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 Helaine Olen for Slate – Expect fireworks in Washington on Tuesday morning. That’s when John Stumpf, the chairman and chief executive officer of Wells Fargo, is expected to appear in front of the Senate Banking Committee to answer questions about how, exactly, the corporate culture at his bank went so awry that employees opened an estimated 2 million bank and credit card accounts for customers without their permission.
By David Swanson for Let’s Try Democracy – Bill Ayers’ short new book, Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto, is different from the typical liberal view of a better world in two ways. First, its goals are a bit grander, more inspiring. Second, it adds as the first and most important goal one that others don’t include at all. A typical proposal that a lesser evilist might give for “voting against Donald Trump” might include minor economic or police or prison reforms, a bit of environmentalism, healthcare, or education.
By James Kilgore for Truthout – In the run-up to the national prison labor strike on September 9, revolutionaries of decades past cast their imposing shadows over a new generation of activists, especially those in organizations like the Free Alabama Movement. At a gathering of the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM) held in Oakland to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Attica rebellion, Truthout had the opportunity to speak with three of the most important historic figures of prison struggles past
By Yanis Varoufakis for Yanis Varoufakis – In the space of thirteen months two referenda shook up not only the European Union but also Europe’s Left: the Greek OXI in July 2015 and Brexit in June 2016. Exasperated by the EU’s mixture of authoritarianism and economic failure, a segment of Europe’s Left is now calling for a “break with the EU”, a stance that has come to be associated with the term Lexit. DiEM25, the transnational Democracy in Europe Movement, rejects the Lexit logic and offers an alternative Progressive Agenda for Europe.
By Nick Engelfried for Waging Nonviolence – On Friday, federal agencies halted work on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project where it cuts close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The decision came after a long court battle and a wave of nonviolent direct actions led by indigenous organizations. While it remains to be seen whether the Army Corps of Engineers will ultimately allow construction to continue, Friday’s news marks an important milestone for a movement years in the making.
By Eric Stoner for Waging Nonviolence – In any social movement, it is important for organizers to have a clear and inspiring vision for the future world that they are working to build. In the struggle against rampant economic inequality in the United States and many parts of the world, no model is held up as a guiding light more often than the one built by Scandinavians. And for good reason.
By Rebecca Solnit for The Guardian – A pioneer monument and a lot of state troopers with batons and riot helmets stood between the mostly young native activists and the North Dakota state capitol on Friday afternoon. Many of the activists arriving at the capitol’s vast green lawn hadn’t heard that the Washington DC judge had decided against the Standing Rock reservation Sioux lawsuit. That was the lawsuit asserting that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had gone forward without adequate tribal consultation.
By David Cohen for Labor Notes – Has your union ever faced an employer that treated bargaining as a sham? Such employers have no interest in reaching a compromise; they’re intent on forcing concessions or breaking the union. Often they never move off their concessionary proposals. Finally they declare impasse and implement their “last, best, and final offer.” Winning against an employer like this requires a multi-pronged strategy. Members will need to gather public support and wage a fight that affects the employer’s production or services.
By Robert J. Burrowes for Popular Resistance. In the Engler’s book, This Is An Uprising, the authors try too hard to make nonviolent action fit into a model they have created by combining thoughts from a few (US) authors – essentially Saul Alinsky, Frances Fox Piven and Gene Sharp – to describe an approach to change based on structure-based organizing, momentum-driven revolt and the creation of prefigurative community. They then use a few case studies, all of which (including the campaigns of the US civil rights struggle) are from the USA except for the Otpor struggle to overthrow the Milosevic regime in Serbia and the struggle of the April 6 Youth Movement and its allies to remove the Mubarak regime in Egypt, to illustrate their argument.
By Martin Jacques for The Guardian – The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing.
Interview with Marcelina Zawisza and Maciej Konieczny by Lorenzo Marsili in European Alternatives. “We are not the old Left. It is more than clear if you look at our faces, our age, the way we speak and our new way of making politics”. In ultra-conservative Poland, something is moving. We meet some of the founders of Razem (“Together”) a new political party emerging from social movements and strongly inspired by the experience of Podemos in Spain. We discuss their project and the Polish scenario: from the surprising social policies of the current authoritarian government to the liberal opposition defending freedom of information but forgetting about inequalities. And the meaning of launching a new party from the bottom-up today.
By Raul Alcaraz-Ochoa, Jorge Gutierrez, Alan Pelaez and Deborah Alemu for Telesur TV. An Open Letter to the Immigrant Rights Movement: In light of the brutal murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Delrawn Smalls Dempsey, Alva Braziel, Joyce Quaweay, Skye Mockabee and Korryn Gaines, anti-Blackness, patriarchy and transphobia need to profoundly and urgently be addressed within immigrant rights organizing, now more than ever. Although non-Black Latinx solidarity with Black lives has increased and grown, there is still a lot of work to be done. How do Latinxs and the immigrant rights movement navigate anti-Blackness? First of all what is anti-Blackness? “Anti-Blackness is not simply the racist actions of a white man with a grudge nor is it only a structure of racist discrimination—anti-blackness is the paradigm that binds blackness and death together so much so that one cannot think of one without the other,”
By Will Jones and Mike Honey for Portside. Non-violence is NOT passive, but is militant and effective theory and practice. Portside Moderator Will Jones interviews Honey about the film and highly respected, long time RELIGIOUS LEADER, organizer, and educator James Lawson. Will Jones: Why this film now? Mike Honey: James Lawson’s theory and practice, ranging from the early civil rights and anti-war movements until now, offers us on the left, in the streets, a long term view based on his experience of teaching and organizing since the 1950s. He never claims to have all of the answers but provides a framework that challenges us to not just protest but to transform situations and systems, to build coalitions, to win people over to sanity. The Black Lives Matter movement’s evolution from impressive protests in Ferguson and elsewhere to a platform and call for continued action is an example of both the power and challenges faced by us here in USA and globally.
By Matt Stannard for Occupy – Centrist Democrats are bragging that they don’t need progressives to win in November. But the partnership works both ways. It’s morally useful to look at American politics through the eyes of Laura Zuñiga Cáceres. Just before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the daughter of slain Honduran activist Berta Cáceres arrived in Philadelphia, where she stayed, spoke, and, with thousands of others, protested the convention.