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Use nonviolent methods to change government

As published in the Bellingham Herald on June 15th, 2002

Use nonviolent methods to change government

In the May 13 "Another View," the author properly lashes out against the anti-government violence such as the mailbox bomber and the bombing at Oklahoma City. He ends his column by saying "There's an anti-government sickness going around that needs to be cured."

Expressing discontent towards how our government is being run is a national sport second only to baseball. Our government was conceived with the concept that the people should be provided with the means to change their government in a non-violent manner.

For example, under freedom of the press some desperate people try to change the course of our society and our government by writing letters to the editor. This can be an effective form of non-violent communication that can result in a small incremental change in society's perception of the problem that the letter writer is concerned about.

The author is correct when he says '"There is an anti-government sickness going around" but it does not need to be cured. It needs to be channeled in a constructive way.

Our schools, institutions of higher learning and the media need to educate people that the ability to change our government is at their fingertips and that our government is open to change. The use of violence to force change only leads to more violence. The effective use of nonviolent forms of communication is the only means that can result in positive changes in our society and our government.

Sheila L. Richardson


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