Green MLA says democracy not violence is the only route to change

#NonviolentNI

Green Party in Northern Ireland leader Steven Agnew MLA is marking Holocaust Memorial Day by reiterating the Green Party’s commitment to non-violence and peace.

“The Green Party has as one of its core and founding principles, opposition to violence – regardless of where that violence comes from,” Mr Agnew said.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is both a poignant and important date because it reminds the world of the horror which can be perpetrated on marginalized or minority groups when they are reduced from being individual human beings to simply homogenized groups.

“The Green Party supports the right to free speech and thought and the rights of all citizens to form peaceful political organisation’s and take part in the political debate. We do not support their right to organise to commit acts of violence.

“Democracy is a delicate balancing act between the need for order and protection of the innocent and the ability for individuals to have jurisdiction over their own thoughts.  Without that freedom of thought, the State becomes all-powerful and and one does not have to look back in history too far to see how dangerous than can be.

“There is a difference between people holding political views which they seek to put forward to the electorate, usually through joining or forming a political party, and joining an organisation which supports and seeks to bring about that change through violence.  We in Northern Ireland should know better than anyone that dialogue, debate and proper organised political channels are the only ways to achieve long-lasting, meaningful peace.

“If we genuinely seek to remember and honour all those individual people who lost their life in an act of genocide, then we must do so by actively and effectively working through democracy for global peace so that such heinous crimes are not repeated in any context.”

27 January 2015

 

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