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The Green Party Program at the Federal Level (1981)

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We are working toward a nonviolent society in which there is neither oppression of individuals by individuals, nor violence by individuals against individuals. Our highest principle is: Humane goals cannot be achieved through inhumane means.

Nonviolence applies without restriction or exception to all people, that is, both within social groups and society as a whole, and also between ethnic groups and peoples.

The principle of nonviolence does not affect the fundamental right to defend oneself and includes social resistance in its manifold forms. The most effective long-term resistance is carried out in a social manner, as the anti-nuclear movement shows. We are also categorically opposed to the use of force between countries through war.

For this reason, we support an active policy of peace in international relations. An active peace policy also means that we are against the occupation of countries and the oppression of minorities, and for the independence and self-determination of ethnic minorities in all countries. Peace cannot be separated from the independence of countries and the existence of democratic rights within them. Worldwide disarmament is necessary. Throughout the world, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons must be destroyed, and foreign troops must leave foreign territories.

Nonviolence does not rule out active social resistance, that is, it does not mean the person involved must remain passive. The principle of nonviolence means much more, that under certain circumstances resistance to state measures might not only be legitimate but necessary (e.g., sit-ins, blockades, the obstruction of vehicles) in defense of people’s vital interests vis-à-vis a ruling order that loses sight of its mandate.

Source: Bundesprogramm der “Grünen” [The Federal Program of the Green Party] (n.d. [1981]); reprinted in Irmgard Wilharm, ed., Deutsche Geschichte 1962-1983. Dokumente in zwei Bänden [German History 1962-1983. Documents in Two Volumes], vol. 1, Frankfurt am Main, 1989, pp. 226-30.

Translation: Allison Brown

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