love your enemy


SEPTEMBER 10-12, 2011 (and beyond)

We intend to create beloved community as an alternative to the fear, anger and grief surrounding the events of 9/11. This will be a campaign to lift the human image and restore human dignity through nonviolence. As a nation-wide (or wider) campaign, “Love Your Enemy” is designed to create a community of partners who are both moving in their own lives toward what MLK called a “people-centered civilization” and working out a long-term strategy to reverse the war system.

“Love Your Enemy” is:

  • not a ‘one-off’ event but an ongoing project
  • not limited to the symbolism of 9/11 though it builds on a conversion of the attention paid to that date
  • not a partisan event but open to all who long for real security


That said, it is also a campaign that will grow organically, attracting people and groups with various capacities (this is what Gandhi called “the law of progression”).  Therefore it is not possible to specify all the ways that the ‘lift off’ of the tenth anniversary of 9/11 will ramify and develop.  Satyagrahis are creative people flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities as life offers them and imaginative (and bold) enough to come up with strategies of their own that accord with their basic principles.  Here, for those who would like to participate, we place before you suggestions for two types of activity: training and acting.


1. Training

  • There are various ways to get grounded in the basics of principled nonviolence. We have found that two good ways for serious activists are Michael Nagler’s classic bookThe Search for a Nonviolent Future, and the webcast of his year-long course at UC, Berkeley, PACS 164 A and B.  Both are available through the Metta website.  For the book, an extensive study guide is now offered on the same site; for the course, a set of learning tools will be furnished shortly.
  • For those who wish to try the experiment, read Chapter 22 of Mahatma Gandhi’s classic work, Satyagraha in South Africa and see how many of the basic principles covered in the book and the course you can identify.  Tell us what you have come up with, and we will send you a certificate of completion (not to imply that we then stop learning!);
  • Participate in nonviolence trainings that will be available through Metta’s nonviolence retreats and workshops.


LYE Campaign Documents:

Love Your Enemy- Details (pdf here)

Frequently Asked Questions (pdf here)

Campaign Talking Points (pdf here)

Hope or Terror: Gandhi and the Other 9/11 (link here)