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The Sweden-Singapore Initiative for Democracy (SSID) has announced that it will be conducting a two-day workshop on non-violence on 23-24 July 2005. This follows the first two workshops that were held earlier this year.
As with the previous workshops, the upcoming one will focus on how to use non-violent action to achieve democracy in Singapore.
The workshop will introduce the principles and philosophy of non-violence. It will also present the historical aspects of non-violent action so successfully used by Gandhi in India, Martin Luther King in America, and Shih Ming-teh in Taiwan to win freedom and democracy.
The workshop will also train participants in the techniques of non-violence and how to apply them to the circumstances of Singapore. Each country has its own unique circumstances and no campaign can be used as a blueprint for another.
Non-violent action describes the act of refusing to obey unjust laws and the demands of a government without resorting to physical violence. Power itself is not necessarily derived from violence, although autocratic governments often resort to violence, or the threat of it, to achieve their goals. The compliance of the majority, no matter how begrudgingly it is given, often enables the authorities to oppress the people. A coordinated and concerted withdrawal of that compliance will render the State impotent with its repression. Refusing to cooperate with unjust laws, carried out in a systematic manner, can bring about change.
As in previous occasions, experts on nonviolence from Sweden and other organisations will conduct the training.
The workshop is open to all. As places are limited, however, the organizer has requested that Singaporeans register for the event by sending your name and contact number to [email protected]
Meals and refreshments will be provided. The venue and programme will be announced shortly.