Today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US, when, across the country, we are reminded again of his legacy, and what nonviolence can accomplish.
As a reminder of what this nonviolence looked like in action, Slate.com found and published Dr. King’s guidelines on ending the Montgomery bus boycott.
The guidelines are very specific, aimed at avoiding confrontation if possible, and avoiding escalation if not:
Protestors riding newly integrated busses were told to ride with an ally (“Try to get on the bus with a friend in whose non-violence you have confidence”) and to avoid conflict at all junctures (“Do not deliberately sit by a white person, unless there is no other seat”; “If cursed, do not curse back”).
The MIA advocated quiet presence and “calm dignity” in victory: “Remember that this is not a victory for Negroes alone, but for all Montgomery and the South. Do not boast! Do not brag!”
Read the whole thing here:
For more on the legacy of Dr. King, the Daily Kos has a reflection here which is again making the rounds.