Peaceful protests have a way of drawing the public's attention to an issue because the media is always interested in new ways for stories to be told. While few would have difficulties with legal marches and rallies, the question of civil resistance is more controversial. ARRCC does not condone or actively promote the breaking of laws. However, we note that all successful movements have incorporated nonviolent direct action (NvDA), otherwise known as peaceful civil resistance, as a way of symbolically highlighting the importance of the issues at stake.
At times individual ARRCC members have chosen, in good conscience, to challenge environmental injustices. To ensure people of faith are fully aware of the principles of nonviolence, ARRCC hosts workshops from time to time, with facilitators from Pace e Bene who specialise in NvDA skills development and the spirituality of nonviolence.
Nonviolence is at the heart of the Gospels and all the major faiths.
“To practice nonviolence, first of all we have to practice it within ourselves.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“You see that the world is going toward destruction and violence. And the specialty of violence is to create hatred among people and to create fear. I am a believer in nonviolence and I say that no peace or tranquillity will descend upon the people of the world until nonviolence is practiced, because nonviolence is love and it stirs courage in people." Abdul Ghaffar Khan
“Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world. Love for society and commitment to the common good are outstanding expressions of a charity.” Laudato Si’, para. 231, Pope Francis
“Unless we use the weapons of the spirit, denying ourselves and taking up our cross and following Jesus, dying with Him and rising with Him, men will go on fighting, and often from the highest motives, believing that they are fighting defensive wars for justice and in self-defence against present or future aggression.” Dorothy Day
“(There is) enormous power potential inherent in nonviolent action and in resistance to an opponent possessing vastly superior means of violence.” Hannah Arendt
Disclaimer: ARRCC supports free speech and an individual’s right to protest on issues they care about. We do not, however, condone or promote illegal activity or behaviour and cannot take responsibility for individuals who take action that leads to their arrest as part of peaceful protest activities.