for 8.5 X 11 PDF to print)
truth which has made us free will in the end make
us glad also. Every
outcry against the oppression of some people by
other people, or against what is morally hideous
is the affirmation of the principle that a human
being as such is not to be violated. A human being
is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected
-- Felix Adler
with one disposition, history has so far been a
horrible accumulation of oppression and suffering.
Viewed with another disposition, however, history
has chronicled humans discovering their own finer
potentials and together mounting heroic offensives
to attain them - against monarchy, feudalism, slavery,
Jim Crow racism, apartheid, sexual subjugation,
second class citizenship, sexism, heterosexism,
dictatorship, one party rule, capitalism, and coordinatorism
(calling itself socialism) - and seeking, in their
place, equity, justice, and freedom. The gains humans
have made have been steady and plentiful. Now a
major leap is possible. Consistent with past efforts,
we can now attain fully liberatory goals, including,
I think, participatory economics and also alternative
structures for polity, culture, and kinship. We
have only to make the effort.
-- Michael Albert
order for us as poor and oppressed people to become
part of a society that is meaningful, the system
under which we now exist has to be radically changed...
It means facing a system that does not lend its
self to your needs and devising means by which
you change that system."
-- Ella Baker
most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor
is the mind of the oppressed."
-- Stephen Biko
is that attitude which puts life at the center,
and defends and promotes life against all the
mechanisms of death, desiccation, or stagnation.
The opposite of spirit, in this sense, is not
the body but death and everything associated with
the system of death, understood in the widest
sense of biological, social, and existential death
(failure, humiliation, and oppression). Nourishing
spirituality means cultivating the inward space,
the basis of which all things can be brought together.
It means overwhelming deadness and stagnation
and living reality in terms of values, inspiration,
and symbols of higher meaning. The spiritual person
is one who is always in a position to see the
other side of reality, and who is always capable
of perceiving that profundity by which we are
referred to the Ultimate Reality that religions
-- Leonardo Boff
long as individuals are compelled to rent themselves
on the market to those who are willing to hire
them, as long as their role in production is
simply that of ancillary tools, then there are
striking elements of coercion and oppression
that make talk of democracy very limited, if
-- Noam Chomsky
think the only choice that will enable us to hold
to our vision. . . is one that abandons the concept
of naming enemies and adopts a concept familiar
to the nonviolent tradition: naming behavior that
-- Barbara Deming
liberation movement that is nonviolent sets the
oppressor free as well as the oppressed.
-- Barbara Deming
justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where
ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made
to feel that society is an organized conspiracy
to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons
nor property will be safe.
-- Frederick Douglass
guarantees come with children's liberation. But
neither the promise of great benefits to all nor
the prediction of great difficulties ahead can serve
as the reason for granting or denying rights to
children. Rights will be granted because without
them children are incapacitated, oppressed, and
-- Richard Farson
I see the migrant workers' broken bodies and eyes
without hope, I want to embrace and wipe away
their fears. It makes me angry and helps me to
keep fighting the oppressive system."
-- Irene Fernandez
has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes
stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who
fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for
human freedom, against political oppression and
economic slavery. -- Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
the poor person does not exist as an inescapable
fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically
neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor
are a by-product of the system in which we live
and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized
by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed,
exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their
labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the
poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief
action, but a demand that we go and build a different
-- Gustavo Gutierrez
Let us never cease to feel compassion for those
in want. Let us never tire of helping victims
of injustice and oppression. He who puts his faith
in the restoration of human dignity cannot be
-- Poul Hartling
in mind this sacred principle, that though the
will of the majority is in all cases to prevail,
that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that
the minority possess their equal rights, which
equal law must protect, and to violate would be
-- Thomas Jefferson
the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions
of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits
at the dawn of day.
~ Thomas Jefferson
I reject the notion that I sit idly by while our
cities rot; our minority people are oppressed,
our elderly demeaned by semi-starvation and pauperism.
-- Mary Metlay
A truly free society must not include a "peace"
which oppresses us. We must learn on our own terms
what peace and freedom mean together. There can
be no peace if there is social injustice and suppression
of human rights, because external and internal
peace are inseparable. Peace is not just the absence
of mass destruction, but a positive internal and
external condition in which people are free so
that they can grow to their full potential.
-- Petra Kelly
implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs.
Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution
is from the numberless diverse acts of courage
and belief that human history is shaped. Each
time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve
the lot of others or strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing
each other from a million different centers of
energy and daring, those ripples build a current
that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression
nonviolent approach does not immediately change
the heart of the oppressor. It first does something
to the hearts and souls of those committed to
it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up
resources of strength and courage that they did
not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent
and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation
becomes a reality."
