The General Assembly of Occupy Winston-Salem unanimously chose to adopt the following principles of non-violence.
PLEASE READ THESE PRINCIPLES THOROUGHLY BEFORE ATTENDING ANY
OCCUPY WINSTON-SALEM SPONSORED EVENT:
The Principles of Non-Violence of Veterans for Peace
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles and Steps of Non-Violence
PRINCIPLES OF NON-VIOLENCE (as adopted by Veterans for Peace)
1. We will use our anger at injustice as a positive, nonviolent force for change.
2. We will not carry weapons of any kind.
3. We will not vandalize or destroy property.
4. We will not use or carry alcohol or illegal drugs.
5. We will not run or make threatening motions.
6. We will not insult, swear or attack others.
7. We will protect those who oppose or disagree with us from insult or attack.
8. We will not assault, verbally or physically, those who oppose or disagree with us, even if they assault us.
9. Our attitude, as conveyed through our words, symbols and actions, will be one of openness, friendliness, and respect toward all people we encounter including police officers, military personnel, members of the community at large, and all marchers.
10. As members of a nonviolent action, we will follow the directions of the designated coordinators.
11. If an individual has a serious disagreement with the organizers of the action, the individual will withdraw from the action.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE
1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
• It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.
• It is assertive spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
• It is always persuading the opponent of the justice of your cause.
2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
• The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.
• The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.
3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
• Nonviolence holds that evildoers are also victims.
4. Nonviolence holds that voluntary suffering can educate and transform.
• Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.
• Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.
• Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it.
• Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.
• Suffering can have the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.
5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
• Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as of the body.
• Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility.
• Nonviolent love is active, not passive.
• Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.
• Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.
• Love restores community and resists injustice.
• Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.
6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
• The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S STEPS OF NONVIOLENCE
Step 1: Gather Information
Learn all you can about the problems you see in your community through the media, social and civic organizations, and by talking to the people involved.
Step 2: Educate Others
Armed with your new knowledge, it is your duty to help those around you, such as your neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers, better understand the problems facing society. Build a team of people devoted to finding solutions. Be sure to include those who will be directly affected by your work.
Step 3: Remain Committed
Accept that you will face many obstacles and challenges as you and your team try to change society. Agree to encourage and inspire one another along the journey.
Step 4: Peacefully Negotiate
Talk with both sides. Go to the people in your community who are in trouble and who are deeply hurt by society’s ills. Also go to those people who are contributing to the breakdown of a peaceful society. Use humor, intelligence and grace to lead to solutions that benefit the greater good.
Step 5: Take Action Peacefully
This step is often used when negotiation fails to produce results, or when people need to draw broader attention to a problem. it can include tactics such as peaceful demonstrations, letter-writing and petition campaign.
Step 6: Reconcile
Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful and constructive. Agree to disagree with some people and with some groups as you work to improve society. Show all involved the benefits of changing, not what they will give up by changing.