Nonviolent Action: Can There Be A Second Act ?
We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of non-violence. M.K. Gandhi
Two October is the UN-designated International Day for Non-violence, the date chosen being the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the best-known figure of non-violent action. To honor seriously the day, we have to ask serious questions: What determines the success or failure of a non-violent movement for change? Are violent and non-violent methods competing or complementary strategies? Does help from outside sources matter? Today, the United Nations recognizes a collective responsibility to protect people threatened by genocide, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and other crimes against humanity, but the way to respond to these challenges non-violently have not been set out. Does the example of one movement influence others? Is non-violence one possible strategy among others or is it as Gandhi thought a way of being in the world?
The recent death in August 2009 of Corazon Aquino, the former president of the Philippines, recalled to mind the “Peoples Power Revolution” of 1986 which non-violently overthrew the corrupt government of Ferdinand Marcos who had ruled the Philippines under martial law since 1972. A modest woman who overcame her fear to speak in public and who had been projected to leadership through the assassination of her husband, the prominent opposition politician, Benigno Aquino Jr. started a movement which showed that resolute non-violence can be a source of political change.
Robert Kennedy spoke during a visit to South Africa still under its apartheid government of each act of courage as a ripple sent forth to join with other ripples, ultimately “to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Yet in Robert Kennedy’s America, there is a saying that “in politics, there is no second act.” If there is not success when one has the first occasion, there will be no second chance. The Peoples Power Revolution of Corazon Aquino showed that political power could be overthrown by non-violent action. Many in the Philippines hoped that economic and social change would follow. But since Mrs Aquino left office in 1992, the Muslim and Communist insurgencies have continued. There are serious human rights abuses by the military in combating these insurgencies. The Philippines remains a collection of oligarchies and political dynasties. Much of the population is poor with a high unemployment rate and some eight million Filipinos work overseas. Many families depend on remittances from abroad, and an overseas job can be one of the highest ambitions for the upwardly mobile.
Likewise, the death this summer of Kim Dae-jung, a dissident who survived a death sentence and an assassination attempt by military dictators before winning the South Korean presidency reminds us of the difficulties of keeping up a momentum of peaceful change through non-violent diplomatic methods. As president from 1998 until 2003, Kim Dae-jung was the first opposition leader to be elected in Korea. In 2000, he flew to Pyongyang for talks with Kim Jong-il of North Korea. The meeting led to a period of détante on the divided Korean Peninsula. However, inter-Korean relations have chilled as the North tested nuclear weapons first in 2006 and again in 2009. There was no second act after the first act of “Sunshine Policy” and a vision of reconciliation to overcome five decades of hostility.
For there to be successful non-violent action, one has to keep in mind that there must always be a second act for which one must be prepared. The actors may not be the same as in Act I, but they must be ready to continue a momentum, to build coalitions with new social forces and to be willing to undertake the long-term but often slow development of the socio-economic framework which many people expect from the exciting first act.
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens
Planeta Vivo, pintura de Ana Felix Garjan,
que esteve em exposição na Casa das Rosas - SP,
na noite do evento "Poeme-se no Mundo pela Paz
e Defesa do Planeta", que foi organizado e promovido
pela minha Fundação Artforum Brasil Unifuturo - 10 anos,
em 31 de julho de 2009.
Vem, segura a minha mão,
Entre na grande roda da paz
Unam-se trazendo a sua porção da paz
Não importa se tem muita, pouca ou nenhuma
Qual raça, credo ou situação
Somos todos unos no AMOR
Aqui é fonte de Amor!
Como o rio corre para todos
Ele busca você
É infinito como o mar
Luminoso como os astros
Sem fim como o próprio mistério
Do infinito planetário
Entre nesta roda onde receberá a energia pacificadora
E assim, entrará na movimentação desta energia
Fazendo-a circular, expandir e irradiar
Traga a sua família, seus vizinhos, todos que quiser!
Serão bem vindos, todos! Olhados e sentidos com o coração alegre
Preenchido pela paz amiga , conselheira e solidária
E o mais alto teor de gratidão e fraternidade
Venha! A roda estará permanentemente aberta,
Todos com olhar acolhedor, coração apaziguado e mãos estendidas
O esperam com amor.
Fazendo girar a Roda do Amor
A minha paz, a sua paz é a de todos!
Que a Paz esteja em mim, em você, em todos nós!
WHEEL OF PEACE
Come, hold my hand,
Come into the great wheel of peace
Join up bringing its portion of peace
Doesn´t matter if it’s a lot, little or zero
Race, creed or another situation
We are all one in LOVE
Here is love´s source!
Like river is for all
It´s search you
It´s infinity like the sea
Bright as the stars
With no end like mistery
Of the infinity planetarium
Join this wheel where you receive a peacefull energy
And them, enter the handling of this energy
making it move, expand and radiate
Bring your family, your neighbors, all you want!
Everyone will be welcome! Seen and felt with a happy heart
Completed by a friendly, adviser and caring peace
And the highest level of gratitude and brotherhood
Come! The wheel will be permanently open,
All eyes with warm vision, peace heart and hands out
Waiting you with love.
Making spin the Wheel of Love
My peace, your peace is for everyone!
Peace be with me, you, in all of us!
Minha irmã querida Ana,
te desejo “FELIZ NATAL” em Ordem, Luz e Amor, em todos e cada dia do NOVO ANO, para a progressiva TRANSFORMAÇÃO da nossa Humanidade.
Em amizade para o sempre,
teu irmão Giuseppe