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 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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.