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.

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Recent Articles in Strategy!

History Teaches That We Have the Power to Transform the Nation, Here’s How.


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.

What Role Were You Born To Play In Social Change?

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By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence – Bill Moyer was a street-wise, working class white boy from rowhouse Philadelphia, who — in the turbulence of the 1960s — went to Chicago to work for an anti-racist housing campaign. He wound up joining Martin Luther King Jr.’s national staff as an organizer. I played tag football more than once with Moyer, catching his grin as he mercilessly overwhelmed his opponents through daring and smarts. He might have been the most joyfully aggressive Quaker I’ve known. By the time he died in 2002, Moyer had given significant leadership on multiple political issues, including the national anti-nuclear movement.

The Case For Radical Modernity

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By Jeremy Gilbert for Red Pepper – If we look back at points in history where the left has achieved real political success, we can see that socialists have always had to identify the problems that capitalism is creating at any given moment, and respond to them by using new technologies, new forms of government and new types of self-organisation in order to achieve their objectives. The period of the socialist left’s greatest success – the mid-20th century – was also when it most wholeheartedly embraced what were then the cutting-edge sciences of manufacturing, communication and management.

Today’s Causes Veer Toward Powerful Tweets, Away From Powerful Leaders

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By China Okasi for Truth Dig – When we think of early American protests, we think of the Boston Tea Party of 1773. During that historic demonstration, the colonists destroyed a large shipment of tea in a bid to end the British East India Company’s monopoly on the tea trade, a move that led to the American Revolution and the colonies’ independence from Britain. We might also think of the legendary but unsuccessful 1831 rebellion led by Nat Turner in Southampton County, Va.

Sedition, Subversion, Sabotage: A Long-War Strategy For The Left

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By William T. Hathaway for Popular Resistance. As the viciousness of capitalism engulfs ever more of us, our yearnings for change are approaching desperation. The system’s current leader, Barack Obama, has shown us that the only change we can believe in is what we ourselves create. To do that, we need to know what is possible in our times and what isn’t. The bitter probability is that none of us will see a society in which we’d actually want to live. Even the youngest of us will most likely have to endure an increasingly unpleasant form of capitalism. Despite its recurring crises, this system is still too strong, too adaptable, and has too many supporters in all classes for it to be overthrown any time soon. We’re probably not going to be the ones to create a new society.

Corporate Power Doesn’t Always Win: Remembering FTAA

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By Aldo Orellana López and Thomas Mc Donagh for Foreign Policy In Focus – In retrospect, it sounds like a dream come true: a mobilized population, intercontinental organizing, cooperative left-wing governments — all culminating in the downfall of a major corporate-friendly trade agreement that would have covered a large chunk of the global economy. It wasn’t just a dream. The proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA — meant to span all of North and Latin America — went down in defeat in 2005. Now, over a decade later, as we face two other upcoming trade deals…

Why Wall Street Won First Round And How We Might Win Next

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By Walden Bello for Occupy – When the ground from under Wall Street opened up in autumn 2008, there was much talk of letting the banks get their just desserts, jailing the “banksters,” and imposing draconian regulation. The newly elected Barack Obama came to power promising banking reform, warning Wall Street, “My administration is the only thing that stands between you and the pitchforks.” Yet nearly eight years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, it is evident that those who were responsible for bringing it about have managed to go completely scot-free.

“When We Fight, We Win!”: Art Of Transformative Organizing

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By Greg Jobin-Leeds for Truth Out – The following is an excerpt from the introduction to When We Fight, We Win! Twenty-First-Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World. Author Greg Jobin-Leeds explains the book’s title, the philosophy of transformative change that drives the organizers featured inside and the specific qualities that these organizers share. Jobin-Leeds created When We Fight, We Win!in collaboration with AgitArte, a collective of artists and organizers who have been initiating and leading education and art programs in marginalized communities since 1997.

