Research : Nonviolence is a Powerful

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“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”- Martin Luther King. Throughout the myriad of events that have occurred in history, protests have been highlighted and emphasized as a way for individuals to alter their society. Peaceful protests have been the key to solving issues society without harm another. In doing this, they overcame their barriers, teaching those around the world that violence is not always the option.

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Peaceful protesting proves it effectiveness and influence as it calls attention to issues, overcomes oppression in society, is more authoritative than violence, and is considered a valid weapon against those who oppose it. To begin with, peaceful protesting is in other words positive action for the benefit of a human being using methods that help and do not harm while also calling attention to issues. With this, those who participate are constantly active mentally trying out figure out means of persuasion, sidestepping violent confrontations.

These protests emerge when the public needs to call attention to an issue, making those around conscious of their shared perspectives. It surfaces as numerous forms ranging from individual actions to mass civil disobedience. The principle of these nonviolent measures is to heal the distress and acting to force a ubiquitous influence of peace. Furthermore, nonviolent activism overcomes oppression as it strips the influence of those who misuse their power.

One of the most well known that exemplifies this topic is the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King. During the late 1950s and early 60s, African Americans began daily demonstrations to protest discrimination in public areas and were organized to draw attention to the prejudicial acts of African Americans were victim to. Moreover, studies have proven that peaceful tactics are twice as effective as its contrast, violence.

The most convincing study to date is that from 323 protests between 1900 and 2006, nonviolent campaigns were effective for regime change and resistance to violations of human rights. Violent methods tend to undermine public support as innocent civilians tend to have a much higher risk of harm or injury whereas violence is its contrast. (Chenoweth, Stephan 6-7)

Activism without violence is considered a weapon itself as it triggers physical, mental, and emotional aspects of those who participate or spectate. This type of protesting tends to draw a massive crowd of those seeking reform and can be displayed with the Salt March led by Mahatma Gandhi. At the time, Britain imposed the Salt Tax of 1882 that made it illegal for those who resided in India to collect or sell salt, an ingredient that was crucial in their diet. On March 12, 1930, a few of Gandhi’s followers marched with him on a 240 mile trek to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea, collecting salt. As each day passed, the number of supporters increased to a crowd of tens of thousands and soon involving millions of people resisting.

The act of mass civil disobedience resulted in the arrest of approximately sixty thousand people including Gandhi himself. Gandhi was later released and met with Lord Irwin, viceroy of India, who asked Gandhi to call off the movement in exchange for a meeting with British officials at a conference. The meeting was a disappointment but they acknowledged Gandhi as a force that could not be ignored or overlooked. Due to Gandhi’s constant campaigning and persuasion, India finally won its independence in 1947, with this march playing a principal role in informing the public of Britain’s oppressive rule. (“Salt March” N. pag) Gandhi refers to utilizing nonviolent methods as “the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.”

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Research : Nonviolence is a Powerful. (2019, May 22). Retrieved from