On 15 June 2007 the UN General Assembly votes to establish 2 October as the International Day of non-violence, meant to be an opportunity to spread messages of non-violence, through education and by raising public awareness, and to support the importance of the culture of peace, tolerance and understanding. We celebrate the international day of non-violence on October 2 since it is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, political activist among the most famous ones and pioneer of the practice of non-violence and whose actions inspired personalities like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
The principle of non-violence – also non as non-violent resistance – rejects the use of physical violence in order to obtain social and political change; it consists in not taking part to what it is considered to be unjust, without translating into a passive attitude towards the status quo, because things can and should be changed through to other means.
An example of non-violence can be found in the history of Philippines: the People Power Revolution takes place in 1983, consisting in a series of pacific demonstrations and campaigns of civil resistance against the regime and electoral fraud, and eventually led to the departure of President Ferdinand Marcos from the Philippines in 1986 and to the restauration of democracy in the country.
Non-violence in necessary to peace, which cannot be obtained by “preparing for war”: as we already underlined during the international day for peace, the latter can be realized by supporting the UN sustainable development goals, solidarity and international cooperation.
Kito Onlus would like today to express solidarity to the victims of political and social injustice, believing that such issues should be solved in a pacific and non-violent way; moreover, we would like to add our voice to the others in support of non-violence by quoting Gandhi: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent”.
“Non-violence”, sculpture by Karl Fredrik Reutersward, located outside the UN headquarters in New York.