A Check-List for Nonviolent Protest
1…Commit and recommit ourselves to the Soulforce principles of nonviolence; Review Gandhi’s vows: Truth, Nonviolence, Voluntary Redemptive Suffering. Print them. Review them. Make them your own. Nonviolence is not a tactic. It is a way of life. Live out those principles in your life long before a protest begins. Jesus commanded his followers to “love your enemies.” Nonviolence in three short words. “Where there is love,” Gandhi says, “there is life.”
2…Research your adversary’s untruth and develop your case for truth; Untruth: What are the untruths your adversary promotes? Collect samples of the half-truth, hyperbole and lies that illustrate those untruths from your adversary’s speeches, radio/TV appearances, books, articles, newspapers, interviews, fundraising letters. Don’t even think of a protesting until you can state clearly your case against your adversary. Truth: Be ready to respond to each of your adversary’s untruths with truth. Be sure you can present your truth as clearly as you as you can present your adversary’s untruth.
3…Negotiate with our adversary first: amicably, relentlessly, but if this fails; Review the TEN GUIDELINES TO NONVIOLENT NEGOTIATIONS.
4…Educate the media, your allies, and the even the allies of your adversary; Don’t “go public” with your grievance until you’ve exhausted all possibilities for quiet, “face- saving” negotiations; however if your opponent refuses to negotiate seriously with you in private, then present your case to the media, to your allies and your potential allies. If your adversary continues to refuse your invitations to negotiate take the next step.
5…Confront your adversary with a direct action to move negotiations forward; Before you and your allies plan and conduct a nonviolent direct action, become thoroughly familiar with the TWELVE GUIDELINES TO NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION. If possible involve an experienced nonviolence trainer to help you recruit, plan, train, and execute a nonviolent direct action. Learn all you can from those who have succeeded and those who have failed.
6…Negotiate a third position that will satisfy us both;
To assist these (hopefully final) negotiations, review again the TEN SOUL-FORCE GUIDELINES TO NONVIOLENT NEGOTIATIONS.
7…Reconcile with your adversary and help bring in “the beloved community” which is the ultimate goal of resistance
“We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” King