Nonviolence Training

Nonviolent Strategies for Social Change

The Broken Rifle, No 95, March 2013

Nonviolent direct action training in Santiago, ChileNonviolent direct action training in Santiago, Chile

Javier Gárate

Is strategy a buzzword within nonviolent social movements? I ask myself this question since at social movements meetings I repeatedly hear: “We need to be strategic” or “Why are people not interested in strategy?” In changing a certain problem, is having a clear strategy the key factor in what movements can achieve? If so, then what that makes a good strategy? And what helps groups develop such strategies? These are some questions we have been asking ourselves for many years at War Resisters' International.

Call for submissions: New Worlds in Old Shells

When we think of social change, we often think of protests, campaigns, and direct action. These are all vital ways to say “no!” to destructive practices and institutions.

Permaculture farmers in El SalvadorPermaculture farmers in El Salvador

However, it's equally important that we are building concrete alternatives, where we say “yes!” to the vision of the world we want. Built on the same power analysis as our nonviolent direct action, “constructive programmes” can be powerful acts of resistance. Constructive programmes demonstrate the radical alternatives – to militarism and the causes of climate change, for example – that our world desperately needs, and puts them into practise in the here and now.

For Gandhi, a nonviolent revolution without a constructive programme was impossible; direct action and social change had to be embedded in empowered and vibrant communities that were bringing their own radical and egalitarian visions of life. Along with protest and direct action, he called for communities in India to start building the world they wanted to see, to build a new world in the shell of the old.

Court solidarity for anti-arms trade activists in New Zealand

Activists from Peace Action Wellington (PAW) organised two days of nonviolent direct actions against the annual Weapons Conference held in New Zealand (NZ) last November. Following their peaceful protests, dozens were arrested and taken to court. 26 activists returned to court on 18 February to defend their right to peaceful demonstration. As an outcome, 25 protesters are still facing charges and were remanded to appear again on 11th March.

Book review: The Hammer Blow

“Every bomb that is dropped, every bullet that is fired, has to be made somewhere. And wherever that is, it can be resisted.”

Smash EDO

For anyone involved in anti-militarist campaigning, the Seeds of Hope action has almost mythical status. Not only as an extremely radical and inspiring action; but as an example of how a jury's verdict can be decided on moral grounds on the basis of trying to prevent a greater crime. I have been running direct action trainings for a few years and I don't think there's a single one where Seeds of Hope didn't get mentioned, and its reach extends far beyond the anti-militarist movement.

Interview with Peace Action Wellington, New Zealand

Originally published on WRI's antimili-youth.net website

Activists from Peace Action Wellington (PAW) organised two days of nonviolent direct actions against the annual Weapons Conference held in New Zealand (NZ) last November. Following their peaceful protests, 27 activists - 26 of whom keep fighting charges - were arrested and taken to court. On 18 February they are standing trial again, defending their right to peaceful demonstration for peace and justice.

Sending our solidarity messages to the activists in Wellington, we reached Valerie Morse from PAW and asked her about their campaign Stop the Weapons Conference as well as many other questions on militarism and the antimilitarist movement in New Zealand.

Stopping the weapons conference

New Zealand is a place often associated with its nuclear-free position, and it rates highly on the global peace index. In spite of a relatively bucolic lifestyle downunder, New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, plays host to an annual weapons conference in November where about 550 delegates representing 165 companies converge for an annual weapons conference.Peace Action Wellington: Activists blockade the entrance to the weapons conferencePeace Action Wellington: Activists blockade the entrance to the weapons conference

Spanish edition of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns released

The second edition of the Handbook for Nonviolent for Campaigns was first released in English in 2014, at WRI's International Conference in Cape Town. The book has now been translated into Spanish via the support of a crowdfunding campaign, and is available from the WRI webshop here: http://www.wri-irg.org/node/24916

Stopping the War Business: talking tactics and linking methods - registration deadline extended

War profiteering

We live in a world where people profit from war. In 2014, Global military expenditure was estimated to be $1776 billion. Lockheed Martin - the world's biggest arms company - sold more than $45.6 billion worth of equipment. The war in Iraq wrenched open the country's economy to contractors of all shapes and sizes.

Arms companies profit from every bomb that falls, and every bullet that's fired. Through occupation, companies have the opportunity to exploit cheap land and lax labour laws. Conflict zones give fossil fuel giants access to new resources to exploit. Militarism means that research funding goes towards developing weapons of war, not finding solutions to global challenges like climate change.

Stopping the War Business: WRI and World Without War seminar in Seoul, South Korea

In October, War Resisters' International and our South Korean affiliate World Without War will host an international seminar with a specific focus on skill sharing for taking action against war profiteering. “Stopping the War Business” will take place on 16th and 17th October, in Seoul, South Korea. The seminar will be followed by nonviolence training, and then an action to oppose the ADEX arms fair, which will be taking place the following week.

Syndicate content