Nonviolence Training at URI
Tags: Harrington School of Communications and Media, Institute for the study and practice of nonviolence, Michelle LeBrun, Photographer in ri, PJ Fox, providence photographer, providence photojournalist, Rhode Island, Sal Monteiro Jr., Teny Gross, University of Rhode Island, URI
Thursday was a little better though. I met the folks working on the side of good. I am part of a class called “Media and Civic Engagement” at URI’s Harrington School for Communications and Media taught by documentary film-maker Michelle LeBrun (COM-342 for all you students out there). We’ve partnered with Providence’s Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence to promote their efforts in the face of recent budget cuts. The Institute sent their best, PJ Fox and Sal Monteiro Jr., to talk about what they do and provide nonviolence training. They were the a couple of the most dedicated fellows you could ever hope to meet.
On a personal note: This may come as a surprise to some of you but I’ve never been able to boast straight As in the “works well with others” category if you know what I mean so after administering nonviolence training to my professor and classmates PJ and Sal should probably add my name to the list of lives they’ve saved. Thanks gentlemen and keep up the good work.
Just to recap: MLK Jr. 6 principles of nonviolence.
1. Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace.
2. The goal is not to defeat or humiliate the opponent but rather to win him or her over to understanding new ways to create cooperation and community.
3. The non-violent resister attacks the forces of evil, not the people who are engaged in injustice. As King said in Montgomery, “We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.”
4. The non-violent resister accepts suffering without retaliating; accepts violence, but never commits it. Gandhi said, “Rivers of blood may have to flow before we gain our freedom, but it must be our blood.” Gandhi and King both understood that suffering by activists had the mysterious power of converting opponents who would otherwise refuse to listen.
5. In non-violent resistance, one learns to avoid physical violence toward others and also learns to love the opponents with “agape” or unconditional love–which is love given not for what one will receive in return, but for the sake of love alone. It is God flowing through the human heart. Agape is ahimsa. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate,” said King.
6. Non-violent resistance is based on the belief that the universe is just. There is God or a creative force that is moving us toward universal love and wholeness continually. Therefore, all our work for justice will bear fruit – the fruit of love, peace, and justice for all beings everywhere.”