Crowd of protester holding a banner that reads 'Stop Putin, Stop War'

Nonviolent and Anti-Imperialist Solidarity

The Resource Center for Nonviolence expresses solidarity and sorrow with the people of Ukraine and Russia who are suffering, fleeing, and resisting Putin’s military occupation of Ukraine. In face of the trauma of war, we lift up humanitarian organizations’ support for refugees and casualties of war, and the courage and power of unarmed resistance. We call attention to marginalized people impacted, including Nigerian, Moroccan, Egyptian, other African students, and Muslim Tatar people.

As objectors to U.S. and NATO imperialism, we object to Russian imperialism and call on international, non-lethal solutions. We are grateful to be part of the global network of nonviolence organizations that speak out, educate, and train in nonviolent resistance, and present stories of people’s action. 

Daniel Hunter wrote an excellent nonviolence perspective to read in Waging Nonviolence, Feb. 27, “the mainstream press cannot be relied upon to lift up stories of civilian resistance. Those tactics and strategies may have to be shared across social media and other channels….As people move past the shock of the past few days, it’s this unarmed part of the resistance that’s gaining momentum…We will honor the bravery of the people in Ukraine, as we honor those resisting imperialism in its many forms across the globe today. Because for now, while Putin appears to be counting them out — to his own peril — Ukraine’s secret weapon of unarmed civilian resistance is only just starting to prove its bravery and strategic brilliance.”

To amplify Hunter’s views, see this December 27, 2021 study on the potential in Ukraine for nonviolent civilian-based defense, by The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

From the RCNV Board and Staff

Nonviolence Responses to this War:

  1. See the excellent “Dissenters” (@WEAREDISSENTERS) anti-imperialists post on Instagram: “Let’s Talk About Ukraine.

  2. Stop the War in Ukraine. Russian Troops Out. No to NATO expansion. CodePink
  3. War Resisters International (WRI) is a global pacifist and antimilitarist network with over 90 affiliated groups in 40 countries.
    They have built on their 1921 founding declaration that:

    War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.

    Read the Feb. 24 WRI statement here:

  4. The Metta Center for Nonviolence published this Resource List for active response, from humanitarian support to citizen actions inside Russia and Ukraine, to global support for Ukrainian people.
  5. On all of our minds is the often suppressed knowledge that both Russia and the United States possess life-threatening arsenals of nuclear weapons. Read this plea by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:
  6. George Lakey objects to mass media “romanticized belief in violence” with this short essay that compares Norweigian armed resistance to Danish unarmed resistance to Nazi occupation, and connecting to Ukraine today:
  7. Here George Lakey reminds us that the Czechs and Slovaks waged effective unarmed resistance to Soviet invasion in 1968.
  8. The Black Community Has Always Sought a World Free From Nuclear Weapons Black activists have worked to rid the world of nuclear weapons since the 1940s. Their approach was always intersectional, connecting the anti-nuclear movement with colonialism and the Black Freedom struggle. Read more…

RCNV Anti-war Positions on the Ukraine war

The Resource Center for Nonviolence is committed to nonviolent means to resist war and occupation. Nonviolent methods are founded in the primary connection of people across borders and nationalities, asserting justice and peace for all. Nonviolent movements resist serving in militaries, mobilize noncooperation with military occupation, and support constituencies for negotiations, cease fires, and disarmament. History has shown that nonviolent resistance results in democratic outcomes far more often than violent methods. The Resource Center for Nonviolence calls on all people who value the lives and dignity of Ukrainian and Russian people to:

  1. Support an immediate cease fire and international negotiations to end the war.

  2. Support and publicize unarmed civilian resistance to the occupation and war.

  3. Support and publicize resistance to conscription and conscientious objection in Russia and Ukraine.

  4. Support organizations providing humanitarian aid to refugees.  Doctors Without Borders link here.

  5. Welcome all refugees of wars and violence.

  6. Oppose deployment of US armaments to the conflict.

  7. Oppose engagement of US military forces in the war.

  8. Oppose glorifying people and parties who take human life.

  9. Recognize the short term scarcity and long term economic hardship waged on Russian people by sanctions administered by the US and Europe.

  10. Insist the United States will never use nuclear weapons, even if Russia does.

  11. Oppose expansion of NATO, and encourage nonviolent civilian based defense.

  12. Oppose increases in the US military budget and work to prohibit arms dealers and weapon manufacturers from profiting from conflict.

  13. Oppose increased production of oil and gas.

  14. Promote the dignity of all lives and support nonviolent resistance around the world.
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