Nonviolent resistance (NVR or nonviolent action) is the practice of achieving goals such as social change through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, satyagraha, or other methods, while being nonviolent. This type of action highlights the desires of an individual or group that feels that something needs to change to improve the current condition of the resisting person or group.
A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve. People endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.
A symbol is a mark, sign or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences. All communication is achieved through the use of symbols. Symbols take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a blue line might represent a river. Numerals are symbols for numbers. Alphabetic letters may be symbols for sounds. Personal names are symbols representing individuals. A red rose may symbolize love and compassion. The variable 'x', in a mathematical equation, may symbolize the position of a particle in space.
A protest is an expression of bearing witness on behalf of an express cause by words or actions with regard to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or they may undertake direct action in an attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves. Where protests are part of a systematic and peaceful nonviolent campaign to achieve a particular objective, and involve the use of pressure as well as persuasion, they go beyond mere protest and may be better described as cases of civil resistance or nonviolent resistance.
Nonviolent resistance is largely but wrongly taken as synonymous with civil disobedience. Each of these terms—nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience—has different connotations and commitments. Berel Lang argues against the conflation of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience on the grounds that the necessary conditions for an act instancing civil disobedience are: (1) that the act violates the law, (2) that the act is performed intentionally, and (3), that the actor anticipates and willingly accepts punitive measures made on the part of the state against him in retaliation for the act. Since acts of nonviolent political resistance need not satisfy any of these criteria, Lang argues that the two categories of action cannot be identified with one another.Furthermore, civil disobedience is a form of political action which necessarily aims at reform, rather than revolution: its efforts are typically directed at the disputing of particular laws or group of laws, while conceding the authority of the government responsible for them. In contrast, political acts of nonviolent resistance can have revolutionary ends Finally, according to Lang, civil disobedience need not be nonviolent, although the extent and intensity of the violence is limited by the non-revolutionary intentions of the persons engaging in civil disobedience. For example, Lang argues, the violent resistance by citizens being forcibly relocated to detentions, short of the use of lethal violence against representatives of the state, could plausibly count as civil disobedience but could not count as nonviolent resistance.
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government or occupying international power. By some definitions, civil disobedience is sometimes has to be nonviolent to be called 'civil'. Hence, civil disobedience is sometimes equated with peaceful protests or nonviolent resistance.
Major nonviolent resistance advocates include Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Te Whiti o Rongomai, Tohu Kākahi, Leo Tolstoy, Alice Paul, Martin Luther King, Jr, Daniel Berrigan, Philip Berrigan, James Bevel, Václav Havel, Andrei Sakharov, Lech Wałęsa, Gene Sharp, Nelson Mandela, and many others. There are hundreds of books and papers on the subject—see Further reading below.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā was applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa and is now used worldwide. In India, he was also called Bapu, a term that he preferred, and Gandhi ji, and is known as the Father of the Nation.
Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience", an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.
Te Whiti o Rongomai III was a Māori spiritual leader and founder of the village of Parihaka, in New Zealand's Taranaki region.
From 1966 to 1999, nonviolent civic resistance played a critical role in fifty of sixty-seven transitions from authoritarianism.Recently, nonviolent resistance has led to the Rose Revolution in Georgia and the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. Current nonviolent resistance includes the Jeans Revolution in Belarus, the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States initially and now internationally, the fight of the Cuban dissidents, and internationally the Extinction Rebellion and School strike for climate. Many movements which promote philosophies of nonviolence or pacifism have pragmatically adopted the methods of nonviolent action as an effective way to achieve social or political goals. They employ nonviolent resistance tactics such as: information warfare, picketing, marches, vigils, leafletting, samizdat, magnitizdat, satyagraha, protest art, protest music and poetry, community education and consciousness raising, lobbying, tax resistance, civil disobedience, boycotts or sanctions, legal/diplomatic wrestling, Underground Railroads, principled refusal of awards/honors, and general strikes. Nonviolent action differs from pacifism by potentially being proactive and interventionist.
Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Under an authoritarian regime, individual freedoms are subordinate to the state, and there is no constitutional accountability and no rule of law. Authoritarian regimes can be autocratic, with power concentrated in one person, or can be a committee, with power shared among officials and government institutions. The political scientist Juan Linz synthesized authoritarian political systems as possessing four qualities:
The Revolution of Roses, often translated into English as the Rose Revolution, was a pro-Western peaceful change of power in Georgia in November 2003. The revolution was brought about by widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections and culminated in the ousting of President Eduard Shevardnadze, which marked the end of the Soviet era of leadership in the country. The event derives its name from the climactic moment, when demonstrators led by Mikheil Saakashvili stormed the Parliament session with red roses in hand.
Georgia, known until 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.
