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Activist Faith

This past week, over 8,000 doctors in Morocco participated in a peaceful sit-in for support of democracy. What strikes me in this event is that in contrast with much violence that has taken place in many nations recently where democracy has been the theme, this protest focused on a peaceful sit-in. Egypt offered one look at how this can take place on a larger scale, but most of the nations to follow (Syria, Libya, Yemen) have resulted in much pain and loss of life. What is different about Morocco?

I see two lessons important for all those who seek to create change. First, the movement involved many key influencers from the start. 8,000 doctors is not only a protest; it’s a statement. The military is not likely to arrest 8,000 doctors as their work is essential to the nation’s well-being. When (many) top influencers in a nation join together for change, it can happen more quickly and sometimes more peacefully as a result.

Second, these doctors are specific. Their slogan “doctors without health insurance” plainly argues that doctors who provide health care should receive health care benefits. This small but significant step is one step in the goal of democracy, an achievable goal that stands as the current focus in the long-term struggle for freedom.

When any group stresses involvement of a significant number of influencers along with a specific, achievable goal, an environment is in place were change can happen. The fate of Morocco’s doctors are too early to tell, but their work in noble–and one we can all learn from in changing our own world.

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DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending ChristianityNot in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.

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