Pacifism and non-violence

A talk about I will how one activist’s ideas about pacifism evolved through contact with feminist analysis and activism in international solidarity, anti-apartheid, peace, environmental and anarchist groups.

Nowadays, pacifism is decidedly unfashionable. The left-wing conscientious objectors have pretty much died out. The Greenham Common feminist pacifists have gone quiet. What's left is a handful of radical Christian pacifists — interesting in themselves, but not to most people's taste.

Instead of pacifism, activist groups insist on a rather vaguely defined commitment to non-violence. Rather than pacifism stemming first from spiritual or ethical values, I argue that organising in a healthy way leads to pacifism. If you are going to organise against repression you need to organise in a pacifist way. Violence is an organisational problem; pacifism is a radical alternative that confronts systems of power and violence.

I will explain how my ideas about pacifism have evolved through contact with feminist analysis and activism in international solidarity, anti-apartheid, peace, environmental and anarchist groups.

Venue: 19 Tory St, Wellington

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