A great deal of work has addressed the factors that lead to violent mobilization, but less attention has been paid to understanding why disputes become violent or nonviolent, comparing these two as strategic choices relative to conventional politics.
|BC 470–391||China||Mohism||The Mohist philosophical school disapproved of war. However, since they lived in a time of warring polities, they cultivated the science of fortification.|
|around AD 26–36||Judea||Pontius Pilate||Jews demonstrated in Caesarea to try to convince Pontius Pilate not to set up Roman standards, with images of the Roman emperor and the eagle of Jupiter, in Jerusalem (both images were considered idolatrous by religious Jews). Pilate surrounded the Jewish protesters with soldiers and threatened them with death, to which they replied that they were willing to die rather than see the laws of the Torah violated.|
|Before 1500–1835||Chatham Islands, New Zealand||Moriori||The Moriori were a branch of the New Zealand Māori that colonized the Chatham Islands and eventually became hunter-gatherers. Their lack of resources and small population made conventional war unsustainable, so it became customary to resolve disputes nonviolently or ritually. Due to this tradition of nonviolence, the entire population of 2000 people was enslaved, killed or cannibalized when 900 Māori invaded the island in 1835.|
|1819||England||Peterloo massacre||Famine and chronic unemployment, coupled with the lack of suffrage in northern England, led to a peaceful demonstration of 60,000–80,000 persons, including women and children. The demonstration was organized and rehearsed, with a "prohibition of all weapons of offence or defence" and exhortations to come "armed with no other weapon but that of a self-approving conscience". Cavalry charged into the crowd, with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. Newspapers expressed horror, and Percy Shelley glorified nonviolent resistance in the poem The Masque of Anarchy. However, the British government cracked down on reform, with the passing of what became known as the Six Acts.|
|1823–1829||Ireland||Catholic Association||One of the first mass-membership political movements of Europe, the Catholic Association was founded by Daniel O'Connell to use non-violent means to push the British government to pass Catholic emancipation, which culminated in the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 by the government of the Duke of Wellington|
|1834–1838||Trinidad||End of Slavery in Trinidad||The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, then the colonial power in Trinidad, first announced in 1833 the impending total liberation of slaves by 1840. In 1834 at an address by the Governor at Government House about the new laws, an unarmed group of mainly elderly people of African descent began chanting: "Pas de six ans. Point de six ans" ("No six years. Not at all six years"), drowning out the voice of the Governor. Peaceful protests continued until the passing of a resolution to abolish apprenticeship and the achievement of de facto freedom.|
|1838||US||Cherokee removal||The Cherokee refused to recognize the fraudulent Treaty of New Echota and therefore did not sell their livestock or goods, and did not pack anything to travel to the west before the soldiers came and forcibly removed them. That ended tragically in the Cherokee trail of tears.|
|1848–1920||US||Women's suffrage in the United States||A political movement that spanned over a century, where women protested in order to receive the right to suffrage in the United States.|
|1849–1867||Austrian Empire||Passive Resistance (Hungary)||In the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarians tried to regain independence, and were defeated by the Austrian Empire only with the aid of the Russian Empire. After 1848, the empire instituted several constitutional reforms, trying to resolve the problem, but without success. The resistance was instrumental in keeping up hope and spirit in a Hungary fully incorporated into Austria and characterized by reprisals against political dissidents, thousands of treason trials, military governance, centralization, absolutism, censorship and direct control of Vienna over every aspect of public life. Their followers carefully avoided any political agitation or criticism of the establishment, and strictly concentrated on national issues of non-political nature, such as the use of the Hungarian language, development of the Hungarian economy, and protection of the legal standing of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.|
|1867–1918||Austria-Hungary||Old Czech Party||Passive resistance of the Old Czech Party reacted on autonomy gained to the Kingdom of Hungary, but not to the Lands of the Bohemian Crown within the Austrian Empire. After 1874, wing of the party disagreeing with passive resistance stance, formed new Young Czech Party. Old Czechs remained with their politics, but they lost decisive influence in the politics of the Kingdom of Bohemia.|
|1860–1894, 1915–1918||New Zealand||Tainui-Waikato||Māori King Tāwhiao forbade Waikato Māori using violence in the face of British colonisation, saying in 1881, "The killing of men must stop; the destruction of land must stop. I shall bury my patu in the earth and it shall not rise again ... Waikato, lie down. Do not allow blood to flow from this time on." This was inspirational to Waikato Māori who refused to fight in World War I. In response, the government brought in conscription for the Tainui-Waikato people (other Māori iwi were exempt) but they continued to resist, the majority of conscripts choosing to suffer harsh military punishments rather than join the army. For the duration of the war, no Tainui soldiers were sent overseas.|
|1879–1881||New Zealand||Parihaka||The Māori village of Parihaka became the center of passive resistance campaigns against Europeans occupying confiscated land in the area. More than 400 followers of the prophet Te Whiti o Rongomai were arrested and jailed, most without trial. Sentences as long as 16 months were handed out for the acts of ploughing land and erecting fences on their property. More than 2000 inhabitants remained seated when 1600 armed soldiers raided and destroyed the village.|
