Reading 802 Fall 11 Stop violence paper

Nonviolence has had its suffering as gandhi would

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Nonviolence has had its suffering as Gandhi would call it as well. But out of every tragedy comes the awareness and lessons for the future. The Kent State Shootings of 1970 was the cause of tension and due to an announcement by then president Richard M. Nixon in which he appeared on television to announce the invasion of Cambodia by the United States Army that would “reinstate the draft lottery for men between the ages of19-25 for the first time since World War II “(Filo 1), This augmentation of the Vietnam War caused protesters on college campuses nationwide. At Kent State University in Ohio, a nonviolent protest was held against this action. However, “that evening vandals broke store-front windows in town; conflicting reports attributed the vandalism to both bikers and students.“(Filo 1) Because of these vandalists, a protest that was meant to be peaceful, was transformed into a riot due to the brute actions of a small group of people. This caused the then governor of Ohio, James Rhodes to dispatch the National Guards to the Kent State campus to regulate the rowdy crowd of protesters . When they arrived, they found the campus ROTC building had been set on fire and was said to be the doings of the student protestors. At this instance in the Kent State incident, we 6
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can see how one bad occurrence snowballs into larger one when emotions are high and logical thinking is not used. After this nearly 1000 National Guard troops inhabited the campus in efforts to restore order. When the students of Kent state planned a rally against the will of the university officials , they were met by the opposition of the National Guards who were given orders to disperse their protest. Instead of finding a peaceful way to stand their ground, emotions were acted upon rather than the logical thinking that is associated with nonviolent protest. Protestors retaliated by throwing rocks and releasing tear gas. And the National Guards made matters worse in eventually firing into the crowd of protesting students. Because of poor communication skills on both sides and the inability to control the urge of ill will towards an adversary, “between sixty-one and sixty-seven shots were fired; four students were killed and nine others wounded, one paralyzed for life.”(Filo 1). Words and language affect people far greater than any physical touch or affliction. In history, the man who fights and wins the war is remembered briefly and brought up occasionally. However it is the life of the man who uses his knowledge as arsenal to defuse a problem and create a solution that is discussed frequently and quoted daily. As Mohandas Gandhi once said, “Nonviolence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit lies dormant in the brute and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires strength of a higher law- to the strength of spirit. ”(Gandhi 455). Although violent resistance exists, it is not the only resort and should only in times of extreme peril be used to exterminate a problem. Negotiation and peaceful compromise should be the first resort. Social
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Nonviolence has had its suffering as Gandhi would call it...

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