Directions for Pacifists

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Pacifists should not sit still in solemn protest.
They should instead be marching, walking always towards freedom. The journey is long and staying in place will not get us there.

Pacifists should not be afraid to raise arms.
They should raise their arms high, and in doing so, hold those who are hurting. They should wrap their arms tightly around those in need of protection, and those who are alone.

Pacifists should not be silent.
Instead, they must lift their voices, for when words are your only weapon, you must use them loudly and frequently until you are heard. If the voices are still and soft they must join together, because a chorus is the only way to be heard above the din.

Pacifists should not boycott those who disagree with them.
Rather, they should sit at the table beside one another and join in conversations. It is too rare that minds change on their own, and even more unlikely that they change whilst being yelled at from afar.

Pacifists should not chain themselves to trees, gates, or barricades.
It is better to chain ourselves to each other, and to realize that our liberations and our lives are bound together.

Pacifists should not go on hunger strikes.
The hunger for justice has already burned through their bodies, unquenched by anything but liberty.

Pacifists should not run away from conflict.
Instead, they should run toward it, and quickly. It is easy to remain on the sideline of fights that do not involve ourselves, but in doing so, we often find ourselves standing on the side of the oppressor. Work dilligently, instead, for another’s right to life, water, religion, and love.

Pacifists should not be still.
Action after action is the only thing that can topple the tyrant of complacency.

Too often it is easy to confuse pacifism with isolationism, or to pretend that being unaffected by violence is the same thing as being at peace. We cannot remain still, silent, and passive in the fact of injustice, but rather lift our voices in a cry for solidarity, march towards a better future, and one by one move the mountains that lay before us. Our support must not be in spirit, but in body, and our beliefs manifested as actions.

We – the pacifists – must act.

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