|1903–1906||United Kingdom||Protest against the Education Act of 1902||This civil disobedience movement was launched against the Education Act of 1902 to defend the rights and influence of Nonconformist denominations in British school boards. Nonconformists believed this law to be calculated to support denominational (mainly Anglican and Catholic) religious teaching in the schools. John Clifford, a baptist minister, led the movement, which consisted in refusing to pay the taxes established by the 1902 Education Act. By 1906, over 170 men had been imprisoned for this refusal, and yet no change to the law was made. The movement had a large share in the defeat of the Unionist government in January 1906 but failed to achieve its ultimate aim of getting a nondenominational act passed.|
|1905||Russia||Bloody Sunday (1905)||Unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon marched to the Winter Palace to present a petition to the Czar. They were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard.|
|1908–1962||Samoa||Mau movement||Nonviolent movement for Samoan independence from colonial rule in the early 20th century.|
|1919. 2.8, 3.1||Korea||March 1st Movement||This movement became the inspiration of the later Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's Satyagraha—resistance and many other non-violent movement in Asia.|
|1919–22||Egypt||Egyptian Revolution of 1919||A countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt. It was carried out by Egyptians from different walks of life in the wake of the British-ordered exile of revolutionary leader Saad Zaghlul and other members of the Wafd Party in 1919. The event led to Egyptian independence in 1922 and the implementation of a new constitution in 1923.|
|1919–1921||Ireland||Irish Non-cooperation movement||During the Irish War for Independence, Irish nationalists used many non-violent means to resist British rule. Amongst these was abstention from the British parliament, tax boycotts, and the creation of alternative local government, Dáil Courts, and police.|
|1919–present||Israel/Palestine||Palestinian non-violent resistance|| Peace camps and strategic non-violent resistance to Israeli construction of Jewish settlements and of the West Bank Barrier have been adopted as tactics by Palestinians as part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. For example, citizens of the Palestinian village of Beit Sahour engaged in a tax strike during the First Intifada. |
In 2010, A "White Intifada" took hold in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Activities included weekly peaceful protests by Palestinian activists accompanied by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem and Israeli academics and students against settlers and security forces. The EU, through its foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has criticised Israel for convicting an organiser of the peaceful movement and said that she was deeply concerned about the arrest of Abdullah Abu Rahmeh. There have been two fatalities among protesters and an American peace activist suffered brain damage after being hit by a tear gas canister.
|1920–1922||India||Non-cooperation movement||A series of nationwide people's movements of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) and the Indian National Congress. In addition to bringing about independence, Gandhi's nonviolence also helped improve the status of the Untouchables in Indian society.[ citation needed ]|
|1923||Germany||The Occupation of the Ruhr||With the aim of occupying the centre of German coal, iron, and steel production in the Ruhr valley; France invaded Germany for neglecting some of its reparation payments after World War I. The occupation of the Ruhr was initially greeted by a campaign of passive resistance.|
|1930–1934||India||Civil disobedience movement||Nonviolent resistance marked by rejecting British imposed taxes, boycotting British manufactured products and mass strikes, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) and the Indian National Congress.|
|1933–1945||Germany||German Resistance||Throughout World War II, there were a series of small and usually isolated groups that used nonviolent techniques against the Nazis. These groups include the White Rose and the Confessional Church.|
|1940–1943||Denmark||Danish resistance movement||During World War II, after the invasion of the Wehrmacht, the Danish government adopted a policy of official co-operation (and unofficial obstruction) which they called "negotiation under protest." Embraced by many Danes, the unofficial resistance included slow production, emphatic celebration of Danish culture and history, and bureaucratic quagmires.|
|1940–1944||France||Le Chambon-sur-Lignon Jewish refuge||During World War II, with the leadership of two pacifist local ministers André Trocmé and Edouard Theis, the citizens of the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon (and of the neighbouring areas) risked their lives to hide Jews who were being rounded up by the Nazis and the collaborationist Vichy regime and sent to the death camps. This was done in open defiance of the Vichy government's orders. It is estimated that the people of the area of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon saved between 3,000–5,000 Jews from certain death. A small garden and plaque on the grounds of the Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust in Israel was dedicated to the people of le Chambon-sur-Lignon.|
|1940–1945||Norway||Norwegian resistance movement||During World War II, Norwegian civil disobedience included preventing the Nazification of Norway's educational system, distributing of illegal newspapers, and maintaining social distance (an "ice front") from the German soldiers.|
|1942||India||Quit India Movement||The Quit India Movement (Bharat Chhodo Andolan or the August Movement) was a civil disobedience movement launched in India in August 1942 in response to Mohandas Gandhi's call for immediate independence.|
