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Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Season for Nonviolence: Honoring Gandhi, King and Payá through action

“There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is unlike all that I perceive through my senses.” - Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas
I've seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say: We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you...  Martin Luther King Jr., A Christmas Sermon for Peace on Dec 24, 1967 

The first victory we can claim is that our hearts are free of hatred. Hence we say to those who persecute us and who try to dominate us: ‘You are my brother. I do not hate you, but you are not going to dominate me by fear. I do not wish to impose my truth, nor do I wish you to impose yours on me. We are going to seek the truth together’. - Oswaldo Paya, December 17, 2002 

Arun Gandhi, Mohandas Gandhi's grandson, began the Season for Non-violence in 1998 at the United Nations observing the 64 days on the calendar between the January 30, 1948 assassination of Gandhi and the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Fifteen years later it is still observed and open for all to take part. Participants are asked to take a pledge of nonviolence which involves respecting yourself and others, communicating honestly, listening, to engage in forgiveness, respecting nature, playing creatively, and to be courageous.

The Free Cuba Foundation, a student movement founded at Florida International University, observed the first and tenth Season for Non-Violence with essay contests, panel discussions and films on Gandhi, King and Jose Marti. Unfortunately, the untimely death of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, on July 22, 2012 lifted him into the pantheon of martyred advocates of nonviolence.

Three things you can do right now in solidarity with Oswaldo, Harold and the Christian Liberation Movement:

1. Sign the petition and let others know about it. (Its in English and Spanish)

2. Follow the Christian Liberation Movement and Rosa Maria Payá on twitter.

3. Generate your own blog entry about Oswaldo and Harold and send us your ideas for future nonviolent actions.

Over these 64 days take a moment each day to reflect on both  your power and the power of nonviolence and what you can do to make the world a better place. First, sign the pledge, print it out and keep it where you can see it each day as a reminder.

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