The section provides information on strategic nonviolence and links to organizations that provide training in nonviolent resistance, effective strategy and creative actions. For more information on a common vision and strategy that unites people into an effective national movement please see our page, about PopularResistance.org.

Featured Video: The video to the right is an hour-long presentation on grand strategy given to the Fellowship Of Reconciliation in Olympia, WA. It is a reflection on how organizers can grow social movements to be impactful enough that they can effect social change, and it highlights principles and a theoretical framework that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of actions and tactics.

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Organizations and Websites
Recent Articles in Strategy!

History Teaches That We Have the Power to Transform the Nation, Here’s How.


The fact is, United States and world histories show that an organized and mobilized populace is what has always caused transformational change. This history is not taught in our education system or emphasized in the heroes we idolize in our culture, but it is so significant that it cannot be hidden from view. The country could not operate if the people refused to participate in its corrupt systems. The ultimate power is with us, if we let go of fear and embrace it. Now that there is a history of more than 100 years of modern resistance movements, there is data to show what works and what doesn’t. As a result, we can develop a vision, a strategic plan and tactics that make success more likely than ever before.

Reason And Justice Address Realities

People marching in Austin, Texas on Saturday were among the millions nationwide who mobilized to express their dismay at the reality of President Donald Trump. "There are millions of people in this country who currently feel lost and alone and would like to contribute to movements that envision a more just society," writes Lobel. But in addition to organizing this new wave of energy, he adds, there must also be "a coherent strategy and vision" if transformative change is to be achieved. (Photo: Steve Rainwater/flickr/cc)

By Ralph Nader for The Nader Page – Consider the immense public attention to health insurance and health care and the recent struggles over Obamacare and now Ryancare. Conspicuously absent from the dialogues that pundits, politicians and reporters carry on is that the third leading cause of death in the U.S. is “medical error.” According to a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report last May, over 250,000 people lose their lives yearly in U.S. hospitals from “diagnostic errors, medical mistakes and the absence of safety nets” to stop hospital-induced infections, incompetent personnel, dangerous mixes of prescribed drugs and more. Yet in the debate surrounding the health care industry…

Why The Resistance Must Do More Than Resist

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By Ira Chernus for Common Dreams – The resistance is a huge movement—yuge! At least that’s how it feels when you are in it. And it’s true that the United States has not seen anything like this since the Vietnam war days. Still, Trump and the Republicans in Washington roll on, with some new horror every day. Maybe the resistance isn’t yuge enough yet. It has plenty of chance to grow, though. The potential is clearly there. Let’s look at the numbers. Over 4 million people showed up for a Women’s March somewhere in the U.S. And I know plenty of people who totally sympathized with the March but never got there. Let’s assume that for every Marcher there was one person who wasn’t there but is involved in some kind of resistance action now.

Gandhi’s Strategy For Success — Use More Than One Strategy

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By Mark Engler and Paul Engler for Waging Nonviolence – At the end of 1930, India was experiencing disruption on a scale not seen in nearly three quarters of a century — and it was witnessing a level of social movement participation that organizers who challenge undemocratic regimes usually only dream of achieving. A campaign of mass non-cooperation against imperial rule had spread throughout the country, initiated earlier that year when Mohandas Gandhi and approximately 80 followers from his religious community set out on a Salt March protesting the British monopoly on the mineral. Before the campaign was through, more than 60,000 people would be arrested, with as many as 29,000 proudly filling the jails at one time.

The Power Of Ordinary People Facing Totalitarianism

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By Kathleen B. Jones for The Conversation. In my view, “Origins” offers both a warning and an implicit call to resistance. In today’s context, Arendt would invite her readers to question what is being presented as reality. When President Trump and his advisers claim dangerous immigrants are “pouring” into the country, or stealing Americans’ jobs, are they silencing dissent or distracting us from the truth? “Origins” wasn’t intended to be a formulaic blueprint for how totalitarian rulers emerge or what actions they take. It was a plea for attentive, thoughtful civil disobedience to emerging authoritarian rule. What makes “Origins” so salient today is Arendt’s recognition that comprehending totalitarianism’s possible recurrence means neither denying the burden events have placed on us, nor submitting quietly to the order of the day.