|1945–1971||South Africa|| Defiance Campaign |
Internal resistance to South African apartheid
|The ANC and allied anti-apartheid groups initially carried out non-violent resistance against pro-racial segregation and apartheid governments in South Africa.|
|1946–1958||Territory of Hawaii||Hawaii Democratic Revolution of 1954||Following World War II, general strikes were initiated by the large working poor against racial and economic inequality under Hawaii's plantation economy. Movement members took over most of the government in 1954 and the State of Hawaii was established in 1959.|
|1955–1968||USA|| Civil Rights Movement |
Mass anti-war protests in the United States
|Tactics of nonviolent resistance, such as bus boycotts, Freedom Rides, sit-ins, marches, and mass demonstrations, were used during the Civil Rights Movement. This movement succeeded in bringing about legislative change, making separate seats, drinking fountains, and schools for African Americans illegal, and obtaining full Voting Rights and open housing. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of "the Beloved Community" was inspired by his leading Christians in nonviolent resistance.|
|1957–present||USA||Committee for Non-Violent Action||Among the most dedicated to nonviolent resistance against the US arsenal of nuclear weapons has been the Plowshares Movement, consisting largely of Catholic priests, such as Dan Berrigan, and nuns. Since the first Plowshares action in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania during the autumn of 1980, more than 70 of these actions have taken place.|
|1959–present||Cuba||Cuban opposition since 1959||There have been many nonviolent activists in opposition to Cuba's authoritarian regime. Among these are Pedro Luis Boitel (1931–1972), Guillermo Fariñas Hernández ("El Coco"), and Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez), all of whom have performed hunger strikes.|
|1965–1972||USA||Draft resistance||During the Vietnam War, many young Americans chose to resist the military draft by refusing to cooperate with the Selective Service System. Techniques of resistance included misrepresenting one's physical or mental condition to the draft board, disrupting draft board processes, going "underground", going to jail, leaving the country, and publicly promoting such activities.|
|February 11, 1967||USA||Los Angeles Black Cat Protest(1), Homosexual Bar and Site of Civil Resistance to Heightened Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Raids against Homosexual Establishments throughout the City, especially in the Homosexual Quarter known as Sunset Junction(2) District/East Hollywood An Historic Cultural Monument, City of Los Angeles, recognized as a site of Peaceful Civil Resistance in the struggle for Homosexual Civil Rights in the United States. The standoff is significant in that it occurred a year prior to the 1968 Stonewall riots in New York. The Stonewall Bar in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.||A tense standoff and potential riot between Hundreds of LAPD riot gear-laden police officers, who were determined to quell the swelling crowds that exceeded four hundred homosexual citizens, was averted after a last minute plea from then new Governor Ronald Reagan, via an openly gay Republican Judicial Appointee who acted as a personal envoy of the Governor to LAPD Commanders at the site of the standoff, was accepted, and a stand down order given which ordered the hundreds of LAPD officers present to cease and desist from further unprovoked harassment of homosexuals in Los Angeles for decades. The plea was successfully communicated and accepted by the LAPD hierarchy, and represented the first time that a stand down order was given by the LAPD, and was the last time until 2001, that the Los Angeles Police Department would engage in raiding an establishment, or public assembly of homosexuals in Los Angeles for decades. The hundreds who gathered to peacefully protest raids perceived as unwarranted, and often violent, against LGBT meeting sites in Los Angeles, observed a success in the struggle for Homosexual Civil Rights.|
|1967–1972||Northern Ireland||Northern Ireland civil rights movement||Movement led by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association seeking an end to discrimination against Catholics in areas such as elections (which were subject to gerrymandering and property requirements), discrimination in employment, in public housing, policing; and abuse of the Special Powers Act. The movement used marches, pickets, sit-ins and protests. In the wake of rising violence (Battle of the Bogside, 1969 Northern Ireland riots, Bloody Sunday 1972) NICRA ceased operation and the conflict descended into the violent "Troubles" which lasted until 1998.|
|1968||Worldwide||Protests of 1968||The protests that raged throughout 1968 were for the most part student-led. Worldwide, campuses became the front-line battle grounds for social change. While opposition to the Vietnam War dominated the protests, students also protested for civil liberties, against racism, for feminism, and the beginnings of the Ecology movement can be traced to the protests against nuclear and biological weapons during this year.|
|1968||Czechoslovakia||Prague Spring||During the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovak citizens responded to the attack on their sovereignty with passive resistance. Russian troops were frustrated as street signs were painted over, their water supplies mysteriously shut off, and buildings decorated with flowers, flags, and slogans like, "An elephant cannot swallow a hedgehog."|
|1970–1981||France||Larzac||In response to an expansion of a military base, local farmers including José Bové and other supporters including Lanza del Vasto took part in nonviolent resistance. The military expansion was canceled after ten years of resistance.|
|1979||Iran||Iranian Revolution||The Iranian Revolution of 1979 or 1979 Revolution (often known as the Islamic Revolution), refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.|
|1980–1981 as movement||Poland|| Solidarity |
Orange Alternative etc.
