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198 methods of non violent action

Updated: Oct 25, 2020


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The classic work by Gene Sharp from the Albert Einstein Institution www.aeinstein.org


Classic Gene Sharp short book 'From Dictatorship to Democracy.'

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By Gene Sharp Far too often people struggling for democratic rights and justice are not aware of the full range of methods of nonviolent action. Wise strategy, attention to the dynamics of nonviolent struggle, and careful selection of methods can increase a group’s chance of success.

Gene Sharp researched and catalogued these 198 methods and provided a rich selection of historical examples in his seminal work, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 Vols.) Boston: Peter Sargent, 1973. These “nonviolent weapons” are classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.

Without doubt, a large number of additional methods have already been used but have not been classified, and a multitude of additional methods will be invented in the future that have the characteristics of the three classes of methods: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention.

It must be clearly understood that the greatest effectiveness is possible when individual methods to be used are selected to implement the previously adopted strategy. It is necessary to know what kind of pressures are to be used before one chooses the precise forms of action that will best apply those pressures.


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 8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications 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 19. Wearing of symbols 20. Prayer and worship 21. Delivering symbolic objects 22. Protest disrobings 23. Destruction of own property 24. Symbolic lights 25. Displays of portraits 26. Paint as protest 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 37. Singing


Processions

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


Honoring the Dead

43. Political mourning 44. Mock funerals 45. Demonstrative funerals 46. Homage at burial places


Public Assemblies

47. Assemblies of protest or support 48. Protest meetings 49. Camouflaged meetings of protest 50. Teach-ins


Withdrawal and Renunciation

51. Walk-outs 52. Silence 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: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS


Actions 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. Workmen’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


THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: 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 depts., 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. Sitdown 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 173. Nonviolent occupation


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






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