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The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions

Robert J. Burrowes

All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere.[1] Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not. To illustrate the distinction and the relationship between these two spheres, and to highlight their vital importance, this article discusses them within the simpler context of nonviolent actions.

Every nonviolent action has a political objective and a strategic goal. When planning an action, it is vitally important to distinguish between its objective and its goal. The political objective of the action is a statement of what the group wants to do: to demonstrate in the city square, to hang a peace sign on the nuclear warship, to picket a factory, to blockade the bulldozer, to occupy the embassy, to go on strike. But why does the group want to do this? Usually, it is to persuade one or more sections of the community to act differently in relation to the campaign issue. So the strategic goal identifies, first, who the group wants to influence, and second, what they want them to do. For example, if the political objective is to demonstrate in the city square, one possible strategic goal might be to cause members of the public to speak out in support of the activist perspective. If the political objective is to picket a factory, the strategic goal might be to cause workers (through persuasion) not to enter it. If the political objective is to blockade a bulldozer, the strategic goal might be to cause workers to stop logging, or, if the media is present, to cause television viewers to not buy old- growth timber from a particular company.

As can be seen from these simple examples, it makes more sense to decide the strategic goal first, and to then design an action to ensure that the goal is achieved. In other words, it is superior strategy to 1. decide who you want to influence and what you want them to do (derived from the political and strategic assessment that guides your struggle), 2. decide on a tactic that will do this, and 3. design the action so that it will do this most effectively. Thus, a strategic goal should be stated using this form: to cause a specified group of people to act in a specified way. Further examples of strategic goals that conform to this formula include: to cause trade unionists to place work-bans on ships carrying uranium, to cause more men to speak out publicly against domestic violence, to cause builders to stop using old-growth timber.

Once the strategic goal has been carefully and specifically defined, equally careful thought should be put into working out what tactic (at this stage of the strategy) will most likely achieve this goal and how it should be designed (so that it will cause the specified audience to act in the specified way). Of course, good action design requires an awareness of what makes nonviolent action work in the first place.

Nonviolent action works because of its capacity to create a favourable political atmosphere (because of, for example, the way in which activist honesty builds trust); its capacity to create a non-threatening physical environment (because of the nonviolent discipline of the activists); and its capacity to alter the human psychological conditions (both innate and learned) that make people resist new ideas in the first place. This includes its capacity to reduce or eliminate fear and its capacity to ‘humanise’ activists in the eyes of more conservative sections of the community. In essence, nonviolent activists precipitate change because people are inspired by the honesty, discipline, integrity, courage and determination of the activists – despite arrests, beatings or imprisonment – and are thus inclined to identify with them. Moreover, as an extension of this, they are inclined to act in solidarity.

To summarise and illustrate the argument so far, consider a nonviolent struggle in which the activists are working to end sexual violence in a local community. One strategic goal of the group might be: to cause the men in a specified group (perhaps those in a particular organisation) to take specified action (sign a personal pledge to not use pornography? put a sign in their front window saying they abhor sexual violence? undertake to speak out publicly against all forms of sexual violence? join a group that organises counselling for male perpetrators?) to help halt sexual violence in that community. The strategic goal will be achieved, at least in part, if some men respond by doing the specified act(s). So what should be the political objective of the action; that is, what nonviolent action will best cause the specified men to act in this way? To ‘out’ known perpetrators by putting their photograph in public places? To conduct a street rally involving local women? To repaint a billboard that objectifies women? To picket the local hotel or brothel every Saturday night? To organise an exhibition of artwork by survivors of sexual violence? Or something else? For the action to be strategically effective, it must be planned to achieve the strategic goal.

And how might the action be designed to maximise its effectiveness? What qualities (truthfulness? dignity? respectfulness?) can the activists demonstrate that will most influence these men? How can the action be carried out in a way that engages these men? For example, human needs theory suggests that if you want people to change their behaviour, activists must provide opportunities for involvement that allow people to enhance their self-esteem and/or security, at least.

If the strategic goal of a nonviolent action is achieved, then the action was strategically effective; this does not mean or require, however, that its political objective was achieved. In fact, it might not have been. This is because strategic effectiveness is unrelated to the achievement of the political objective. For example, the political objective of activists might be to blockade a bulldozer. However, the (usually unspecified) strategic goal of the bulldozer blockade should be something like this: to cause consumers to stop buying (the specified) paper products that are made from woodchips taken from old-growth forest (by a specified company). In this case, as long as the action is well-designed, it does not matter if the activists are arrested before the blockade takes place, because the message of their truthfulness, commitment, discipline, courage and sacrifice, together with the solidarity action they are calling for (which will undermine the power of their opponent), will still go out to their audience. In short, the failure to physically stop the bulldozer is strategically irrelevant.

It is the failure to distinguish between the political objective and the strategic goal that often causes a great deal of confusion, particularly around such questions as the role of secrecy and sabotage, in planning nonviolent actions. Many groups attach great importance to the political objective of their action, and use secrecy to improve their prospects of being able to carry it out. But this is invariably counterproductive, in the strategic sense, and is based on a flawed understanding of how and why nonviolence works. This is because, as explained above, achievement of the political objective is not equivalent to achievement of the strategic goal. And while many activists achieve their (secret) political objective, they fail to achieve (what should be) their strategic goal (to cause specified people to act in the specified way) because the qualities (such as honesty and integrity) of activists that inspire their audience are not allowed into play. (There are, of course, many other reasons why the use of secrecy is strategically counterproductive.)

For some types of action – such as a rally, a picket or a strike – no one would even suggest using secrecy. But whatever the action, as explained above, strategic effectiveness is unrelated to whether the action is successfully carried out or not (provided it is strategically selected, well-designed and sincerely attempted). This point was classically illustrated by the Indian satyagrahis who attempted to nonviolently invade the Dharasana salt works in 1930.[2] Despite repeated attempts by many hundreds of activists to walk into the salt works during a three week period, not one activist got a pinch of salt! But an account of the activists’ nonviolent discipline, commitment and courage – under the baton blows of the police – was reported in 1,350 newspapers around the world. As a result, this action – which failed to achieve the political objective of seizing salt – functionally undermined support for British imperialism in India.[3] If the activists had resorted to the use of secrecy, there would have been no chance to demonstrate their honesty, integrity and determination – and to thus inspire empathy for their cause – although they might have got some salt![4]

For essentially the same reason (as well as many others not discussed here), sabotage is strategically counterproductive when employed as part of a nonviolent struggle. If the important aspect of a nonviolent action is its strategic goal, then activists who plan acts of sabotage (that is, for example, their political objective is to disable a bulldozer or to destroy the nose cone of a nuclear missile) must be able to identify how this act will cause their specified audience(s) to act on the issue in the specified way(s). If they cannot, the action might well be strategically ineffective or even counterproductive, no matter how much media attention is gained if the political objective (damaging the equipment) is achieved. Thus, although this act might mobilise some people (and recent conflict theory provides several thorough explanations of why it will be few), the fact remains that activists who use sabotage (and the secrecy that almost invariably accompanies it) are placing too much emphasis on their political objective (the act of sabotage itself) rather than their (unidentified) strategic goal. As explained above, this limits the possibility of activist qualities that inspire the audience being allowed into play.

Whether or not activists achieve their political objective is strategically irrelevant. This is because an effective nonviolent action is designed to achieve its strategic goal, irrespective of the response of opponents or the authorities to the political objective of the action. Whether or not activists achieve their strategic goal, however, is always strategically determinative.

Endnotes:

1. See The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach.

2. Because it illustrates the point so effectively, I have simply repeated the example that I cited in an earlier article. See ‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’.

3. For an account of the salt raids at Dharasana, see Thomas Weber. ‘”The Marchers Simply Walked Forward Until Struck Down”: Nonviolent Suffering and Conversion’.

4. If salt had been removed secretly, the British government could, if they had chosen, ignored it: after all, who would have known or cared? However, they could not afford to let the satyagrahis take salt openly because salt removal was illegal and failure to react would have shown the salt law – a law that represented the antithesis of Indian independence – to be ineffective.

This article ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’ was originally published in Nonviolence Today 48, January-February 1996. pp. 6-7. It has been widely republished since then.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/political-objective-strategic-goal/

Why Activists Fail

Robert J. Burrowes

Despite enormous ongoing effort over more than a thousand years, during and since the formation and shaping of the modern world, and as the number of issues being contested has steadily increased, activists of many types have made insufficient progress on key issues, particularly in relation to ending violence and war (and the threat of nuclear war), stopping the exploitation of many peoples and halting the endless assaults on Earth’s biosphere.

Of course, in order for those of us who identify as activists to have any prospect of success in these and other endeavors, we need to understand how the world works and to develop an interrelated set of nonviolent strategies that are being effectively implemented to address each of the key aspects of this crisis.

This is because there is a great deal wrong with how the human world functions and a staggering amount that needs to be done if we are to fix it and preserve the planetary biosphere in doing so, particularly given that the primary threats are now so serious that human extinction is likely to occur within a few years. See ‘Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival’.

Of course, if human governance systems, ranging from international organizations like the United Nations and its various agencies to national, provincial and local governments functioned effectively, then we might expect these agencies, which theoretically function on our behalf, to have addressed these problems a long time ago. Or to do so now.

However, for reasons that are readily identifiable, these agencies have little power and routinely malfunction (from the viewpoints of ordinary people and the planetary biosphere).

So let me start by briefly explaining how the world works and then elaborating a few key points about strategy so that you can choose, if you wish (and, problematically, assuming there is still time), to play a more active and effective role, in one or more ways, in the struggle to make our world one of peace, justice and sustainability.

How the World Works: A Brief History

The formal human governance systems on Earth – that is, governments and intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations – are controlled by the global elite which is invisible to, and hence not considered by, most people including activists. This, of course, is how the elite wants it and one can still readily find accounts that ask if the elite (by whatever name it is given) actually exists and even ascribe it a mystical quality. If the idea is not simply written off as a ‘conspiracy theory’.

Well the global elite exists and its membership can be readily identified. But let me start by briefly outlining how the global elite acquired its extraordinary control over world affairs.

Following the Neolithic revolution 12,000 years ago, agriculture allowed human settlement to supersede the hunter-gatherer economy. However, while the Neolithic revolution occurred spontaneously in several parts of the world, some of the Neolithic societies that emerged in Asia, Europe, Central America and South America resorted to increasing degrees of social control in order to achieve a variety of social and economic outcomes, including increased efficiency in food production.

Civilizations emerged just over 5,000 years ago and, utilizing this higher degree of social control, were characterized by towns or cities, efficient food production allowing a large minority of the community to be engaged in more specialized activities, a centralized bureaucracy and the practice of skilled warfare. See ‘A Critique of Human Society since the Neolithic Revolution’.

With the emergence of civilization, elites of a local nature (such as the Pharoahs of Egypt), elites with imperial reach (including Roman emperors), elites of a religious nature (such as Popes and officials of the Vatican), elites of an economic character (particularly the City of London Corporation) and elites of a ‘national’ type (especially the monarchies of Europe) progressively emerged, essentially to manage the administration associated with maintaining and expanding their realms (political, financial and/or religious).

Following the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which formally established the nation-state system, national elites, increasingly of an economic nature as capitalism progressively developed and rapidly expanded, consolidated their hold over national societies and, as these elites internationalized their reach in the following centuries, by the second half of the C20th, a truly global elite had consolidated its control over the world.

Awareness of elites in earlier eras has been noted by some authors. For example, in his 1775 book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith noted that ‘All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind’.

But the work of C. Wright Mills in his 1956 classic The Power Elite is the original scholarly effort of the post-World War II era to document the nature of this elite, how it functions and why it had total control over US national society. Of course, despite scholarship of this nature, which has been added to routinely ever since, most people still believe the elite-sponsored delusion that international organizations, such as the United Nations, and national governments actually have some significant say in world affairs.

To jump to the present then, for the best recent account of how the global elite manifests today, see the book by Professor Peter Phillips titled Giants: The Global Power Elite. In this book, Phillips identifies the world’s top seventeen asset management firms, such as BlackRock and J.P Morgan Chase, that collectively manage more than $US41.1 trillion in a self-invested network of interlocking capital that spans the globe. The seventeen Giants operate in nearly every country in the world and are ‘the central institutions of the financial capital that powers the global economic system’. They invest in anything considered profitable, ranging from ‘agricultural lands on which indigenous farmers are replaced by power elite investors’ to public assets (such as energy and water utilities), to fossil fuels, nuclear power and war.

More precisely, Phillips identifies the 199 individual directors of the seventeen global financial Giants and the importance of those transnational institutions that serve a unifying function – including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G20, G7, World Trade Organization (WTO), World Economic Forum (WEF), Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Bank for International Settlements and Council on Foreign Relations – and particularly two very important global elite policy-planning organizations: the Group of Thirty (which has 32 members) and the extended executive committee of the Trilateral Commission (which has 55 members).

