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Talking peace.

PROTESTERS at the Pearl Roundabout are being taught non-violent strategies in the mould of Mahatma Gandhi so they can express their demands peacefully.

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights has re-launched its Youth Against Violence programme to prevent demonstrations from turning violent.

Strategies

"We started the project in 2007 and trained more than 200 people in villages," society president Mohammed Al Maskati told the GDN.

He said the training appeared to be paying off as protesters had begun using their strategies such as presenting flowers to riot police before the start of a demonstration and wearing certain coloured clothing as a symbol of protest.

"One can notice the change as the youth are using creative posters or singing nationalist songs among other peaceful activities and protesting at the same time," he said.

"Here at our tent, volunteers are explaining to them different ways they can protest without being violent.

"We inspire them by telling them about the non-violent approach by Mahatma Gandhi and work of Martin Luther King."

Peaceful

He said the society had 198 methods for the youth to demonstrate without resorting to throwing stones or Molotov cocktails.

"We want them to say it with flowers, not stones," said Mr Al Maskati.

"They are now painting, flying kites, using balloons and even chanting unity slogans.

"It is clear that they are peaceful and want their demands to be considered by the government," Mr Al Maskati added.

As part of the training, the society teamed up with the Centre for Applied Non-violent Action and Strategies, Serbia, to send trainers to Bahrain in 2008.

sandy@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Feb 27, 2011
Words:281
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