October 1, 2008
UNPO Celebrates the International Day of Nonviolence and reflects on the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Ghandi.
Statement by UNPO:
The history of human kind has been marked by ongoing violent events, such as wars, genocide and arbitrary executions. These acts of violence were undertaken in the belief that through violent means ones goals can be achieved. But as history has proved, use of violence always backfires on those who have committed the violent act. Furthermore, they have led to an increase of misery and despair of the people who are confronted with it. Violence is therefore, counterproductive to achieving ones goals.
Mahatma Gandhi was confronted with violence in his daily life - he came to the conclusion that other means should be developed to achieve ones goals. This has led to the development of political tools based on nonviolence. The Gandhi tradition of nonviolence has, since its introduction, been used by many leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Nonviolence is a philosophy and a strategy for social change that rejects the use of physical violence. As such, nonviolence is an alternative to passive acceptance or violent resistance against oppression. Practitioners of nonviolence may use diverse methods in their campaigns for social change, including critical forms of education and persuasion, civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action, and targeted communication via mass media.
Since its founding UNPO has been committed to the teachings of nonviolence introduced by Mahatma Gandhi and consequentially promoted by great leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. UNPO believes that nonviolence is the only way through which significant lasting positive change can be achieved.
Therefore the nations and peoples of UNPO are deeply committed to celebrating this second International Day of Nonviolence with compassion and, most importantly, with solidarity alongside all those who are languishing in prison, tortured and being oppressed chiefly on the basis of their political opinions, religious beliefs and the assertion of their rights of self-determination and democracy.
UNPO is calling for all on this day to participate in a day of reflection to remember the nonviolent activists everywhere in the world which have lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom, justice and peace.
The Hague, 02 October 2008
To read Marthin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech, please click here.