When the words ‘non-violence’ or ‘pacifism’ are uttered, it often conjures up images of Gandhi or Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. All of them were people who made radical changes based on that principle, but it wasn’t because they didn’t fight the system or didn’t hate an injustice.
In fact, some argue that nonviolent change must fight even harder to bring attention to the world stage and bring people under their banner
Methods of nonviolent action
Groups that are nonviolent still fight as hard as ever to achieve their goals, but it’s mostly on the battlefield of public opinion. By using speeches, letters, and petitions, leaders, and members of certain groups can show the world their goals.
Petitions are common in today’s world, and while they might not always gain the attention that they need from the people who are the petitions’ target, it can be a good way to bring people together and gauge the support than an issue has.
Once the amount of support both city and worldwide is gauged, then information can be spread to connect these people often through social media, the news media, and then through in-person gatherings.
If you start it, they will come
It seems that every other day there is a march for some hot-button issue, with banners, slogans, and crowds marching to achieve a goal and let the world know that they are there and that they matter. Sometimes these crowds perform demonstrations, give speeches, or rally support among nonmembers of the public to grow their cause.
Boycotts are also another useful method if what the group is fighting against can be hit in its wallet, with the refusal of the community to buy the project a partially effective protest when enough people get behind it.
Almost all of these methods are successful in some way, shape, or form to get the attention of the public and make some social change. However, they all contain one key ingredient for success, and that is people.
Stand together, fall apart
No matter what form of social protest that a group uses, it all comes back to having a group; a community of like-minded people who all care about the same issue.
If you are the only person who wants a certain issue fixed, no matter how much passion you have, not too much is going to be done without even a small group of people to stand by you. Even if it’s family members and close friends.
Nonviolent groups and methods of protesting are not for weak people and are by no means easy to get started, however, they often see more success in the long run and the change that they bring is lasting to their nation and the world.
Don’t be afraid to join a nonviolent group on an issue that you feel passionate about, and be prepared for a hard and long struggle ahead. However, know that when nonviolent success comes, the success is here to stay.