Coffee and Contemplation: Nonviolent Resistance and Protesting

A couple days ago something amazing happened in Portland, Oregon. Portland police ‘retreat’ after standoff with NAKED female protester. A woman walked up to police stopping several feet away and began performing yoga on the street. The police eventually withdrew. With all the protests happening around the country, I think people may need more ideas of nonviolent resistance. There have been many examples throughout history including the Sit-In protests in the 1960s. Black Americans who were not allowed in “white only” establishments would sit down refusing to leave. They would sometimes fill an entire restaurant.

I first want to point out the difference between Nonviolent Resistance and Civil Disobedience. Berel Lang makes the argument that civil disobedience is a form of political action which necessarily aims at reform, rather than revolution: its efforts are typically directed at the disputing of particular laws or group of laws, while conceding the authority of the government responsible for them. In contrast, political acts of nonviolent resistance can have revolutionary ends. My takeaway is Civil Disobedience is like people protesting against wearing masks and quarantine (things in place to help protect people). Nonviolent Resistance is protesting against police brutality such as the naked yoga woman I mentioned.

There are many forms of Nonviolent Resistance. Many have been seen in the US for the last few years. Tactics such as picketing, marches, vigils, leafletting, protest art, protest music and poetry, and boycotts are just a few examples. One of my favorite historical events was The Singing Revolution which helped lead to the liberation of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia). As a fan for “V for Vendetta” (2005), I also enjoyed reading about The Rose Revolution in the country of Georgia. The event derives its name from the climactic moment, when demonstrators led by Mikheil Saakashvili stormed the Parliament session with red roses in hand.

I hope some of these examples help everyone think of new ways of Nonviolent Resistance. The entire United States and the world at large has to work together to make the world a better place. Reform is no longer and option. It’s time for a revolution. I hope we can achieve a nonviolent end to all the suffering.

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