09 April 2008

Peace (Again)

"One could trace . . . the richoceting trajectory by which Thoreau,
abolitionists, Tolstoy, women suffragists, Gandhi, Martin Luther
King, Jr., and various others had, over the course of more than a
century, wrought a doctrine of civil disobedience and non-violence
that would become standard liberatory equipment in every part of
the world. If atomic bombs are the worst invention of the twentieth
century, this practice might be the best ..." ~ Rebecca Solnit

Antiwar rally in Heroes' Square, Budapest, Hungary,
March 20, 2005. Photograpah © Zsolt Szigetvary.

I posted some time ago on the invention of the peace sign. Given our ongoing unjustifiable war and the rationalizations being peddled to the Congress this week for keeping the war going even longer, it seems appropriate to do do again. There is a recent column at Design Observer on the history of the symbol and one today at The Guardian too. I lifted the top image from the Design Observer and the location of the protest made me wonder why we typically reserve the concept of hero for those who fight. I am not a pacifist. But there are many times when non-violence seems the more courageous path.

Campaigners for nuclear disarmament (CND) take part in a
march in London in 2004.
(Photograph © The Guardian)

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