Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Right to Non-violent Resistance

Resistance is a gentle way of saying refusal, revolution, or even insurgency.
It is non-acceptance.

I borrow the word from the French Resistance movement 
against the German Nazi occupation during World War II.
Resistance fighters resisted accepting foreign governance and injustice.
Former French Resistance member, 94-year-old Stephane Hessel,
in his recent 32 page bestseller-pamphlet-book Indignez-vous (2010),
wrote a beautiful metaphor of what it means to resist:
"We will be the yeast that makes the bread rise."

He ends his book stating in all capital letters,
"To create is to resist, to resist is to create."

Resistance may sometimes be an act of creation,
 when it creates change and gives birth to something new.

Andree Peel, French Resistance fighter codename Agent Rose
just turned 104 years old.
She wears her medals for heroism during WWII.

But then, there is the Right to Peace.
How do you reconcile the Right to Peace with the Right to Resistance?
When resistance is revolution or insurgency,
these are often labeled anti-pacific actions of war or violence.
(U.S. Revolutionary War, French Revolution)
(U.S.Civil Rights Movement, Anti-Apartheid fighters, Libyan insurgents.)
In spite of the use of violence, those in favor of a particular resistance movement 
 may call these revolutionaries freedom fighters.

With a resistance spirit,
the writers of the United States Declaration of Independance
listed over 30 grievances against the King of England in 1776.

Instead of violence, Hessel suggests a call for "a true peaceful uprising,"
and he mentions economic means as a possible pathway.
But "peaceful uprising" is an oxymoron.
A better term is "non-violent uprising."
Any uprising disrupts, leading to chaos, which is never peaceful.
There is always some anxiety and confusion present.

Violence may result when resistance needs are not met
or when others rebel against the resistance.
.
A question to ask:
is resistance
an unstoppable, evolutionary human instinct
based in genes?
And is this sparked by our emotional nature,
the very trait that makes us human?

I declare the Right to Non-violent Resistance
to fight any power that is corrupt and/or injust
in denying people their natural rights.

Who will resist in order to create a better 21st century?
Is Sky of Stars an act of resistance?


Revision: thanks to commenters R.A.T. Jr., TP, KP, Cbereng

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi (Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948)
The sky of stars is a forum for the resistance to be vocalized and perpetuated through intelligent conversation. If enough of us, average people with day to day lives and families, bought bikes or rode public transportation instead of supporting the oil companies and the hold over us they have. We would force them to provide us with green alternatives for energy. That would truly be one example of a peaceful economic resistance. Where could it go after that? The “sky of stars” is the limit.

Anonymous said...

above commentary, CTK

Anonymous said...

Resisting is in no way creating. No matter the cause or justification the taking of another’s life is not “creating”. Insurgencies and revolutions are just actions by people who resist change and they often tend to use violent means. I find it offensive how the Right to Peace is being suggested when this country it founded on the blood of Native Americans and the English because a group of colonists decided to rise up because of high taxes. All “peaceful” resistant actions eventually lead to force. When one does not submit then the other must apply force or pressure. These two ideals just don’t go hand in hand.

R.A.T. Jr.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion I don't think that resistance is an act of creation but I am in favor of the Right to Peaceful Resistance. It is a good idea to make resistance against injustice peacefully to avoid violence. I also think, Sky of Stars could be an example, of an act of peaceful resistance, in some way. J.V

Anonymous said...

"Non-Violence is a powerful weapon that can and will weaken the iron fist of the Occupation”

Sami Awad, Director of the Holy Land Trust.
Peaceful resistance is just a way to achieve social or political goals, using tactics such as protest, sit-ins, hunger stike etc. I believe that this type of non-violence resistance are more likely to produce a positive outcome and are more usually to succeed.
In referance to Sky of Stars, I do not see it as a peaceful resistance but as a wide open door to different opinions.
Cyn.U

Anonymous said...