And Phillips carefully explains why and how the global elite defends its power, profits and privilege against rebellion by the ‘unruly exploited masses’: ‘the Global Power Elite uses NATO and the US military empire for its worldwide security. This is part of an expanding strategy of US military domination around the world, whereby the US/ NATO military empire, advised by the power elite’s Atlantic Council, operates in service to the Transnational Corporate Class for the protection of international capital everywhere in the world’.

‘The US military empire stands on hundreds of years of colonial exploitation and continues to support repressive, exploitative governments that cooperate with global capital’s imperial agenda. Governments that accept external capital investment, whereby a small segment of a country’s elite benefits, do so knowing that capital inevitably requires a return on investment that entails using up resources and people for economic gain. The whole system continues wealth concentration for elites and expanded wretched inequality for the masses….

‘Understanding permanent war as an economic relief valve for surplus capital is a vital part of comprehending capitalism in the world today. War provides investment opportunity for the Giants and Transnational Corporate Class elites and a guaranteed return on capital. War also serves a repressive function of keeping the suffering masses of humanity afraid and compliant.’

If you would like to read other books which also give a clear sense of elites and their agents operating beyond the law to the extraordinary detriment of humanity and the Earth, then I strongly recommend William Blum’s classic Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Paul L. Williams’ eye-opening account of Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance between the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia.

In plain language then: The global elite manages human governance systems for its benefit with no concern for ordinary people – who are considered unworthy – or the planetary biosphere. And the most important function that international agencies and governments perform, from the elite perspective, is that they appear to have control over certain jurisdictions and matters so that relevant constituencies focus their efforts, for example, on ‘changing government policy’ or changing the party in government. By having activist effort focused on lobbying governments or changing the party in government, this effort is absorbed and dissipated; hence, nothing of consequence changes because the elite has significant control over all major political processes, parties and their policies.

Of course, I should add that the elite is smart enough to make it look like something has changed occasionally, perhaps by allowing a small concession after years of effort (invariably on a ‘social’ issue, such as gay marriage, that doesn’t adversely impact their power, profits and privilege), so that most activist effort remains focused on governments and international governmental agencies. The elite also allows a ‘genuinely progressive’ candidate to emerge regularly so that activists are again suckered into putting effort into electoral outcomes rather than building movements for broad-based social transformation based on grassroots organizing.

In managing their already vast and endlessly accumulating wealth the global elite siphons a staggering amount of financial resources out of the global economy every day and channels these resources through secretive tax havens to evade tax. Globally, $US10billion of wealth produced by the labor of ordinary people is ‘lost’ each week in this way and more than 10% of global financial wealth (which doesn’t include non-financial wealth ranging from racehorses and yachts to artworks and gold bars) is now hidden in these secrecy jurisdictions. See ‘Elite Banking at Your Expense: How Secretive Tax Havens are Used to Steal Your Money’.

A small proportion (but nevertheless significant amount) of elite wealth is used to create and manage the dominant narrative in relation to the state of the world by financing production of this narrative, generated by elite think tanks, and then distributed through education systems, the entertainment industry and the corporate media. In short, we are bombarded with elite propaganda, given names such as ‘education’, ‘entertainment’ and ‘news’, that hopelessly distorts popular perception of what is taking place.

So why does all of the above happen?

In essence: global elite control of formal human governance systems for its own benefit is an outcome of the global elite’s insanity, as well as the insanity of those who serve it. ‘So what is sanity?’ you might ask.

Sanity is defined as the capacity to consider a set of circumstances, to carefully analyze the evidence pertaining to those circumstances, to identify the cause of any conflict or problem, and to respond appropriately and strategically, both emotionally and intellectually, to that conflict or problem with the intention of resolving it, preferably at a higher level of need satisfaction for all parties (including those of the Earth and all of its living creatures). For a fuller explanation, see ‘The Global Elite is Insane Revisited’ with a lot more detail in ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’. In brief, individuals who are not incredibly psychologically damaged, do not behave as described above.

In essence then, while the description of how the world works offered above is accurate, it is driven by an insane elite – endlessly and compulsively accumulating profit, power and privilege at the expense of ordinary people and the biosphere – and the insanity of those who serve the elite, such as virtually all politicians and businesspeople, bankers and accountants, judges and lawyers (see ‘The Rule of Law: Unjust and Violent’), academics and corporate media personnel.

Hence, struggles for peace, justice, sustainability and liberation (from military occupation, dictatorship, genocidal assault, coups and invasions), by various means (including those which are nonviolent), fail far too often. But not just because of the enormous power of the global elite. They fail because activists do not understand how the world works, including how the elite exercises its power and, in the case of those who use nonviolent action explicitly, they fail when activists do not understand the psychology, politics and strategy of nonviolent struggle. And while these subjects are not complicated, they do require time to learn.

To reiterate then, the answer to the question ‘Why do activists fail?’ is this: Virtually all activists do not understand strategy and so they do not campaign strategically. This means that anything done – whether a decision in a meeting, a phone call or email, an action or event planned and executed – simply fails to have the impact it could have. Let me elaborate this explanation using just three basic components (out of twelve) of sound nonviolent strategy.

Before doing so I should emphasize that I am talking about those who identify as ‘activists’. I am not talking about lobbyists (or those who use activism in the service of lobbying). Moreover, I am assuming that all activists are using some version of what they understand as ‘nonviolent action’, whether or not they claim to be doing so or even realize they are, simply because no other tradition of activism offers the comprehensive strategic guidance that the literature on nonviolence offers.

So what should activists do so that their efforts have strategic impact?

Strategic Analysis

The foundation of any sound strategy – particularly if campaigning on major issues such as to end war, to end the climate catastrophe, to halt destruction of the fresh water supply and the rainforests, to defeat a coup, occupation or invasion nonviolently, to transform the global economy, to bring down the global elite… – is a thorough understanding of the conflict.

This means, most importantly, having a clear sense of the ‘big picture’ (including those overarching structures and actors in far-off places that maintain/perpetrate the local manifestations of violence and exploitation), not just the detail of the issue on which you focus. Fundamentally, this requires an astute understanding of the global power structure. If we do not understand how power works in society, particularly structurally, including in relation to the conflict we seek to resolve, then we cannot plan and implement a strategy that will work. As the historical record tragically demonstrates.

But it also requires our analysis to include a reasonable understanding of how key issues (such as war, destruction of the climate and environment, and exploitation of women, working people and indigenous peoples) intersect and reinforce each other. If we do not understand something of these relationships then we cannot plan strategy that takes these relationships into account and thus adequately account for all variables driving a conflict. Again, as the historical record painfully demonstrates.

So, for example, the failure of most climate and environmental activists to adequately consider the role of war (and military activity and violence generally) in destroying the climate and environment means that a primary driver of these two conflicts is barely mentioned let alone discussed and then actually tackled strategically – ideally by working in tandem with antiwar activists – by activists working to end the climate catastrophe and defend the environment as a whole.

But this failure to consider the ‘big picture’ is also the reason why most climate activists are focused on switching (from fossils fuels and nuclear power) to renewable energy and miss the fundamental point that we are destroying the entire global environment – including the fresh water, rainforests and oceans – and unless we dramatically reduce, by about 80%, our consumption in all key areas involving both energy and resources of every kind – water, household energy, transport fuels, metals, meat, paper and plastic – and immediately cease driving, flying and eating meat for starters, we have no chance of averting human extinction. See ‘Will humans be extinct by 2026?’ and ‘Climate-Change Summary and Update’.

Which is also why simple, structured approaches to this reduction of consumption, while dramatically expanding our individual and community self-reliance so that all environmental concerns are effectively addressed, must be part of any effective strategy to address the climate/environment catastrophe. See ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’.

In one simple sentence: We cannot save the climate without saving the rainforests too, and ending war.

Having written all of the above, it is important to acknowledge that there are plenty of fine sources of accurate information on specific issues produced by independent think tanks and activist scholars and researchers. For example, you will find plenty of information about weapons corporations and weapons expenditure (still rising) on the website of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the climate movement produces some rigorous research, with the latest report meticulously documenting that bank financing of fossil fuels is still rising despite the Paris climate ‘agreement’ in 2015. See ‘Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2019’.

Strategic Focus

If we do not thoroughly analyze the conflict, it is impossible to identify the appropriate strategic focus for action and to then plan tactics that address that focus. This inevitably means that we are essentially guessing what to do, not knowing in advance, as we should, that the action we take will have strategic impact.

Moreover, guessing what action to take, usually on the basis of what is familiar or what feels good – perhaps because we get out with a bunch of ‘good people’ – virtually inevitably leads to poor choices like organizing a large demonstration. Demonstrations are notoriously ineffective, as world history’s largest demonstration on 15 February 2003 – involving demonstrations in more than 600 cities around the world, involving up to 30,000,000 people, against the imminent US-led war on Iraq – see ‘The World Says No to War: Demonstrations against the War on Iraq’ – illustrated yet again. Single actions and numbers are not determinative; strategy is determinative. Obviously, large demonstrations could be effective, if they were strategically focused – never on governments though – but only a rare activist understands this with the recent worldwide ‘School Strike 4 Climate Action’ demonstrations on 15 March and the ‘Hands off Venezuela’ demonstrations on 16 March graphically illustrating this lack of understanding and thus wasting opportunities to make a strategic difference.

Let me explain this notion of strategic focus with a simple example, and then invite you to consider it in a little more detail.

Given the critical role that airline flights, travel by car and eating meat, for example, play in destroying the climate and, in the case of the first two, driving US-led wars for control of fossil fuels, imagine if all of those students attending the School Strike 4 Climate rallies had used the day to sign a personal pledge which read as follows:

The Earth Pledge

Out of love for the Earth and all of its creatures, and my respect for their needs, from this day onwards I pledge that:

1. I will listen deeply to children. See ‘Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening’.
2. I will not travel by plane
3. I will not travel by car
4. I will not eat meat and fish
5. I will only eat organically/biodynamically grown food
6. I will minimize the amount of fresh water I use, including by minimizing my ownership and use of electronic devices
7. I will not own or use a mobile (cell) phone
8. I will not buy rainforest timber
9. I will not buy or use single-use plastic, such as bags, bottles, containers, cups and straws
10. I will not use banks, superannuation (pension) funds or insurance companies that provide any service to corporations involved in fossil fuels, nuclear power and/or weapons
11. I will not accept employment from, or invest in, any organization that supports or participates in the exploitation of fellow human beings or profits from killing and/or destruction of the biosphere
12. I will not get news from the corporate media (mainstream newspapers, television, radio, Google, Facebook, Twitter…)
13. I will make the effort to learn a skill, such as food gardening or sewing, that makes me more self-reliant
14. I will gently encourage my family and friends to consider signing this pledge.

Imagine if at all future climate rallies, participants were given the opportunity to sign such a pledge.

And imagine if at every demonstration against war, every participant was given the opportunity to sign such a pledge. There is little point yelling (or displaying a sign that reads) ‘No war for oil’ when you are the one using the oil. Surely, that would be hypocritical, wouldn’t it?

If it seems too difficult for now, would you sign the pledge after crossing out one or two items that you might reconsider later?

Perhaps, we can even mark 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, and the International Day of Nonviolence, as a day of world commitment with local ceremonies, small or large, around the world so that people can attend an event to make a public pledge of this nature too.

With the Earth under siege, would you sign such a pledge? What would you need to reorganize about your life to make it manageable?

The point then is this: It is easy to ask someone else to change their behaviour. It is more effective to change your own. And, if we do, we functionally undermine the cause of problems that concern so many of us.

Anyway, somewhat more elaborately, if you want strategic focus in your campaign strategy to end war or the climate catastrophe, for example, check out the two strategic aims and the basic list of strategic goals in ‘Campaign Strategic Aims’. And for the two strategic aims and the basic list of strategic goals to defend against a range of military threats, see ‘Defense Strategic Aims’.

This requires, vitally importantly, that the tactic in any given circumstance is thoughtfully crafted to achieve the strategic goal carefully identified as appropriate for this stage of the campaign. See the relationship and distinction between ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’.

And for a better understanding of the power of nonviolent action and how to frame it for maximum strategic impact, see also ‘Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works’.

Strategic Timeframe

Inadequate analysis, perhaps because you simply believe, without investigation, what the global elite is telling you via its many channels, such as its captive mainstream processes (including education systems and the corporate media), might lead you to work to a wholly unrealistic timeframe.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what is happening with the climate catastrophe. Unquestioningly following the elite-controlled discourse on this issue leads most people, including climate activists, to work to an ‘end of century’ timeframe or to believe, for example, that we have until 2030 to end our use of coal. And yet even some mainstream sources, such as the UN, are already reporting the catastrophic consequences of having set the utterly inadequate goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 2° (or 1.5°) celsius above the preindustrial norm. See, for example, ‘Global Linkages – A graphic look at the changing Arctic’ and ‘3-5°C temperature rise is now “locked-in” for the Arctic’.

So it is imperative that activists use their analysis (based on truthful sources) to make a realistic assessment of the timeframe. It might not be convenient to have less time than we think is necessary to precipitate the changes we want but our responsibility as activists includes the need to tell unpalatable truths (which the global elite and its agents will never do).

