Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Nonviolence Does Not Engage in Violence Even in Response

This is an excerpt from an essay by Chris Hedges:  
"If nonviolent protest is met with violence, we must never respond with violence. The use of violence, including property destruction, and taunting the police are gifts to the security and surveillance state. It allows the state to demonize and isolate a mass movement. It drives away the bulk of the population. Violence against the state is used by the authorities to justify greater forms of control and repression. The corporate state understands and welcomes the language of force. This is a game the government will always win and we will always lose. If we are perceived as a flag-burning, rock-throwing, angry mob that embraces violence, we will be easily crushed.
We can succeed only if we win the hearts and minds of the wider public and ultimately many of those within the structures of power, including the police. When violence is used against nonviolent protesters demanding basic forms of justice it exposes the weakness of the state. It delegitimizes those in power. It prompts a passive population to respond with active support for the protesters. It creates internal divisions within the structures of power that, as I witnessed during the revolutions in Eastern Europe, paralyze and defeat those in authority. Martin Luther King Jr. held marches in Birmingham, Ala., rather than Albany, Ga., because he knew Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor would overreact and discredit the city’s racist structures."
Chris Hedges

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Prime Gardener

"Although we have done everything we can to separate ourselves from other people, from creatures large and small, from the land and its waters and from God, God has never left us. God the Gardener comes every day, bucket and hoe in hand, to water and weed the soil of our lives. Through God's care, people, pastures, hills, meadows and valleys can sing together for joy (see Ps 65). God has sought always to feed us and gladden our hearts and to make the created world shine (see Ps 104)."

Quote is from Making Peace with the Land: God's Call to Reconcile with Creation (Resources for Reconciliation)" by Fred Bahnson, Norman Wirzba, Bill McKibben 

Photo is of a gardener at Orchid garden and butterfly museum in Maymyo Botanical Garden