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 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.
By Kazu Haga for Waging Nonviolence – “It’s okay mommy…. It’s okay, I’m right here with you…” Those were the words of four-year-old Dae’Anna, consoling her mother Lavish Reynolds after she witnessed the police shoot and kill her boyfriend Philando Castile. Those words are now scarred into the psyche of America, much like words that came before it: “Hands up, don’t shoot.” “I can’t breath.” “It’s not real.”
By Michelle Alexander for Moyers and Company – I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. Thursday night, I wanted to say something that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. It finally dawned on me that there is nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, and share some wisdom passed down from struggles of earlier eras, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire.
By Zaid Jilani for The Intercept – GRAPHIC VIDEO ILLUSTRATING gruesome police killings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota has set off promises of a federal investigation, at least in the former case, but many are skeptical that it will lead to any prosecutions. Police involved in even these high-profile cases of abuse have rarely faced successful indictments, let alone prosecutions. However, at the federal level, a simple change to the law would make it more likely that abusive cops face punishment for their behavior.
By Jane Slaughter for Labor Notes – Three big wins for workers in the last nine months arrived where you might least expect them: in the old, blue-collar economy. That’s the economy where unions are down to 6.7 percent, where wins are rare and workers are supposed to be on their way out. Yet at Chrysler, Verizon, and a huge Teamster pension fund, thousands of union members mobilized to put a stick in management’s eye. Hundreds of thousands will see the benefit.
By Abdullah Al-Arian for MEE – Had it been allowed to continue, last Thursday would have seen Mohamed Morsi’s four-year term as president of a post-authoritarian Egypt draw to a close. Instead, last week marked the third anniversary of Morsi’s forced removal by a military coup that has reimposed a perpetual dictatorship upon 90 million citizens. The calamity of Egypt continues to unfold daily, with mounting human rights abuses, stifling of dissent, widespread corruption, economic crisis, and the consolidation of power in the hands of a new authoritarian ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
By Stephanie Van Hook for Peace Voice – With a rainbow pin on his lapel, signifying–on that day at least–the most recent gun massacre in the United States, Congressman John Lewis made an impassioned cri de coeur before members of Congress and the people of this country: the time for silence is over. “Sometimes,” he said, “you have to do something out of the ordinary.” And that’s just what they did: he and other members of his party put their bodies in the way of the daily operations of the Congress
By Yessenia Funes for Colorlines – In a new open letter, a group of 11 Gulf Coast environmental justice activists are demanding “respect and solidarity” from national “Big Green” organizations that they accuse of exploiting their local disasters for financial gain and treating poor people of color as “poster children for environmental injustice.” The activists, who hail from EJ groups including 350 Louisiana, Houstonians Against Tar Sands and Radical Arts & Healing Collective, published the letter on a New Orleans website June 27 and sent it to Colorlines yesterday.
By Laurie Wdowiak for LSE – Since March, France has known a wave of opposition against a labour law reform. The reform plans to further deregulate labour and decentralize bargaining, among other things; it will dispose of decades of social gains. 74% of French people oppose it. It has brought more than a million people on the street for the last 2 months, and led to heated confrontations between the police and participants. Public squares have been occupied under the name Nuit Debout (meaning “standing up night” or “awoken night”).
By Rivera Sun for Counter Punch – Independence Day is commemorated with fireworks and flag-waving, gun salutes and military parades . . . however, one of our nation’s founding fathers, John Adams, wrote, “A history of military operations . . . is not a history of the American Revolution.” Often minimized in our history books, the tactics of nonviolent action played a powerful role in achieving American Independence from British rule.