|Solidarity, a broad anti-communist social movement ranging from people associated with the Roman Catholic Church workers and intellectuals to members of the anti-communist Left (minority), advocated non-violence in its members' activities. Additionally, the Orange Alternative offered a wider group of citizens an alternative way of opposition against the authoritarian regime by means of a peaceful protest that used absurd and nonsensical elements.||[ self-published source ]|
|1986||Philippines||People Power Revolution||A series of nonviolent and prayerful mass street demonstrations that toppled Ferdinand Marcos and placed Corazon C. Aquino into power. After an election which had been condemned by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, over two million Filipinos protested human rights violations, election fraud, massive political corruption, and other abuses of the Marcos regime. Yellow was a predominant theme, the colour being associated with Corazon Aquino and her husband, Benigno S. Aquino Jr., who was assassinated three years prior.|
|1988–2016||Burma||Nonviolent Movement for Freedom and Democracy||Starting from 1988 Peaceful Demonstration led by Aung San Suu Kyi that caused her house arrest and thousands killed and jailed and tortured by the military, the struggle continues more than two decades. Despite of many victims and painful process (including annulled winning of 1990 election), it was happily ended by the victory of opposition party on 2015 election and Aung San Suu Kyi has elected as the country first state counsellor.[ clarification needed ]|
|1987–1989/1991||The Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)||Singing Revolution||A cycle of mass demonstrations featuring spontaneous singing in The Baltic States. The movement eventually collected 4,000,000 people who sang national songs and hymns, which were strictly forbidden during the years of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States, as local rock musicians played. In later years, people acted as human shields to protect radio and TV stations from the Soviet tanks, eventually regaining Lithuania's, Latvia's, and Estonia's independence without any bloodshed.|
|1989||China||Tiananmen Square protests of 1989||Nonviolence in 1989 Tiananmen protests|
|1989–90||East Germany||Monday demonstrations in East Germany||The Monday demonstrations in East Germany in 1989 and 1990 (German: Montagsdemonstrationen) were a series of peaceful political protests against the authoritarian government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) of East Germany that took place every Monday evening.|
|1990–91||Azerbaijan SSR||Black January||A crackdown of Azeri protest demonstrations by the Red Army in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR. The demonstrators protested against ethnic violence, demanded the ousting of communist officials and called for independence from the Soviet Union.|
|2000||Serbia||Otpor!||Otpor! (English: Resistance!) was a civic youth movement that existed as such from 1998 until 2003 in Serbia (then a federal unit within FR Yugoslavia), employing nonviolent struggle against the regime of Slobodan Milošević as their course of action. In the course of two-year nonviolent struggle against Milosevic, Otpor spread across Serbia and attracted more than 70,000 supporters. They were credited for their role in the successful overthrow of Slobodan Milošević on 5 October 2000.|
|2003||Liberia||Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace||This peace movement, started by women praying and singing in a fish market, brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.|
|2004–05||Israel||Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2004||Protesters opposing Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2004 nonviolently resisted impending evacuations of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Protesters blocked several traffic intersections, resulting in massive gridlock and delays throughout Israel. While Israeli police had received advance notice of the action, opening traffic intersections proved extremely difficult. Eventually, over 400 demonstrators were arrested, including many juveniles. Further large demonstrations planned to commence when Israeli authorities, preparing for disengagement, cut off access to the Gaza Strip. During the confrontation, mass civil disobedience failed to emerge in Israel proper. However, some settlers and their supporters resisted evacuation non-violently.|
|2004–2005||Ukraine||Orange Revolution||A series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which was marred by massive corruption, voter intimidation and direct electoral fraud. Nationwide, the democratic revolution was highlighted by a series of acts of civil disobedience, sit-ins, and general strikes organized by the opposition movement.|
|2005||Lebanon||Cedar Revolution||A chain of demonstrations in Lebanon (especially in the capital Beirut) triggered by the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005.|
|2005–06, 2009||Ukraine||Remember about the Gas – Do not buy Russian goods!||A campaign to boycott Russian goods as a reaction to political pressure of Russian Federation to Ukraine in the gas conflicts of 2005–2006 and 2008–2009 years.|
|2010–2011||Tunisia||Tunisian Revolution||A chain of demonstrations against unemployment and government corruption in Tunisia began in December 2010. Protests were triggered by the self-immolation of vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi and resulted in the overthrow of 24-year-ruling president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011.|
|2011||Egypt||Egyptian Revolution||A chain of protests, sit-ins, and strikes by millions of Egyptians starting January 25, 2011 eventually led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on February 11.|
