Active nonviolence is a way of life

To the Editor:

Violence isn’t something new; there’s been violence in our world since the dawn of time. Active NONviolence isn’t new either, but perhaps it’s a concept that needs to be re-introduced, re-minded and re-examined.

Nonviolence is defined as the policy, practice or technique of refraining from the use of violence, especially when reacting to or protesting against oppression, injustice, discrimination or the like.

What is active nonviolence, the way of life to which the Clinton Franciscans, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and millions of others throughout history have committed themselves? Active nonviolence is a creative power for justice and the well-being of all that uses neither passivity nor violence. It’s systemic action in which you do take a side. You don’t avoid resisting conflict or confrontation; it’s all in how you resist.

Gandhi and King created a list of nonviolent principles which help to explain this philosophy. Find them at: mettacenter.org.
One form of violence is sexual assault. The statistics are staggering. One in five women in college are sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators. “The Hunting Ground” is a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate. Join the Franciscan Peace Center and the YWCA at Clinton Community College in Clinton on Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. to view this documentary which reveals an endemic system of institutional cover-ups, rationalizations, victim-blaming and denial that creates perfect storm conditions for predators to prey with impunity. A movie every parent of a daughter entering college should see.

For more information go to www.ClintonFranciscans.com.

Lori Freudenberg
Community Outreach Director
Franciscan Peace Center

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