3,000 women gathered vowed to go on a sex strike – denying their partners intimacy until the civil war came to an end. The outcome: The protests forced both sides to come to peace talks and worked out the terms of peace. The women had effectively protested for the end of the countrys civil war.

9 Example #7: Suchitoto 13" prisoners in El Salvador The injustice: The Salvadorian government announced a plan to sell water rights to private companies. In a country where 40% of the population doesnt have access to clean water this was a huge injustice. The people began protesting the sale and 14 were arrested as political prisoners. They were held on charges that would have put them in prison for 6 years. The nonviolent action taken: Daily public protests and multi-day marches. The outcome: The prisoners were released, but the charges were kept. Thousands of protests again took to the streets and march 3 days to the nations capital in protest. Due to the overwhelming public protests, the attorney general of El Salvador dropped all charges.

10 Example #8: Arab Spring – Middle East/North Africa The injustice: Regimes existed in several Arab countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Martial law, censorship, limited personal and political freedoms existed, as well as political prisoners who disagreed with the regimes, and the torture and murder of tens of thousands of opponents. The nonviolent action taken: Each took slightly different form, however, mass protests (hundreds of thousands of protestors) with the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook was used to circumnavigate the secret police of each nation and gain support for the movement. The outcome: Rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have all stepped down, while several other nations have had successful demonstrations for improved freedoms.

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