198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action

Gene Sharp

The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion

Formal Statements
1. Public speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols

Sahrawis shout slogans for the freedom of Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco, during a demonstration organised by the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on 28 February 2011.

8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications

Syrian nonviolent activists protest Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad, after Friday prayers in Barzeh near Damascus, 10 February 2012. Photo: UPI

Syrian nonviolent activists display their poster in protest against Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad, after Friday prayers in Barzeh near Damascus, 10 February 2012. Photo: UPI

9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors

Syrian nonviolent activist waves the Syrian revolutionary flag and shouts slogans against the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, March 2015 Photo: AP-Hussein Malla

Syrian nonviolent activist waves the Syrian revolutionary flag and shouts slogans against the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in March 2015. Photo: AP-Hussein Malla

19. Wearing of symbols

Morning Star flag worn by Papuans to protest Indonesian occupation

Papuan nonviolent activists wear the (illegal) Morning Star flag to protest Indonesian occupation of West Papua.

20. Prayer and worship

Palestinians pray as Israeli border police officers stand guard at the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. Dozens of Muslims have prayed in the street outside a major Jerusalem shrine heeding a call by clerics not to enter the site until a dispute with Israel over security was settled. 26 July 2017. Photo: AP/Oded Balilty

21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest

A Syrian nonviolent activist, painted with the Syrian revolutionary flag, protesting against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad at the Syrian embassy in Amman, Jordan on 15 March 2013. Photo: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
31. ‘Haunting’ officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music

Palestinian dabka band performs during protest seeking right of return for Palestinian refugees; Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, 4 Apr 2018. Photo: APAImages/REX/Shutterstock

37. Singing

38. Marches

Brazilians march to protest coup against President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 31 August 2016.

Brazilian nonviolent activists march to protest the coup against President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro on 31 August 2016.

39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning

Popular Cambodian political analyst, head of the grassroots advocacy group ‘Khmer for Khmer’ and prominent critic of the Hun Sen dictatorship, Kem Lay was assassinated on 10 July 2016, causing an outpouring of grief. Buddhist monks and tens of thousands of supporters participate in Ley’s funeral procession in Phnom Penh on 24 July 2016. Photo: Samrang Pring/Reuters

44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
47. Assemblies of protest or support

Assembly of activists in Tiananmen Square prior to Beijing massacre; China, 1989. Photo: Getty

48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
51. Walk-outs
52. Silence

A Catalan activist demonstrates the Spanish government’s silencing of her view when the result of an overwhelming vote supporting the independence of Catalonia was ignored. ‘The view of Spanish central government as an oppressor fuelled the Catalan separatist movement from the start.’ 2017. Photo: Juan Carlos Cardenas/EPA

53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one’s back

The Methods of Social Noncooperation

Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. ‘Flight’ of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation
(1) Economic Boycotts

Action by Consumers
71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
78. Work[er]s’ boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants’ ‘general strike’

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo
95. International buyers’ embargo
96. International trade embargo

(2) The Strike

Symbolic Strikes
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
108. Detailed Strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting ‘sick’ (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown

The Methods of Political Noncooperation

Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government departments, agencies and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sit-down
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of ‘illegitimate’ laws

Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations

The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention

Psychological Intervention
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
…….a. Fast of moral pressure
…….b. Hunger strike
…….c. Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction

A crowd of 2,000 garment factory workers block traffic on National Road 2 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for 90 minutes to demand better pay and work conditions from Swedish clothes brand H&M on 19 June 2013. Photo: Siv Channa

173. Nonviolent occupation

Sahrawi men, women and children nonviolently occupy their own land at Gdeim Izik in defiance of the continuing illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco

Sahrawi men, women and children nonviolently occupy their own land at Gdeim Izik in defiance of the continuing illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco, 2010.

Social Intervention
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
181. Reverse Strike
182. Stay-in Strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of Blockades
185. Politically Motivated Counterfeiting
186. Preclusive Purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of ‘neutral’ laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Reference: Gene Sharp The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part Two: The Methods of Nonviolent Action. Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/tactics-and-peacekeeping/198-tactics-of-nonviolent-action/