ok so I lied (blame Ward)
Ward, as you asked direct, I've rejoined the thread (and yes I'm a lying weasel).
I saw no problem with the dilemma you posed regarding your hypothetical night-club assailant, avoidance is non-violence, interference (of whatever sort) I would term violent.
My opinion is that the techniques in aikido are violent, even if the philosophy isn't. If you apply these techniques, even with love and understanding, you're being violent. My why are you.." was a general query, not aimed at you specifically (just a bewildered cry in the wastelands).
I realise that my own viewpoint is rather less complicated and complete than many posting here, but I really can't make that leap that enables others to divorce actions and consequences from intent. For example, I firmly believe a surgeon will be violent with a patient. The surgeons intentions are beyond reproach (hopefully), but they will cause damage by their technique. In a similar way, when you surgically remove your opponent, you are using violence, again with the best intentions.
Violence itself to me is a tool, misused, it's wrong. Used properly, it can benefit both parties. I'll fully agree that the philosophy behind aikido attempts to lead people to a non-aggressive (loving? - can't quite go that far..) end-point. However, I don't think this detracts from the fact that aikido techniques are violent. If an activity/philosophy is violent in part, I have to vote for it being violent as a whole (like being a "little bit pregnant"?).