The section provides information on strategic nonviolence and links to organizations that provide training in nonviolent resistance, effective strategy and creative actions. For more information on a common vision and strategy that unites people into an effective national movement please see our page, about PopularResistance.org
Featured Video: The video to the right is an hour-long presentation on grand strategy given to the Fellowship Of Reconciliation in Olympia, WA. It is a reflection on how organizers can grow social movements to be impactful enough that they can effect social change, and it highlights principles and a theoretical framework that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of actions and tactics.
Organizations and Websites
Recent Articles in Strategy!
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, www.truth-out.org
June 13th, 2013
The fact is, United States and world histories show that an organized and mobilized populace is what has always caused transformational change. This history is not taught in our education system or emphasized in the heroes we idolize in our culture, but it is so significant that it cannot be hidden from view. The country could not operate if the people refused to participate in its corrupt systems. The ultimate power is with us, if we let go of fear and embrace it. Now that there is a history of more than 100 years of modern resistance movements, there is data to show what works and what doesn’t. As a result, we can develop a vision, a strategic plan and tactics that make success more likely than ever before.
By Robert J. Burrowes for Popular Resistance. In the Engler’s book, This Is An Uprising, the authors try too hard to make nonviolent action fit into a model they have created by combining thoughts from a few (US) authors – essentially Saul Alinsky, Frances Fox Piven and Gene Sharp – to describe an approach to change based on structure-based organizing, momentum-driven revolt and the creation of prefigurative community. They then use a few case studies, all of which (including the campaigns of the US civil rights struggle) are from the USA except for the Otpor struggle to overthrow the Milosevic regime in Serbia and the struggle of the April 6 Youth Movement and its allies to remove the Mubarak regime in Egypt, to illustrate their argument.
By Martin Jacques for The Guardian – The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing.
Interview with Marcelina Zawisza and Maciej Konieczny by Lorenzo Marsili in European Alternatives. “We are not the old Left. It is more than clear if you look at our faces, our age, the way we speak and our new way of making politics”. In ultra-conservative Poland, something is moving. We meet some of the founders of Razem (“Together”) a new political party emerging from social movements and strongly inspired by the experience of Podemos in Spain. We discuss their project and the Polish scenario: from the surprising social policies of the current authoritarian government to the liberal opposition defending freedom of information but forgetting about inequalities. And the meaning of launching a new party from the bottom-up today.
By Raul Alcaraz-Ochoa, Jorge Gutierrez, Alan Pelaez and Deborah Alemu for Telesur TV. An Open Letter to the Immigrant Rights Movement: In light of the brutal murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Delrawn Smalls Dempsey, Alva Braziel, Joyce Quaweay, Skye Mockabee and Korryn Gaines, anti-Blackness, patriarchy and transphobia need to profoundly and urgently be addressed within immigrant rights organizing, now more than ever. Although non-Black Latinx solidarity with Black lives has increased and grown, there is still a lot of work to be done. How do Latinxs and the immigrant rights movement navigate anti-Blackness? First of all what is anti-Blackness? “Anti-Blackness is not simply the racist actions of a white man with a grudge nor is it only a structure of racist discrimination—anti-blackness is the paradigm that binds blackness and death together so much so that one cannot think of one without the other,”
By Will Jones and Mike Honey for Portside. Non-violence is NOT passive, but is militant and effective theory and practice. Portside Moderator Will Jones interviews Honey about the film and highly respected, long time RELIGIOUS LEADER, organizer, and educator James Lawson. Will Jones: Why this film now? Mike Honey: James Lawson’s theory and practice, ranging from the early civil rights and anti-war movements until now, offers us on the left, in the streets, a long term view based on his experience of teaching and organizing since the 1950s. He never claims to have all of the answers but provides a framework that challenges us to not just protest but to transform situations and systems, to build coalitions, to win people over to sanity. The Black Lives Matter movement’s evolution from impressive protests in Ferguson and elsewhere to a platform and call for continued action is an example of both the power and challenges faced by us here in USA and globally.
By Matt Stannard for Occupy – Centrist Democrats are bragging that they don’t need progressives to win in November. But the partnership works both ways. It’s morally useful to look at American politics through the eyes of Laura Zuñiga Cáceres. Just before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the daughter of slain Honduran activist Berta Cáceres arrived in Philadelphia, where she stayed, spoke, and, with thousands of others, protested the convention.
