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  1. #1
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    198 Ways to bring down a Dictatorship

    198 Ways To Bring Down A Dictatorship

    - a non-violent approach towards democracy from dictatorship.

    http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    MAIN HEADINGS:

    I. THE METHODS OF NON-VIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION
    II. THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NON-COOPERATION
    III. THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS
    IV. METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (2) THE STRIKE
    V. THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NON-COOPERATION
    VI. THE METHODS OF NON-VIOLENT INTERVENTION

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUB-TITLES

    I. THE METHODS OF NON-VIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

    A. Formal Statements
    B. Communications with a Wider Audience
    C. Group Representations
    D. Symbolic Public Acts
    E. Pressures on Individuals
    F. Drama and Music
    G. Processions
    H. Honoring the Dead
    I. Public Assemblies
    J. Withdrawal and Renunciation
    II. THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NON-COOPERATION

    A. Ostracism of Persons
    B. Non-cooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
    C. Withdrawal from the Social System
    III. THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS

    A. Actions by Consumers
    B. Action by Workers and Producers
    C. Action by Middlemen
    D. Action by Owners and Management
    E. Action by Holders of Financial Resources
    F. Action by Governments
    IV. METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (2) THE STRIKE

    A. Symbolic Strikes
    B. Agricultural Strikes
    C. Strikes by Special Groups
    D. Ordinary Industrial Strikes
    E. Restricted Strikes
    F. Multi-Industry Strikes
    G. Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
    V. THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NON-COOPERATION

    A. Rejection of Authority
    B. Citizens’ Non-cooperation with Government
    C. Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
    D. Action by Government Personnel
    E. Domestic Governmental Action
    F. International Governmental Action
    VI. THE METHODS OF NON-VIOLENT INTERVENTION

    A. Psychological Intervention
    B. Physical Intervention
    C. Social Intervention
    D. Economic Intervention
    E. Political Intervention
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    198 Methods of Non-Violent Action
    These methods were compiled by Dr. Gene Sharp and first published in his 1973 book, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action. (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973). The book outlines each method and gives information about its historical use.

    I. THE METHODS OF NON-VIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

    A. 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

    B. 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

    C. Group Representations
    13. Deputations
    14. Mock awards
    15. Group lobbying
    16. Picketing
    17. Mock elections

    D. 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

    E. Pressures on Individuals
    31. “Haunting” officials
    32. Taunting officials
    33. Fraternization
    34. Vigils

    F. Drama and Music
    35. Humorous skits and pranks
    36. Performances of plays and music
    37. Singing

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

    H. Honoring the Dead
    43. Political mourning
    44. Mock funerals
    45. Demonstrative funerals
    46. Homage at burial places

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

    J. Withdrawal and Renunciation
    51. Walk-outs
    52. Silence
    53. Renouncing honors
    54. Turning one’s back

    II. THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NON-COOPERATION

    A. Ostracism of Persons
    55. Social boycott
    56. Selective social boycott
    57. Lysistratic non-action
    58. Excommunication
    59. Interdict

    B. Non-cooperation 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

    C. Withdrawal from the Social System
    65. Stay-at-home
    66. Total personal non-cooperation
    67. “Flight” of workers
    68. Sanctuary
    69. Collective disappearance
    70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

    III. THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS

    A. Actions by Consumers
    71. Consumers’ boycott
    72. Non-consumption of boycotted goods
    73. Policy of austerity
    74. Rent withholding
    75. Refusal to rent
    76. National consumers’ boycott
    77. International consumers’ boycott

    B. Action by Workers and Producers
    78. Workmen’s boycott
    79. Producers’ boycott

    C. Action by Middlemen
    80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

    D. 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”

    E. 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

    F. Action by Governments
    92. Domestic embargo
    93. Blacklisting of traders
    94. International sellers’ embargo
    95. International buyers’ embargo
    96. International trade embargo

    IV. METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (2) THE STRIKE

    A. Symbolic Strikes
    97. Protest strike
    98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

    B. Agricultural Strikes
    99. Peasant strike
    100. Farm Workers’ strike

    C. Strikes by Special Groups
    101. Refusal of impressed labor
    102. Prisoners’ strike
    103. Craft strike
    104. Professional strike

    D. Ordinary Industrial Strikes
    105. Establishment strike
    106. Industry strike
    107. Sympathetic strike

    E. 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

    F. Multi-Industry Strikes
    116. Generalized strike
    117. General strike

    G. Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
    118. Hartal
    119. Economic shutdown

    V. THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NON-COOPERATION

    A. Rejection of Authority
    120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
    121. Refusal of public support
    122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

