"Madam, I was once walking in the country on a hot day with a blind friend, and said that I would like a drink of milk." "Milk?" said my friend, "Drink I know; but what is milk?" "A white liquid," I replied. "Liquid I know; but what is white?" "The colour of a swan's feathers." "Feathers I know; what is a swan?" "A bird with a crooked neck." "Neck I know; but what is this crooked?" "Thereupon I lost patience. I seized his arm and straightened it. "That's straight," I said; and then I bent it at the elbow. "That's crooked." "Ah!" said the blind man, "Now I know what you mean by milk!" [Of]
-----[[[[A compendium of quality resources on non-violence.]]]]----
Ok, there is a ton of reading here, but I wanted to make a post with a LOT of info on this subject, as it is a very important subject. I'm sharing these links in hope of spreading the information about the use of non-violence and its meaning as an idealology. I am providing 1 very thurough link to a website that explains it very well, 1 interview regarding the effectiveness of non-violence in comparison with violence among other topics, 4 books/pamphlets (as pdfs) thoroughly detailing a strategic approach to non-violent conflict in regards to social and civil rights movements.
If at least one activist downloads and reads this material, I consider it a win for the peace movement.
-= Nonviolence: An Introduction =-
''At first glance, violence may appear to be a superior technique for resolving conflicts or achieving desired ends because it has obvious and tangible strategies and weapons. Nonviolent techniques are often more difficult to visualise and there is no shortage of moral and practical dilemmas that sceptics are able to raise as impediments to taking nonviolence seriously.
Yet many reasons can be offered for the employment of nonviolence: it is a 'weapon' available to all, it is least likely to alienate opponents and third parties, it breaks the cycle of violence and counter-violence. it leaves open the possibility of conversion, it ensures that the media focus on the issue at hand rather than some tangential act of violence and it is the surest way of achieving public sympathy. Further, it is more likely to produce a constructive rather than a destructive outcome, it is a method of conflict resolution that may aim to arrive at the truth of a given situation (rather than mere victory for one side) and it is the only method of struggle that is consistent with the teachings of the major religions.
In addition there are reasons for the employment of nonviolence that go beyond the conviction that is a useful, or even the only 'correct' method of conflict resolution. Nonviolence can also he the basis for a way of life: it is consistent with a belief in the underlying unity of humankind and it is the only method of action, interpersonal or political, that does not block that path to what has often been called 'self-realisation'."
-= Discovering the Unexpected Power of Nonviolence: Street Spirit Interview with Erica Chenoweth =-
"We found that during the period of 1900 to 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns are about twice as effective as violent ones in achieving their goals. We also found that these trends hold even where most people expect nonviolent resistance to be ineffective -- for instance, against dictatorships and highly repressive regimes." — Erica Chenoweth
-= On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: Thinking about the Fundamentals =-
"This book is written with hope that it may be of assistance to those who are searching for or examining nonviolent options as an alternative to armed struggle against an oppressive government or foreign occupation. It is not a “how to” book on waging nonviolent struggle. Rather, it offers a framework that encourages orderly think- ing about the fundamentals of strategic nonviolent opposition to state tyranny. It includes information on the theory, strategic plan- ning, and operations for waging strategic nonviolent struggle that has proved to be effective. Hopefully, the reader will find the book organized in a way that it can be readily adapted for communicat- ing its subject matter to others in a variety of training environments.
Strategic nonviolent struggle is advanced as an alternative to armed conflict, in part, because of the reasonable likelihood that it will result in fewer lives lost and less destruction of property. But even if that were not so, experience has shown that nonviolent struggle is an effective means of waging conflict against repressive regimes. A military victory is achieved by destroying the opponent’s capacity and/or willingness to continue the fight. In this regard, nonviolent strategy is no different from armed conflict, except that very different weapons systems are employed."
-= Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns =-
"Why are you interested in a Handbook on nonviolent campaigns? Probably because you want to make something happen, or perhaps because you want to stop something from happening. Perhaps you sense that nonviolence can offer an alternative to actions that generate hostility and ultimately prove sterile, at least from the point of view of making social change. Perhaps you just want to try something different or get some tips to improve the way your group is already organising actions and campaigns."
-= Movement Action Plan =-
"That Friday night, I expected to meet a spirited, upbeat group that was proud of its accomplishments. I was shocked when the Clamshell activists arrived with heads bowed, dispirited, and depressed, saying their efforts had been in vain. After two years of hard effort, the Seabrook nuclear power plant was still being constructed, and Operation Independence was still going forward. Some people reported massive burnout and dropout; others spoke of the need for increased militant action, even violent guerilla actions. None believed they could rally even a fraction of the thousands of people they thought would be necessary to stop nuclear energy through the upcoming civil disobedience blockade at Seabrook in the Spring.
I wondered how I could convince these activists, in my scheduled talk the next morning, that they were extremely successful and considered national heroes by many in the new movement. I stayed up most of that night creating a model framework (now called “MAP”) that describes stages that successful social movements go through. I presented the model the next morning, explaining how, led by Clamshell, a new movement was created; how in one year it had achieved most of the goals of stage four; and how it was about to move the next stage—majority opposition. The stages framework helped empower many of the Clamshell activists and helped them create a new strategy.
The Clamshell experience of discouragement and collapse is far from unusual. Within a few years after achieving the goals of “take-off”, every major social movement of the past twenty years has undergone a significant collapse, in which activists believed that their movements had failed, the power institutions were too powerful, and their own efforts were futile. This has happened even when movements were actually progressing reasonably well along the normal path taken by past successful movements!
The Movement Action Plan (MAP) was first published as the Fall 1986 edition of the Dandelion. Twelve-thousand copies were published and distributed. This is a revised edition of that article. People are invited to participate in the continuing development of MAP and help spread it to local groups.'
-= United States Institute of Peace report on Strategic Nonviolent Conlict =-
"This report describes the lessons learned from past nonviolent campaigns and ways in which these lessons might be applied in the future. It is a product of a conference co-sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Participants included prominent leaders and organizers from past nonviolent struggles in South Africa, Serbia, Mongolia, Kosovo, Chile, Poland, and the U.S. civil rights movement; advocates of nonviolent change in Belarus, Zimbabwe, Burma, and the Kurdish region of Iraq; and a number of analysts and observers with expertise on the subject. They reviewed and compared their experiences with the strategic use of nonviolent conflict to promote human rights and democratic political change in conflicts with unjust authority and repressive regimes. The conference was held from January 9–11, 2002, at Airlie House in Warrenton, Va.
The report was written by Institute staff members John T. Crist, program officer in the fellowship program, Harriet Hentges, executive vice president, and Daniel Serwer, director of the Balkans Initiative, with assistance from Samantha Williams, program officer in the Research and Studies Program, and consultation and editing by ICNC chair Peter Ackerman and director Jack DuVall."
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