8 Lessons From Barcelona En Comú On How To Take Back Control

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By Oscar Reyes and Bertie Russell for Open Democracy – After 20 months in charge of Barcelona, here are eight things we have learned from Ada Colau and Barcelona en Comú. We’re living in extraordinary times that demand brave and creative solutions. If we’re able to imagine a different city, we’ll have the power to transform it.” – Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona. On 24 May 2015, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú was elected as the minority government of the city of Barcelona. Along with a number of other cities across Spain, this election was the result of a wave of progressive municipal politics across the country, offering an alternative to neoliberalism and corruption.

Polite And Apolitical? Repression By Another Name

"When we all speak together with a single voice of resistance, our power grows—and so do our chances of defeating the Trump administration," said Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity. (Photo: Lori Shaull/flickr/cc)

By Rivera Sun for Rivera Sun – There are those who would have us fold up our banners and take down our protest signs. They urge us to be reasonable and polite. They expect us to cram our dissent into narrow boxes of occasional grumbling comments and take our frustration out at the election box once every few years. These people write letters to the editor of small town newspapers claiming that the visible signs of dissatisfaction – pickets, protesters, political signs – are bad for business and distasteful. Such sentiments pose great dangers to democracy. Those voices who call for clearing the rabble-rousers from the street fail to perceive that our streets are packed with political messages already.

Our Causes Are Connected, Our Movements Should Be Too

Popular Resistance, Revolution, Rebellion, Capitalism

By David Swanson for World Beyond War – Global corporations and international government alliances are pushing war, environmental destruction, economic exploitation, defunding of schools and housing, hateful divisive ideologies, and reductions in rights and liberties as a package wrapped in shiny foil, tied with a bow, and advertised in hundreds of different advertising media. . . and in this corner we have local and national organizations, segregated by race and other demographics, raising pitiable sums to fund nonprofit work, each to work against one or another particular item out of the package. Occasionally a movement will propose to take on two or three items at once but be shouted down with cries of “WHAT IS YOUR ONE DEMAND!?”

Resisting Donald Trump’s Violence Strategically

From thehill.com

By Robert J. Burrowes for Information Clearing House – February 28, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – It is already clearly apparent, as many predicted, that Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States would signal the start of what might be the final monumental assault on much of what is good in our world. Whatever our collective gains to date to create a world in which peace, social justice and environmental sustainability ultimately prevail for all of Earth’s inhabitants, we stand to lose it all in the catastrophic sequence of events that Trump is now initiating with those who share his delusional worldview. Starting with the appointment to his administration of individuals, such as Steve Bannon, Rex Tillerson and Scott Pruitt, who share his warped view of the world, and continuing with the policy decisions he is now implementing via executive orders, Trump threatens our biosphere with ecological catastrophe

Only One Way To Come To Grips With Climate Crisis

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By John Foran for Popular Resistance. First, let’s please just acknowledge there is a crisis. I’m afraid any reasonably educated, rational, and unbiased adult (or younger) can understand what the climate science has been telling us now for two decades: the Earth is warming, slowly but surely (so far by about 1 degree Celsius since 1800), due to humans’ putting carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, mainly through burning fossil fuels (gas, oil, and coal) and the byproducts of large-scale and animal-based agriculture. A good primer on this is Danny Chivers’ No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change. Second – and it only takes a bit of sociological thinking here – we see that this is already having massive negative effects on people’s well-being: floods, droughts, superstorms, rising sea-levels, loss of biodiversity (species extinction), polluted cities, rivers, and oceans.

The Vision And Legacy Of Berta Cáceres

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By Beverly Bell for Other Worlds. One year ago today, Berta Cáceres was murdered by the national and local Honduran government and a multinational dam company, with at least the tacit support of the US. Last September, all the evidence Cáceres’ family had collected over many months was stolen, almost certainly by the government. The government has also refused to share information with the family and to allow independent parties like the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to help with the process. Please contact your US congressperson to urge him or her to endorse the Berta Cáceres Human Rights Act, which is being re-introduced today, March 2, 2017. It compels the US government to cut military aid to Honduras until it improves its human rights record.

