Our Philosophy of Non-Violence

First, it must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because one is afraid or merely lacks the instruments of violence, that person is not truly nonviolent...

A second characteristic of nonviolence is that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win their friendship and understanding ... The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.

A third characteristic of this method is that the attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil. It is evil that the nonviolent resister seeks to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil.

A fourth point that characterizes nonviolent resistance is a willingness to accept suffering without striking back.... Suffering, the nonviolent resister realizes, has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.

A fifth point concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of the spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot the opponent but also, refuses to hate her/ him.

A sixth basic fact about nonviolent resistance is that it is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. Consequently, the believer in nonviolence has deep faith in the future. Whether we call it an unconscious process, an impersonal Brahman, or a Personal Being of matchless power and infinite love, there is a creative force in this universe that works to bring the disconnected aspects of reality into a harmonious whole.

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.