Creating Transformation Through Building Deeper Relationships

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By Ejeris Dixon for Truthout – As I dream about the possibilities for 2016, I believe we are uniquely positioned to engage more people in social movements than at any point I’ve seen in the last decade. During the past two years we’ve witnessed a brilliant escalation of our justice movements to build and sustain the level of direct action needed to win incredible and unprecedented victories. There is actually public conversation beyond activist and organizer circles on discriminatory policing, state violence against Black communities, and homophobic and transphobic violence.

Reverend Barber's Blueprint For Reconstructing Racist America

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By Reverend Dr. William J. Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove for Alternet – America’s Third Reconstruction depends on a moral movement, deeply rooted in the South, emerging state by state throughout the nation. No single leader or organization can orchestrate such a movement, but we who have seen the power of fusion organizing in North Carolina in 2014 established an education center, Repairers of the Breach, to share the lessons of Moral Mondays and invest in equipping leaders for other state-based coalitions. In order to move forward together, we’ve outlined fourteen steps to mobilize in the streets, at the polls, and in the courtroom.

Organizing To Resist Corporatization Of Higher Education

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By Malini Cadambi Daniel for New Labor Forum – The once hallowed and secure work life of American university faculty has for the past quarter century been in turmoil. Being a profes­sor was once a respected, stable profession, but is now increasingly characterized by low pay, minimal benefits, and no job security. An expectation of tenure—the permanent status that was once a hallmark of the profession—is replaced by the reality of contingency, which means that college instructors must reapply to teach courses every year, or even every semes­ter. This new contingency is not a temporary employment arrangement, nor is it confined to a sector of higher education such as community colleges.

Don't Count On Elections: Organize Or Die

Howard Zinn voting is easy, direct action works

By Jean Allen and Frank Castro for Medium. Voting is a limited expression of popular will, choosing which parties or candidates come into political office. In strict terms, it is nothing more or less than the choice of which politician you want to delegate your power to at a specific point in time. Oligarchy and Plutocracy. Voting is not only limited as an act, it is limited in its influence and powers. Though there have been major and recent concerns about the capture of the state by a small portion of the people, this is a feature, not a bug. The very system of representative government is designed to limit popular engagement. This fear of truly popular government can be seen in the desperate fretting our esteemed Founding Fathers had as they designed the Constitution.

What Happens To The Bernie Sanders Movement If He Loses?

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By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence – The corrupted system, however, does not lead me to dismiss Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. He and the many people working with him have already contributed mightily to the task of preparing Americans for a living revolution. How so? First, he articulates clearly truths about our system that many Americans have figured out, but have wondered — for good reason — if they are alone. In a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, 68 percent agreed that we live in a country whose economic system favors the rich rather than the rest of us.

Mic Check! Bernie Sanders Swallows Occupy’s Microphone

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By Marisa Holmes for International Times – There are still barricades around Liberty Square. More than four years after the eviction, New York City and Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of the park, have physically enclosed the space. Cars parked on nearby streets bear the logo of the new NYPD special task force for handling protests, the Strategic Response Group. The government is still concerned about the possibility of occupation, and clearly intends to prevent it from happening ever again. Occupy Wall Street challenged the legitimacy of the American state.

Understanding Gut Reactions Is Key To Building Powerful Movements

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By Brian Martin for Waging Nonviolence – Many protesters are driven by their emotions, including anger at injustice and sympathy for victims of oppression. Acts of resistance, such as by Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama in December 1955, can trigger an outpouring of support. Yet, at other times, people are acquiescent to injustice. What happened to their emotional responses? Insight into the role of emotions in nonviolent action can be obtained from studies by psychologist Jonathan Haidt and colleagues into “moral foundations.”

A Proposal For Economic And Political Transformation In Europe

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By Staff of Transform – This EuroMemorandum draws on discussions and papers presented at the 21st Workshop on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe, organised by the EuroMemo Group, from 24-26 September 2015 in Roskilde, Denmark. The EuroMemorandum 2016 critically analyses recent economic developments in Europe and emphasises the strong need for an alternative economic policy that is based on the principles of democratic participation, social justice and environmental sustainability.