"I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a time when discrimination was openly accepted, he resisted. Although his teachings were of peace and equality they did create a lot of violence. I believe violence is inevitable in some cases. Even though the person may attempt Peaceful Resistance, the opposing end may not be
willing to cooperate. Although his influence made huge changes towards human rights, alot of blood and tears were shed in the process.
~TP~

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Right to Peaceful Resistance. If people do not let their voices be heard, and resist the evil that is corrupting this nation, then our nation, as we know it, will no longer exist. People need to stand up for what they believe in and resist what they feel is wrong. Hanalv

Anonymous said...

In my opinion it is hard to picture the right to peace together with the right to resistance. When i think of the right to resistance, I associate it to a fight, a war against something a group of people disagree with. This contradicts the meaning of peace.

As beautiful as a "peaceful resistance" may sound, I believe it is hard to avoid violence. We have seen it time and time again. People will preach for peaceful agreements, but when their preachings become ineffective, violent measures will take place. Unfortunately, only when lives are lost and blood is shed will people start listening.
-AQ-

Anonymous said...

When I think of peaceful resistance, I imagine people stating something they believe in with non- violent actions. They are able to make their claim, without hitting someone or acting upon pure physical violence. Silence can be more powerful than an uproar and be capable of getting great results. As far the Sky of Stars is concerned I do not view it as a peaceful resistance. My stance is that it is used for a board of discussion for different points of view. DS

Anonymous said...

As elegant as the Right to Peaceful Resistance sounds, and as much as I would want it to be that way; the two words contradict each other. When two different views do not reach an agreement majority of the time violence follows. Our entire world history starts with peace and ends in violence. Sadly, I will want nothing more than peaceful resistance; but it will be hard to change our evolutionary instincts. KP

Anonymous said...

Peaceful resistance isn't in the genetic make-up of man. People think differently and that's what makes us beautiful. Unfortunately, when emotions are tied into something and you're faced with opposition of the slightest form, anything that would be considered peaceful goes out the window. Cbereng

Anonymous said...

I believe in the right to peaceful resistance. I think that resistance has and will create and give life to many new movements and ideas. We have seen in recent history many different resistances movements that started out peaceful but unfortunately turned violent. Many times this happens and sadly it must happen. In our world many things can be solved through peaceful resistance but many things can’t. This happens because people have different ideal or just because things turn ugly no matter the reason this is usually the outcome. I hope that one day our world will be able to solve everything peacefully but until then thing will sometime end in violence, but I still believe that things should always be given a chance at being solved peacefully.
C.Munoz

Anonymous said...

A "peaceful resistance" could help create change. However, this tactic appeals to me to be more successful much later on. Stand-in protests have worked on getting the point across in the past, and hopefully we can look to create the change we need in more peaceful ways in the future. I will always believe though that there are some things worth fighting for. JS

Anonymous said...

All people deserve to fight for their rights. I can only give examples of a couple of celebrities that have been participating in peaceful resistance. Martin Sheen has been arrested several dozen times since 1986 when he protested against SDI and Anti-Nuclear protests. Daryl Hannah was just recently arrested for her peaceful demonstration against a planned oil pipeline from Canada to U.S. Gulf coast. Every human being has the right to stand up peacefully for what they believe in.

The Sky of Stars is a place to voice people’s opinions and in some instances can be seen as a peaceful resistance. Who and what organization will resist creating a better 21st century is yet to be seen. DH63

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Right to Peaceful Resistance. I also believe that it is possible for human beings to have a peaceful uprising instead of a violent one. However, I am not implying that all resistance could be peaceful. There are always violent resistance. GIM

Anonymous said...

Resistance? Resistance can be seen as an act of violence or peacefulness by many, it all depends on what is being resisted and how ii's being resisted. Take this into consideration if you will, "The pen is mightier than the sword." I've heard people say this probably a hundred times, and it is true. By resisting something does not exactly mean that we are going to go out and physically fight a cause by starting a war. It does however mean that we will make sure our voices are heard even if it is just through a letter, a hunger strike, or a petition. Who says that a peaceful resistance won't be heard as loud as a violent resistance?

-DBM

Anonymous said...