|2011||Libya||Libyan Protests||Protests against the regime of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi began on January 13, 2011. In late January, Jamal al-Hajji, a writer, political commentator and accountant, "call[ed] on the Internet for demonstrations to be held in support of greater freedoms in Libya" inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. He was arrested on 1 February by plain-clothes police officers, and charged on 3 February with injuring someone with his car. Amnesty International stated that because al-Hajji had previously been imprisoned for his non-violent political opinions, the real reason for the present arrest appeared to be his call for demonstrations. In early February, Gaddafi, on behalf of the Jamahiriya, met with political activists, journalists and media figures and warned them that they would be held responsible if they disturbed the peace or created chaos in Libya. The plans to protest were inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution.|
|2011||Syria||Syrian Uprising||Protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began on March 15, 2011. Security forces responded with a harsh crackdown, arresting thousands of dissidents and killing hundreds of protesters. Peaceful protests were largely crushed by the army or subsided as rebels and Islamist fighters took up arms against the government, leading to a full-blown rebellion against the Assad regime.|
|2011–present||Bahrain||Bahraini uprising (2011–present)||Inspired by the regional Arab Spring, protests started in Bahrain on 14 February. The government responded harshly, killing four protesters camping in Pearl Roundabout. Later, protesters were allowed to reoccupy the roundabout where they staged large marches amounting to 150,000 participants. |
On 14 March, Saudi-led GCC forces were requested by the government and entered the country, which the opposition called an "occupation". The following day, a state of emergency was declared and protests paused after a brutal crackdown was launched against protesters, including doctors and bloggers. Nearly 3,000 people have been arrested, and at least five people died due to torture while in police custody.
Protests resumed after lifting emergency law on 1 June, and several large rallies were staged by the opposition parties, including a march on 9 March 2012 attended by over 100,000. Smaller-scale protests and clashes outside of the capital have continued to occur almost daily. More than 80 people had died since the start of the uprising.
|1979–present||Saudi Arabia|| Saudi uprising (1979–present) |
1979 Qatif Uprising
Saudi Arabian protests
Shia Islam in Saudi Arabia#Discrimination in the workforce
Execution of Nimr al-Nimr#Street protests
|Shiite community leaders in Qatif announced that they would publicly celebrate the Day of Ashura festival, despite the fact that celebration of Shiite festivals was banned. Despite government threats to disperse protests, on 25 November 1979 4,000 Shiite in Safwa took to the streets to publicly celebrate the Day of Ashura. [ circular reference ] Shia are prohibited from becoming teachers of religious subjects, which constitute about half of the courses in secondary education. Shia cannot become principals of schools. Some Shia have become university professors but often face harassment from students and faculty alike. Shia are disqualified as witnesses in court, as Saudi Sunni sources cite the Shi'a practise of Taqiyya wherein it is permissible to lie while one is in fear or at risk of significant persecution. Shia cannot serve as judges in ordinary court, and are banned from gaining admission to military academies, and from high-ranking government or security posts, including becoming pilots in Saudi Airlines. Amir Taheri quotes a Shi'ite businessman from Dhahran as saying "It is not normal that there are no Shi'ite army officers, ministers, governors, mayors and ambassadors in this kingdom. This form of religious apartheid is as intolerable as was apartheid based on race. [ circular reference ] In October 2011, during the 2011–12 Saudi Arabian protests, al-Nimr said that young people protesting in response to the arrests of two al-Awamiyah septuagenarians were provoked by police firing at them with live ammunition. On 4 October, he called for calm, stating, "The [Saudi] authorities depend on bullets ... and killing and imprisonment. We must depend on the roar of the word, on the words of justice". He explained further, "We do not accept [the use of firearms]. This is not our practice. We will lose it. It is not in our favour. This is our approach [use of words]. We welcome those who follow such [an] attitude. Nonetheless, we cannot enforce our methodology on those who want to pursue different approaches [and] do not commit to ours. The weapon of the word is stronger than the power of bullets." [ circular reference ]|
|2012–present||Mexico||Yo Soy 132|
|2013–present||Turkey||2013 protests in Turkey||Peaceful protests against reconstruction of Gezi Park at Istanbul's landmark Taksim Square, turned into protests against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Over one million people nonviolently resisted police brutal force. Started in Istanbul, protests spread in 10 days to over 82 cities of Turkey. Significant violence from the police side was manifested by use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Many people were arrested, including haphazard arrests of people simply standing at the square.|
|2013–present||Ukraine||Do not buy Russian goods!||A campaign to boycott Russian goods as a reaction to a series of Russian trade embargos against Ukraine and military invasion of Russia in Ukraine.|
|2014||Taiwan||Sunflower Student Movement||The activists protested the passing of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) by occupying the Legislative Yuan from March 18 and 10 April 2014.|
|2014–present||Hong Kong||Umbrella Revolution||Student class boycotts and public demonstrations followed by spontaneous outbreak of civil disobedience and street occupation lasting 79 days.|
|2016–present||Zimbabwe||#ThisFlag Movement||Mass Stay Aways which were backed by a rigorous social media campaign to bring social and political change in Zimbabwe.|
