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Nonviolence Guidelines for IAACM

We ask that all action and speech by those involved in the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment (IAACM) follow these guidelines.


IAACM Nonviolence Guidelines


Martin Luther King, Jr.: MaladjustedThese principles of a peaceful campaign are based on those of Martin Luther King, Jr., as interpreted by the "National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance."



  • Our attitude will be one of openness and respect toward all we encounter in our actions.
  • We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person.
  • We will not destroy or damage any property.
  • We will carry no weapons.
  • We will not bring any drugs or alcohol.
  • If participating in a nonviolent direct action, such as civil disobedience, we will not run or resist arrest; we will remain accountable for our actions as a means of furthering our witness to injustice.
  • Additionally, we require that all individuals considering participation in a nonviolent direct action take appropriate nonviolence training.


Dr. Martin Luther King on the Philosophy and Practice of Nonviolence


These key points are excerpted from his book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Circle, but are also repeated in numerous essays and articles that he wrote throughout his life. It should be noted that Dr. King explicitly credits Mahatma Gandhi with having taught us the method of nonviolence.

  • Nonviolence is resistance to evil and oppression. It is a human (and humane) way to fight.
  • Nonviolence does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his/her friendship and understanding.
  • The nonviolent method is an attack on the forces of evil rather than against persons doing the evil. It seeks to defeat the evil and not the persons doing the evil and injustice.
  • Nonviolence means willingness to accept suffering without retaliation.
  • The nonviolent resister avoids both external physical and internal spiritual violence - not only refusing to shoot or strike, but also to hate, an opponent. The ethic of real love is at the center of nonviolence.


Dr. King went to some length to describe this love, which he noted is not reciprocal in nature, meaning that this is not the love given to someone because they love you in return. He identified this love most accurately with the Greek word “agape,” meaning an understanding, redeeming good will towards all people, a love in which the individual seeks not his own good, but the good of his neighbor and all fellow beings, making no distinction between friend and enemy.

The nonviolent resister has a deep faith in the future, and believes that the forces in the universe are ultimately on the side of justice. To quote Dr. King, the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

These principles are based on and excerpted from those of the "National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance."

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Jay Mahler

Jay is a survivor of forced electroshock who spent ten years in the mental health system. He is now a widely respected leader in California, where he founded Mental Health Consumer Concerns and the California Network of Mental Health Clients. Jay is pictured here at a MindFreedom strategy conference at Highlander. (Photo by Tom Olin.)
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