Fundamentally then, tell the truth. If there is a choice between being popular and telling the truth, I encourage you to always tell the truth. Deluding ourselves that we are doing a fine job and affirming each other for minor gains won’t avert human extinction or save those countless lifeforms, human and otherwise, who die each day as a result of our incredibly dysfunctional and violent world. Nor will it help those who are living under occupation, dictatorship or military assault.

Of course, telling the truth will scare many people. But it is still sounder strategy to trust people to hear the truth well, no matter how unpalatable it might be. Besides if we do not tell the truth and trust people, we have no prospect of mobilizing them strategically in the time we have left.

Needless to say, if you are going to tell the truth to others, you need to be courageous enough to perceive it yourself first. And to act on it.

Summary

In the above three sections, I explained the importance of a sound analysis, strategic focus and an appropriate timeframe as well as the importance of telling the truth, in developing and implementing an effective nonviolent strategy. This applies whatever the nature of the struggle: a peace, justice or environmental campaign or a defense or liberation struggle.

But effective strategy requires more than these three components and each of these components must also be soundly understood and rigorously implemented.

So if becoming more strategic appeals to you, check out either of these websites: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy or Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

Or, for a quick overall look at the twelve components of nonviolent strategy, check out the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel on each site, such as this one.

In addition, if you want to focus on parenting children so that they are powerfully able to deal with reality and not get suckered into the widespread addictions of over-consumption and militarism – see ‘Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War’ – or into believing that lobbying governments is the way to precipitate change, then you are welcome to consider making ‘My Promise to Children’ and learning the art of nisteling. See ‘Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening’.

Of course, if you have problems reducing your consumption or questioning the efficacy of military violence, then consider addressing the unconscious psychological impediments to this. See ‘Putting Feelings First’.

If you like, you can also join the worldwide movement to end all violence by signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

A Final Word

Some corporate economists are concerned that the global economy is facing a ‘downturn’ and, possibly, even entering a recession. As a result, they are arguing for measures to boost economic growth.

The reality, however, is that industrial civilization is already steadily and rapidly breaking down – with an endless sequence of climate and environmental catastrophes now taking place: for one of the latest, see ‘Death toll jumps in Mozambique storm as 15,000 await rescue’ – and will collapse completely within a few years. Why? Because the Earth has very little left to give without a staggering amount of regenerative inputs (some of which we can supply but others that require geological time).

But you do not need to believe me.

Consider the evidence for yourself.

If, after reading the lengthy list of documents, scientific and otherwise, cited in the key articles about near-term human extinction mentioned above, you can search out compelling evidence to refute the argument for near-term human extinction that is presented, then I hope you will share this evidence widely so that we can all be relieved that we have more time than an increasing number of courageous scientists are warning at risk to their livelihoods and professional appointments.

But if you cannot refute the evidence cited above or find the evidence that does it to your satisfaction, I invite you to respond thoughtfully and powerfully by taking immediate action to start systematically and substantially reducing your personal consumption while systematically increasing your personal and community self-reliance, in 16 areas, at the same time. Again, see ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’.

I can assure you that if we ‘step down’ the global economy systematically while increasing our self-reliance at a (much) lower level of consumption (which will also demonetize economic activity), then all of those corporations – such as those producing fossil fuels, mining strategic minerals and destroying rainforests – will cease producing products for which there is no market. They will simply have no financial incentive to do so. And this will functionally and ongoingly undermine the power of the global elite to manipulate us into surrendering our power by lobbying governments and surrendering our labor and resources to buy their products to increase their power and profits. Moreover, elites will have less incentive to start and fight the wars to steal the resources necessary to make the products our over-consumption currently requires.

As you probably realize, it is your own action that gives you credibility (and moral authority) to then encourage others to follow your example, and for you to campaign for others to change their behaviour too. One hundred years ago, Mohandas K. Gandhi – perhaps anticipating the latest UN report: ‘UN Alliance For Sustainable Fashion addresses damage of “fast fashion”’ – was reminding us that ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every person’s needs, but not every person’s greed.’ And he modeled the minimal consumption he asked of others in his own life first. At his death, he owned two outfits of handspun cotton, which he made himself on a spinning wheel, and a pair of sandals.

We do not have to be as frugal as Gandhi but we do need to substantially reduce our consumption and increase our self-reliance if we are to have any chance of preserving a biosphere that will sustain life for viable populations of all species.

Activists need to have the courage to act this out and then spread this message to everyone (particularly in the industrialized world): not waste their time asking elite agents, like governments, to support the switch to renewable energy or stop fighting wars to steal resources.

If we are to fight effectively to preserve the biosphere, we must do it strategically.

This article was widely published in progressive news outlets in March 2019.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/why-activists-fail/

What is the difference between Privacy and Secrecy in a Nonviolent Campaign?

Anita McKone

Privacy

Having some degree of privacy is a basic human need, and is thus also listed as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In private, or with people we trust, we are free to feel, think and create things in an uninhibited manner.

In private, we can make jokes, express ‘scary’ feelings, talk through ideas and work through dysfunctionalites without fear of negative consequences.

Privacy allows us choice as individuals. It gives us functional control over who we talk to, what we talk about, and the language and style we may use to communicate well and clearly.

Using affinity groups as an organising structure helps with privacy and trust – individuals can decide who they feel comfortable working with, get to know those people well, and decide through group consensus if new members are needed and will fit with the group. This decreases the chances of infiltration by saboteurs.

It is not functional or necessary for a centralised authority to be a ‘surveillance state’ for the purposes of ‘security’. If all people and all interactions are considered a potential threat to security, just because a small number of individuals may behave in a violent or criminal manner, the entire population is criminalised. If the threat is considered to be ‘biological’, the entire population is considered ‘sick’.

Meanwhile, the criminals who are wealthy enough to be above the law, shaping society and the economy without the knowledge, input or agreement of the population, are not similarly exposed for the benefit of the population through centralised surveillance.

Clearly the top level criminals and government officials ‘needing’ that level of control are paranoid – their fear is overreactive and projected irrationally and will have extremely negative social consequences. Additionally, their political or medical justifications for greater surveillance ‘in the short term’ may hide a longer term agenda for creating totalitarian social control.

Therefore, it is important to noncooperate with the surveillance state by ‘not making it easy’ for them to listen to or collect information about you that you don’t think it appropriate for them to have. Such noncooperation might include leaving mobile phones in a separate room with the door closed while you have meetings, and using encrypted email. On the one hand, you will not have anything to hide, on the other, they don’t have the right to spy on you in a space you have designated ‘private’. You may not be able to avoid certain impositions like CCTV cameras, but it is wise not to feed their addiction if you have simple, nonviolent means to prevent surveillance.

Secrecy

In a nonviolent campaign, you are not obliged to tell your opponent everything, but it is important that crucial elements are ‘open’ and not kept secret from police or your supporters. These include:

Being open about the existence of your group, its purpose, its commitment to nonviolence, a means for contact and the real names of those involved.

Being open about any actions that take place in public, arrestable or otherwise, including info on exactly what you intend to do. This is for the benefit of your supporters (who will wish to be involved with the full knowledge of what the likely consequences will be) and the police (who will be given space to use their discretion in response to whatever you do, and be supportive of you if they can).

Many (though not all) activist activities involve risk, and it is up to each individual to decide how much personal inconvenience or suffering they feel they can withstand in the event of repression. While it might seem scary or frustrating to be open about who you are, or what you intend to do, being secretive takes far more energy and keeps everyone focused on the ‘worst case scenario’. Secrecy increases distrust, both within the activist movement and with your opponent, and increases the likelihood of damaging infiltration and violent response.

In a strategy of military defence against unjust takeover, secrecy would be necessary and have no ‘down side’, because military defence uses intimidation and logistical control to gain political control. Military defence uses a limited number of people, organised in relatively small groups, to try to achieve its aims, and again, secrecy is not detrimental in this context. By contrast, secrecy is detrimental to a nonviolent defence ideally involving the entire population (all ages and sexes). Nonviolent defence is designed to decrease the natural and paranoid fears of your key opponents and their supporters, to provide space for them to realise that it is possible to cooperate to meet everyone’s needs. At the same time as you noncooperate to take their unjust power away from them (which they will initially fear and be angry about), you also reassure them that they can back down and change their behaviour without losing their lives or human dignity.

Openness demonstrates the fearlessness of the activists in standing up for the truth (which is inspirational to your supporters) and provides the trustworthy communication between parties necessary to convince supporters of the injustice to switch sides.

Further reading on secrecy:

‘Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works’

‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’

‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’

January 2021

Source of this document:
https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/privacy-and-secrecy/

 

Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works

Robert J. Burrowes

Nonviolent action is extremely powerful.

Unfortunately, however, activists do not always understand why nonviolence is so powerful and they design ‘direct actions’ that are virtually powerless.

I would like to start by posing two questions. Why is nonviolent action so powerful? And why is using it strategically so transformative?

Mohandas K. Gandhi picking up salt, and thus inspiring others to follow suit, at Dandi, 6 April 1930

When an activist group is working on an issue – such as a national liberation struggle, war, the climate catastrophe, violence against women and/or children, nuclear weapons, drone killings, rainforest destruction, encroachments on indigenous land – they will often plan an action that is intended to physically halt an activity, such as the activities of a military base, the loading of a coal ship, the work of a bulldozer, the building of an oil pipeline. Their plan might also include using one or more of a variety of techniques such as locking themselves to a piece of equipment (‘locking-on’) to prevent it from being used. Separately or in addition, they might use secrecy both in their planning and execution so that they are able to carry out the action before police or military personnel prevent them from doing so.

Unfortunately, the focus on physical outcomes (including actions such as ‘locking-on’ and its many equivalents), and the secrecy necessary to carry out their plan, all functionally undermine the power of their action. Why is this? Let me explain how and why nonviolent action works so that it is clear why any nonviolent activist who understands the dynamics of nonviolent action is unconcerned about the immediate physical outcome of their action (and what is necessary to achieve that).

If you think of your nonviolent action as a physical act, then you will tend to focus your attention on securing a physical outcome from your planned action: to prevent the military from occupying a location, to stop a bulldozer from knocking down trees, to halt the work at an oil terminal or nuclear power station, to prevent construction equipment being moved on site. Of course, it is simple enough to plan a nonviolent action that will do any of these things for a period of time and there are many possible actions that might achieve it.

But if you pause to consider how your nonviolent action might have psychological and political impact that leads to lasting or even permanent change on the issue in question but also society as a whole, then your conception of what you might do will be both expanded and deepened. And you will be starting to think strategically about what it means to mobilise large numbers of people to think and behave differently.

After all, whatever the immediate focus of your action, it is only ever one step in the direction of more profound change. And this profound change must include a lasting change in prevailing ideas and a lasting change in ‘normal’ behaviour by substantial (and perhaps even vast) numbers of people. Or you will be back tomorrow, the day after and so on until you get tired of doing something without result, as routinely happens in campaigns that ‘go nowhere’ (as so many do).

So why does nonviolent action work?

Fundamentally, nonviolent action works because of its capacity to create a favourable political atmosphere (because of, for example, the way in which activist honesty builds trust), its capacity to create a non-threatening physical environment (because of the nonviolent discipline of the activists), and its capacity to alter the human psychological conditions (both innate and learned) that make people resist new ideas in the first place. This includes its capacity to reduce or eliminate fear and its capacity to ‘humanise’ activists in the eyes of more conservative sections of the community. In essence, nonviolent activists precipitate change because people are inspired by the honesty, discipline, integrity, courage and determination of the activists – despite arrests, beatings or imprisonment – and are thus inclined to identify with them. Moreover, as an extension of this, they are inclined to change their behaviour to act in solidarity.

It is for this reason too that a nonviolent action should always make explicit what behavioural change it is asking of people. Whether communicated in news conferences or via the various media, painted on banners or in other ways, a nonviolent action group should clearly communicate powerful actions that individuals can take. For example, a climate action group should consistently convey the messages to ‘Save the Climate: Become a Vegan/Vegetarian’, ‘Save the Climate: Boycott Cars’ and, like a rainforest action group, ‘Don’t Buy Rainforest Timber’. A peace group should consistently convey such messages as ‘Don’t Pay Taxes for War’ and ‘Divest from the Weapons Industry’ (among many other possibilities). Groups resisting the nuclear fuel cycle and fossil fuel industry in their many manifestations should consistently convey brief messages that encourage reduced consumption and a shift to more self-reliant renewable energies. See, for example, ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’. Groups struggling to defend or reinstate indigenous sovereignty should convey compelling messages that explain what people can do in their particular context.

It is important that these messages require powerful personal action, not token responses. And it is important that these actions should not be directed at elites or lobbying elites. Elites will fall into line when we have mobilized enough people so that they are compelled to do as we wish. And not before. At the end of the Salt March in 1930 Gandhi picked up a handful of salt on the beach at Dandi. This was the signal for Indians everywhere to start collecting their own salt in violation of British law. In subsequent campaigns Gandhi called for Indians to boycott British cloth and make their own khadi (handwoven cloth). These actions were strategically focused because they undermined the profitability of British colonialism in India and nurtured Indian self-reliance.