By Jillian C. York for EI – The last year has seen an uptick in digital threats faced by individuals and organizations around the world, and those working on the question of Palestine are no exception. Over the past few months, there have been attacks on boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement websites, threatening emails to activists and new information emerging on Israel’s surveillance capabilities. “The latest cyber-attacks against BDS seem to be part of a full-fledged Israeli war on the movement that includes McCarthyite legal repression, use of intelligence services and yet more funding for ‘brand Israel’ propaganda,”
By Ally Little and Michelle Weiser for The Forward. we see and affirm the Jews of color in our community, and we proudly and unequivocally support the Movement for Black Lives Platform and Black Lives Matter. We recognize the call for freedom and dignity of black lives as intricately linked to our call for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians. As members of IfNotNow, we are part of a movement of young Jews working to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation of Palestine. Guided by the lessons of our own Jewish history, we cannot remain silent in the face of injustice. Leo Ferguson recently wrote about his experience as a black Jew participating in a NYC Black Lives Matter march: “As Jews, we know what it means to fight for our survival while those around us do nothing. And as a Jew of color, I am tired of feeling abandoned by my friends and my larger Jewish community when they sit on the sidelines rather than fighting for my safety and full humanity… If the Jewish community isn’t part of the solution, then it is part of the problem.”
By Pete Tucker for The Huffington Post – To get in, Stein and Johnson must appear on enough state ballots to win (which isn’t easy), and register at least 15 percent in five national polls (which regularly don’t include them). These requirements come from the official-sounding Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which was created by Democrats and Republicans in 1987 to wrest control of the televised presidential debates away from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters. Since CPD erected its 15 percent barrier in 2000, no third party candidate has made it into the debates.
By Phil Wilmot for Waging Nonviolence – Men wielding helium balloons stepped out of a car in Kampala’s bustling downtown on the morning of August 1, releasing them one by one into the open sky. Onlookers watched and wondered what the colorful display was all about. A few hours later, a video emerged online of another activist releasing balloons atop Naguru Hill, the highest point in Uganda’s capital city. In the video, the activist explained that the balloons carry a message announcing the launch of a new activist toolkit, Beautiful Rising, aimed at helping people put an end to injustices like militarism and dictatorship.
By Harry Targ for Diary of a Heartland Radical – I have been a member of a grassroots peace group for 25 years. We mobilized a teach-in and other activities against Gulf War One, had daily demonstrations against the bombing of Serbia, mobilized panels and demonstrations against the lead up to and perpetuation of the brutal war in Iraq, worked with Palestinian solidarity groups, and marched against proposed bombing of Syria in 2013. Our numbers have peaked and ebbed over this long period. Currently membership is less than ten, although many former and current members have been involved in a variety of other campaigns
By Stephen Lerner and Saqib Bhatti for Inequality – Austerity, growing inequality, and the economic and political domination of billionaires, bankers, hedge funds, and giant corporations make the current moment ripe for birthing a movement that can radically transform the country and the world. This is a time of great peril, but also of extraordinary opportunity and—yes—reasons for hope. The last four decades have been characterized by unrelenting attacks on the working class, the weakening of unions and the financialization of capitalism.
By Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report – Black America is at a point of political inflection. Over the last two years, an incipient movement that goes under the heading of Black Lives Matter has mounted an inspired resistance to the mass Black incarceration regime and its killer cops. At every fitful juncture, and as a matter of necessity, the best elements of this youthful movement have repudiated the Black Misleadership Class’s two generations-long collaboration with a system whose mission is to contain, control, terrorize and criminalize an entire people
By William C. Anderson for Truthout – The United States will never be at peace with itself until it resolves the fact that it was birthed through injustice, exploitation and genocide. America, as many call it, was never great for everyone. Now, as problems that have existed since the earliest days of the US project boil over yet again, we should be prepared for what is to come. It shouldn’t be hard to imagine what we can expect next from a reactionary state apparatus, when we know what’s happened before. Activists and those who resist oppression and the state’s attempts at social control should be prepared for the coming repression.