1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
´Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, John and Yoko decided to use the publicity to promote world peace. They spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite (Room 702) at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between March 25th and 31st’ (Wikipedia, 2017). The Amsterdam Bed-In was very popular by their fans, and received a great deal of press coverage. Following the event John and Yoko sent oak nuts to the heads of state in various countries around the world with the goal that they would plant them as a symbol of peace.
2. Mahatma Gandi
Nonviolence is an intensely active force when properly understood and used.
From 1920 to 1922, Gandhi started the Non-Cooperation Movement. In 1930 the British imposed a law in India dictating no Indian could collect or sell salt in the country. ´Followed by dozens, Gandhi led a peaceful protest against Britain’s imposed law. Gandhi walked over 240 miles leading protesters to the Arabian Sea to pick up a small handful of salt out of the muddy waters of the sea`. Although this was a relative small act for independence Gandi was put to prison. Seventeen years later India gained independence from Britain (Globalcitizen.org, 2017).
3. Cesar Chavez
I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of humanity, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non violent struggle for justice.
Cesar Chavez led the Delano Grape Boycott and advocated for peaceful boycotts, protest, and a nonviolent 25-day hunger strike. The goal was to change legislation to end the exploitative abuse of America’s farm workers in the late 1960s. ´He led a five-year strike in Delano, California, bringing together over 2,000 farmers to demand minimum wage primarily for underpaid overworked Filipino farmworkers. This caused more than 17 million Americans to boycott California grapes, which helped secure unions, better wages and security for farm workers’ (Globalcitizen, 2017).
4. Rosa Parks
I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.
‘Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery was a peaceful action that brought more about than anyone could imagine. She simply spread the message that all people deserve equal seats. Than all of Montgomery’s black population refused to use public transportation´(Mentalfloss, 2017). A year later in 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation on public buses unconstitutional.
5. Martin Luther King
I have a dream.. that all men are created equal.
Martin Luther King is celebrated as a hero not only for becoming the leader of the year long Montgomery Bus Boycott, which led to the Supreme Court ruling against bus segregation, but also for his articulation of dreams and hopes shared by many during an era of upheaval and change. ‘Peaceful protests were met by fire-hoses and attack-dogs wielded by local police. Images of this violence, broadcast on national news, provoked outrage, and this reaction created a political atmosphere in which strong federal civil rights legislation could gain favor and passage, and the next year President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964’ (Sparknotes.com, 2017).