WHAT WOULD GANDHI DO?
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WHAT WOULD GANDHI DO? ESSAYS
 
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Why should we care about what Gandhi would do?
    This is a simple question with a simple answer. Gandhi strived for peace on Earth.
    Our Fragile Mother cannot take much more abuse. Although we are all individuals with individual beliefs we need to stand together and say no more to war, famine, disease, and most of all IGNORANCE AND HATRED. The end of all these is what Gandhi wanted.
    If we go with “What would Gandhi do?” in our hearts and minds we can together, hand in hand, end it all. Gandhi was a human being, flesh blood and bone, like the rest of us. “I claim to be no more than an average person with less than average ability. I have not the shadow of doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.”
    We can all be Gandhis in our own right if we strive to act like him in word and deed. We need to realize that God, Allah, Brahma, and the plethora of other names the Eternal Father goes by placed us on this earth to love each other. And that is what Gandhi would do. He would love.
    Whitney Buckley, Norwich NY, October, 2003

ESSAYS FOUND ON OTHER WEB SITES

ETHICS
    Yesterday, I saw a woman at the Peace Rally with a sign on her shirt which asked, "What would Gandhi do?" The question speaks poignantly to the tragic failures of our times to settle conflicts, or meet the needs of people and protect the earth without resorting to violence.  Rev. Dr. Ellen Johnson-Fay in article "How Do We Know What Is True?
 
  
Making Ethical Decisions -- Models of Ethical Decision Making (excerpt)
    What would the most ethical person you know do? Think of the person you know or know of (in real life or fiction) who has the strongest character and best ethical judgment. Then ask yourself: what would that person do in your situation? Think of that person as your decision-making role model and try to behave the way he or she would.  Many Christians wear a small bracelet with the letters WWJD standing for the question "What would Jesus do?" Whether you are Christian or not, the idea of referencing a role model can be a useful one. You could translate the question into: "What would God want me to do?" "What would Buddha or Mother Teresa do?" "What would Gandhi do?" "What would the most virtuous person in the world do?"

BIGOTRY
Remembering Gandhi by K. Natwar Singh
    From tine to time I ask myself -what would Gandhi do to put things right if he were alive today? For one, he would have handled the debate on secularism much more deftly and elevated the quality of our discourse on the subject. Gandhi was a deeply religious man but his Hindu dharma was inclusive, not exclusive. Ram and Rahim, Ishwar and Allah, Buddha and Nanak, Tulsi and Kabir, were never far from his heart and mind. He would have tolerated no moral backsliding. The consumerist culture would have made him miserable. I am not with him on asceticism. I am 100 per cent with him on the path of austerity. Truth, non-violence and genuine simplicity  -  that is what the world needs. That is what Gandhi stood for.

TERRORISM AND ACTIVIST VIOLENCE

Terrorism: what would Gandhi do?
No one loathed terrorism more than Mahatma Gandhi. The Mahatma, who would have turned 132 this month, stood to lose everything when that kind of violence marred the otherwise nonviolent freedom struggle in Bengal during the 1930's. Yet to the then British rulers of India he made this plea: "Today you have to fight the school of terrorists which is there with your disciplined and organized terrorism, because you will be blind to the facts or the writing on the wall. Will you not see the writing that these terrorists are writing with their blood ? Will you not see that we do not want bread made of wheat, but we want bread of liberty; and without that liberty there are thousands today who are sworn not to give themselves peace or to give the country peace. I urge you then to read that writing on the wall. Nobody throws away his life without some motive behind."

 Nowarblog.org Entry What Would Gandhi Do? by Max Sawicky March 17, 2003
     ...  Of course violence and property destruction do not advance the anti-war cause. Blocking traffic is a tactic best used sparingly, and announced in advance.  Folks often have to get to certain places without delay, and it doesn't pay to piss them off too often.  It also helps, in this vein, if the protesters take their medicine -- get arrested and bear the consequences instead of running off (like I did, 30 years ago).
    But there is no getting around the symbolic power of peaceable disruption of business as usual, not to mention the war machine itself.  There are lots of other possibilities on tactics too.  The usefulness of the giant peace marches ebbs with their frequency, unless their size just gets bigger and bigger all the time.
    But as you sally forth, mind the fate of Ms. Corrie. [Nonviolent activist Rachel Corrie run over by an Israeli bulldozer in March 2003.] There will be more of these before we're done, and not just in Israel. People get run down on picket lines all the time, and there was also the case of a protester whose legs were severed by a train.
    This kind of stuff turns liberals and pacifists into radicals.  My college roomie was raised a Goldwater Republican.  Went to a demo, got bonked on the head by a cop, came back wearing a Dick Gregory for President button. He's been f**ed up ever since, God love him. "Kiki Paquet" < cuette@h... >