Mohandas K. Gandhi and his spinning wheel, inviting fellow Indians to make their own cloth too. Photo: Margaret Bourke White, 1946

A key reason why Mohandas K. Gandhi was that rarest of combinations – a master nonviolent strategist and a master nonviolent tactician – was because he understood the psychology of nonviolence and how to make it have political impact. Let me illustrate this point by using the nonviolent raid on the Dharasana salt works, the nonviolent action he planned as a sequel to the more famous Salt March in 1930.

On 4 May 1930 Gandhi wrote to Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India, advising his intention to lead a party of nonviolent activists to raid the Dharasana Salt Works to collect salt and thus intervene against the law prohibiting Indians from collecting their own salt. Gandhi was immediately arrested, as were many other prominent nationalist leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel.

Nevertheless, having planned for this contingency, under a succession of leaders (who were also progressively arrested) the raid went ahead as planned with hundreds of Indian satyagrahis (nonviolent activists) attempting to nonviolently invade the salt works. However, despite repeated attempts by these activists to walk into the salt works during a three week period, not one activist got a pinch of salt! Moreover, hundreds of satyagrahis were injured, many receiving fractured skulls or shoulders, and two were killed.

But an account of the activists’ nonviolent discipline, commitment and courage – under the steel-tipped lathi (baton) blows of the police – was reported in 1,350 newspapers around the world. As a result, this nonviolent action – which ‘failed’ to achieve the stated physical objective of seizing salt – functionally undermined support for British imperialism in India. For an account of the salt raids at Dharasana, see Thomas Weber. ‘“The Marchers Simply Walked Forward Until Struck Down”: Nonviolent Suffering and Conversion’.

If the activists had been preoccupied with the physical seizure of salt and, perhaps, resorted to the use of secrecy to get it, there would have been no chance to demonstrate their honesty, integrity, courage and determination – and to thus inspire empathy for their cause – although they might have got some salt! (Of course, if salt had been removed secretly, the British government could, if they had chosen, ignored it: after all, who would have known or cared? However, they could not afford to let the satyagrahis take salt openly because salt removal was illegal and failure to react would have shown the salt law – a law that represented the antithesis of Indian independence – to be ineffective.)

In summary, nonviolent activists who think strategically understand that strategic effectiveness is unrelated to whether or not the action is physically successful (provided it is strategically selected, well-designed so that it elicits one or other of the intended responses, and sincerely attempted). Psychological, and hence political, impact is gained by demonstrating qualities that inspire others and move them to act personally too. For this reason, among several others, secrecy (and the fear that drives it) is counterproductive if strategic impact is your intention.

If you are interested in planning effective nonviolent actions, a related article also explains the vital distinction between ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’. And if you are concerned about violent military or police responses, have a look at ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

For those of you who are interested in planning and acting strategically in your nonviolent struggle, whatever its focus, you might be interested in one or the other of these two websites: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

And if you are interested in being part of the worldwide movement to end all violence, you are welcome to sign the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

Struggles for peace, justice, sustainability and liberation often fail. Almost invariably, this is due to the failure to understand the psychology, politics and strategy of nonviolence. It is not complicated but it requires a little time to learn.

This article was widely published in progressive news outlets in January 2017.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/nonviolent-action-works/

Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression

Robert J. Burrowes

In a recent article, full of insight, Professor Bill Quigley identified ten different illegal actions police often take ‘to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights’ to take nonviolent action to address a grievance. He noted that these police tactics are commonly used by law enforcement agencies in big protests across the US. See ’10 Illegal Police Actions to Watch for in Ferguson’.

I would like to complement Professor Quigley’s fine article by identifying ways in which the risk of police or military personnel using illegal and violent tactics can be minimized and, in many cases, thwarted, wherever in the world the nonviolent action takes place.

If you want a nonviolent action to be maximally effective, there are two preliminary points to consider. First, spend time developing a carefully elaborated nonviolent strategy that will guide each and every aspect of your campaign. For an explanation of nonviolent strategy and a 12 point strategic framework to guide you, see [this website]. And second, make sure that each nonviolent action that your group undertakes is governed by its strategic goal, not its political objective. If you are not clear what this means, see ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’.

If your nonviolent tactic (demonstration, strike, blockade…) is the strategically chosen and focused tactic for this stage of your campaign, and you undertake it with the strategic goal (not political objective) clearly in mind, then, irrespective of the immediate police response (including if it is illegal, violent and/or makes use of provocateurs), your strategic goal will be achieved, your campaign will be advanced and any violent response by police or the military will be either politically irrelevant or strategically advantageous to your campaign.

With these preliminary points in mind, let me now identify 20 things you can do to minimize the risk of police/military attempts to defeat or hijack your nonviolent action by acting illegally, using violence or employing provocateurs.

Police and military personnel may be violent at nonviolent actions for various reasons. In my experience, the most important ones are because they are directed to use violence as a form of political repression and because they are afraid. There will often be several subtexts to their fear, such as the fear that underpins racism or religious bigotry for example. If you want to understand this more clearly, see ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’. Thus, in addition to considering the many other aspects of any nonviolent strategy, the planning process might consider ways in which any action can be made less vulnerable to violent repression.

Separately or in addition to this, and depending on the context, government or foreign agents provocateur may be engaged to use violence in an attempt to subvert or even hijack the purpose of the movement by destroying its nonviolent character, thus ‘justifying’ a violent response by authorities. This has happened repeatedly in the past. Consequently, sound strategy requires that planning design ways to prevent any provocateurs from subverting or hijacking the movement by compromising nonviolent discipline.

Nonviolent action can be very effective in limiting the use of violence for three interrelated reasons: its capacity to create a favorable political atmosphere (because of, for example, the way in which activist honesty builds trust); its capacity to create a non-threatening physical environment (because of the nonviolent discipline of the activists); and its capacity to alter the human psychological conditions (both innate and learned) which make the use of violence possible in the first place. This includes its capacity to reduce or eliminate police/military fear and its capacity to ‘humanize’ activists in the eyes of both opponents and their police and military agents.

Consequently, while it is never possible to eliminate the risk of police/military (or provocateur) violence at a nonviolent action, it is possible to minimize this risk by identifying the factors which account for the outcome and by controlling as many of these factors as possible. Failure to do so increases the risk of undesirable outcomes. In essence, minimizing the risk of police/military and provocateur violence requires the meticulous planning and implementation of any action. This should include all of the following that are locally relevant.

1. Make a strategic decision that the campaign will be nonviolent, then make this commitment explicit and widely known. If you want to debate the precise meaning of ‘nonviolent’ in your context, you might find the ‘Matrix of Nonviolence’ a useful tool.

2. Develop a ‘Code of Nonviolent Discipline’ which reflects this commitment and, given the political advantages of this code, insist that any activist who wishes to participate in the nonviolent actions of the campaign sign it before doing so: If an activist is seriously committed to your campaign, they will not object to signing (and identifying provocateurs at any action will then be easier). Based on a study of many campaigns around the world, a typical code would include the following points:
* I will speak the truth.
* I will treat each person (including workers, police/military officers and media personnel) with respect.
* I will withstand the anger and assaults of my opponents without retaliating with verbal aggression, physical struggle or violence.
* I will protect opponents and police/military personnel from insults and attack.
* I will act in accordance with the decisions and planned program of the organizing group and will respond promptly to requests from the action focalizers. In the event of a serious disagreement, I will withdraw from the action. I will not initiate or participate in any spontaneous action.
* I will accept responsibility for my actions; I will not use secrecy.
* If my arrest is sought, I will accept it voluntarily; if I am taken prisoner, I will behave in an exemplary manner.
* I will protect the property of my opponents and police/military personnel.
* I will not run, use any threatening motions or seek to spread panic among the activists.
* If I film or photograph this nonviolent action, I will do so for general media and security purposes only, and not target individual police/military personnel specifically for identification and intimidation.
* I will not bring or use any drugs or alcohol.

Palestinians protecting Israeli policewoman from settler attack at Esh Kodesh outpost, August 2015.

Palestinian nonviolent activists defending Israeli policewoman from Israeli settler attack at Esh Kodesh outpost, August 2015.

3. Conduct nonviolence education programs so that activists fully understand what a commitment to nonviolent discipline entails. Within these education programs, provide opportunities for activists to share their feelings and fears in relation to any action and to discuss how the group might organize itself (in affinity groups, for example) so that each person is adequately supported to behave in a disciplined and nonviolent manner.

4. Conduct nonviolence education programs specifically designed for those activists who wish to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be members of nonviolent peacekeeping teams. See ‘Tactics and Peacekeeping’.

5. Write individually to any relevant political leaders (such as the President/Prime Minister and/or their equivalents at state/local levels, and their deputies) and to the most senior police and/or military officers (and their deputies) who will be involved in responding to your nonviolent action. Inform them of your campaign and its purpose, and specifically advise them that the campaign and the actions within it will be explicitly nonviolent. Include a copy of the code of nonviolent discipline.

6. Identify the military and/or police forces (including the federal, state, military and/or naval police) as well as any ‘special operations’ groups which will respond to your nonviolent actions. Select appropriate individuals (paying attention to what is locally appropriate in relation to gender, racial and religious ‘balance’) to a police/military liaison team and have them liaise regularly with the senior police/military officers who will be responsible for the police/military response. See ‘How to do Police Liaison’ and ‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’. If they offer you a deal or make threats, here’s how to respond: ‘Police Deals and Threats: How Should Nonviolent Activists Respond?’

Given that secrecy, like sabotage, is strategically counterproductive – see ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’ cited above for a full explanation – keep police/military officers fully informed of all action plan details and give them a personal copy of the code of nonviolent discipline. Request the opportunity to address all of the police/military personnel who will be involved in policing any actions so that you can fully inform them as well. It does not matter if this is refused, which is likely.

7. Organize members of the police/military liaison team(s) to visit local police stations/military installations in order to talk respectfully to individual officers about the campaign and to give them a personal copy of the code of nonviolent discipline. Listen to their fears and concerns as well; reflect these, if appropriate, while remaining clear about the gravity of the issue in your view and your commitment to taking nonviolent action to address it. This contact is designed to reduce police/military fears and to counter any ideological conditioning (such as ‘all protesters are bludgers’) which has dehumanized activists in the eyes of the police/military personnel. Don’t worry if this contact is not allowed. Keep asking. As your campaign unfolds, what wasn’t possible before will sometimes become possible later. As individual officers become aware of your campaign, your commitment and discipline, some will find ways of helping you unofficially.

8. Treat individual police and military officers with respect and courtesy: they have families, concerns and, in their own way, want the world to be a better place too. Remember that they have far more in common with us than with the elites whose interests they are paid to defend. Give them opportunities to realize this. Of course, not every police and military officer will respond to this. Some are badly psychologically damaged and have been chosen for these psychological characteristics to perform a role within their police/military structure that is violent. But if you choose to treat them all as considerate human beings, you will get the best response possible in the circumstances. We are trying to change the world: Give people as much room as possible to join us.

9. Issue a news release to the relevant corporate media, progressive media and on social media (and write letters to the editors of local newspapers if necessary) which briefly explains the issue and draws attention to the nonviolent commitment of your group, advises that political leaders and the most senior police and/or military officers have been informed of this commitment, and includes a copy of the code of nonviolent discipline.

10. Organize the police/military liaison team (who should not otherwise participate in the action on the day) to meet the police/military personnel just prior to any action. If possible, they should speak to each officer individually and give them a copy of the code of nonviolent discipline. If this is not possible, one of the focalisers or a member of the liaison team should remind the police/military (over a public address system) of the nonviolent commitment of the activists. This might mitigate the fear of individual police or military personnel who might have been warned, as has happened often enough, to expect activist violence.

If you anticipate that authorities might deliberately use police/military personnel at your action who speak a different language so that they can thwart your attempts to communicate with them, which has happened rarely, you will also need at least some activists who can speak any relevant languages and the code of nonviolent discipline will need to be printed in all relevant languages.

Are you starting to wonder why I am emphasizing the importance of advance and ongoing dialogue so much? Time and again throughout history, military and/or police forces have defied orders to repress nonviolent activists. The effectiveness of the dialogue between Chinese pro-democracy activists in Beijing in 1989 and the troops of the People’s Liberation Army was so effective that the Chinese dictatorship’s first attempt to clear Tiananmen Square on 20 May was completely thwarted. And in 1991, the dialogue between the nonviolent activists in the ‘Living Ring’ (who had surrounded the Russian White House following the Soviet coup) and the Soviet troops led to the latter’s refusal to attack the Russian White House and kill Soviet civilians. I could go on.

Riot police in Thailand put down their helmets and shields in solidarity with nonviolent activists campaigning for the removal of the corrupt Shinawatra government, 6 December 2013.

Riot police in Thailand put down their helmets and shields in solidarity with nonviolent activists campaigning for the removal of the corrupt Shinawatra government, 6 December 2013.

11. If the tactic is strategically chosen, it will be consistent with the strategy and have a clearly defined strategic goal while nominating exactly where and when the action will take place, how many activists will be involved and what level of nonviolence education and experience they will require in order to be disciplined and effective in the circumstances. Consider preparing an ‘action leaflet’ to explain the main details of any action to relevant audiences on the day.

