Dr. King’s Speaking Truth to Power

Milwaukee Peace Movement

From Grace Lee Boggs on Ghandi’s birthday, October 2…

Gandhi rejected Western strategies for revolutionary struggle that depend upon constantly agitating the masses and increasing their anger, militancy and rebellion. Struggles of this kind, he said, can only end up with political leaders who are preoccupied with prestige and power and with states dominating rather than serving society. The struggle for independence from Britain, he insisted, should not be mainly a struggle for state power but should revolve around going to people at the grassroots, encouraging them to transform their inner and outer lives, helping them to think for themselves and to create self-reliant local communities based on Work that preserves rather than destroys skills and encourages cooperation rather than competition, and on Education whose goal is the building of community rather than increasing the status and earning power of the individual.

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Following his 1959 visit to the land of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, I am more convinced than ever before that non-violent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom. The aftermath of hatred and bitterness that usually follows a violent campaign was found nowhere in India. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers, But the way of nonviolence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community. (Ebony Magazine, July 1959)

I have just received notice of a review of a major book on non-violence by Mark Engler, a writer with a life-time’s experience in the great movements of our time. Sky Schultz introduced me to Mark in a Mexican city in the Yukaton, during my first memory of the “Chiapas Uprising” back around 1994. Sky had met Mark and his brother Francis at an environmental conference somewhere in Colorado, while they were both high school students.
Both Mark and Francis were “old souls,” astonishingly impassioned about issues of social justice and ecology, in particular. From a Catholic mystic and emancipatory culture stream, where St. Francis, Dorothy Day, and the movement Jesuits, to name a few, were of influence. Mark was headed to spend time with the bright youth of Yale. Francis of Harvard. Both were important theorists and activists of various Harvard and Yale student movement projects, including labor union struggles. Mark has since then sent me extremely thoughtful, well researched, and passionate essays about important matters of global importance.

This from recent note: Mark Engler—a writer based in New York City and an analyst with Foreign Policy In Focus. He can be reached via the web site http://www.democracyuprising.com

Last edited by Olde. Based on work by Godsil.  Page last modified on December 30, 2006

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