What is Nonviolence?

Nonviolence is…

  1. Having the courage to stand steadfastly and ongoingly for the truth of your own existence when others try to terrorise you into believing that you do not exist.
  2. Taking individual and/or collective action – protesting and persuading, noncooperating, nonviolently intervening  and creating new structures and organisations – to precipitate or compel positive change in situations that are violent, destructive and unjust.
  3. Neither submitting to violence nor aggressively fighting back against the perpetrator with verbal or physical attacks or legally endorsed punishments.
  4. The willingness and courage to withstand repression without retaliating, while remaining firm in your purpose, thus breaking the cycle of retaliatory violence, decreasing everyone’s level of fear and opening possibilities for resolution of conflict.
  5. Feeling all of your feelings, including your love for yourself and others, your pain and anger at the way others abuse you, and your self-hatred when your own fear makes you sell out yourself and others that you love.
  6. Understanding that people who are obsessed with control of others and material things are badly emotionally damaged: they are terrified and have lost awareness of their own existence and seek to dominate others as a substitute for genuine security.
  7. Understanding that we are all victims of injustice and perpetrators of injustice in different contexts, and that we can comprehend and empathise with the fears and failings of others by looking more closely at our own.
  8. Seeing through the game of presenting ourselves as superior and inferior, and acting according to the truth that all people are intrinsically equal in their value as human beings.
  9. Listening to your inner voice, feelings and conscience and having the courage to act in accordance with these, even when you may be misunderstood, negatively judged or punished.
  10.  Making strategic decisions about which struggles to engage in, and how best to do so, according to your capacities, time and context.
  11.  Asking for support and offering support to others.
  12.  Looking for solutions that meet the needs of all people, other living beings and the Earth.


Anita McKone
17 November 2011

The Peoples Charter to Create a Nonviolent World


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