The G20 demonstrations in the City of London show how what has been a peaceful demonstration can be easily turned into an apparent scene of mayhem. But what is often shown on T.V. and in the newspapers is not always a true and well rounded picture. The vast majority of demonstrations are orderly and good humoured and there is a rapport between the demonstrators and the police even though their aims are opposite.
The media almost always seek out and emphasise the antics of a very very small minority – quite natural really, given that their antics are more eye-catching than the peaceful majority just sitting down. But they do detract from the true purpose of the majority. Also, nowadays, the police, whether intentionally or not, by dressing in a para-military fashion with helmets and face shields, long batons and shields promote an atmosphere of violence.
The Quakers, with their long history of being prepared to break the law for what they consider to be moral values, although not compromising their resistance to such as the Trident Nuclear Submarine programme, nevertheless commit themselves to direct actions which do not harm people who may be opposed to them. They organise training sessions to teach nonviolent tactics to be used at their sit-downs etc. We see them in training and putting their training into action.
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