|2017||Tamil Nadu – India||2017 pro-Jallikattu protests||Peaceful demonstrations organized primarily by civilians, without any specific leaders, followed by outbreak of civil disobedience and people occupying Marina shore in Chennai and other prominent places across the state, demanding permanent solution for Jallikattu by passing permanent ordinance to support Jallikattu and to boycott foreign companies such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola as their water consumption is affecting local farmers.|
|2017||Catalonia||2017 Catalan independence referendum||2017 nonviolent action to ensure the holding of a referendum on the independence of Catalunya. The Spanish national police and Civil Guard baton charged voters queuing at the entrances to polling stations and raided some stations. Despite this the voters and protesters successfully protected the referendum.|
|2016–2017||South Korea||Impeachment of Park Geun-hye||Peaceful demonstrations against president Park Geun-hye resulted the impeachment of the South Korean president.|
|2018–present||Iran|| White Wednesdays |
Girl of Enghelab Street
|Peaceful demonstrations against compulsory hijab and sex discrimination.|
|2018||Tamil Nadu – India||Anti-Sterlite protest||100-day peaceful demonstration against Sterlite Copper Corporation in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. Despite pollution control regulatory & environmental research institute reports along with apex court orders to shutdown the industry smelting operation were continued. Public demanded State to stop further expansion plans as a continuum of response against ill effects of pollution caused by the smelter.|
|2018–present||Sudan|| 2018–19 Sudanese protests |
|Peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins against the regime of Omar al-Bashir and succeeding military junta.|
|2019–present||Algeria||2019 Algerian protests||Peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins against the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.|
Active measures is a term for the actions of political warfare conducted by the Soviet and Russian security services to influence the course of world events, in addition to collecting intelligence and producing "politically correct" assessment of it. Active measures range "from media manipulations to special actions involving various degrees of violence". Beginning in the 1920s, they were used both abroad and domestically. They included disinformation, propaganda, counterfeiting official documents, assassinations, and political repression, such as penetration into churches, and persecution of political dissidents.
Subversion refers to a process by which the values and principles of a system in place are contradicted or reversed, in an attempt to transform the established social order and its structures of power, authority, hierarchy, and social norms. Subversion can be described as an attack on the public morale and, "the will to resist intervention are the products of combined political and social or class loyalties which are usually attached to national symbols. Following penetration, and parallel with the forced disintegration of political and social institutions of the state, these loyalties may be detached and transferred to the political or ideological cause of the aggressor". Subversion is used as a tool to achieve political goals because it generally carries less risk, cost, and difficulty as opposed to open belligerency. Furthermore, it is a relatively cheap form of warfare that does not require large amounts of training. A subversive is something or someone carrying the potential for some degree of subversion. In this context, a "subversive" is sometimes called a "traitor" with respect to the government in power.
Special operations (S.O.) are military, law enforcement or intelligence operations that are "special" or unconventional and carried out by dedicated special forces and other special operations forces units using unconventional methods and resources. Special operations may be performed independently, or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does not exist or might adversely affect the overall strategic outcome. Special operations are usually conducted in a low-profile manner that aims to achieve the advantages of speed, surprise, and violence of action against an unsuspecting target. Special ops are typically carried out with limited numbers of highly trained personnel that are adaptable, self-reliant and able to operate in all environments, and able to use unconventional combat skills and equipment. Special operations are usually implemented through specific, tailored intelligence.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Nonviolent resistance|
Pacifism is opposition to war, militarism, or violence. The word pacifism was coined by the French peace campaigner Émile Arnaud (1864–1921) and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress in Glasgow in 1901. A related term is ahimsa, which is a core philosophy in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. While modern connotations are recent, having been explicated since the 19th century, ancient references abound.
Anarchism and violence have become closely connected in popular thought, in part because of a concept of "propaganda of the deed". Propaganda of the deed, or attentát, was espoused by leading anarchists in the late nineteenth century, and was associated with a number of incidents of violence. Anarchist thought, however, is quite diverse on the question of violence. In the name of coherence some anarchists have opposed coercion, while others have supported it, particularly in the form of violent revolution on the path to anarchy. Anarchism includes a school of thought which rejects all violence (anarcho-pacifism).
Satyaagraha or holding onto truth or truth force – is a particular form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. Someone who practices satyagraha is a satyagrahi.
Nonviolence is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence. This may be based on moral, religious or spiritual principles, or it may be for purely strategic or pragmatic reasons.
