As we already know from history, non-violent movements are sometimes oppressed by violence. On the other hand, violence can also often boost a movement to become larger and more powerful. There are many cases all over the world where we see repression propelling the movement to victory. We can learn from of how movements have kept their focus and fought against violent repression to prevail in the end. Each side — the one developing and the one preventing movements — has an opportunity to learn from the people’s history of struggle. We will see who will succeed in the end.
George Lakey is a visiting professor at Swarthmore College and a Quaker. He organized 1,500 workshops on five continents and led activist projects on local, national, and international levels. His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in and was when he was with the Earth Quaker Action Team protesting the controversial mountaintop removal coal mining technique.