Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, leader of the Salt March, was known for the practice of non-violent civil disobedience; he inspired movements for civil rights and freedom around the world.(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "U" is for "united")
Back in the 1930s there was a remarkable example of non-violent protest that became known around the world. I wrote the following scenelet in the hope that it might suggest that event.
“Who was that on the phone?”
“The leader of the march. He wants a meeting with you.”
“The nerve of that guy. He knows what he is doing is illegal. Tell him that when he stops breaking the law we’ll sit down and talk with him.”
“Stop grumbling; that isn’t getting us anywhere. The movement is going on and it’s definitely growing in size. They’re united; more people are joining every day. We can’t just sit here and do nothing.”
“So what do you suggest? We just throw over the rule of law to satisfy some malcontents? You can’t run a country that way.”
“This is becoming a nation-wide cause; they've formed a bond. The media is taking their side and it’s gotten international; several other countries are supporting them. I’m all for taking a strong stand when we’re dealing with something important, but to go to battle over an item as trivial as this – it’s a bit crazy, in my opinion.”
“Well, luckily your opinion isn’t what counts. You think this thing we’re talking about is trivial? Look up the numbers, do the math. Over time the tax we’re talking about on this adds up to a huge amount of money. Our government isn’t about to just give up that kind of dough. They’ve placed us in charge to keep that tax in place, keep collecting it.”
“There’s a bit of news that came in this morning that might make a difference. The march is heading for a specific place, the sea.”
“They’re all going surfing?”
“Ha. Very funny. This is going to be a media event, one of the biggest in our country’s history. Newspapers and newsreels are going to cover it. You see, thousands of these people, united, will be marching a couple of hundred miles, more joining them all along the way, and when they get to the ocean they’re going to collect some seawater and let it evaporate.”
“That too is illegal! We may not be able to arrest all of them, but we can certainly put the leaders in jail.”
“But don’t you understand? Everyone will see how silly this is. All you have to do is evaporate some seawater and you’ve got the stuff that is causing all these problems. It's painless. No one has to buy it or pay any tax on it. We’re going to look ridiculous.”
“H’mm. You say the leader wants to talk? Well, it’s against everything I believe in, but go ahead, set up a meeting.”
The question this week: who was the leader?