Thursday, November 3, 2016

The violence is continuing in North Dakota, against journalists and against those sincerely trying to address a serious planetary situation. Decent, civilized societies don't resort to force like this.

Let's think carefully about our policies and attitudes toward laying hands on people and using irritants, rubber bullets, etc. Just because we have these less lethal methods available doesn't mean we should use them any time there's a dispute. They can be useful and appropriate tools for apprehending a violent person without unnecessarily harming them or anyone else who's nearby. But when the problem is that someone won't move out of the way of your construction project, it would have to be a pretty urgent project to justify using force. Surely this person has other things they'd like to be doing besides blocking your construction project. Talk to them, share your reasons for wanting to build it, and let them share their reasons for wanting to prevent it. It might help to invite others into the conversation too.

Violence precludes the attainment of clarity and of mutually agreeable solutions and outcomes. Instead of moving in with weapons, let's move in with open minds and with a sincere, curious willingness to exchange ideas.