I agree with the peaceful resistance we should all be able to express our thoughts and opinions without violence involved.Everyone should have a chance and right to fight for there rights but in civil way in my opinion would be best,we should show children that they shouldnt have to get violent or cause a commotion for there rights to be heard.JP

Anonymous said...

I am in favor of the Right to Peaceful Resistance. A lot of famous people used this right and was successful. Mahatma Ghandi used this in India, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. used this in the United States and Nelson Mandela used this in South Africa. Both Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela did this by not eating and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used a peaceful march. Imagine how coercive not eating or just marching can become one of the mightiest resistances without any bloodshed. RR.

Anonymous said...

Resistance is the right to disagree. Disagreeing either for peace or for haste is the creation of an idea that is opposed by another. Like choice, everyone has one, just like opinion. Thus, the right to resistance is a right inevidable to accept. Someone will always disagree with an opinion or an idea. One must just learn to deal with it and perhaps even peacefully resist as well... mlv.

Anonymous said...

Haven’t you ever wondered why your favorite television show/series was cancelled? Ratings! A demographics survey decided the outcome. If people are not tuning in, it disappears. The power of the majority of those who participated and voiced their opinion, right or wrong, decided the outcome. In the case of marketing, anticipated revenue statistics is a powerful tool. But what if the program really had merit and deserved to be aired and many more tuned in than indicated by the survey? Can the previously “silent majority” reverse the decision? How do you get the attention of a politician? Phone calls, emails, letters, telegrams. Participation is sometimes the key to change but so is an “apparent” lack of interest. For instance: not attending an event, not providing feedback (positive or negative). A speaker can be “silenced” or a cause ignored merely by lack of interest by the public. No participants, no media coverage, no feedback. “The Right to Peaceful Resistance.” VMR

Anonymous said...

This is a good right, but it only works with humans to humans because if we have a country holding peaceful resistance against us for example we might have another September 11, that would be unacceptable. It's a great right but a very dangerous one. The sky of stars is a great place for peaceful resistance. CMP

Anonymous said...

The right to Peaceful Resistance is a great idea but in the real world it is going to be quite difficult to implement it. Although one side can try to resist peaceful, it will most likely lead to violence. Every person has the right to stand up peacefully for what they believe in but this does not inevitably mean that there will not be violence involved. In my opinion there are times when to keep the peace, violence must be involved. -KKP

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to peaceful resistance. However, considering human history, I don’t believe it’ll be possible. Humans are stubborn by nature and resort to violence when what we want is not given to them. A child is a perfect example. Let’s say that a mother has a diabetic child, she knows the consequences of her Childs disease but feels that she must give his what he want. But what if what he wants is candy or something that is high in sugar and the mother says no. The child will then try to convince his mother that nothing bad will happen, he feels fine, but again the mother says no; the child resorts to a temper tantrum and the mother is left with the choice of either giving him the candy or not. I would like to believe that there would someday be peaceful resistance, but it’s just not likely.
M.D.L.

Anonymous said...

Nonviolence is an intensely active force when properly understood and used. – Mohandas Gandhi

Right to Peaceful Resistance I believe is for a perfect world but since we dont leave in such we will never encounter that right. Each human been is different, we have different point of views see life with different aspect, we come from different background and what it seem right for one it might be different for the rest so we will always have conflict. No matter how passive of a person we might be we might it loose it and let our inner animal get out.Even those who believe in Peaceful Resistance at some point of their life they might had or will encounter a situation where they used violence instead of the dialogue.
Y.A

Anonymous said...

Peaceful resistance is a chimera. Although the concept is beautiful, in reality it is unpractical. All manifestations that start peaceful eventually turn into violence. I see examples of this every day on television. These two ideals contradict each other.
Torpedo179

Anonymous said...