12. Plan each tactic in complete detail. For example, if the action involves some form of intervention (such as sitting in front of a bulldozer or blocking access to a military base or work area) which increases the risk of confrontation with workers (with whom you should also liaise in advance) and/or the police/military, make decisions about such details as whether the activists will stand, sit or lie down; whether they will face or turn away from the workers and/or police/military; what posture they will adopt; whether they will sing (what?), remain silent or do something else; and whether they will be connected in some very obvious way (tangled in a ball of wool, for example) which makes removal difficult. This detail is important because, for example, it is more difficult to violently assault people who are sitting quietly. In response to a tax resistance protest in Beit Sahour in Palestine in 1988, Israeli troops besieged the town and ordered the tax resisters to disperse. However, in an act of defiance designed to eliminate any excuse for the troops to fire, the activists sat down in the street and quietly held hands.

It is worth noting at this point that tactics that involve such actions as ‘locking on’ to something (with various types of metal locks and pipes, for example) or damaging equipment (called monkeywrenching in some contexts) are misconceived. They are based on the fallacious belief that the political objective of the action is what is important, not its (obviously undefined) strategic goal. See ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’.

13. Consider tactics which emphasize dispersion rather than concentration. The capacity for tactics involving dispersion to minimize violence has been illustrated in several campaigns. For example, during the 1930-1931 independence campaign in India, the main type of repression (imprisonment) used against people throughout India who manufactured salt was relatively mild compared with the violent beatings given to the activists who intended to occupy the Dharasana salt works. Even more effectively, the 1959 potato boycott in South Africa – to protest the use of Pass offenders being used as ‘slave’ labor on potato farms – could not be broken by the government, farmers and merchants combined and made repression effectively impossible. See Albert Luthuli. Let My People Go: An Autobiography. London: Collins, 1962. pp. 217-219.

14. If tactics involving concentration are chosen, consider organizing them in a novel way or investing a traditional practice with new meaning. For example, in circumstances in which demonstrations are banned, the action may take the form of a funeral procession or, as has been frequently the case in Tibet, a religious ceremony.

15. Conduct roleplays so that activists are given the chance to learn how to deal with various contingencies, such as police intimidation (with their uniforms, ‘protective’ gear, weapons and vehicles), kettling (confining activists to either arrest or move them), painful noise (administered by a long range acoustic device), and various weapons, chemical, electrical and otherwise (such as pepper spray, tear gas, tasers, batons, water cannons, and rubber/wooden bullets).

It’s a tough call, but history clearly shows that activists with the courage to calmly withstand repression at this level, as many have done in many countries around the world, make huge gains for their campaign. For example, at an ‘illegal gathering’ in Rangoon in Burma in 1989, Aung San Suu Kyi used some carefully chosen words to maintain crowd discipline after they were threatened with violent dispersal by the military; no one moved. (In contrast, the disorganized and undisciplined crowds at Amritsar, India in 1919 and Sharpeville, South Africa in 1960 were shot as they ran away leaving many people dead.) Activists protesting against the use of torture in Chile were often sprayed by water cannons loaded with dirty sewer water or water mixed with dangerous chemicals and the women of Greenham Common were subjected to sound, light or electromagnetic zapping technologies. And, of course, the satyagrahis at Dharasana in India on 21 May 1930 were beaten over the head with steel-tipped clubs, resulting in 320 injuries, including many fractured skulls and two deaths. In each of these three cases, the activists withstood the repression.

This Sahrawi nonviolent occupation camp at Gdeim Izik on the outskirts of Layyoune, the capital of Western Sahara, was destroyed and several nonviolent activists were killed by occupying Moroccan security forces on 8 November 2010.

This Sahrawi nonviolent occupation camp at Gdeim Izik on the outskirts of Layyoune, the capital of Western Sahara, was destroyed and several nonviolent activists were killed by occupying Moroccan security forces on 8 November 2010.

Make sure the individuals in your campaign are given maximum personal support to develop this level of courage. Set up roleplays and then invite people to develop courageous nonviolent responses to various violent contingencies: find out what your fellow nonviolent activists are doing to neutralize the impact of pepper spray and tear gas, for example. If some people discover they are not ready for this level of engagement, give them other opportunities for involvement until they are ready. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

A Zimbabwean nonviolent activist is beaten up by riot police of the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe as they disperse about 100 people protesting against the central bank's plans to reintroduce local banknotes, Harare, 17 August 2016 Photo: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

A Zimbabwean nonviolent activist is beaten up by riot police of the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe as they disperse about 100 people protesting against the central bank’s plans to reintroduce local banknotes, Harare, 17 August 2016. Photo: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

16. Have a contingency plan for each tactic which may be subjected to police/military violence. This plan should be known by all participants in advance of the action, it may be described in an action leaflet distributed as people arrive for the action, it should be explained again by the action focalizers at the beginning of the action, and it should be capable of implementation in a matter of seconds. If appropriate, the plan should emphasize the importance of maintaining lookouts during the action in order to eliminate the possibility that activists will be caught by surprise. The plan should include the preparation of simple actions designed to counter the prospect of violence and it should include simple actions for responding to violence should it start to occur. For example, at Ixopo in South Africa in 1959, a group of protesting women was ordered to disperse. But before police could be ordered to conduct the baton charge, the highly organized women sank quietly to their knees and began to pray. In response, the police ‘hung around helplessly’. See Luthuli p. 196.

17. Ensure that activists have been fully briefed on the risk of arrest and its legal consequences, and have had adequate opportunity to make an informed decision about this. The article ‘Should I be Arrested?’ might be a useful reference. If some activists are not willing to risk arrest where this is a possibility, devise other involvements that do not involve this risk (or devise tactics involving dispersion). These days, in many contexts, it is unwise to assume that arrests will not occur. If arrests are anticipated/intended, organize an ‘Arrest Support Team’ (which will usefully involve one or more supportive legal people) for your action and make sure they have a full list of those who are planning to be arrested, noting whether or not these arrestees intend to accept bail and who they would like informed of their arrest. Subsequent legal support will need to be organized.

18. Appoint two action focalizers who are competent to explain and direct the action on behalf of the organizing group. And have sets of backup focalizers as well in case the first two are arrested by ‘snatch squads’ of police targeting leaders. Focalizing includes identifying the strategic goal of the action, indicating its nonviolent nature (and asking people to respect this discipline or to withdraw from the action), creating the appropriate mood (for example, one of celebration or mourning), drawing attention to any action leaflet, outlining any safety precautions or contingency plan, and facilitating the action through the stages agreed upon during the planning process. This will assist people to understand the nature of the action and to resist the initiatives of individuals or groups with a competing agenda.

19. Organize clearly identified marshals and peacekeeping teams (which are able to deal effectively with activist, provocateur or worker violence) to be present at any nonviolent action where violence is a distinct possibility.

20. Arrange for independent witnesses (such as civil liberties monitors and legal observers) and the media, progressive and otherwise, to be present at any action where there is a risk of police/military violence. Violent repression of disciplined nonviolent activists violates major cultural and political norms. For this reason, the police and military would prefer to conduct any violence in secret. Even if the corporate media doesn’t report police/military violence (and/or lies about your behavior), progressive and social media are likely to report the truth.

If, despite all of the above, the police and/or military personnel are still violent, the activists should maintain their discipline so that police fears about the reaction of activists are quickly dispelled and so that the inhibitions against the use of violence are brought quickly into play. Maintaining discipline in this context requires a great deal of courage. However, by making unnecessary noise, running away or responding in kind, activists contribute to the chaos which makes a continuation of the violence more likely. This has been demonstrated historically on many occasions, including those noted above.

In contrast, a disciplined group which remains motionless (preferably in a pose of cultural significance, such as one of prayer or meditation) and which remains silent or perhaps hums or sings (possibly a religious hymn or a national anthem) is less likely to be attacked, and, if it is attacked, is less likely to be attacked for any length of time. In the tactical sense, disciplined action of this nature should minimize the number of casualties; in the strategic sense, it should generate the highest level of support for the nonviolent activists and their cause.

It will not always be feasible to undertake all of the above, particularly for mass demonstrations involving huge numbers of people from different parts of a country. But if we keep the above points in mind, and implement those points that we can, we will continue to progressively improve the effectiveness of our efforts to nonviolently shape the world we envision and be increasingly better prepared to thwart elite efforts to stop us.

Finally, if you are inclined to join the worldwide movement to end all violence, you are welcome to sign the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

If you are somewhat overwhelmed by the above information, it’s only because you are not used to planning and implementing nonviolent strategy with the same attention to detail as our military counterparts. But if we are going to take the necessary risks to save our world, we might as well do it strategically.

The original version of this article was titled ‘Minimizing the Risk of Police Violence’ and was published in Nonviolence Today 40, September-October 1994. pp. 17-18. A revised version, titled ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’, was widely published in November 2014.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/minimizing-risk-violent-repression/

Articles

There are a great many articles about aspects of nonviolent action. I have carefully selected just a few of these because they explain and/or illustrate important points about nonviolent strategy. If you click on any of the links below, you will be able to read (and download) that particular article.

1. ‘The Modified Consent Theory of Power’. This article simply explains and illustrates the consent theory of power and explains why it is inadequate in the imperial world of today. It also explains and illustrates the modified consent theory of power and identifies its importance to effective nonviolent strategy.

2. ‘Three Types of Power’. This diagram presents three types of power – ‘Power Over’, ‘Power With’ and ‘Power from Within’ – useful for understanding both how power manifests and can be used in nonviolent struggles.

3. ‘Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works’. This article briefly explains why and how nonviolent action works.

4. ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’. This article explains the vital distinction, which is virtually never understood, between the political objective and the strategic goal of any nonviolent action.

5. ‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’ explains, from a Gandhian perspective, the appropriate nature of the relationship between activists and the military/police forces of the opponent elite.

6. ‘How to do Police Liaison’ explains how to do police liaison, which applies equally to liaison with military forces.

7. ‘Police Deals and Threats: How Should Nonviolent Activists Respond?’ explains how to respond to police/military deals and threats.

8. ‘Should I Be Arrested?’ will give nonviolent activists plenty to think about in response to this perennial question.

9. ‘Strategic Noncooperation Following Arrest’ explains options for noncooperation beyond arrest and assesses the value in each context.

10. ‘What is the difference between Privacy and Secrecy in a Nonviolent Campaign?’ explains the distinction and why it is important to be aware of it.

11. ‘Why Activists Fail’ explains the usual reasons why activist efforts fail to achieve their purpose and what must be done to avoid failure.

12. ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’ explains how to plan and implement your nonviolent action if you anticipate severe military and/or police repression but intend to proceed with your particular nonviolent action anyway.

13. ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’ is a document extracted from Gene Sharp’s The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part Two: The Methods of Nonviolent Action. It is a comprehensive list of possible tactics that might be used in a nonviolent defense or liberation struggle. I have added photos from many different (historic and current) nonviolent struggles around the world.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/

Tactics and Peacekeeping

Strategic Considerations in the Selection and Implementation of Nonviolent Tactics

In order to be strategically effective, the tactics chosen must be directed at the strategic aims and applied in accordance with the conceptions of conflict and Gandhian nonviolence that underpin the strategic framework.

There are several strategic considerations that should guide the selection, organization and implementation of the tactics used in your defense/liberation strategy. This is because there is an almost infinite range of behaviors that constitute nonviolent action and choosing the actions that are the appropriate tactics at the various stages of your strategy are important strategic decisions.

Hence, your strategic plan should:

(i) identify, precisely, the strategic goals of your struggle (which should be written into your defense/liberation strategy document);

(ii) make sure that, when planning any tactic, it is guided by its strategic goal, not its political objective. If you do not understand this vital distinction, read this short article: ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’;

(iii) in choosing the different tactics designed to achieve each of your strategic goals, consider the three major categories of tactics – protest and persuasion, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention – and the vast array of tactics in each category. (Gene Sharp compiled a list of 198 tactics which you can see here.) Given the variety however, careful thought needs to be given to selecting the tactics that are most likely to help achieve your strategic goal in this context. For example, if your strategic plan includes the decision to resist the occupation of an important media installation in order to counter its propaganda function, nonviolent activists might choose (among other tactical options) to picket the entrance and use moral suasion on the occupying personnel (a form of protest), to refuse to service and supply it (a form of noncooperation), or to blockade it (a form of nonviolent intervention). Clearly, there are significant but different strategic implications associated with each tactic. These need to be carefully considered in light of the strategic aims and stages of the strategy;

(iv) identify a combination of tactics that are designed to have impact in one or more ways: politically, psychologically, morally, socially, economically and/or physically. These tactics should be feasible, creative and culturally appropriate. Remember that secrecy and sabotage are strategically counterproductive so you should not plan tactics that rely on secrecy for their ‘success’ or which involve damaging property. For a brief explanation why, again see ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’. For a detailed explanation, which also outlines the catastrophic outcome of the decision to use sabotage by the South African liberation struggle in 1961, see The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. pp. 230-235.