A Mood Is Not A Movement: Five Ideas For The Anti-Trump Forces

From thehill.com

By Richard Rubenstein for War Is A Crime – Comrades and friends, I am not writing to advise you how to resist the Trump regime. There are as many action proposals in circulation as there are anti-Trump groups, with “resistance” the buzzword of the moment. But resistance against what, exactly, and for what purposes? Most of the tactical proposals I have seen are strangely devoid of political content. It seems that anti-Trump is more a mood than a movement with shared aims. It is a negative sentiment shared by most of the identity and interest groups that formed part of the Democratic Party coalition (or, as the President himself would put it, by the losers) during the 2016 election. The spread of public protests against the new regime’s immigration ban and other initiatives is heartening to those who oppose these measures. Yet, protest by itself doesn’t create a movement.

It’s Time To Claim Our Highest Vision: Let’s Embrace The Great Turning

In the face of the new administration's systematic dehumanization, the strength and clarity of purpose needed in order to break free of our defensive posture is going to require us to very thoughtfully and intentionally knit our movements together. (Photo: Joe Piette / Flickr)

By Chris Moore-Backman for Truth Out – Across the nation, activists, organizers and newly enlivened social change onlookers are hungry for a shared, coherent sense of direction. George Lakey’s recent 10-point strategy for nonviolent resistance to the new Trump administration offers an excellent beginning to an absolutely critical conversation about comprehensive movement strategy. But our many social change movements, which together have begun to comprise the macro “movement of movements” Lakey describes, may have a short window of time to get our strategic ducks in a row. The new administration has demonstrated a determined will to consolidate power, and to do so quickly. Fascistic executive orders; the systematic delegitimization of existing institutions, checks and balances; unfettered propaganda (aka “fake news”); and the normalization of bombastic and hateful rhetoric are stark early-warning signs of totalitarian takeover.

100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War

We say No to War sign seen at a 2007 anti-war protest. (Photo by Thiago Santos on flickr)

By David Swanson for World Beyond War – This April 4th will be 100 years since the U.S. Senate voted to declare war on Germany and 50 since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war on Vietnam (49 since he was killed on that speech’s first anniversary). Events are being planned to help us try to finally learn some lessons, to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but war. That declaration of war on Germany was not for the war that makes up the single most common theme of U.S. entertainment and history. It was for the war that came before that one. This was the Great War, the war to end all wars, the war without which the conditions for the next war would not have existed. As well recounted in Michael Kazin’s War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918, a major peace movement had the support of a great deal of the United States. When the war finally ended (after the U.S. had actually been in it for about 5% the length of the war on Afghanistan thus far) just about everybody regretted it.

Right Now -- Resist, Rethink, Recreate

Now, this very week, it is possible to Resist much closer to home. Congress is in recess this week, and it is possible to show up at our elected officials’ events, town halls, and other public appearances to demand answers to questions like whether our own members of Congress will pledge to protect and improve our health care, to protect the religious freedom of Muslims and to meet the human needs of immigrants.

Resistance is not only about the “content” of political demands, but about the “style” of holding officials accountable. If CongressMembers refuse to hold town meetings, we can hold our own with the Congressional chair empty -- to highlight to the public and the media the lawmakers who won't even meet with their constituents. These events are being called “Resistance Recess.”

Click here to find your local Resistance Recess event and RSVP.

So far, the least bold resistance has been defense of the planet that keeps us alive. This is sad, but not surprising. Health care for the sick, religious freedom, the human needs of immigrants and refugees can all be portrayed in human-interest stories, videos, photos. Despite multiplying hyper-droughts and hyper-floods, the connection between planetary scorching and human disaster is harder to see and feel. Yet it remains the Big Story of survival.

So on April 29, we intend to bring together in Washington DC and in support cities around the country a People's Climate March and Movement. I urge you, The Shalom Center ‘s members and readers, to join in that effort.

For many Jews and Jewish organizations, the fact that April 29 is Shabbat makes participation difficult. Plans are under way for a multi-religious prayer service like the one that led the 400,000-person People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014. And in some Jewish communities, there are plans for local Shabbat gatherings in support of the Washington March.

