Mohandas Gandhi, who employed nonviolent civil disobedience to win India’s independence from Britain, and who inspired civil rights movements around the world, was assassinated on January 30, 1948. Twenty years later, on April 4, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize winner and the greatest advocate of nonviolent action in the United States, also was killed by an assassin. The influence and example of both leaders live on, however, and for the past 16 years, the 64 day-period between the tragic anniversaries marking their deaths has been designated as the Season for Nonviolence. The world-wide campaign was co-founded in 1998 by the Association for Global New Thought, and Arun and Sunanda Gandhi; Arun Gandhi is Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors acted unanimously on a motion brought by Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, declaring Jan. 30 through April 4 as the Season for Nonviolence in Los Angeles County. The purpose of the Season for Nonviolence is to put into practice the belief that every person can move the world toward a more peaceful existence through daily nonviolent choices and actions. “The principles of nonviolence are as relevant today as they were in 1948,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “As a disciple of Dr. King’s, I truly believe that changing the world for the better begins by committing to the struggle to improve our lives through direct, powerful and peaceful means.”