Right now, there's a network of peace activists and professional protestors across the country who base their lives around creative non-violence. That's actually the technical term for what they do. Harkening back to one of the creative minds we're studying in class, Gandhi, those in the non-violent community have been using creative and innovative ideas to bring attention to the peace movement.
I was blessed to spend my spring break both freshman and sophomore years with two communities who center their lives around non-violence: the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, DC, and Jonah House in Baltimore, Maryland.
While I could go on forever about both, here's what you need to know about Jonah House. They're a community of women, some of whom are women religious (read: nuns) who take part in nonviolent resistance actions, specifically relating to nuclear proliferation. Some of their actions are known as "plowshares actions." The term relates to Isaiah 2:4, which states "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Often, plowshares actions consist of breaking onto the site of a nuclear weapons holding facility, hammering on the weapons, and pouring their own blood onto them as a symbol of the killing and loss of life that the weapons are capable of. Thus, they are "beating to swords into plowshares" symbolically.
Those involved in the actions do so knowing that they will face prison time. This form of civil disobedience is deliberate, and done to bring attention to their cause in a way that doesn't involve burning cars, beating police, or wreaking havoc on a city.
The novel process came about when brothers Dan and Phil Berrigan did the first plowshares action in 1980. This type on non-violent action had never been done before, and spawned a series of subsequent plowshares actions, which continue today. Others in their field followed suit, as the Berrigans were already well-known in the peace community for other non-violent actions they've done. And apparently, plowshares actions have made enough of an impact that Loyola sends students every year to Jonah House as part of the Alternative Break Immersion Program.
To learn more about the plowshares actions, here's a video made by the Jonah House community: