What is the best way to create effective change, civil disobedience or armed struggle? Like Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used civil disobedience as as a means of effectuating government change on policies and laws that permitted racism, injustice and inequality. On the flip side, prominent leader Malcolm X initially opposed nonviolence as a strategy for change but instead, believed that freedom and equality was to be won "by any means necessary," including violence.
Which one has deemed more effective over decades, and what seems to be the answer today? This week, listen to Erica Chenoweth speak about the success of nonviolent civil resistance from her research on the impactful historical record of civil resistance in the 20th century, and discuss the promise of unarmed struggle in the 21st century. While explaining why nonviolent resistance has been so victorious, she also shares some lessons learned about why it sometimes fails. (1)
Civil disobedience was a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement. With other forms of nonviolent protests that we can participate in today to offset unjust issues today, our current justice and political system and our government, calls for us to be abreast and knowledgeable about laws, people in positions of power or public office and our rights as citizens. Our action steps this week encourage you to take action peacefully and discover what to do.
(1) Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance: Erica Chenoweth. TedTalks, Nov. 4, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v+YJSehRIU34w