New Humanist

International Day of Non-Violence 08

In 2007, the United Nations declared October 2 as “International Day of Non-Violence”, selecting the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth in recognition of the historical tradition he followed and the powerful inspiration he provided of building a more human world through the tools and principles of active non-violence.

In the 60 years since Gandhi’s death, the planet has seen a continued reliance upon violence and discrimination as a means of resolving conflict and obtaining power, yet the concept of non-violence continues to be a vital, evolving force in the world. Mass actions by workers, protest demonstrations, women’s and student movements, community organizing and advocacy, neighborhood newspapers, appearances on radio, TV and web blogs — all these constitute contemporary forms of the ethic and practice of non-violence. A growing number of people are recognizing that violence is ultimately a block to human progress, and are working, in numerous small ways on a daily basis, to transform it, choosing instead active non-violence as a personal commitment, a style of life and a methodology for social change.

This year, we will mark this important day with a celebration/teach-in in Union Square, besides the Gandhi statue. On October 2nd, at 7 PM, on the steps on the south side of the square, we will form a “living symbol of non-violence

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