Grow in nonviolence and antiracism
RCNV is a community, a place, and a virtual space to learn and grow in our commitments for a better world. Antiracism and nonviolence are methods of engaged learning and action. We learn from people impacted by racism and imperialism. We learn from people impacted by our actions. We learn from social movements around the world. We learn from the successes and mistakes of our own efforts.
Book circles, trainings and seminars meet in person and online in small groups with experienced activists, organizers and facilitators. RCNV hosts speakers who have made life commitments to antiracism and nonviolence. We learn from experiences and insights of everybody involved. One participant said recently, “we cannot do this alone.”
Born of Liberation Movements, Promising Human Culture.
Nonviolence and antiracism are methods everybody can use to make our societies more fully human. We can learn from multiracial campaigns and liberation movements around the world and throughout history. Nonviolence and antiracism value the people involved while resisting and transforming policies and behaviors that violate people. Both methods are energized by resilience people discover in themselves and one another in response to racialized trauma and violence.
Nonviolence was born in movements of resistance throughout history. Since 1976 the Resource Center for Nonviolence has learned from and supported multiracial and People-of-Color-led nonviolence freedom movements including: Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, and Latin American movements.
In RCNV we learn from movements like Black Lives Matter, youth-led climate strikes, the General Strike of 2006 (Day Without Immigrants), LGBTQ liberation campaigns, women-led labor strikes, liberation struggles in Palestine, Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa, draft resistance against the Vietnam War, civil disobedience campaigns for nuclear disarmament and nuclear-free and fossil-free energy. Activists have discovered more than 300 types of nonviolent action, to protest, intervene, withdraw cooperation, and assert new forms of cooperation. People power, or nonviolent civil resistance, has defeated empires, liberated peoples, and achieved democracy.
In a culture dominated by violence many people do not know about the power of active nonviolence. For some people who suffer U.S. domination and violence, to hear Americans advocating “nonviolence” seems like a joke–like not taking violence seriously. In RCNV we are connected with organizers who apply the active force of nonviolent resistance in violent circumstances. We assert that nonviolence is not a nice way of being that denies the violence of our society. Nonviolence is using human capacities to resist, without repeating harms.
In every violent situation, people apply their hearts and minds, their bodies, their whole selves — to cultures, campaigns and communities of resistance and life. Nonviolence was named “love in action” by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh during the US war on Vietnam. Histories of nonviolence begin with individual and small group refusals to cooperate with racism, state murder, economic exploitation, and warfare. Histories of nonviolence include organized, persistent, massive resistance to British, Spanish, American, and Soviet empires.
In RCNV we find resilience in learning histories of resistance like the Haitian and Mexican revolutions that abolished slavery, the Indian independence movement that resisted economic, cultural, and political colonialism, the farm workers union movement that won dignity for migrant laborers.
Many of us in RCNV have been asked personally by colonized sisters and brothers to organize here, where the empire starts, to withdraw our consent to structures of oppression, in everyday ways, and in strategic campaigns–to actually succeed in stopping United States violence.
Nonviolence and antiracism are wholistic approaches to social and personal change, not techniques. Born of liberation struggles, they call us to deep liberation as human beings, as social beings. “Freedom does not equal individualism; freedom equals community” says nonviolent action trainer Rev. James Lawson.
RCNV invites your discoveries in antiracism and nonviolence. We begin with daily experiences, traumatic impacts of violence on us. We begin also with personal resources, as simple as breath, attention and imagination. We create new relationships with one another, with society, with the earth, and with ourselves. We elevate Black and Brown lives. We commit to courage, love, and mutual support. We replace white-body supremacy with Beloved Community. We commit to community organizing for racial equity. With nonviolence and antiracism we heal our bodies, change our roles, change the policies of our institutions, and create new stories and new cultures.
RCNV is here to support your action. This website, and our staff, volunteers and programs, are resources for your growth.
Nonviolent and antiracist action may be stopping to listen to impacts and reactions in your body and settling into your presence, it may be confronting a decision maker about racist policy that must be changed–and it may be both.
Explore actions people take around the world for liberation and justice, learn about the power of nonviolent action campaigns, find books, organizations and web links to go deeper into antiracism and nonviolence.
Then contact us to converse about what you find. See also upcoming programs RCNV offers for community learning.
Methods of Nonviolent Action
From The Politics of Nonviolent Action, by Gene Sharp
List edited by the Resource Center for Nonviolence
LINK to FULL LIST Albert Einstein Institute
Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have discovered many different nonviolent actions. Political scientist Gene Sharp listed 198 of them, classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention. A reduced list is below. Use the list to inspire your imagination.
METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION
- speeches, petitions, declarations
- banners, posters, leaflets, zines, radio, TV, social media, political cartoons, picketing, lobbying
- “haunting” individuals, vigils at residences, places of work, direct appeals to individuals
- songs, street theater
- marches, parades, religious processions
- political mourning, mock funerals
- teach-ins, assemblies of protest or support
- walk-outs, silence, renouncing honors, turning one’s back
METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION
- student strike, boycott of social affairs, noncooperate with customs or social rules
- sanctuary, stay-at-home, personal withdrawal from social institutions
METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION
- Boycott: consumers’ boycott of services or products, boycotts by workers, producers,
- Divestment from companies: withdrawal of bank deposits, refusal to pay fees or dues, rent strike
- Strike: protest strike, Quickie walkout (lightning strike)
- Workers Strikes, prisoners’ strike, professional strike,
- Limited Strike: Slowdown strike, sick-in
- General strike
METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION
- Withholding allegiance
- literature and speeches advocating resistance
- refuse assistance to enforcement agents, boycott government agencies, boycott elections
- sitdown, refuse to disperse, hiding, escape,
- noncooperate with deportation or conscription
- civil disobedience of illegitimate laws, reluctant and slow compliance,
- resignation, noncooperation, whistleblowing, stalling, cooperate with opposition
- government delay and cancel diplomatic events, withhold diplomatic recognition, sever diplomatic relations, withdraw from international organizations
METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION
- Sit-in, Stand-in, mill-in, pray-in, nonviolent raids, nonviolent invasion, interjection, nonviolent obstruction, nonviolent occupation
- fast, hunger strike, self-exposure to the elements
- alternative social institutions, alternative media, guerrilla theater
- nonviolent land seizure, alternative markets, alternative economic institutions, reverse strike, defiance of blockades, selective patronage
- civil disobedience of “neutral laws,” seeking imprisonment
- Nonviolence International’s Tactics Online Database: https://www.tactics.nonviolenceinternational.net/
- Global Nonviolent Action Database: https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/
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.
A description and historical examples of 198 methods can be found in volume two of The Politics of Nonviolent Action, by Gene Sharp, and at downloaded from the Albert Einstein Institution: http://www.aeinstein.org.