without any information, i (and u as well) would assume these two men as criminals who just came out from the police station or court. or maybe just some hippies (i mean, look at the dreadlocks!). or maybe just some homeless, jobless men wandering on the streets. just nothing good, i assume.
well, now they looked really cute, aint they? one t-shirt says ‘the only solution is love’ with a lovey dove on the side and the other t-shirt shows a man dumping weapons into the bin. indeed, it is rather hippie (maybe its the dreadlocks?), like nobody would treat them seriously. but many things should be not be judged on the cover. the man on the right is Ciaron O’Reilly and the left is Jim Dowling, both are nonviolent activists in human rights and anti-war issues. and no, it is not ad-hoc; they devote their lives for such a cause.
that was Jim getting caught for blocking a major military access road to the Talisman Sabre 09 exercises being held at Shoalwater, central Queensland, Australia. getting caught and attending court is common, but the attitude should remained positive (like him). it is exactly such optimism that keeps the opponent off-guard. for example, he was in a blockade where activists locked their arms in a line, which the police threatened the use of force had they fail to disperse. however, the police didn’t use their batons and did the otherwise; they have to carry the activists away from the road (gently). that, is the power of nonviolence.
of course, this post is not to ask the readers to think about nonviolent protests but to be aware of it. nonviolence is a strategy to achieve positive ends with positive means. if u r (or going to be) a police, think when you are ordered to disperse civil resistance groups. if u r teacher, think whether you should encourage free speech and creativity in your students. if u r an adventure-seeker, think whether u should be sourcing for challenges in your life when there are existing challenges in the social structure in the world.