Fr. Harry and I are I’m delighted to invite you to the Walk for Planet Peace: Honoring Gandhi’s Vision for His 150th Birthday (flyer attached), on Saturday, September 21st. We will convene at the St. Paul Cathedral steps at 9:30am to walk to the State Capitol. Our speaker will be Rev. James Lawson, whose vision of nonviolent strategy inspired the Freedom Riders and students at lunch counters during the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Lawson will be joined by activist and author, Fr. John Dear, who started the national Nonviolent Cities Movement—and who has inspired us to work resolutely for Twin Cities free from violence.
Gandhi, whose vision we are honoring, led the Indian freedom movement by waging nonviolence, which he understood as passive political resistance, or Satyagraha (truth force). He believed violence created more problems than it solved, leaving a trail of hatred that prevented genuine reconciliation. Gandhi had a powerful influence on South African leader Nelson Mandela, who adopted nonviolence as an integral part of the anti-apartheid movement. Gandhi’s “light” guided Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he adopted his Nonviolent Civil Resistance methods leading the American Civil Rights Movement. King studied Gandhi and made a pilgrimage to India in order to better understand his approach. Rev. Lawson’s teach-ins put the approach into action during the Civil Rights Movement. His message of sustainable nonviolence has always been pivotal to the consciousness-raising we need to liberate ourselves from violence and to find our way to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s inescapable network of mutuality.
The Walk for Planet Peace is our opening event for the 2nd Annual 10 Days Free from Violence, a community-based effort to weave together best practices in violence prevention and recovery (press release attached). From Sept. 20-29th, we invite you and your organization to plan an event that spotlights your community efforts, and we can add it to our calendar. You can even host an event with us by September 5th at: https://twincitiesnonviolent.org/registration/
With humility and passion, I ask that you join us—for our Walk for Planet Peace on Saturday, September 21st—and by participating in 10 Days Free from Violence in any way that you can.
With deep gratitude for your important work,
Twin Cities Nonviolent Steering Committee (www.twincitiesnonviolent.org)