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 Chris Hodges for Truth Dig – SANTA ANA, Calif.—All resistance will be local. We will have to dismantle the corporate state, piece by piece, from the ground up. No leader or politician is going to do it for us. Every community that bans fracking, every university and institution that embraces the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement, every individual who becomes vegan to thwart the animal agriculture industry’s devastation of the planet and holocaust of animals, every effort to build self-sustaining food supplies, every protest to halt the use of lethal force by police against our citizens, especially poor people of color, every act of civil disobedience against corporate power and imperialism will slowly transform our society. Those who rebel, once they rise up, will build alliances with other rebels.
By Ana Conner and Tara Tabassi in Truth Out – Urban Shield, the world’s largest SWAT training and war-weapons expo, was held in September in California’s Bay Area, beginning on the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Hosted each year since 2007 in the Bay Area’s Alameda County (last year in Oakland, this year in Pleasanton) with exercises all across the Bay, it is attended by hundreds of local, federal and international law enforcement agencies and weapons manufacturers. Since his tenure began in 2007, Alameda County’s sheriff, Gregory J. Ahern, has been waging war on Black and Brown communities across the Bay Area. Urban Shield solidifies Ahern’s war, and makes it a profitable one. As the Bay Area Urban Shield’s core organizer, he has received over $100,000 in contributions for his electoral campaign from Urban Shield vendors, such as 511 Tactical, Adamson Police Products and Corizon Health.
By Brian C. Black in The Conversation – After billions of dollars invested over several years, Royal Dutch Shell said September 28 it would end oil exploration offshore Alaska after “disappointing” results. But industry efforts to drill for oil and natural gas in the Arctic are unlikely to end with Shell’s decision to abandon the Chukchi Sea. Indeed, momentum to exploit fossil fuel reserves in the Arctic has been building for decades. This week, in fact, political and industry leaders will converge on Fairbanks, Alaska for the 2015 Arctic Energy Summit, where they will consider options and opportunities for energy development, despite some of the lowest gasoline prices in years and a glut of natural gas in the US. The trends pushing for oil and gas in the Arctic run counter to the efforts of a growing number of advocates who argue some fossil fuel resources need to remain untapped to slow the rate of carbon emissions.
By Alicia Garza and Jamala Rogers for In These Times – We’ve said, very directly, that to rebuild the Black Liberation Movement, we actually need to build a different kind of united front—both internal to Black communities and external to Black communities. We have also been very clear that our election strategy is to push the Democratic Party to acknowledge the concerns of Black people. It’s not just about having candidates say “Lives Matter,” but certainly it is about exposing where candidates stand as it relates to Black people. We should figure out how not to try to make everybody fit into the mold we are most comfortable with. I organize domestic workers. Domestic work is a relic of slavery, and very much Black women’s work. I can’t talk about domestic work without talking about Black women. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
By Joel Northam in CounterPunch – The Black Lives Matter movement exhibited a schism since the first few days following the first Ferguson rebellion. I remember watching live streams of the rebellion early on as Ferguson’s youth waged small scale urban combat armed with little more than rubble and glass bottles. The heroic resistance to state power, against all odds of victory in forcing a retreat of the occupying militarized police, and in the face of material consequences in the form of a brutal crackdown, was a demonstration of courage that we all should aspire to. The repression by the armed apparatus of the state in Ferguson (and Baltimore months later) provoked another popular response. But this response took on a different character. It seemed to want to place distance between itself and those who were engaged in combat with the police.
By Chris Kromm in Southern Studies – In 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession — the nation’s biggest economic calamity since the Great Depression — one out of 10 people looking for work couldn’t find a job. The crisis was widely felt in communities large and small across the country. But the effects were far from equal. For example, the peak of unemployment for white workers who were unemployed in 2010 soared to 8 percent. But as Algernon Austin, a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute, noted in the report “#BlackWorkersMatter” [pdf] earlier this year, such devastating levels of joblessness were nothing new to African Americans. Over the last 52 years, Austin writes: [T]he annual unemployment rate for blacks has averaged nearly 12 percent. The typical African-American community faces a severe unemployment crisis year after year after year. The key role of race in chronic joblessness is just one of the reasons that African-American, labor and community leaders are calling for a new national commitment to organizing black workers.
By George Lakey in Waging Non-Violence – Another indication of how crazy this country has become: Some people are coming out against solar energy. Solar technology has dropped in cost to become competitive with other sources for electricity. Some energy companies are apparently worried that their fossil fuel and nuclear sources will become financial liabilities; coal already is with the new EPA regulations. Instead of welcoming the opportunity to come into the new age of renewable energy, the dinosaurs among us are resisting the change. In over 20 states there is push-back, reportedly coordinated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, supported by fossil fuel kings the Koch Brothers. One method is to take away subsidies given to homeowners who want to solarize their roofs. Another is to charge an additional fee for homeowners who succeed.
By Hilary Bricken in Above The Law – Marijuana legalization is often compared to the repeal of alcohol prohibition in the 1930s. Many see marijuana following the same trajectory as alcohol, where the states, just as they did with alcohol, start with medical regimes and one-by-one create a patchwork of state-based marijuana regulations leading up to recreational use. Once states saw the significant tax collections that alcohol generated, they decided that regulating and taxing alcohol was superior to the chaos of prohibition. The repeal of the prohibition on alcohol culminated in the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which ultimately delegated control over alcohol regulation and taxation to the states. Though marijuana could certainly wind up taking the same path as alcohol on the federal level, it might also go the way of same-sex marriages, especially since legalization of same-sex marriage just happened and the downfall of alcohol prohibition was over 80 years ago.
By Jesse J. Holland for AP. WASHINGTON (AP) — The Black Lives Matter network will skip a presidential endorsement but keep up its political activism by confronting candidates about the treatment of African-Americans in the United States, one of the group’s founders says. In an Associated Press interview, Alicia Garza discussed the organization’s refusal to settle on a preferred candidate in the 2016 race to succeed President Barack Obama and pledged to press ahead with protests and interruptions during the campaign. “Sometimes you have to put a wrench in the gears to get people to listen,” said Garza, who spoke at the 7th Annual Black Women’s Roundtable Policy Forum last week.
By Workers Struggle – 1) Class antagonism. There is no reconciliation possible between the workers and the capitalists (company/owners/bosses/management). Workers are not “exchanging labor for a fair wage” but are being robbed by their class enemy. Exploitation is inherent in the relationship. Even if we win concessions, we must never be satisfied. 2) Collectivity. There is no way to win this struggle as individuals. Working class unity is crucial. 3) Combativeness. There is no way to win by cooperating with the enemy, being subsumed by them, or avoiding confrontation with them, but it must be through struggle–whatever level of struggle corresponds to the capacity we have at a given time.