Pilgrimages are a non-violent way of expressing support or condemnation for an ideal and are a well established form of protest in many countries. What makes a pilgrimage is the destination, and the need for travel. By choosing a location important to the cause at hand, protestors (or supporters) are able to raise awareness of the issue by traveling to that location en masse. The amount of travel required can vary from days to months. A pilgrimage is most effective when it achieves its goal of raising awareness for its purpose, and to do that it must be properly announced and organized for any who might wish to undertake the journey.

While traveling a popular method of spreading the message of the movement in question is the passing out of leaflets. With the use of modern technology sites such as Facebook are also useful in organizing or beginning a pilgrimage, because of their ability to spread the word to as many supporters as possible at no monetary cost to the movement. This also aids the movement by making support as visible as possible, in much the same way as the actual travel involved serves to make the supporters visible in multiple locales.

It should be noted that a Pilgrimage can be composed of as many as hundreds of thousands of people, or as few as a single activist. However, as the goal of awareness is the ultimate purpose of the pilgrimage, larger numbers are often more effective in modern society unless the singular activist is a person of much influence or popularity. Because of this it is important to properly organize, or at least properly announce, the pilgrimage with a significant amount of advanced notice. The longer a base of supporters has to prepare for an event the more likely they are to turn out in any substantial numbers, and the more likely the public and government at large are to take notice of the pilgrimage and its meaning.

In essence, a pilgrimage is comprised of any number of people traveling to a place significant to their cause. To maintain both the spirit and purpose of the endeavor, effort must be expended to spread the word of the pilgrimage and organize its members for maximum effectiveness. Having said that, it is important to remember that even one individual on a lone journey can make a difference, with the proper convictions.

Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.

Also check out The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part One / Part Two / Part Three.

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