You can get fuller information here as the plans unfold, and you can register to receive bulletins by clicking here www.peoplesclimate.org/?source=theshalomcenter

2)  RETHINK

We need to rethink the assumptions of what American democracy means. Rethinking is necessary because the Trump-Pence-Bannon coalition is right about one thing –-- right enough to win an election under the Constitutional rules even while vastly losing the popular vote.  They are right that for important parts of American society, the globalization model in economics and culture is not working.

Even if they had barely lost instead of barely winning the recent election, American society would have had to keep living with a painful ulcer of fear and rage. That ulcer would have kept us paralyzed. If as a nation we had ignored it, we would have continued to be unable to heal our society as a whole while the ulcer grew and worsened.

Unable, as Dr. King warned, to conquer the triplets of Racism, Militarism, and Materialism.

And this is not only a politically profound issue, it is a spiritually profound challenge. Are those who voted for Trump not still our neighbors, deserving of our open ears and hearts, our striving to understand their legitimate needs and to craft both human connections and policy responses? This too is a question that Dr. King faced in his own day and calls on us to face.

The Trumpist answer to this crisis is even more domination, more top-down control, more repression of those energies that are refusing to keep living passively in situations that are abusive and oppressive. That is an anti-democratic, anti-human, anti-web-of-life response; but the status quo is not viable. So we need to rethink what democracy must mean in our generation.

We need to rethink the relationship between the “old America” that now feels cast out economically, culturally, and spiritually –- and the New America which thinks it is the wave of the future but feels disempowered in the present. Is it inevitable that both kinds of the “left-outs” are hostile to each other, or can we reach beyond the present barricades? 

We need to rethink our top-down political parties, the power of Hyper-Wealth over our elections, the precariousness of our voting rights, including the built-in blockages against democratic decision-making.

We need to reexamine the nature of coalitions between groups of people and organizations that may share some agendas but disagree on others.

We need to rethink the roles of neighborhoods, urban and rural, in giving life to democracy.

We need to rethink the nature of jobs, work, and income in our increasingly computerized and robot-enabled society.

We need to rethink how we think –- the processes of education, culture, media old and new
We need to rethink even religion. Already, the proliferation of “interfaith” and “multireligious” prayer services challenges the very foundations of what the Abrahamic traditions thought Truth was for most of the last two thousand years. It has happened before in history –- under the tyranny of the Roman Empire and the tyranny of Pharaoh, for example --  that an overweening exercise of tyrannical power that shattered old forms of community has led through times of tumult to the birth of new forms of sacred community. Could that be happening now?

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow for The Shalom Center – We are facing a government that is beginning the process of shattering democracy and devastating the Earth, elevating what Martin Luther King defined as the deadly triplets of Racism, Militarism, and Materialism into the domineering reality of our lives. That government is trying to make it become the new normal that our lives will be fearful, consumed by fake news and “alternative facts,” struggling to deal with worsening economic pressures and worsening ecological disasters, even life-spans shorter in years. Three different sorts of energy have been stirred into a devil’s brew to fuel this anti-democratic political machine. They have three specific people as their embodiments: First, a Leader – a Bully — with a strong personal streak of narcissism, cruelty, and vindictiveness: Mr. Trump. What he brings to the amalgam is a “populism” that is not about policy but about an emotional connection with people who are angry enough to break the rules of decorum –- and welcome a leader who does break them.

Marta Harnecker: Ideas For The Struggle

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By The Old and New Project. July 2016— When we asked Marta Harnecker whether it would be OK to post her “Ideas for the Struggle” (12 short articles about the left and the challenges it faces) on the Old and New website, with an invitation to revolutionary activists in the USA to discuss it, she said she would be delighted. But she also urged that we write an introduction explaining why a piece that was originally composed in 2004 is being reprinted today, with only a few modifications. That question, however, seems relatively easy: not much has changed on the revolutionary left since 2004 concerning the issues Harnecker is addressing in these notes. They have not been adequately discussed or resolved, far from it. Another question also seems significant: Why do we think a text inspired by and considering the practices of the Latin American left will be helpful to revolutionaries in the USA? This should also be obvious to readers who take even a quick look at the topics Harnecker considers.