Civilians in Nonviolent Conflict: Possibilities for Nongovernmental Civic Forces in Seeking Rights and Justice
Remarks delivered at the “For a Civil Peace Service in Catalonia” Conference, in Barcelona, Spain.
One hundred years ago, a mass meeting was convened in Johannesburg, South Africa by Mohandas Gandhi, an Indian lawyer outraged by the government’s proposal that Indians carry registration cards. “The Old Empire Theatre was packed from floor to ceiling,” Gandhi wrote. One speaker said that they “must never yield a cowardly submission to such degrading legislation.”
During a long campaign of non-cooperation, Indians burned their registration cards, marched across borders, and thousands went to jail, Gandhi himself three times, all to disrupt the government’s racial laws. In the eighth year of nonviolent civic action, the government withdrew the laws they had opposed. One piece of one empire of contempt for people’s rights was pulverized, starting that night at the Empire Theatre. The date was September 11…
Remarks delivered at the “For a Civil Peace Service in Catalonia” Conference
Barcelona, Spain: March 27, 2006