    B. Citizens’ Non-cooperation 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 place-marks
    131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
    132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

    C. Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
    133. Reluctant and slow compliance
    134. Non-obedience in absence of direct supervision
    135. Popular non-obedience
    136. Disguised disobedience
    137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
    138. Sit-down
    139. Non-cooperation with conscription and deportation
    140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
    141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

    D. 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 non-cooperation
    146. Judicial non-cooperation
    147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective non-cooperation by enforcement agents
    148. Mutiny

    E. Domestic Governmental Action
    149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
    150. Non-cooperation by constituent governmental units

    F. 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

    VI. THE METHODS OF NON-VIOLENT INTERVENTION

    A. 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

    B. 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

    C. 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

    D. 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

    E. 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

    Source: Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973)

    Presentation in another format:
    http://www.aeinstein.org/organizatio..._methods-1.pdf
    Last edited by pywong; 13th June 2011 at 04:35 PM. Reason: 2 files added
    py

  2. #2
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    A breakthrough year for nonviolence


    Dec 18, 2011 23:38 EST

    egypt | india | libya | nonviolence | syria
    The views expressed are his own.
    The most electrifying event of the year, for me, was the Egyptian revolution. I’d long had an interest in Gandhian-style struggles. Here was a nonviolent struggle unfolding in real-time against Hosni Mubarak’s repressive regime. Tens of millions of people were gaining their freedom.

    The media coverage of the events in Tahrir Square focused on the Facebook revolution. But when I went to Cairo shortly after, I discovered that the use of social media was only part of the reason why the dictator had been toppled. Behind the protests was a cadre of activists who had been trained in the techniques of nonviolent struggle. This realization was a eureka moment. If it was possible to overthrow dictators with comparatively little bloodshed – less than a thousand died in Egypt’s revolution — many millions more elsewhere might be able to gain their freedom given proper planning and training.

    2011 was a banner year for nonviolent struggle. Not only did it witness the successful Arab Spring revolutions against dictators in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen; it also saw three Arab kings – in Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait — liberalize their political systems to head off similar protests. And the brave people of Syria went out on the streets again and again, despite being arrested, tortured and killed in their thousands.

    Further afield, the Burmese regime started to reach an accommodation with pro-democracy activist, Aung San Suu Kyi, after two decades of nonviolent opposition; China experienced increasing stirrings of protest, for example when citizens posted nude photos of themselves on the internet after the authorities ruled that a photo of Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist, was pornographic; and even Vladimir Putin had to face demonstrations after seemingly widespread vote-rigging in Russia’s parliamentary elections.

    The techniques of nonviolent struggle have also been used for purposes other than bringing down dictatorships. A man called Anna Hazare led a successful campaign against corruption in India. Meanwhile, the West had to contend with the Indignant anti-austerity movements in Spain, Greece and Italy as well as the anti-banker Occupy movements in the United States and Britain.

    And don’t forget Leymah Gbowee, one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. She helped end Liberia’s civil war in 2003 by getting women from Christian and Muslim communities to go on a sex strike until their men stopped fighting. The technique has a long pedigree, at least in literature. Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, first performed in 411 BC, is a comedy about how women used sexual abstinence to force peace talks between Athens and Sparta in the long-running Peloponnesian War.

    2011 was the most successful year for nonviolent struggle since 1989 when peaceful revolutions led by the likes of Poland’s Lech Walesa and Czechoslovakia’s Vaclav Havel, who died at the weekend, swept away the old communist regimes of Eastern Europe. But nonviolent struggle hasn’t mown down everything in its path this year. The Occupy movements haven’t achieved much apart from raising consciousness. The transition to democracy in Egypt is still uncertain. Pro-democracy protests in Bahrain were snuffed out with the help of Saudi tanks. Bashar Assad is still in power in Damascus. And Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was brought down by a bloody civil war and foreign military intervention, not by unarmed protesters.

    The Gandhi network

    Over the past year, whenever I could tear myself away from the unfolding drama in the euro zone, I turned my attention to nonviolent struggle. How were these movements organized? Did they draw inspiration from common sources? And what were the ingredients of success?

    The trail began in early January, several weeks before the Tahrir Square demonstrations. I was in Delhi meeting Kiran Bedi, a key member of Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign. I wanted to know whether Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence struggle against the British in the first half of the 20th Century, was still relevant today. Of course, she replied, explaining that they had chosen January 30, the anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination, to hold their anti-corruption demonstration.

