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.

Featured Video

YouTube Preview Image

Organizations and Websites
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.

“Ecology Of Change”: Movement Uprisings + Long-Term Organizing

Transformational change attempts to achieve long-term social, political and economic change through combining acts of resistance and movement-building. (Photo: niXerKG / Flickr)

By Mark Karlin for Truthout – Every once in a while, we see outbreaks of mass protests that capture the public spotlight — whether it’s millions of immigrants taking to the streets 10 years ago this spring, or huge student demonstrations in Quebec or Chile, or an occupation on Wall Street that spreads to hundreds of other cities and town. Media [are] almost always caught off guard by these types of mobilizations. Reporters label them “emotional” and “spontaneous.” But the argument of our book is that there is actually a craft to uprising. If we study the playbook of strategic nonviolence, we can see that there are important principles and tactics that guide successful mobilizations.

Can Climate Movement Break Free From ‘Jobs Vs. Environment’ Debate?

12932784_10154089622017708_1227210616867279612_n

By Kate Aronoff for Waging Nonviolence – For two weeks this May, organizers across 12 countries will participate in Break Free 2016, an open-source invitation to encourage “more action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and an acceleration in the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.” Many of the month’s events — pulled together by 350.org and a slew of groups around the world — are set to take place within ongoing campaigns to shut down energy infrastructure, targeting “some of the most iconic and dangerous fossil fuel projects all over the world” with civil disobedience.

We Need To Consciously Spark, Amplify And Harness Mass Protest

A protester holds a sign at the Democracy Spring demonstration in Washington, DC, on April 13, 2016. According to Mark and Paul Engler, momentum­-driven organizing uses the tools of civil resistance to consciously spark, amplify and harness mass protest. (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian)

By Mark Engler and Paul Engler for Nation Books – By 1963, the Dorchester retreat center near Savannah, Georgia, had emerged as a buzzing hub of activity for the civil rights movement in the American South. The site where Project C was hatched was also the home of a thriving social movement ecology. With the help of veteran organizers at the Highlander Folk School, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had renovated the facilities at a former missionary school located just a few miles off Georgia’s Atlantic coast.

Transforming A Movement: Importance Of Black Leadership In Immigrant Rights

Barack Obama Readies For Final TPP Push  https://www.popularresistance.org/barack-obama-readies-for-final-tpp-push/ via @PopResistance

By Anshantia Oso for Truthout – On April 18 the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas, the case challenging President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration. The president’s measures are designed to protect nearly 4.5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to apply for work permits under the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

UCLA's Kent Wong On Life And Legacy Of A Longtime Civil Rights Activist

The Rev. James Lawson Jr. (left) speaks to UCLA students attending a graduate seminar he co-led with Kent Wong (right), director of the UCLA Labor Center. Among the civil rights leaders they invited to participate is well-known social activist Dolores Huerta (middle), who co-founded the union that later became the United Farm Workers of America. Huerta received the UCLA Medal, the highest award given by the university, for her work.

By Stefanie Ritoper for UCLA News Room – I have been teaching nonviolence and social movements with Rev. Lawson for the past 15 years. He has had a huge impact in articulating a historic framework in the use of nonviolence in the United States. He’s been a leading scholar who has enlightened many about nonviolence– not only college students, but also those in social justice movements nationwide. Major civil rights books have been written about him throughout the decades, and he was extremely influential in counseling Dr. King and key civil rights leaders on the necessity and power of nonviolence.

How Nonviolent Resistance Is Shaping 2016 Elections

Democracy Spring protesters calling for the end of big money in politics stage a sit-in on the US Capitol steps and on the East Plaza of the Capitol on Monday, April 11, 2016. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

By Erica Chenoweth for Vox – Violence has gotten a lot of attention in the 2016 presidential race — from the kicking and punching of protestors at Trump’s rallies to incitements of violence against Muslim refugees and Mexican immigrants to promises by various candidates to use overwhelming military force to destroy the Islamic State. But nonviolent resistance — that is, when unarmed civilians use a coordinated set of actions, such as protests, strikes, and noncooperation to directly confront opponents without harming or threatening to harm them

The Movement Will Continue No Matter How The Election Turns Out

Democracy Not Plutocracy

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Below is an announcement of a partnership between Popular Resistance and Resistance Against Plutocracy which created the ‘Bernie or Bust Campaign.’ This is not an electoral alliance but a movement building alliance. We recognize the incredible work the Bernie Sanders campaign has done to build national consensus around the issue of the unfair Wall Street dominated economy and the corruption of the US electoral system by big money interests. We also recognize that despite the national consensus on these issues an independent mass movement is essential for creating the trasnsformational change need. We hope other supporters of Sanders ‘political revolution’ recognize that a revolution does not coincide with an election but is much bigger than an election. The people need to build a movement that is able to impact whoever is elected president, as well as congress, state legislatures and local governments. We need to unite Sanders supporters with the popular movement.