(v) identify the sequence in which these nonviolent tactics will be applied;

(vi) make a realistic assessment of the capacity of those affected to bear the cost;

(vii) recognize that certain classes of tactics have particular requirements for effectiveness. For example, effective noncooperation (such as a boycott) usually requires the involvement of larger numbers of people and longer periods of time;

(viii) recognize that while more powerful tactics have the potential to work very quickly, there are greater risks to the activists and wider strategic implications and dangers. These tactics require more careful preparation, higher levels of nonviolence education and discipline, higher quality organization and leadership and, usually, supplementary use of more moderate tactics;

(ix) consider the factor of dispersion or concentration. Tactics involving dispersion (such as a strike or boycott) provide the opportunity for more people to participate in the action and are more likely to over-extend the opponent; they also minimize the opportunities for repression. Tactics involving concentration (such as a street demonstration) provide the opportunity to share commitment and build solidarity and, in those circumstances in which the opponent elite’s power has been functionally undermined, to deliver a decisive ‘blow’. Moreover, such tactics may be deliberately used to expose the opponent elite’s willingness to use violence.

(x) in circumstances in which the correct tactic involves concentrating people in one place even though the opponent elite is likely to attempt decisive repressive action, more elaborate preparation, including the organization of peacekeeping teams, should be undertaken. This article, written in 1994 and revised for republication in 2014, will explain what is necessary to conduct your nonviolent action with maximum strategic effectiveness and minimal risk, even if severe repression is anticipated: ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

What about military and police forces?

While there is an ongoing debate in activist circles concerning the appropriate nature of the relationship between activists and the military/police forces of the opponent elite, from a Gandhian perspective, this debate was settled a long time ago. The article ‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’ explains why.

For a thoughtful explanation of how to do police liaison, which applies equally to liaison with military forces, this article spells it out: ‘How to do Police Liaison’.

If you want to know how to respond to police/military deals and threats, you can find out in this article: ‘Police Deals and Threats: How Should Nonviolent Activists Respond?’

And this article will give nonviolent activists plenty to think about in response to the perennial question ‘Should I Be Arrested?’

And, to reiterate, if you anticipate severe military and/or police repression but intend to proceed with a particular nonviolent action anyway, plan and implement it as outlined in this article: ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

Peacekeeping

As indicated earlier, to ensure that a nonviolent tactic is effective, it must be strategically focused, thoroughly organized, and disciplined. If it has been decided that a tactic requiring a high level of concentration should be employed, there are additional risks that must be considered. Apart from the risk of ruthless repression, mentioned above, disruptions may occur because unchallenged rumors undermine crowd discipline, because hecklers provoke an unintended response, because people are affected by drugs or alcohol, because provocateurs try to incite violence, or because individual soldiers or police behave in an undisciplined manner. To minimize the risk of these disruptions occurring, and to minimize their impact should they occur, the action-planning group should appoint marshals and peacekeepers.

It is the function of marshals to maintain the appropriate mood at the action and to guide the crowd. Marshals should be fully informed about the nature of the action and should assist the action focalizers to make certain that it proceeds as planned. They should be friendly and helpful in dealing with fellow activists, the opponent elite’s soldiers and police, and the media. They should be calm, creative, and forthright in encouraging people to follow the guidelines of the planned action and to maintain their nonviolent discipline. For example, during the occupation of Tiananmen Square in 1989, marshals were used for crowd control and for maintaining discipline. One important task was to patrol a three-foot-wide corridor between soldiers and activists in front of Zhongnanhai (the Communist Party compound). This prevented people from touching the soldiers but allowed them to explain the purpose of the movement. Similarly, at an African National Congress rally near Soweto attended by a hundred thousand people on 29 October 1989, concern that provocateurs might initiate violence in order to sabotage the event resulted in more than seven hundred marshals being carefully briefed on how to handle the crowd.

Peacekeeping is a function designed to enhance the discipline and safety of those present at a nonviolent action. Peacekeeping is important, particularly in those circumstances in which provocateurs are likely to be present or in which the opponent elite might respond to the action with violence. Peacekeepers should be chosen because of their commitment to nonviolence as well as their emotional maturity, self-discipline, steadiness under stress, and ability to think quickly and clearly.

The peacekeeping team should be adequately staffed. This should ensure that worst-case contingencies can be handled effectively. It also means that peacekeepers can be rotated, if necessary, to deal with extremely difficult situations. Peacekeepers should be readily identifiable; for example, they might wear clearly labeled and distinctive caps or armbands. They should have radios or other suitable means of communication if possible. Peacekeepers should be educated to anticipate problems so that they can be dealt with promptly. They should work in pairs or small teams, although one might engage a disruptive subject while the partner or partners observe from a short distance.

Peacekeeping begins with the manner in which the action is set up. For example, if the action is a large rally that includes a stage for speakers, access to the stage and sound system should be controlled. If, despite precautions, a disruptive person does gain access, then a masterswitch to cut the power supply or a standby music tape might provide the time necessary to remove the subject with minimum disruption. During the occupation of Tiananmen Square in 1989, increasing attention was devoted to the way in which the occupation was set up. For instance, workers and students were organized into clearly identifiable groups (such as university departments) and positioned systematically around the square. This, coupled with a ‘pass system’ to control access to sensitive areas, was designed to help activists maintain discipline during the occupation.

In response to a disruption, peacekeepers should first attempt to isolate the disruptive individuals from bystanders. Even well-meaning bystanders can make the peacekeeping task more difficult. It is better to rely on peacekeepers who have been educated to perform the role. Individual peacekeepers also should attempt to separate the members of a disruptive group from each other. Because individuals feed off their group’s energy, it is easier to respond to them personally once they are separated. In dealing with an individual or, if necessary, a small group, a peacekeeper should adopt a relaxed, nonthreatening body posture with their open hands clearly visible by their sides; they should make only slow and predictable movements. They should stand close enough to occupy the subject’s attention, maintain eye contact at all times, and, when speaking, use a calm, steady voice. The most useful skill for reducing tension is reflective listening; often people who are angry or hostile feel that they are not being heard. Reflective listening requires the peacekeeper to listen attentively, to acknowledge feelings, and to accurately restate what has been said by the subject, perhaps several times over; none of which implies that the peacekeeper agrees with what is being said. Once the tension starts to subside, the peacekeeper should ask questions designed to encourage consideration of alternative courses of action. Peacekeepers should keep a log of incidents for subsequent debriefing, evaluation, and learning.

In situations involving several disruptive people or a group of well organized provocateurs, it may be necessary to use an experienced team of peacekeepers to isolate the group or to protect opponent soldiers. One way of doing this is to form a disciplined circle around the group or the soldiers and, perhaps, to sing or hum. For example, just hours before the Beijing massacre, five students wearing headbands locked arms to form a protective ring around a soldier in order to escort him safely through a hostile crowd.

Although the most effective way to avoid disruptions (including the actions of provocateurs) is to design tactics involving dispersion, there are obviously some circumstances in which tactics involving concentration, and therefore the risk of disruption, will be the appropriate strategic choice. In these cases, peacekeeping is an important aspect of organizational efforts to minimize the risk of disruption and to contain its impact should it occur.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/tactics-and-peacekeeping/

Strategic Aims

The first diagram below is a completed sample of a ‘defense/liberation strategy document’: a succinct summary of an entire nonviolent defense/nonviolent liberation strategy.

This diagram will give you an idea of how your own defense/liberation strategy document should look so that activists implementing your strategy can readily see what you are all doing.

Using the blank version of the strategy document at the bottom of this page (which you can download), write in the political purpose – ‘what you want’ – of your defense/liberation strategy. The two strategic aims – ‘how you get what you want’ – are already defined and printed into the document (because they are always the same).

RJB-NDdiag-PurpAims

Now you just need to define your strategic goals for both the defense and each of the three domains of the strategic counteroffensive. From your political and strategic assessment:

(1) identify the key social groups that can be mobilized to support and participate in your strategy (and then write these groups into the ‘bubbles’ on the left side of the blank diagram below),

(2) identify the key military, police and paramilitary forces whose support for the coup/invasion/occupation/dictatorship/genocide is vital (and then write these groups into the first column on the right side of the blank diagram below),

(3) identify the key social groups in the society of the opponent elite (the key constituencies of the global elite in the case of a coup against humanity, another country in the case of an invasion/occupation – and possibly genocide – and your own country in the case of a coup/dictatorship – and possibly genocide) whose support for the coup/invasion/occupation/dictatorship/genocide is vital (and then write these groups into the second column on the right side of the blank diagram below), and

(4) identify the key social groups in the societies of your opponent elite’s allies whose support for the coup/invasion/occupation/dictatorship/genocide is vital (and then write these groups into the third column on the right side of the blank diagram below).

Your strategic goals should then be written in accordance with the formula explained in this article: ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’. That is: ‘To cause a [specified group of people] to act in the [specified way]’.

In turn below, I have identified the basic set of strategic goals that would usually be appropriate for:

1. defeating the attempt by the Global Elite to gain total political, economic, social, physical and spiritual control of the human population and all of Earth’s natural resources through implementation of ‘The Great Reset’ and the transhumanist agenda,
2. defeating a political or military coup against a popular government,
3. defeating a military invasion,
4. removing a military occupation,
5. removing a dictatorship, and
6. defeating a genocidal assault.

1. Strategic goals for defeating the attempt by the Global Elite to gain total political, economic, social, physical and spiritual control of the human population and control of all of Earth’s natural resources through implementation of ‘The Great Reset’ and the transhumanist agenda (and which conform to the formula described above) include those listed below.

Resisting the Global Elite’s COVID-19 coup: 1.3 million residents of Berlin march down Friedrichstrasse, at the initiative of Querdenken-711 (‘Thinking outside the box’), to declare ‘The end of the pandemic – The day of freedom’ in protest against COVID-19 restrictions on 1 August 2020. Photo: John MacDougall-AFP

Of course, individual groups within the defense would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or two of the strategic goals in a local context. It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership (if there is one) to ensure that each of the strategic goals (identified and prioritized according to local circumstances) is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).

(1) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by wearing a global symbol of human solidarity, such as an image of several people of different genders/races/religions/abilities/classes holding hands or, more simply, an orange ribbon, wristband or armband.

(2) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting all government and corporate media outlets (television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter…) and by seeking news from progressive news outlets committed to telling the truth.

(3) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by conscientiously refusing to download the Covid-19 ‘contact tracing’ surveillance app and conscientiously refusing to engage in any other activity related to contact tracing.

(4) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by conscientiously ending their ownership and use of a mobile (cell) phone – see ‘EchoEarth: End Cell Phones Here on Earth’ and ‘Cancel Your Cellphone Account’ and by otherwise strategically resisting the deployment of 5G. For a list of specific strategic goals for halting the deployment of 5G, see ‘Strategic Goals for Halting the Deployment of 5G’.

(5) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by paying with cash (and boycotting digital transactions) while withdrawing all funds from the corporate banks and depositing their money in local community banks or credit unions. Given the likelihood that the financial system will be deliberately crashed at some point, storing cash and making the effort to become more self-reliant, particularly in food production, will also increase your resilience, as will participating in local trading schemes, whether involving local currencies or goods and services directly.

(6) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting the medical and pharmaceutical industries and by seeking health advice and treatment from natural therapists.

(7) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by conscientiously refusing to submit to vaccination, which is likely to include nanotechnology that will subvert your individual identity, freedom, dignity, volition and privacy including through a ‘digital vaccine passport’ (possibly delivered via a microneedle platform using fluorescent microparticles called ‘quantum dots’, which can deliver vaccines and at the same time invisibly encode vaccination history directly in the skin). For example, this might include causing doctors to resist performing Covid-19 ‘vaccinations’, especially without informed consent. It might include causing pilots and air traffic controllers, as well as drivers of air, land and water transport (including military transport) and construction machinery such as cranes, to refuse to take vaccinations on account of the potentially catastrophic dangers to the community if they have a negative reaction to these experimental products while working. It might include causing workers in your workplace to support our right to choose not to be vaccinated (a choice which, in relation to all medical procedures including any below, is enshrined in the Nuremberg Code, 1947 which guarantees the right to informed consent).

(8) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by organizing and/or participating in collective events (such as a cultural, religious or sporting event, a nonviolent action, a community activity such as working to establish a community garden to increase local self-reliance, a celebration and/or a return to work) that conscientiously resist the Covid-19 lockdowns. For example, this might include causing small/family businesses of all types (such as restaurants and hairdressers, for instance), preferably acting in concert with similar and/or other businesses, to remain open in defiance of orders to close during lockdowns.

(9) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by organizing and/or participating in events that conscientiously refuse to maintain social distance.

(10) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by conscientiously refusing to volunteer for, or submit to, Covid-19 testing/temperature checks.

(11) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by conscientiously resisting the wearing of face masks.

(12) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting corporate supermarkets (such as Walmart) and online outlets (such as Amazon) and by supporting small and family businesses, and local markets.

(13) To cause teachers, childcare workers, social workers, counsellors, psychologists and other professionals whose work relies on natural, face-to-face communications and interactions to refuse to use or enforce mask-wearing or social distancing.

(14) To cause building companies, architects and workers to conscientiously refuse to contribute their expertise and labor to the building or retrofitting of quarantine facilities.

