Civility, Nonviolence

“Is this what we’ve become? Is this what we’ve come to?” she exclaimed. She had just come from a campaign event in the 2012 election and behavior had gotten out of hand. One of ours – a Democrat volunteer well known to most of us – had turned to spit on a Republican standing next to her. The Republican had retaliated by scratching the Democrat, drawing blood.

So come back to 2018 and think about Trump’s staffers running into trouble outside their White House offices. Being refused service at a small, elite restaurant, leaving a Mexican restaurant to find noisy protesters holding immigration signs and shouting “Families belong together!” Is there more?

In all of these cases, the actions were nonviolent. Loud, maybe, but not dangerous. The question still remains: is this the end of civility? Is it enough to be nonviolent, or do we need to be more?

The country is split into factions divided so severely that “They go low, we go high” doesn’t seem to be enough any more. Demonstrations and protests continue, and progressives continue to persist. Saturday, my small city’s center will play host to more than Pokemon Go as a demonstration organized by MoveOn takes place. MoveOn asks that all participants agree to these terms and more.

By choosing to attend this event, you are committing to participate nonviolently and in accordance with the law, to work to de-escalate confrontations with others, and to obey the orders of authorized event marshals and of law enforcement that ensure the safety of everyone at these events.

De-escalate confrontations. Ensure the safety of everyone attending. Easier said than done, but at least at this level, the persistent actions will peacefully call attention to an important issue.