Anarcho-pacifism is a tendency within anarchism that rejects the use of violence in the struggle for social change, the abolition of capitalism and the state. The main early influences were the thought of Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy while later the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi gained importance. Pacifist anarchism "appeared mostly in the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States, before and after the Second World War and has continued since then in the anarchist involvement in the protests against nuclear armament.".
Mubarak Awad is a Palestinian-American psychologist and an advocate of nonviolent resistance.
The Salt March, also known as the Dandi March and the Dandi Satyagraha, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The 24-day march lasted from 12 March 1930 to 6 April 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly. Mahatma Gandhi started this march with 78 of his trusted volunteers. Walking ten miles a day for 24 days, the march spanned over 240 miles, from Sabarmati Ashram, 240 miles to Dandi, which was called Navsari at the time. Growing numbers of Indians joined them along the way. When Gandhi broke the salt laws at 6:30 am on 6 April 1930, it sparked large scale acts of civil disobedience against the British Raj salt laws by millions of Indians.
Pietro Ameglio is an Uruguayan-born naturalized Mexican citizen and Gandhian civil rights and peace activist best known for his role in promoting nonviolence and creating a movement for peace and anti-militarism in Mexico.
Gandhism is a body of ideas that describes the inspiration, vision and the life work of Mohandas Gandhi. It is particularly associated with his contributions to the idea of nonviolent resistance, sometimes also called civil resistance. The two pillars of Gandhism are truth and non-violence.
Richard Bartlett Gregg (1885–1974) was an American social philosopher said to be "the first American to develop a substantial theory of nonviolent resistance" and an influence on the thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr, Aldous Huxley, civil-rights theorist Bayard Rustin, and pacifist and socialist reformer Jessie Wallace Hughan. Gregg's ideas also influenced the Peace Pledge Union in 1930s Britain, although by 1937 most of the PPU had moved away from Gregg's ideas.
James W. "Jim" Douglass is an American author, activist, and Christian theologian. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University. He and his wife, Shelley Douglass, founded the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1997 the Douglasses received the Pacem in Terris Award.
Civil resistance is political action that relies on the use of nonviolent resistance by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and coercion: it can involve systematic attempts to undermine the adversary's sources of power, both domestic and international. Forms of action have included demonstrations, vigils and petitions; strikes, go-slows, boycotts and emigration movements; and sit-ins, occupations, and the creation of parallel institutions of government. Civil resistance movements' motivations for avoiding violence are generally related to context, including a society's values and its experience of war and violence, rather than to any absolute ethical principle. Cases of civil resistance can be found throughout history and in many modern struggles, against both tyrannical rulers and democratically elected governments. The phenomenon of civil resistance is often associated with the advancement of democracy.
A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war, minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, and is often linked to the goal of achieving world peace. Means to achieve these ends include advocacy of pacifism, non-violent resistance, diplomacy, boycotts, peace camps, moral purchasing, supporting anti-war political candidates, legislation to remove the profit from government contracts to the Military–industrial complex, banning guns, creating open government and transparency tools, direct democracy, supporting Whistleblowers who expose War-Crimes or conspiracies to create wars, demonstrations, and national political lobbying groups to create legislation. The political cooperative is an example of an organization that seeks to merge all peace movement organizations and green organizations, which may have some diverse goals, but all of whom have the common goal of peace and humane sustainability. A concern of some peace activists is the challenge of attaining peace when those that oppose it often use violence as their means of communication and empowerment.
Islam does not have any normative tradition of pacifism, and warfare has been integral part of Islamic history both for the defense and the spread of the faith since the time of Muhammad. Prior to the Hijra travel Muhammad struggled non-violently against his opposition in Mecca. It was not until after the exile that the Quranic revelations began to adopt a more offensive perspective. Fighting in self-defense is not only legitimate but considered obligatory upon Muslims, according to the Qur'an. The Qur'an, however, says that should the enemy's hostile behavior cease, then the reason for engaging the enemy also lapses.
Operation Gandhi was a pacifist group in Britain that carried out the country’s first nonviolent direct action protests in 1952.
Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence (PCSN) was founded in 1983 by Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American psychologist, and an advocate of nonviolent resistance.
Direct action originated as a political activist term for economical and political acts in which the actors use their power to directly reach certain goals of interest, in contrast to those actions that appeal to others by, for instance, revealing an existing problem, using physical violence, highlighting an alternative, or demonstrating a possible solution.
Diversity of tactics is a phenomenon wherein a social movement makes periodic use of force for disruptive or defensive purposes, stepping beyond the limits of nonviolence, but also stopping short of total militarization. It also refers to the theory which asserts this to be the most effective strategy of civil disobedience for social change. Diversity of tactics may promote nonviolent tactics, or armed resistance, or a range of methods in between, depending on the level of repression the political movement is facing. It sometimes claims to advocate for "forms of resistance that maximize respect for life".