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Thursday, October 2, 2014

International Day of Nonviolence, Gandhi and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong

"An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment." - Mohandas Gandhi
Logo by Siuham Tse
Yesterday, members of the Florida International University community wore yellow and some carried an umbrella in solidarity with protesters in Hong Kong. The Umbrella Movement is nonviolent in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Occupy Central with Love and Peace on September 30, 2014 issued the following call to action:
 The courage, determination, peacefulness and orderliness shown by the spontaneous democratic occupy movement in Hong Kong in the past few days, have written a glorious page in the development of Hong Kong’s democracy. The Hong Kong people’s demand for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down and the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) to withdraw its framework for fake democracy is loud and clear. In order to consolidate the results we have achieved, the students and Occupy Central With Love and Peace (OCLP) urges all Hong Kong people to join us in guarding the main thoroughfares of our major sites of democracy: Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok.
Incidentally, today is the International Day of Nonviolence, recognized as such by the United Nations in honor of Mohandas Gandhi's birthday on October 2, 1869.

Fairy sure its a montage of Gandhi with an umbrella
 The spiritual legacy of Bapu seen on the streets of Hong Kong 145 years after his birth demonstrates the continued relevance of nonviolence and hope for humanity at such a difficult time.

Showing solidarity with the Umbrella Movement at FIU
 Last  Friday, the world renown Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei opened an exhibition with seven installations called @Large Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz exploring human rights, freedom of expression and the plight of victims of repression. Among the 176 individuals he profiled in the installation Trace there is a Cuban prisoner of conscience whose name is Iván Fernández Depestre.

This should be a reminder to all people of good will that we are in this together. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. on April 16, 1963 explained it powerfully in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea.
 The people of Hong Kong are risking all for their freedom and need your solidarity. Please do what you can and take action. Below is a life feed from Occupy Central in Hong Kong, China.

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