Resistance can also be taken as an act of self-defense. A person can feel attacked or subjected to laws that are unjust or unfair and therefore that person can exercise violence to correct that. Laws and government will never be perfect and therefore it is necessary that when it is not perfect that people are willing to stand up against it. Before, when pre-civil war times when black people were seen as sub-human it was essential that a war be fought to restore their rights. Nowadays, life has changed dramatically; people are more educated and communicated. Violence is not the only option, we have seen things like Twitter, facebook, e-mails, and protests make gradual steps in reform in America and Europe. Yet this only works in countries in which rights are actually part of society, when this is not the case people must fight for this right. GLT

Anonymous said...

Resistance is human nature. When one does not want to be submissive or they want to be heard they may be forced to use resistance. Peace in my opinion is wishful thinking. In the world that we live today there are too many differences between people like education, morality and culture, also not everyone can use practical reasoning, therefore, people may not use the best action when it comes to getting their rights heard and resistance may be the only way others will listen and act. Would I want peace in the world? Absolutely YES! I know we have had strong leaders that have been able to accomplish being heard and made a difference in our world today by peaceful resistance but in my opinion it takes a greater mind to accomplish this and not everyone in this world was born with that gift. NOBRA

TrustMeImADoctor said...

I believe that peaceful resistance can be extremely effective but it may also be dangerous. On one side there is a group that is looking for change and may start a peaceful march, but many times in the past this event can lead to government retaliation. I believe that the right to peaceful resistance should be granted to all persons in the world because not only will it help individuals create better governments but it is also a means of expression.

Anonymous said...

The right to peaceful resistance, I like the sound of that, being able to stand up and fight for what you believe in without harming others. I think many should follow this and I think if they do there will be less violence in the world. People would talk make a stand anything that doesn’t include violence. I agree with the right to peaceful resistance. Cd884

Anonymous said...

I am all for positive Resistance. Resistance done in a positive and creative way is always a good way to go against what it is good. Being able to against without violence is what will make the world a more safe and great place to live.
Robert M. Pino

Anonymous said...

I do not think resistance means violence. You can resist without being violent. This was Martin Luther King's way of thinking when the freedom fighters were marching. The resistance came from the law and hence, they caused the violence. I believe in the right to peaceful resistance. People should be able to stand up for what they believe in without resistance and interference from the law. RhW

Anonymous said...

Peaceful Resistance is possible. In 1986, after years of non-productive insurgent (violent) resistance, the Philippine people performed the People Power Movement and collectively, as a people, did what the violence could not. They ousted the dictaorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

The NY Times opinion-editorial, "Give Peaceful Resistance a Chance" is an excellent argument for the posibilities of peaceful resistance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/opinion/10chenoweth.html?_r=1

CTK

Anonymous said...

Everytime the word resistance is mention the pictures that comes in my mind are not pretty good, because when there is a different opinion, most of the time, at some point of that disagreement, there is some kind of violence.
I do agree with the right to peaceful resistance, it will be the ideal way to fix every problem, but regrettably thing are not like that.
I do believe that blogs like this one are good examples of a peaceful resistance.
Violence doesn’t take us anywhere; instead they destroy the things we are fighting for.
~NG~

Anonymous said...

South Sudan already resisted and it improved their way of life. More people should follow, and there are several ways to do it, resistance is not always violent. I consider the sky of stars a form of peaceful resistance, anywhere someone voices their opinion is a form of resistance.
CP

Anonymous said...

The Right to Peaceful Resistance is a great idea. The idea of being peaceful while resisting is ideal but not realistic. Usually, those who resist peacefully will end up resisting violently if they don't get what they want or arguing for. So I do believe in it and I do believe this world would be a better place if everyone practiced the Right to Peaceful Resistance. I just don’t think it is realistic with the rest of the world. JENS

Anonymous said...

If there is nothing to resist, then of course there can be peace without resistance. But seeing that everyone has their own opinions, needs, and desires that may conflict with someone else's, you cannot have peace without resistance. We have seen this time and time again throughout history: The Revolutionary War, The Holocaust, The War on Terror, etc. However, not all resistance is violent or ends in violence. The resistance against Catholicism started a movement of secession from this religion. Thus, creating new religions. Art is also a form of non-violent resistance. Artist try to communicate and convey their opinions through their works in order to get their points across. Resistance is in our human nature, peaceful or not. -PCR. (I forgot my initials in the first post.)

