Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Movement Workshop

We discussed great movements of the previous century, such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Peace Movement, and the Environmental Movement. We talked about what sorts of “actions” or “campaigns” make up a movement, such as letter-writing campaigns, sit-ins, and such like. We talked about how many of these campaign ideas originated with Gandhi, such as the boycott and the protest march. (In fact Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that his inspiration for the civil rights movement came from Christ but his methods came from Gandhi.) Lastly we talked about how important it is that activists practice non-violent resistance or satyagraha in all of their campaign methods. Satyagrahi (activists practicing Satyagraha) show they are willing to suffer for their cause but are not willing to harm. So for example if one wanted to protest fracking, it would not be okay to damage a mining company’s bulldozer in the middle of the night, but it would be okay to publicly chain oneself to the bulldozer.

We then put these ideas into practice by conducting a very small demonstration on the topic of bicycling, one of Larry’s favorite causes. We painted signs as shown, then marched to College Town occasionally chanting “What do we want?”, “Biking!”, “When do we want it?”, “Now!” We engaged a couple of students on the way, one of whom admitted “I don’t have a bike, but I don’t have a car either!” We finally reached College Town Bagels, our destination, and enjoyed  hot beverages together before heading back.

bike_demonstration

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