Pace e Bene

  • Sign Up for Email Updates


    Pace e Bene on FacebookPace e Bene on Facebook

10 Things To Know About Nonviolent Struggle

Posted by Ryan Hall
03.10.16

by Rivera Sun // From PeaceVoice 

1) Nonviolent action is used around the world by people of all classes, races, genders, sexualities, faiths, and political beliefs to accomplish a wide range of goals including changing governmental regimes, ending occupations, expelling foreign invasions, overthrowing dictators, stopping destructive industries, protecting the environment, gaining civil rights, creating economic justice and much more.

2) Nonviolent action is twice as successful as violent means, works in a third of the amount of time, and incurs a tiny fraction of the casualties as violent conflict.

3) While researchers don’t know how few people are necessary to successfully use nonviolent action to accomplish their goals, researchers do know that every movement they studied that successfully mobilized four percent of the populace always won.

4) There are more than 200 methods of nonviolent action, including marches, demonstrations, rallies, boycotts, strikes, sit-ins, blockades, noncooperation, civil disobedience, work stoppages and slowdowns, refusal to provide services and much more.

5) There are two hands of nonviolence: the hand that says no to injustice, and the hand that says yes to justice. Gandhian nonviolence might refer to these as obstructive and constructive programs. Others refer to the two-fold strategy as “oppose and propose,” or noncooperation with the destructive and cooperation with the beneficial. For example, a movement might work to ban factory farming while simultaneously encouraging the support of local, small farms.

6) Use acts of protest and persuasion such as speeches, fliers, and marches to spread knowledge of your issue or cause. Use constructive actions such as alternative institutions and parallel governments to build new systems rooted in justice. And, use acts of noncooperation and intervention such as boycotts, strikes, shut-downs, etc. to disrupt the injustice and remove cooperation and consent.

7) Movements use a series of nonviolent actions to build a campaign around a specific objective. A series of campaigns builds into a set of stepping-stones to accomplish the large goals of the movement.

8) Nonviolent movements for change seek to remove support from the injustice, and instead place support in systems of justice. These types of support may include material resources, money, human resources, skills and knowledge, authority, communications, public opinion, and intangible factors such as obedience, fear, hope, loyalty, etc.

9) Unlike violent conflicts which dehumanize people in order to hurt or kill them, nonviolent movements benefit from humanizing everyone involved, including the movement, the opposition, and the bystanders.

10) Nonviolent struggle is used by ordinary, extraordinary people just like you and me. Find a movement, get involved, start a campaign, participate in an action, build an alternative system, and find ways to make change right where you are.


Author/Activist Rivera Sun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and other books, and the co-founder of the Love-In-Action Network.

Recent Posts

Spotlight Stories arrow

A Call to Mobilize the Nation Through 2018

by Ryan Hall // Campaign Nonviolence

By Rev. John Dear.

While the media and the nation sit transfixed over the Trump scandals and attacks on democracy, those of us who work for justice and peace know that we have to keep working, resisting, and mobilizing people across the country if we are going to have the social, economic and political transformation we need for our survival. read more

Read More

No Just War

by Erin Bechtol // Campaign Nonviolence

By Sandi Dollinger // Posted with permission from PeaceVoice   Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance is not an easy train read. It is, however, a “Must Read” and very compelling. In a culture where war is taken for granted, whether … read more

Read More

Nonviolent Lives Book Review

by Erin Bechtol // Pace e Bene

  Review by John Smith This book is an inspiring catalogue of contemporary compassion, courage and conciliation. It is largely USA centered, but it includes a few individuals with an international reputation, such as Wangari Maathai.  Among the 35 names celebrated … read more

Read More
Image 01 Image 02