King and Gandhi’s legacies unite

St. Clair County declares Season for Nonviolence

Reachelle Kocis
Staff Writer

St. Clair County has officially declared a Season for Nonviolence in a proclamation signed Jan. 14, in the spirit and memory of two of history’s lasting legacies.
Jan. 30 through April 4, 2014 is now the official season for nonviolence, marking the works of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who both dedicated their lives to ending oppression in peaceful and nonviolent ways.
The season opened Jan.30 on the anniversary of Gandhi’s death and ends on the anniversary of King’s death on April 4. Both were assassinated, according to biography.com.
The opening ceremony for a Season for Nonviolence was held at SC4’s Fine Arts Theater on Jan. 30. Guest speaker and St. Clair County commissioner Howard Heidemann said, “Considering the topic, this theater should be packed to capacity.”
Professor Jim Soto who spoke of King’s work said, “Dr. King’s early work drew attention to America’s sin when compared to (his vision of) the beloved community.” Soto went on to explain King’s later thinking or work in which there are three evils; poverty, racism and militarism.
According to Soto, King believed that a change in one of these evils would result in a change in the others, and could possibly eradicate the cause of violence.
Howard Heidemann read the proclamation which states; “Every person can move the world in the direction of peace through their daily nonviolent choices and actions; and, whereas an awareness of nonviolent principles and practices is a powerful way to heal, transform and empower our lives and communities… and urge all citizens to participate in local educational and community action campaigns..”
Pastor Kim Brown of Port Huron said that the season for nonviolence, “Promotes peace, love, and unity, things that we need in our society.”
For more information on related events and participating organizations, go to bluewatersnv.com.

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