Anonymous said...

I think that having a right to a peaceful resistance would be good but to get there,their are complications. For example i feel in order to be in peace you have to be in control. Their is always someone that will try to resist. H.I.V

Anonymous said...

The sky of stars to me is a form a resistance because it allows many valid statements to be shared and to broaden all the thoughts of those reading and responding. We certainly should have the right to resistance for I feel that without that the world would not have control of all wrong or right doings. There should be a stand made when one decides to act ungodly. JE

Anonymous said...

Peaceful resistance can only be achieved if an overwhelming majority agrees to change something that is old, wrong, or hard to tolerate. It sounds more like a change in the way a majority of people think, something that has grown on its own where as resistance starts of in the minority and grows in number either with people violently acting out or doing out of the norm actions to get others to agree and change perspective. Either way they are both about change and yes we need to be able to have change with peace even though it is not the popular way of change.
-Lz

Anonymous said...

In my opinion sky of stars is a resistance, others get to share their point of views and reject their voices to be heard. I believe in peaceful resistance but in order to get peace we need to take control of this place we live in called earth, but resistance shouldn’t be use in a bad way, I think we as humans all should stand up for what we believe in, and make peace and not war. It’s like having freedom of speech, expressing in what you believe in but with out any violence. AFF

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, peaceful resistance is a good way to let the world know what your point of view is. Of course, an uprising with no violence is really difficult to achieve but the idea is there. You are creating an environment where people can note the difference in how you are behaving and can be influenced to take the same actions. I believe Sky of Stars is a good example of resistance because we are allowed to discuss a topic with no violence and maturity. AO

Anonymous said...

The right to peaceful resistance? Just throw in the towel! Please show me when this right has ever been effective. If resisting gives birth to creation, then we all must agree that a problem is usually born and a band-aid is placed for a temporary resolution with a root for more problems. I am not against this right, but how many hippies must exist in order to get this right?

P.S if there are any hippies in existence, forgive me, I mean no disrespect!

Chuck F.

Anonymous said...

Any list of rights HAS to include the right to resist by default. Resistance is the last form of redres a person has when another right has been taken away. Imagine you have all these rights, but when someone takes them away, you don't have the right to get them back! Peaceful resistance is important, especially in a democratic system where change can be made through social means.

-DenisA

Anonymous said...

The right to peaceful resistance should be enforced. But “An unsuccessful peaceful resistance may lead to violence”. Everyone has an opinion and a voice. Why do we always have to resolve to violence? In my opinion we are all just trying to live in this world. Life isn’t guaranteed for all we know we can die tomorrow. I believe in that we all have rights but why cant we live in peace. Humans are selfish and someone always wants to be better or more powerful. We should all just be freedom fighters and live our lives as supposing to always fighting.

Signed-SB

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact that resistance means a revolution or insurgencies, but I don't think it necessarily has to be involved with war and violence. I believe that the Right to Resistance and the Right to Peace do go hand in hand. There have been many successful changes in countries thanks to those who resist or oppose to a government or a law. Not only do citizens resist, but the majority of the time it is without any violence. Violence and riots only begin once governments feel forced to make a change, noticing that they can't control their citizens and the way they think. ME

Anonymous said...

The right to peaceful resistance is an act of creation in that it creates a new way of life for those that believe and stand up for it. Peace is something we shouldn’t have to demand, it should be a god given right! I believe everything on this earth should live in peace. The reality is that we humans have an innate desire to violence. Whether it is fighting for peace, or fighting for rights, it’s all the same. I don’t believe peaceful resistance can exist. To me it means resisting what you believe. Resisting what you are longing. Resisting what you are yearning. How can this be possible? How can peaceful resistance be real. It is an oxymoron. YYD

Anonymous said...

