Transformation not revolution

Letter by Diana Francis, Bath

It was really thought-provoking to read Clare Cochrane’s Diary together with John Champneys’ letter in the March issue of PN.

Clare’s opting for ‘heart and values’ rather than ideology for her anchor resonated strongly with my own feelings about what makes for peace.

Clare said she was still for nonviolent revolution. On that I was with John (though not with all of his letter). I have reached a point where that matter needs serious debate among us as a movement, as I suggested in an article two years ago (PN 2544).

We have seen all too many recent instances of what nonviolent revolution can turn into, not only in the Middle East but now in Ukraine, when people are deeply divided and one side is trying to impose its will on others. Transformation is what is needed and won’t happen all at once. We need, in the end, to change minds and hearts.

Editor response: Thank you, Diana. We invite further dialogue on this point from other readers. We do want to point out, in the meantime, that we see a difference between a ‘nonviolent insurrection’, as in Egypt and Ukraine, and ‘nonviolent revolution’ as defined by George Lakey and Howard Clark (in books that PN has published recently). - eds