-- Martin Luther
have a dream that one day this nation will rise
up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We
hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men
are created equal." I have a dream that one day
on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves
and the sons of former slaveowners will be able
to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi,
a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice
and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis
of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four
children will one day live in a nation where they
will not be judged by the color of their skin but
by the content of their character. I have a dream
Martin Luther King,
of what the law or your teachers have to say about
this, you are as human as anyone over the age of
18 or 21, yet, 'minors' are one of the most oppressed
groups of people in the world, and certainly the
most discriminated against legally."
-- Grace Llewellyn
the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses,
the world is indebted for all the triumphs which
have been gained by reason and humanity over error
-- James Madison
Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will
be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
are bred by poverty and oppression. Continued
peace is possible only in a relatively free and
-- George C.
cost in human lives and suffering is so high that
we all have to work to end violence and oppression
once and for all. We have to proclaim that every
human being is equal, in dignity, in freedom —and,
as the first article of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights states,
we have to live “in a spirit of brotherhood.”
-- Federico Mayor
is a good moment to repeat that a war is never won.
Never mind that history books tell us the opposite.
The psychological and material costs of war are
so high that any triumph is a pyrrhic victory. Only
peace can be won and winning peace means not only
avoiding armed conflict but finding ways of eradicating
the causes of individual and collective violence:
injustice and oppression, ignorance and poverty,
intolerance and discrimination. We must construct
a new set of values and attitudes to replace the
culture of war which, for centuries, has been influencing
the course of civilization. Winning peace means
the triumph of our pledge to establish, on a democratic
basis, a new social framework of tolerance and generosity
from which no one will feel excluded.
-- Federico Mayor
have learned that change cannot come through war.
War is not a feasible tool to use in fighting
against the oppression we face. War has caused
more problems. We cannot embrace that path.
greatest step forward in human evolution was made
when society began to help the weak and the poor,
instead of oppressing and despising them.
– Maria Montessori
all the people in the world love one another, then
the strong will not overpower the weak, the many
will not oppress the few, the wealthy will not mock
the poor, the honored will not disdain the humble,
and the cunning will not deceive the simple.
-- Motsi (463-401 BC)
who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he
who gives gifts to the rich
--both come to poverty.
-- Proverbs 22:16
is often easier to become outraged by injustice
half a world away
than by oppression and discrimination half a block
-- Carl T. Rowan
shall we choose? Violence or non violence? …We have
to choose knowing that when we are violent to our
enemies, we do violence to ourselves. When we brutalize
others, we brutalize ourselves. And eventually we
run the risk of becoming our oppressors.
-- Arundhati Roy
"I want my child to walk in a world guided
by love. This means that everybody will have a
job, or the resources to take care of basic needs.
A world where families are not oppressed and are
connected to their neighbors and their communities,
where the best in humanity is honored. That's
when we will truly be at peace."
-- Malika Sanders
human beings have a right, and duty, to be joyful.
Anything that thwarts this spiritual human right
goes against the very purpose of human being.
Spirituality mandates us to wage a relentless
war to eradicate these forces of oppression and
disempowerment. -- Swami
"On the collective level, we have unwittingly shifted
from being a nation of liberators, defenders of
freedom, into becoming a nation of arms dealers
and mercenaries, fabricating our own weapons of
mass destruction and arming tyrants with the tools
to oppress their own people. Within our own society,
we jail more prisoners than any other country in
the world, 85 percent of them people of nonwhite
races — red, black, brown, and yellow. We are one
of the few nations that still indulge in the death
penalty for increasing numbers of these prisoners.
We must become mindful of these negative things,
since we need not support these actions of our nation
to be affected negatively by their evolutionary
impact, unless we mentally, verbally, and ultimately
physically, disassociate ourselves from them."
-- Robert Thurman
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
means a great deal to those who are oppressed
to know that they are not alone. And never let
anyone tell you that what you are doing is insignificant."
-- Bishop Desmond
seen miracles in post-war situations, in famines,
in places of horrendous brutal subjugation and
oppression, when women step forward and play their
rightful role in co-equal partnership with men.
It's not the answer all by itself, but it is a
powerful and incredibly effective step to give
women their rightful role and voice and the resources
to back it up."
-- Lynne Twist
must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor,
never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentors,
not the tormented Wherever anyone is persecuted
for their race or political views, that place must
become the center of the universe.”
-- Elie Wiesel
is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people
who are oppressed to smile at the situation that
-- Simon Wiesenthal
"We need to rethink our position in the world.
We need to stop sending weapons to countries that
oppress other people. We need to decide that we
will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured
up by the politicians or the media, because war
in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against
innocents, a war against children. War is terrorism,
magnified a hundred times."