Peaceful resistance, to me is standing up for what you believe but not harming others in the process. But it makes me wonder up to what point will you continue this peaceful resistance? Are your efforts being ignored? I feel that many resistance or protest, start off as peaceful, but eventually end up in violence. Whether its the Peaceful party or the opposing party attacking the peacful party, violence usually ends up happening.

Anonymous said...

The right to resistance is something that will always be alive. There is not one pair in the world that think the same way. Everyone has different opinions and beliefs and no one will ever agree to everything all at once and on every topic. One way or another, there will always be resistance. -NR

Anonymous said...

Resistance itself seems violent but I'm glad the word peaceful was added to it. It was interesting to hear how you developed this right and how troubling it was to come up with it, I can see why. Resistance in general may not be peaceful and can be looked at as contradicting. If there is something unjust happening people should stand up and resist, but I do not think it should be done in a violent way. Is violence the only way to resist sometimes? Maybe. And when do a group of people decide when peaceful resistance should turn into violent one. It takes a great deal of courage and self control to resist in an attempt to receive justice in a peaceful way without allowing it to become violent.

BS

Anonymous said...

I don't think resistance is act of creation.Peaceful resistance can be a way to achieve social or polical objectives.It's also a way for your voice to be heard.I agree with the right to peaceful resistance,people need to to stand up for what they believe ,even if it leads to violence most of the times.cjj

Anonymous said...

I believe people should have the right to resist against something they do not believe in. Peaceful resistance should be way to go to in order to have your voice heard. You should the right to disagree with governements, company policy and others.

HM

Anonymous said...

In all honestly I don't think there is a peaceful resistance. We as in people are all different and may not always agree with eachother which is when violence occurs. I don't think its possible to have peaceful disagreements, But I do think it's time for a change and strive for peacefulness. VA

Anonymous said...

Silence is deadly! The right to peaceful resistance is a powerful statement. Resistance is creation. The backfire of not giving in to what another party wants. Holding back. It shows that there is control, in other worlds it can be associated with inner power and peace. Resistance is power through silence.

Anonymous said...

AAA

Anonymous said...

Resistance is a way to express how you feel against a certain thing, without the need of violence, although violence can be shown against you for standing up for what you believe. In order to make a non-violent resistance one must be willing to lose their life in order to stand up for what one believes. Though not everyone is willing to risk their neck to fight against the injustices of man-kind, and instead stand back and let it all go through.
AG

LXC said...

Resistance can be perceived many different ways. An act of non violent resistance can turn violent at any moment; perhaps the one who is being resisted against decides to turn violent, then how can it be stopped? Therefore this makes me wonder, is there such a thing as a non violent resistance? In the past, those who have peacefully protested lives have ended in massacre.

muaath alheji said...

Wether it is resisting to help another, our nation, or ourselves- or the resistance we either fully support or hate; we all have some form of resisting. Our nation has taught our society to use violence above any other method of problem solving in a chaotic situation. I believe this is wrong. I believe that if you are going to fight for what you believe in, do so with your fists behind you and your mind and heart ahead of you.
M.A. (Muaath Alheji)

Anonymous said...

The Right to Protest against Corporate Greed... Are Americans pitting Americans against Americans (civil war) or is this another way for the tea party to take control? Do you condone the lower and middle class americans for going after corporations and the government? What are our economic and social rights as working class people? This is a class project and would like your feedback on these issues relating to the Occupying of Wallstreet. Thanks for your input...
DH63

GT said...

Although I think is possible, it might take years for people to understand and participate in this right. I think by nature we are a very destructive and violent race and a peaceful action is not our first response. It WILL change the world for good if we opt for a solution that did not involve violence, but when it comes to resistance most will take any action possible to not see any acts of injustice done to us or ours.

bjo said...

I believe the right to non-violent resistance is a creation and new pathway . For instance Rosa Park sat in the front of the bus. She didn't cause any shows or riots she resisted in a non violent way and she made new pathways for blacks.

BJO

Anonymous said...

"If you resist you lose, If most of you resist you still might lose, if you all resist then there will be change." what is resistance without numbers? an opinion.
That is my answer at least.

-AJG