A friend called me excitedly saying that word was going around that people were going to hold a march for nonviolence in downtown Havana; they would assemble on Friday the 6th at the corner of 23rd and G streets.
This had worried me because it could have generated the most violence seen in the last few years in Cuba – a concern I shared with two or three people I was able to contact.
Fortunately for everyone, nothing like that happened.
Nonetheless, I believe that with a minimum spark of provocation -a concern also held by some of the participants- a tremendous firestorm could have broken out, which would have produced a change in the spirit and backfired on the whole objective.
I later found out that other incidents associated with the demonstration generated a positive and justified digital stir, which was encouraging because solidarity is sorely needed.
These incidents captured the attention of everyone mainly as a wave of protest. But my question is: What’s up with the people? What’s happening with us as a people and the fact that we coexist with violence shared in daily acts?
Would a march under these conditions elicit reflection and induce some change within human beings concerning violence to engender a positive response in line with the aims of the demonstration?
Nonviolence is not inaction, but nor is it unconsidered action.
It’s not that I think conditions must be the exact for this to occur, but I do believe in the need for real transformation in the individual and their use of violence, or at least in the exhaustion of the use of all tools to attempt so.
I’m not in favor of certain forms of repression, and much less in stifling strategies. However, the organizers of this march only took steps along the asphalt, which could be repeated again and again in the same way with no real effect or impact on the cycle of violence, or it would be experienced only fleetingly.
For me it was an irresponsible act, a call for the attention of the international community to highlight the participants themselves.
My friends, this was only an act of epidermal passion that could have taken a good cause backward many more steps from where it could have been led.
Let’s not allow ourselves to be swept away by passion. Let’s not treat nonviolence with ingenuousness, if this was indeed ingenuousness. I insist on the need for training to be carried out, that conscious action be taken.
One must consider the need for a certain degree of consciousness of the fact that there are processes that take time to implement and that they can take longer than other parallel processes.
Rushed and cathartic actions are a small percentage of what is required, not the answer or the solution. What is most important is not “getting even,” it is the person and the damage that must be repaired with all of the best in people themselves drawing on their deepest inner forces. This can be affected with the energy and power that Cubans possess and with what really sustains this country.