(15) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in other locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible nonviolent actions in the document ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(16) To cause the soldiers and military police [in army units AU1, AU2, AU… and MP1, MP2, MP…], wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(17) To cause the police [in police units P1, P2, P…], wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(18) To cause the security personnel, wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(19) To cause people all around the world fined for breaking ‘pandemic’-related health laws and regulations (mask wearing, social distancing and lockdown restrictions, including curfews, local and wider travel restrictions, ‘non-essential’ work bans and business closures) to refuse to pay their fines and continue to conscientiously break these laws/regulations, accepting time in jail as a prisoner of conscience if necessary.

(20) To cause public servants in government bureaucracies to refuse to comply with directives (such as those in relation to vaccination compliance, deployment of 5G, surveillance and imposition of financial penalties) that are designed to facilitate implementation of ‘The Great Reset’, the fourth industrial revolution and the transhumanist agenda.

(21) To cause corporations and small businesses to refuse to do any research or undertake any work associated with the fourth industrial revolution and/or transhumanism, to develop and make available technologies (including those in relation to 5G and 6G, military weapons, artificial intelligence [AI], big data, nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things [IoT], and quantum computing) that will subvert human identity, human freedom, human dignity, human volition and/or human privacy.

(22) To cause civilian and military scientists and technologists to refuse to do any research or undertake any work, associated with the fourth industrial revolution and/or transhumanism, to develop and make available technologies (including those in relation to 5G and 6G, military weapons, artificial intelligence [AI], big data, nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things [IoT], and quantum computing) that will subvert human identity, human freedom, human dignity, human volition and/or human privacy.

(23) To cause workers to refuse to do any work, associated with the fourth industrial revolution and/or transhumanism, to produce, distribute or install any technology (including that in relation to 5G and 6G, military weapons, artificial intelligence [AI], big data, nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things [IoT], and quantum computing) the outcome of which is intended to subvert human identity, human freedom, human dignity, human volition and/or human privacy.

(24) To cause consumers to refuse to buy or otherwise acquire any product associated with the fourth industrial revolution and/or transhumanism (including those in relation to 5G and 6G, artificial intelligence [AI], nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things [IoT], and quantum computing) the outcome of which is intended to subvert human identity, human freedom, human dignity, human volition and/or human privacy.

(25) To cause the workers [in trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include withdrawing labor from an elite-controlled bank, or technology, media, pharmaceutical or other corporation operating in your country. In other workplaces, it might include a return to work in defiance of lockdown closures.

(26) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers [in organizations F1, F2, F…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include distributing farm produce through (existing or created) grassroots networks to small and family businesses as well as local markets rather than through corporate supply chains.

(27) To cause the indigenous peoples [in organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include utilizing indigenous knowledge to improve local self-reliance in food production and in other ways.

(28) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities.

(29) To cause the members of [ethnic communities EC1, EC2, EC…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities.

(30) To cause the activists, artists, musicians, intellectuals and other key social groups [in organizations O1, O2, O…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities.

(31) To cause the students [in student organizations S1, S2, S…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities.

(32) To cause the workers [in foreign nongovernment organizations NGO1, NGO2, NGO…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities or, if foreign and unsupportive, to leave your country.

(33) To cause businesspeople who conduct small businesses [in organizations SB1, SB2, SB…] all around the world to refuse to cooperate with the global elite and its agents.

(34) To cause businesspeople who operate multinational franchises [in organizations MF1, MF2, MF…] all around the world to refuse to cooperate with the global elite and its agents.

(35) To cause businesspeople who manage local branches of large multinational corporations [in organizations MNC1, MNC2, MNC…] all around the world to refuse to cooperate with the global elite and its agents.

(36) To cause large farmers and ranchers [in organizations FO1, FO2, FO…] all around the world to refuse to cooperate with the global elite and its agents.

(37) To cause the foreign managers and technical workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [third party country 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the national elite supports the global elite] to withdraw from [your country].

(38) To cause the workers in [trade union or labor organizations T4, T5, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the national elite supports the global elite] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to [your country].

(39) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T7, T8, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the national elite supports the global elite] to interrupt the transport of military personnel and military weapons to [your country].

(40) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T10, T11, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the national elite supports the global elite] to support the resistance strategy by refusing to handle [a particular resource] extracted and exported from [your country].

(41) To cause the solidarity activists in [activist organizations A1, A2, A…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the national elite supports the global elite] to support your resistance strategy by participating in your nominated solidarity nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities.

As you can see, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.

Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of the global elite.

2. Strategic goals that would usually be appropriate for resisting a political or military coup against a popular government (and which conform to the formula described above) include those listed below. It should be noted, however, that the list of strategic goals would be considerably longer as individual organizations – notably including each corporation involved in or supporting the coup, particularly those involved in the media, banking and resource extraction that help to maintain it – should be specified separately.

Of course, individual groups within the defense would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or two of the strategic goals. It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals (identified and prioritized according to local circumstances) is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).

(1) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO1, WO2, WO…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, simple nonviolent actions would be to wear a national symbol (such as a badge of your national flag or ribbons in the national colors), to boycott all corporate media outlets supporting the coup and/or to withdraw all funds from banks supporting the coup. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible actions in the article ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(2) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, this might include withdrawing their labor from an elite-controlled or foreign-owned bank/corporation operating in your country.

(3) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers in [organizations F1, F2, F…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(4) To cause the indigenous peoples in [organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(5) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(6) To cause the members of [ethnic communities EC1, EC2, EC…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(7) To cause the activists, artists, musicians, intellectuals and other key social groups in [organizations O1, O2, O…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(8) To cause the students in [student organizations S1, S2, S…] in [your country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(9) To cause the workers in [foreign nongovernent organizations NGO1, NGO2, NGO…] in [your area/country] to join the resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities] or, if foreign and unsupportive, to leave your country.

(10) To cause the soldiers in [army units AU1, AU2, AU…] to refuse to obey orders from the coupmakers to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(11) To cause the police in [police units P1, P2, P…] to refuse to obey orders from the coupmakers to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(12) To cause businesspeople who conduct small businesses in [organizations SB1, SB2, SB…] in [your country] to refuse to cooperate with the coupmakers by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(13) To cause businesspeople who operate multinational franchises in [organizations MF1, MF2, MF…] in [your country] to refuse to cooperate with the coupmakers by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(14) To cause businesspeople who manage local branches of large multinational corporations in [organizations MNC1, MNC2, MNC…] in [your country] to refuse to cooperate with the coupmakers by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(15) To cause large farmers and ranchers in [organizations FO1, FO2, FO…] in [your country] to refuse to cooperate with the coupmakers by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(16) To cause the foreign managers and technical workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [third party country 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to withdraw from [your country].

(17) To cause the workers in [trade union or labor organizations T4, T5, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to [your country].

(18) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T7, T8, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military weapons] to [your country].

(19) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T10, T11, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by refusing to handle [a particular resource] extracted and exported from [your country].

(20) To cause the workers [in trade union or labor organization T13, T14, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(21) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO4, WO5, WO…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(22) To cause the members of [religious denominations R4,R5, R…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(23) To cause the solidarity activists in [activist organizations A1, A2, A…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(24) To cause the members of [your exile communities E1, E2, E…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(25) To cause the students in [student organizations S4, S5, S…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elite supports the coupmakers in your country] to support your resistance strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

As you can see, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.

Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of the coupmakers.

3. Strategic goals that would usually be appropriate for defeating a military invasion (and which conform to the formula described above) include those listed below. Importantly, it should be noted, that if there is a coalition of invading countries, the list of strategic goals should specify that each country is targeted for each of the actions specified below (unless a particular goal is considered irrelevant in the case of one or more countries). In addition, the list of strategic goals would be considerably longer as individual organizations – notably including each corporation involved in or supporting the invasion, particularly those involved in the media, banking and resource extraction – should be specified separately.

Of course, individual groups within the defense would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or two of the strategic goals. It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals (identified and prioritized according to local circumstances) is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).

(1) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO1, WO2, WO…] in [your area/country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, simple nonviolent actions would be to wear a national symbol (such as a badge of your national flag or ribbons in the national colors), to boycott all corporate media outlets supporting the invasion and/or to withdraw all funds from banks supporting the invasion. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible actions in the article ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(2) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] in [your area/country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, this might include withdrawing their labor from a locally or foreign-owned bank/corporation (which supports the invasion) operating in your country.

(3) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers in [organizations F1, F2, F…] in [your country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(4) To cause the indigenous peoples in [organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] in [your country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(5) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] in [your area/country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(6) To cause the members of [ethnic communities EC1, EC2, EC…] in [your area/country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(7) To cause the students in [student organizations S1, S2, S…] in [your area/country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(8) To cause the workers in [foreign nongovernent organizations NGO1, NGO2, NGO…] in [your area/country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities] or, if foreign and unsupportive, to leave your country.

(9) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T4, T5, T…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to refuse to handle [a particular resource] extracted and exported from [your country] by the invading country or its local collaborators.

(10) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T7, T8, T…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to their military forces (or any local collaborators).

(11) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T10, T11, T…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military resources] to [your country].

(12) To cause the workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [your opponent elite’s country] to withdraw from [your country].

(13) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO4, WO5, WO…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(14) To cause the members of [religious denominations R4,R5, R…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(15) To cause the students in [student organizations S4, S5, S…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(16) To cause the solidarity activists in [activist organizations A1, A2, A…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(17) To cause the soldiers in [army units AU1, AU2, AU…] of the invading forces to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and to attack the other citizens and infrastructure of [your country].

(18) To cause the mercenaries (contract soldiers) in [mercenary units XU1, XU2, XU…] of the invading forces to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and to attack the other citizens and infrastructure of [your country].

(19) To cause the air force crews in [air force units AF1, AF2, AF…] of the invading forces to refuse to bomb and strafe nonviolent activists, and the other citizens and infrastructure of [your country].

(20) To cause the navy personnel in [naval units N1, N2, N…] of the invading forces to refuse to attack nonviolent activists, and the other citizens and infrastructure of [your country].

(21) To cause the marines in [marine units MU1, MU2, MU…] of the invading forces to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and to attack the other citizens and infrastructure of [your country].

(22) To cause the police in [police units P1, P2, P…] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(23) To cause the foreign managers and technical workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to withdraw from [your country].

(24) To cause the workers in [trade union or labor organizations T13, T14, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to [the invading country/countries].

(25) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T16, T17, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military weapons] to [the invading country/countries].

(26) To cause the workers [in trade union or labor organization T19, T20, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(27) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO7, WO8, WO…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(28) To cause the members of [religious denominations R7, R8, R…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(29) To cause the members of [activist organizations A4, A5, A…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(30) To cause the members of [exile communities E1, E2, E…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(31) To cause the students in [student organizations S7, S8, S…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the invasion of your country] to support your defense struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

As you can see, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.

Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of those conducting the invasion.

4. Strategic goals that would usually be appropriate for resisting a military occupation (and which conform to the formula described above) include those listed below. It should be noted, however, that the list would be considerably longer as individual organizations – notably including each corporation involved in or supporting the occupation, particularly those involved in the media, banking and resource extraction – should be specified separately.

Of course, individual groups within the defense would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or two of the strategic goals. It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals (identified and prioritized according to local circumstances) is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).

(1) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO1, WO2, WO…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, simple nonviolent actions would be to wear a national symbol (such as a badge of your national flag or ribbons in the national colors), to boycott all corporate media outlets supporting the occupation and/or to withdraw all funds from banks supporting the occupation. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible actions in the article ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(2) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, this might include withdrawing their labor from an occupier/foreign-owned bank/corporation operating in your country.

(3) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers in [organizations F1, F2, F…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(4) To cause the indigenous peoples in [organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(5) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(6) To cause the members of [ethnic communities EC1, EC2, EC…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(7) To cause the students in [student organizations S1, S2, S…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(8) To cause the workers in [foreign nongovernent organizations NGO1, NGO2, NGO…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities] or, if foreign and unsupportive, to leave your country.

(9) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T4, T5, T…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to refuse to handle [a particular resource] extracted and exported from [your country].

(10) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T7, T8, T…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to [your country].

(11) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T10, T11, T…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military resources] to [your country].

(12) To cause the workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [your opponent elite’s country] to withdraw from [your country].

(13) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO4, WO5, WO…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(14) To cause the members of [religious denominations R4,R5, R…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(15) To cause the students in [student organizations S4, S5, S…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(16) To cause the solidarity activists in [activist organizations A1, A2, A…] in [your opponent elite’s country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(17) To cause the soldiers in [army units AU1, AU2, AU…] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(18) To cause the police in [police units P1, P2, P…] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(19) To cause the foreign managers and technical workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to withdraw from [your country].

(20) To cause the workers in [trade union or labor organizations T13, T14, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to [your opponent elite].

(21) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T16, T17, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military weapons] to [your opponent elite].

(22) To cause the workers [in trade union or labor organization T19, T20, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(23) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO7, WO8, WO…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(24) To cause the members of [religious denominations R7, R8, R…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(25) To cause the members of [activist organizations A4, A5, A…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(26) To cause the members of [exile communities E1, E2, E…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(27) To cause the students in [student organizations S7, S8, S…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the occupation of your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

As you can see, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.

Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of those maintaining the occupation.

5. Strategic goals that would usually be appropriate for removing a dictatorship (and which conform to the formula described above) include those listed below. It should be noted, however, that the list would be considerably longer as individual organizations – notably including each corporation involved in or supporting the dictatorship, particularly those involved in the media, banking and resource extraction – should be specified separately.

Of course, individual groups within the defense would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or two of the strategic goals. It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals (identified and prioritized according to local circumstances) is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).

(1) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO1, WO2, WO…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, simple nonviolent actions would be to wear a national symbol (such as a badge of your national flag or ribbons in the national colors), to boycott all corporate media outlets supporting the dictatorship and/or to withdraw all funds from banks supporting the dictatorship. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible actions in the article ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(2) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, this might include withdrawing their labor from a dictatorship-supporting foreign-owned bank/corporation operating in your country.

(3) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers in [organizations F1, F2, F…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(4) To cause the indigenous peoples in [organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(5) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(6) To cause the members of [ethnic communities EC1, EC2, EC…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(7) To cause the students in [student organizations S1, S2, S…] in [your country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(8) To cause the workers in [foreign nongovernent organizations NGO1, NGO2, NGO…] in [your area/country] to join the liberation strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities] or, if foreign and unsupportive, to leave your country.

(9) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T4, T5, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to refuse to handle [a particular resource] extracted and exported from [your country].

(10) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T7, T8, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to [your country].

(11) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T10, T11, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military resources] to [your country].

(12) To cause the workers [working for resource extraction corporations X1, X2, X…] who are from [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to withdraw from [your country].

(13) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO4, WO5, WO…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(14) To cause the members of [religious denominations R4,R5, R…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(15) To cause the students in [student organizations S4, S5, S…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(16) To cause the solidarity activists in [activist organizations A1, A2, A…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(17) To cause the soldiers in [army units AU1, AU2, AU…] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(18) To cause the police in [police units P1, P2, P…] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(19) To cause the foreign managers and technical workers [working for resource extraction corporation X1, X2, X…] who are from [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to withdraw from [your country].

(20) To cause the workers in [trade union or labor organizations T13, T14, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to interrupt the supply of military weapons to the dictatorship in [your country].

(21) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T16, T17, T…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to interrupt the transport of [military personnel/military weapons] to the dictatorship in [your country].

(22) To cause the workers [in trade union or labor organization T19, T20, T…] working in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(23) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO7, WO8, WO…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(24) To cause the members of [religious denominations R7, R8, R…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(25) To cause the members of [activist organizations A4, A5, A…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(26) To cause the members of [exile communities E1, E2, E…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(27) To cause the students in [student organizations S7, S8, S…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites support the dictatorship in your country] to support your liberation struggle by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

As you can see, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.

Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of the dictatorship.

6. Strategic goals that would usually be appropriate for defeating a genocidal assault (and which conform to the formula described above) include those listed below. It should be noted, however, that the list would be considerably longer as individual organizations – such as each organization involved in inciting, facilitating, organizing, conducting and/or benefitting from the genocide (for whatever reason but including national and religious groups with competing perspectives as well as corporations involved in the media, banking and resource extraction) – should be specified separately.

Of course, individual groups within the defense would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or two of the strategic goals. It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals (identified and prioritized according to local circumstances) is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).

(1) To cause the women [in women’s organizations WO1, WO2, WO…] among the [targeted population] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, simple nonviolent actions would be to wear a symbol (such as a set of colors) and/or to boycott all media outlets supporting the genocide. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible actions in the article ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(2) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T… or industries I1, I2, I…] from within the [targeted population] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to join the defence strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities]. For example, this might include withdrawing their labor from occupations that support the police, military and other forces/organizations inciting, facilitating, organizing, conducting and/or benefitting from the genocide.

(3) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers in [organizations F1, F2, F…] in [your country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(4) To cause the indigenous peoples in [organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] in [your country] to join the defense strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(5) To cause young people in [the country where the genocide is occurring or, if different, the country conducting the genocide] to resist recruitment into the police, military and other forces/organizations inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide.

(6) To cause young people in [the country where the genocide is occurring or, if different, the country conducting the genocide] to resist conscription into the police, military and other forces/organizations inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide.

(7) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to join the defence strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(8) To cause the members of [ethnic communities EC1, EC2, EC…] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to join the defence strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(9) To cause the activists, artists, musicians, intellectuals and other key social groups in [organizations O1, O2, O…] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to join the defence strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(10) To cause the students in [student organizations S1, S2, S…] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to join the defence strategy by participating in [your nominated nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities].

(11) To cause the soldiers in [army units AU1, AU2, AU…] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot members of the [targeted population], nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [the country where the genocide is occurring].

(12) To cause the police in [police units P1, P2, P…] in [the country where the genocide is occurring] to refuse to obey orders to arrest, assault, torture and shoot members of the [targeted population], nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [the country where the genocide is occurring].

(13) To cause young people in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to refuse recruitment into their respective military forces.

(14) To cause conscripts into the military forces of [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] that still use conscription to conscientiously refuse to perform military duties.

(15) To cause military personnel in the military forces of [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to refuse deployment to [the country where the genocide is occurring or, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(16) To cause young people in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to refuse recruitment into organizations inciting, facilitating or otherwise participating in the genocide.

(17) To cause former soldiers in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to refuse recruitment as mercenaries by corporations that supply ‘military contractors’ to assist in inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting genocide.

(18) To cause the activists in [peace groups P1, P2, P…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(19) To cause the activists in [environment groups E1, E2, E…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(20) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T4, T5, T….] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(21) To cause the women in [women’s organizations WO4, WO5, WO…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(22) To cause the members of [religious denominations R1, R2, R…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(23) To cause the members of [exile and ethnic communities EC4, EC5, EC…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(24) To cause the artists, musicians, intellectuals and other key social groups in [organizations O4, O5, O…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(25) To cause the students in [student organizations S1, S2, S…] in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by encouraging their members to boycott [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(26) To cause the consumers in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist the genocide by boycotting [all/specified nonmilitary products], the extraction or production of which is controlled by [those inciting, facilitating, organizing and/or conducting the genocide] exported from [the country where the genocide is occurring as well as, if different, the country conducting the genocide].

(27) To cause more individuals in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist genocide by conscientiously resisting paying [part/all] of their military taxes.

(28) To cause more organizations in [key third party countries 3P1, 3P2, 3P… where the elites are complicit in the genocide] to resist genocide by conscientiously resisting paying [part/all] of their military taxes.

(29) To cause [weapons corporations W1, W2, W…] to convert from the manufacture of weapons of genocide to [the specified/negotiated socially/environmentally beneficial products].

(30) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T7, T8, T…] to withdraw their labor from [weapons corporations W1, W2, W…] that supply weapons to perpetrators of genocide [partially/wholly], [temporarily/permanently].

(31) To cause [banks B1, B2, B…] to cease financing weapons corporations supplying weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(32) To cause bank customers to shift their deposits to ethical banks and credit unions that do not finance, invest in or are otherwise involved in supporting weapons corporations that supply weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(33) To cause [religious organizations R4, R5, R…] to divest from weapons corporations supplying weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(34) To cause [superannuation funds S1, S2, S…] to divest from weapons corporations supplying weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(35) To cause superannuation fund customers to shift their money to ethical funds that do not finance, invest in or are otherwise involved in supporting weapons corporations that supply weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(36) To cause [insurance companies I1, I2, I…] to divest from weapons corporations supplying weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(37) To cause insurance customers to shift their policies to ethical insurance companies that do not finance, invest in or are otherwise involved in supporting weapons corporations that supply weapons to perpetrators of genocide.

(38) To cause [corporations C1, C2, C…] that provide [services/components] for [weapons corporations W1, W2, W…] that supply weapons to perpetrators of genocide to cease doing so.

(39) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T10, T11, T…] to withdraw their labor from [corporations C1, C2, C…] that supply [services/components] to weapons corporations that supply weapons to perpetrators of genocide [partially/wholly], [temporarily/permanently].

(40) To cause [corporations C4, C5, C…] that provide [services/supplies] to [military bases MB1, MB2, MB…] involved in perpetrating genocide to cease doing so.

(41) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T13, T14, T…] to withdraw their labor from [corporations C4, C5, C…] that are involved in perpetrating genocide [partially/wholly], [temporarily/permanently].

(42) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T16, T17, T…] who work in/supply [military bases MB1, MB2, MB…] involved in perpetrating genocide to withdraw their labor [partially/wholly], [temporarily/permanently].

(43) To cause [corporations C7, C8, C…] that manufacture and supply spy satellites that are involved in perpetrating genocide to cease doing so.

(44) To cause the workers in [trade unions or labor organizations T19, T20, T…] to withdraw their labor from [corporations C7, C8, C…] that are involved in perpetrating genocide [partially/wholly], [temporarily/permanently].

(45) To cause [corporations C10, C11, C…] that provide private military contractors (mercenaries) to participate in perpetrating genocide to cease doing so.

(46) To cause the private military contractors (mercenaries) who participate in perpetrating genocide to withdraw their labor from [corporations C10, C11, C…].

(47) To cause the soldiers in [army units AU1, AU2, AU…] in [your town/city/country] to refuse to obey orders to [arrest, assault, torture and shoot, depending on your local circumstances] nonviolent activists campaigning against genocide.

(48) To cause the police in [police units P1, P2, P…] in [your town/city/country] to refuse to obey orders to [arrest, assault, torture and shoot, depending on your local circumstances] nonviolent activists campaigning against genocide.

(49) To cause individual members of the military forces at [Military Base MB1/Drone Base DB1/Navy Ship NS1/Air Force Base AFB1/Army unit AU1/Marines unit MU1] in [your town/city/country] to resign.

(50) To cause individual members of those corporations that employ/supply private military contractors (mercenaries) to resign.

As you can see, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.

Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of those conducting the genocide.

RJB-NDdiag-PurpAims-blank

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/strategic-aims/

Introduction

This website is one of two parallel websites on nonviolent strategy.

This website is designed to teach you how to plan and implement a nonviolent strategy to defend against a political/military coup conducted by the global elite against humanity, to defend against a foreign invading power or a political/military coup against a popular government, to liberate your country from a dictatorship or a foreign occupation, or to defeat a genocidal assault.

If you are interested in planning and implementing a nonviolent strategy for your campaign to achieve a peace, environmental or social justice outcome, you should go to this website: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy.

The strategic theory and strategic framework explained on this website were developed by me after extensive experience as a nonviolent activist and equally intensive research. It was originally written up in The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach, a book published in 1996 to guide the development of nonviolent defense strategies and nonviolent liberation struggles.

As the subtitle of the book suggests, I learned much from an extensive study of Mohandas K. Gandhi and his nonviolent campaigns: Gandhi was an intuitive strategic thinker of remarkable capacity. Ironically, perhaps, I also learned a great deal from the military strategist Carl von Clausewitz, who understood strategic theory and elaborated a conception of strategy based on that understanding. Synthesizing the learning from these two sources and a study of the strategic successes and failures of many nonviolent movements, combined with my own experience as a nonviolent activist, is what led to the book and the strategy explained on this website.

The strategy presented here is not, on the whole, complicated but it does require someone (and preferably a group) who is willing to think and act strategically: to carefully develop a strategic plan and then, just as carefully, to implement it.

It does not even matter if your opponent elite is both insane and extraordinarily violent (which is the case often enough as the routine murder of nonviolent activists illustrates). If you carefully plan and conscientiously implement your nonviolent strategy in accordance with the strategic framework explained here, you have an excellent chance of succeeding.

I developed the strategic thinking explained on this website because I like to succeed when I spend my time working to make the world a better place. As nonviolent activists, we sometimes fail. In my experience and from my research, the primary reason why nonviolent activists fail is because they do not understand and apply sound strategic thinking to their struggle. Ironically, too, there are some fine examples of nonviolence succeeding even when the strategy used was virtually non-existent or poor (although poor strategy often accounts for a failure to maintain gains as well). This only illustrates the extraordinary power of nonviolence. Applied strategically, nonviolent action is phenomenally powerful.

I have based the presentation of nonviolent strategy on this website around the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel: a diagrammatic representation of the 12 components of any strategy. Hence, if you understand and apply the principles behind these components, you will have a complete strategy of phenomenal power.

If you would like to read a short article which explains, very simply, the importance of strategic thinking (in this case, when applied tactically), you can do so in my 1996 article ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’.

Apart from describing how to plan and implement a nonviolent strategy, this website also includes some other valuable resources: photos and videos of nonviolent actions that highlight key points, a few key tools to assist you in developing components of your strategy, several case studies chosen because they highlight important issues about implementing a nonviolent strategy, and some articles that explain in more detail how to prepare for nonviolent actions (for example, in relation to police/military liaison and if violent repression is anticipated).

If you now want to explore what this nonviolent strategy website offers, I suggest you start with the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel.

In nonviolent solidarity; Robert

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/introduction/