Simple Secret To Making A Difference—No Matter What Your Cause Is

Dipak Shelare / Shutterstock.com

By Jim Hightower for AlterNet – In my travels and conversations this year, I’ve been encouraged that grass-roots people of all progressive stripes (populist, labor, liberal, environmental, women, civil libertarian, et al.) are well aware of the slipperiness of “victory” and want Washington to get it right this time. So over and over, Question No. 1 that I encounter is some variation of this: What should we do!?! How do we make Washington govern for all the people? What specific things can my group or I do now?

Radical Politics in the Age of American Authoritarianism: Connecting the Dots

If the left is to fight back against authoritarianism, we must bring together diverse movements working for social change. (Photos: Bob Simpson, Ella, Workers Solidarity Movement, Mark Klotz, Mark Klotz / Flickr; Edited: JR / TO)

By Henry A. Giroux for Truthout – The United States stands at the endpoint of a long series of attacks on democracy, and the choices faced by many in the US today point to the divide between those who are and those who are not willing to commit to democracy. Debates over whether Donald Trump is a fascist are a tactical diversion because the real issue is what it will take to prevent the United States from sliding further into a distinctive form of authoritarianism. The willingness of contemporary politicians and pundits to use totalitarian themes echoes alarmingly fascist and totalitarian elements of the past.

National Consensus Builds For Transformational Change: Action Needed

99 percent

By Robert Weissman for Huffington Post. Americans overwhelmingly agree on a wide range of issues. They want policies to make the economy more fair and hold corporate executives accountable. They want stronger environmental and consumer protections. And they want to fix our political system so that it serves the interest of all, not just Big Money donors. These aren’t close issues for Americans; actually, what’s surprising is the degree of national consensus. The problem isn’t that Americans don’t agree. The problem is that the corporate class doesn’t agree with this agenda, and that class dominates our politics. Because this reality runs so counter to the dominant media story, it’s worth diving into the numbers to get a sense of the vast divide between conventional wisdom and empirical data.

Why Labor Movement Must Join Anti-Racist Struggle

1blm2

By Andrew Tillett-Saks for In These Times. American unions appear on their deathbed. The percentage of workers in unions is at its lowest point in 75 years, corporate politicians have spread union-busting right-to-work laws to more than half the states in the union and labor’s traditional strongholds (from manufacturing to the public sector) are rapidly being eroded. But an opportunity for labor to reverse its fortunes looms large in the Black Lives Matter movement, the largest wave of anti-racist struggle in recent memory. If American labor is going to reverse its declining fortunes, it must begin with attacking American racism. Racism is the lynchpin that holds corporate America together—as well as the shoals upon which American labor has sunk for centuries. Racism in America—past and present, from the colonial to the Trump era—divides workers so to prevent an effective united front.

“We All Have A Right To The City And Must Fight To Win It!”

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 12.15.54 PM

By Tony Romano for The Next System Project – Tony Romano: Right to the City is a national alliance of organizations rooted in communities of color and working class communities. Prior to Right to the City forming, many of the community groups for years reached out to each other for support, mentorship and study. We were all trying hard to build resident led organizations to combat an onslaught of gentrification and mass displacement. Together, we sought to win community control and achieve development without displacement.

Katrina, Climate Justice And Fish Dinners: Social Justice Lawyer Colette Pichon Battle

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 7.39.52 AM

By Bill Quigley for Black Agenda Report – A young corporate lawyer returned to Louisiana to immerse herself in the post-Katrina struggles of her people. “People were being asked, in the middle of trauma, to sign away rights and legal documents on property and your land that are going to have ramifications for generations.” In New Orleans, Atty. Battle learned that “rebuilding since the storm favors privileged private…

After Election, Can Support For Bernie Spur Social Change?

Bernie-Sanders-Black-Lives-Matter-2869-700x467

By Arun Gupta for TeleSur. Some call it a movement because Sanders volunteers are self-organizing to phone bank, canvas, leaflet, rally, and fundraise. That is not independent organizing, however; it’s mobilizing voters to advance Sanders in a process controlled by Democrats. Once that ends the groups will unravel because they’ve lost their common bond (unless the members have a pre-existing political relationship). It’s similar to how Occupy Wall Street disintegrated after groups were evicted from the physical camps that glued them together. If the Sanders campaign were a movement, leaders would be emerging with their own strategies, networks of support, and organizations as they have in movements from immigrant Dreamers and climate justice to Occupy and Black Lives Matter.

How Montanans Stopped Largest New Coal Mine In N. America

Protesters block a coal train from entering downtown Missoula in 2015. (Blue Skies Campaign)

By Nick Engelfried for Waging Nonviolence – Montana communities won a victory against one of the world’s biggest coal companies earlier this month, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine – the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible. To many observers, the Otter Creek project once seemed unstoppable. It certainly appeared that way in 2011, the year I moved to Missoula, Montana for graduate school.