    It wasn’t until August, though, that the campaign gathered momentum. The decisive moment came when Hazare announced he would go on a public hunger strike, a classic Gandhian technique, until the government agreed to create a tough anti-corruption watchdog. This posed a dilemma for the authorities. Either they would let the 74-year-old man go on strike and they would look weak; or they wouldn’t and they would look brutal. The police chose the latter option, arresting Hazare and over a thousand of his supporters on the grounds that they were holding an illegal demonstration. Indians came out in their millions in protest. Some kids in an orphanage even staged a hunger strike in sympathy.

    The so-called dilemma action was perfected by Gandhi in his salt march in 1930. At the time, salt-making was a British government monopoly. Gandhi declared he was going to march to the sea and make his own salt, daring the authorities either to arrest him or display their impotence. After weeks of dithering, the British arrested Gandhi — triggering a massive civil disobedience campaign which led to over 80,000 people being put behind bars and paved the way for the end of British rule. Today’s Indian authorities made the same mistake as their British predecessors.

    But this is moving too fast. Long before Hazare’s victory, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had fled Tunisia and Mubarak had resigned in Egypt. When I went to Cairo a month later, I met Saad Bahaar, a former engineer who had been training activists in the techniques of nonviolent struggle for six years. I was stunned. How had he learned what to do? He pointed, among other things, to the work of Gene Sharp, a frail 83-year-old Boston-based academic who has been studying and proselytizing this type of warfare for about 60 years.

    I’d never heard of Sharp, who runs a small think-tank called the Albert Einstein Institution. But I sought him out and devoured a clutch of his books, including his classic treatise, The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Sharp had analyzed how the pillars on which dictators’ power rests could be undermined systematically by nonviolent struggle. He also listed 198 tactics that could be used. Sharp had taken the insights of Gandhi and others and developed them into a quasi-science.

    One of Sharp’s concepts – political jujitsu – is particularly powerful. This is the idea that violence inflicted by a dictatorship on peaceful protesters could boomerang on the regime and destroy it. Bystanders would abandon their neutrality; the regime’s pillars of support would become shaky; if the activists had the courage to maintain their struggle, the tyrant would ultimately collapse. But – and this was a crucial “but” – the revolutionaries had to maintain their nonviolent discipline, according to Sharp. Otherwise, they would lose the active support of the masses and, in a trial of strength, the regime would overwhelm them.

    Boston is one node in a loose network of activists involved in nonviolent struggle. Another is Belgrade, home of Srdja Popovic, a 38-year-old Serb who was a founder of the resistance movement which helped bring down Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Popovic now runs Canvas, a group that trains activists around the world in nonviolent struggle. The tall angular Serb has simplified and popularized Sharp’s work, adding a huge dose of energy and humor as well as real-life experience.

    Then there are academics who have helped refine the techniques of nonviolent warfare by studying past campaigns. For example, Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan studied 323 liberation struggles between 1900 and 2006 in their new book Why Civil Resistance Works. They discovered that 53 percent of the nonviolent campaigns succeeded in bringing about regime change, roughly double the 26 percent success rate for violent ones. The nonviolent struggles were also faster – taking on average three years to reach their goal rather than nine. And such campaigns had a good chance of ushering in democracies whereas regime changes brought about through violence tended to lead to new dictatorships.

    Ingredients of success

    The overall message of these activists and academics can be boiled down to several simple points. Success comes from having a clear and powerful goal, unity among the opposition, good strategic planning, tactical innovation and nonviolent discipline.

    The first point can be illustrated by comparing Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign to the less successful Occupy movements. Hazare had a precise goal that resonated with a huge swathe of Indian society. The Occupy movements and their close relations, the Indignant movements, haven’t yet articulated clear goals nor have they yet achieved anything concrete.

    The perils of abandoning nonviolent discipline are also shown by Italy’s Indignati and Greece’s Aganaktismenoi. In the former case, protests were hijacked by a group of anarchists called the Black Bloc; in the latter by demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails. Almost all the media coverage focused on the fringe violent elements rather than the peaceful masses.

    Colonel Gaddafi’s bloody overthrow is, of course, the supposed counter-example from 2011 to the merits of pursuing a nonviolent struggle. It seems to suggest that violence pays. As such, some members of the Syrian opposition are advocating it as a model they should follow – although the main umbrella body, the Syrian National Council, is still pushing the nonviolent approach.

    But the lessons from the Libyan revolution aren’t clear-cut. For a start, it’s unknowable what would have happened if the people had pursued a nonviolent campaign: they might eventually have got their way with less bloodshed. Although estimates of the Libyan death toll vary widely, the Transitional National Council has used a number of 25,000. If the same proportion of Syria’s larger population was killed in a conflict, its death toll would be 89,000 – much higher than the 5,000 so far estimated by the United Nations.

