Nonviolence, Peace, and War- In the Words and Voices of Martin Luther King, Dave Dellinger, Dorothy Day, and Others

Eighty-six years old, this month (January 2015).  That is how old Martin Luther King, Jr. would be, if he were still here with us today.  I’m sure that his words and deeds would still be inspiring us, today.  Dr. King understood the power of words.  He employed his wonderful eloquence to teach the importance of peace and nonviolence.  He knew that we must act upon our beliefs, and he helped our nation to become more peaceful and more just.
The photo, above, is of King delivering his magnificent “I Have a Dream” speech, in 1963.  You may have noticed that the second photo in the Peace and Justice Online masthead is of the same rally.  Today, however, I am quoting from King’s important (and often overlooked) 1967 speech, “Beyond Vietnam- A Time to Break Silence.” In this speech, speaking of excessive military spending, Dr. King tells us, “Somehow, this madness must cease.” Listen here:
Later in this post, there is a link to the full text of this speech.  There is also a slideshow with audio excerpts from the speech.
Another nonviolent activist, David Dellinger, was one of my heroes.  I first heard him speak, around the time of the Chicago Seven trial.  I was inspired by his essays in his book, Revolutionary Nonviolence.  We were privileged to have had him join us, demonstrating to shut down our local nuclear power plant.  In a 1981 interview, Dellinger spoke of the influence of Gandhi; the linkage of economics, war, and our daily lives; and the importance of developing nonviolent methods of working for change.  Listen here:
Mahatma Gandhi, of course, told us, “Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.  It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”  One of the most meaningful Gandhi quotes, in my view, is “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Cesar Chavez, accepting an award for his outstanding work, spoke of “the basis for peace.”
Dorothy Day, in a 1971 interview, contrasted “the works of peace” with “the works of war.”
Day spoke of the “movement of nonviolence,” and cited the examples of King, Gandhi, and Chavez.
A.J. Muste gave us, “There is no way to peace.  Peace is the way.”  He told us, “The survival of democracy depends on the renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.”
Today, there are so many peace and justice activists, both local and national, for whom I have so much respect.  In a recent interview with David Parkman, Medea Benjamin grades President Obama on his handling of the war in Afghanistan, as she calls for us to end the war and to “rebuild America.”
Here, below, is a poignant slideshow, posted by David Iles, featuring photos and graphics, along with edited clips from Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.  Text and audio of the full speech can be found here.  Links to other important historical speeches can be found in the American Rhetoric entry, in the Peace and Justice Online Directory of Resources.
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7 Responses to Nonviolence, Peace, and War- In the Words and Voices of Martin Luther King, Dave Dellinger, Dorothy Day, and Others

  1. billionaire brian says:

    cool stuff , bob ! u r doing a great site !

  2. pat csh says:

    Thank you. It’s so good to hear and read the truth from our many great peace with justice founders like Dorothy Day. Rarely do we hear people quote or even talk about this woman.

  3. Pingback: Nonviolence, Peace, and War- In the Words and Voices of Martin Luther King, Dave Dellinger, Dorothy Day, and Others (via Peace and Justice Online) « OntheWilderSide

  4. Charlotte Koons says:

    A brief, yet inspiring call for peace. I liked the options of going to ‘resources’ for more of this good thing! Thank you!

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