A Force More Powerful (two Thursdays, March 17 & 24th)
7pm Thursday, March 17 (Part 1) and March 24 (Part 2), 2011. A Force More Powerful, by Steve York.
(PLEASE ALSO SAVE THE DATE FOR T.C. MCLUHAN’S THE FRONTIER GANDHI: BADSHAH KHAN A TORCH FOR PEACE)
A Force More Powerful location: Room 1, 15th Street Meeting House, 15 Rutherford Place, Manhattan, near Union Square [NOTE THIS CHANGE OF LOCATION FROM THE ORIGINAL SCHEDULE].
EPISODE 1 (March 17)
In the 1960s, Gandhi’s nonviolent weapons were taken up by black college students in Nashville, Tennessee. Disciplined and strictly nonviolent, they successfully desegregated Nashville’s downtown lunch counters in five months, becoming a model for the entire civil rights movement.
In India in the 1930s, after Gandhi returned from South Africa, he and his followers adopted a strategy of refusing to cooperate with British rule. Through civil disobedience and boycotts, they successfully loosened their oppressors’ grip on power and set India on a path to freedom.
In 1985, a young South African named Mkhuseli Jack led a movement against the legalized discrimination known as apartheid. Their campaign of nonviolent mass action, most notably a devastating consumer boycott in the Eastern Cape Province, awakened whites to black grievances and fatally weakened business support for apartheid.
EPISODE TWO (March 24)
In April, 1940, German military forces invaded Denmark. Danish leaders adopted a strategy of “resistance disguised as collaboration”—undermining German objectives by negotiating, delaying, and obstructing Nazi demands. Underground resistance organized sabotage and strikes, and rescued all but a handful of Denmark’s seven thousand Jews.
In 1980, striking workers in Poland demanded independent unions. Using their leverage to negotiate unprecedented rights in a system where there was no power separate from the communist party, they created a union, Solidarity. Driven underground by a government crackdown in 1981, Solidarity re-emerged in 1989 as Poland’s governing political party.
In 1983, Chilean workers initiated a wave of nonviolent protests against the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Severe repression failed to stop the protests, and violent opposition failed to dislodge the dictatorship—until the democratic opposition organized to defeat Pinochet in a 1988 referendum.
This film is part of the Courage vs. Violence Film and Discussion Series