On the death of an activist during 2001 Genoa Riots by Kiki Paquet, July 22, 2001
    ....Then, i naturally thought of these heartbreaking words from our respected Mahatma Gandhi: “People follow me in life, worship me in death, but will not make my cause their cause.” We do know his cause was - first of all - nonviolence and self responsibility.
     Do you feel the loneliness in this short sentence? Why don’t we prove him wrong just on this one case, my dear Gaian brothers and sisters?
    So let’s just ask ourselves: “what would Gandhi do in this situation?” We know what he actually did in times of internal conflicts: he stopped eating.
    What is the meaning of such an action? First, it is a kind of mourning, it shows deep sorrow, helpless sorrow.
    Second, among his fellows, did he love one more than the other? No, he loved them all, he simply did not want to SEE or CAUSE violence. It was just wrecking his heart out.
    Third, in troubled times, one only creates more confusion if he stands up with ANGER, then he may be forced to kill or get killed, causing a kind of “negative knot”; or “bad karma”; for himself and his killer, he has to avoid both. Furthermore, a “nasty” brother is still a brother, we can’t help but try and love him anyway, can we?
    That is very important: love goes THAT far, and BEYOND...
 
What Would Gandhi Do If Violence Broke out at a Rally??
 
EVERYONE IS A PEACEKEEPER
        At any demonstration, police, counter-demonstrators, passerbys, police infiltrators or demonstrators may become overly aggressive, both verbally and physically.  Whether or not there are official peacekeepers at a demonstration, it is important for everyone be aware of basic peacekeeping/de-escalation techniques.  Everyone has both the right and the responsibility to do our best to keep our nonviolent demonstrations nonviolent.
        Peacekeepers, or anyone finding it necessary to de-escalate a situation, should try to be warm, open, respectful, friendly, and helpful; creative in intervening and resolving conflict; firm, but not rigid in your upholding of the guidelines; dealing fairly and honestly with people engaged in conflict; calm and able to control one's own feelings; forgiving.
        Below are a few of the best known and proven traditional peacekeeping techniques. They rely on the principles of moral suasion and, in some cases, the willingness to suffer potential violence for the cause of nonviolence. Nonviolent peacekeepers do not touch, grab, tackle or assault disruptive individuals or those destroying property.  DO NOT TOUCH/THROW THINGS AT POLICE, no matter what.  This could result in a long prison term.

PEACEKEEPING/DE-ESCALATION TECHNIQUES
** LISTENING: What is it the disruptive person is trying to say?  Sometimes just having someone listen to their complaints is enough to calm them down.
** TALKING DOWN: Remind disrupter(s) they are outside the action guidelines; explain how they may be endangering others; explain that they might be arrested and what the sentences are if convicted; remind them their acts are detracting from the message.
** SURROUND AND TALK: Four or more people surround the disrupter to stop the behavior and talk about it. (However, if they attempt to leave the circle, let them, or you could face kidnapping charges.)
** BLOCKADE AND TALK:   Three or more people use their bodies as a blockade to protect a person or property being attacked and talk about it with the attacker(s).
More details on peace keeping at this web page.



WAR

What Would Gandhi Do? (2003 Iraq War) Collin Baber, Seoul, Korea, March 22, 2003
Dear Citizens and Residents of Korea:
    People are being bombed to death in Iraq as this letter is being written. ...What would Gandhi do?
    He would find a non-violent method to get the point across.  He once made salt when it was illegal to do so under colonial law.  By his actions and the strict use of non-violence, he liberated the Indian subcontinent from Foreign imperial oppression and domination.
    Just as Gandhi used salt, so can you.  Salt is Salary. Salary is the money you earn in exchange for your labor.  Use the power of consumer free-choice.
    Want real justice?  Boycott those who bomb!
    Those countries who are dropping bombs and killing people listen not to your voices in the street, but to money their corporations donate to their political campaigns and money that you spend on products of their franchised operations.
    Give them the silent treatment.
    As from this point forward I am applying my own personal economic sanctions on the main mechanized aggressors of the current Baghdad firestorm: Great Britain and my home country, the United States.  I can't contribute financially to this slaughter and maintain my conscience.
    I will fly a Canadian plane to North America next trip, not an American one.  Canada said no to this war and I will reward them accordingly.  Buying a car or planning to send your child to College overseas? Pharmaceuticals, aircraft, banking and fast food? Genetically-modified crops?  Software? Cigarettes? Government bonds? It is my choice where to spend what little money I have in this vibrant Korean democracy of free people and a free-market economy - and the choice is yours too.
     No salt from me.  Pray for peaceful settlement.


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