    The Libyan campaign also relied on France, Britain, America and other countries attacking Gaddafi’s forces from the air. That can’t easily be repeated in Syria. Foreign powers aren’t always willing to play the role of global policeman – and, when they are, they typically want something in return such as control of a country’s natural resources.

    How the Syrian conflict plays out will determine many people’s perceptions of the value of nonviolent struggle. At the moment, it looks like there is a significant risk of it descending into civil war. But even if such a tragedy unfolds this won’t prove that Gandhian-style campaigns are worthless. 2011 has already shown the power of the technique in other countries. As more people learn the strategy and tactics of nonviolent struggle, it will become more powerful still

    py

  3. #3
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    POWER AND STRUGGLE

    This is a review of The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp. In part one, Power and Struggle, Sharp discusses the nature of political power, why people obey rulers, the limitations of using violence, and how change can be brought about through the use of strategic nonviolence. He also offers reasons why historians have largely ignored the technique of nonviolent struggle.
    "Without at least the passive support of the general population and his/her agents, the most powerful dictator in the world becomes just another crackpot with dreams of world domination."
    When it comes to strategic nonviolence, Gene Sharp is the man. No one has thought more, spoken more, and written more about the subject. His magnum opus is The Politics of Nonviolent Action, published in 1973. In over 800 pages of heavily footnoted text, Sharp analyzes the technique of nonviolence more methodically and in greater depth than anyone ever has.

    All hierarchical systems require the cooperation of people at every level—from the lowliest workers to the highest bureaucrats. When enough people withdraw their support for a long enough time, the power of the ruler disintegrates. The Politics of Nonviolent Action is essentially about how this can be most effectively accomplished. Sharp stresses that strategic nonviolence is not passive, nor is it a way of avoiding conflict. He sees conflict as necessary and inevitable. Strategic nonviolence is a method of actively engaging in resistance through carefully planned campaigns of disobedience and disruption.
    In this book Sharp makes no attempt to explore the possibilities of using nonviolence for social change or national defense. Rather, he analyzes nonviolence solely as a technique—the theory behind it, its methods, its dynamics. Politics is broken down into three volumes the first of which, Power and Struggle, I will review here.
    THE NATURE OF POWER

    Power and Struggle is the smallest of the three volumes (only a hundred pages) but is in some ways the most important because it focuses on the nature of power. The view of power described here is crucial to understanding why nonviolent strategies can be so effective.

    Sharp puts forth two ways of looking at the nature of political power. One is the monolithic model, where people are dependent on their ruler for support. This model assumes the government is "...a 'given,' a strong, independent, durable (if not indestructible), self-reinforcing, and self-perpetuating force." From this point of view, the only means of opposing the power structure is with overwhelmingly destructive force. This model provides the justification for war and violent revolution. The monolithic theory of power is only true when both the rulers and the ruled believe it is. For obvious reasons, this is a conception of power that those with power like to perpetuate.

    A more realistic view of political power recognizes that rulers derive their power from those over whom they rule. The cooperation of those around a ruler is absolutely essential if (s)he is to have any power at all. Without at least the passive support of the general population and his/her agents (cabinet members, aids, legislative bodies, police, military officers, etc.) the most powerful dictator in the world becomes just another crackpot with dreams of world domination. The technique of strategic nonviolence is based on this insight.
    WHY PEOPLE OBEY

    Clearly the question of why people obey is central to understanding the dynamics of political power. Sharp lists seven reasons:
    1. Habit: In my opinion habit is the main reason people do not question the actions their "superiors" expect of them. Habitual obedience is embedded in all cultures. After all, isn't that what culture is—habitual behavior?
    2. Fear of sanctions: It is the fear of sanctions, rather than the sanctions themselves, that is most effective in enforcing obedience.
    3. Moral obligation: This "inner constraining power" is the product of cultural programming and deliberate indoctrination by the state, church and media.
    4. Self interest: The potential for financial gain and enhanced prestige can entice people to obey.
    5. Psychological identification with the ruler: People may feel an emotional tie with the leader or the system, experiencing its victories and defeats as their own. The most common manifestations of this are patriotism and nationalism.
    6. Zones of indifference: People often obey commands without consciously questioning their legitimacy.
    7. Absence of self-confidence: Some people prefer to hand control of their lives over to the ruling class. They may feel inadequate to make their own decisions.
    When analyzing human obedience the psychological factor is decisive. Domination and submission are psychological states of mind. Those who argue against the use of nonviolent tactics like demonstrations or petitions, claiming that they are merely symbolic gestures, forget that power is symbolic as well. Withdrawing support, even symbolically, calls into question the props and illusions that hold Power up. Yet people are often ignorant of the power they hold, and governments conspire to maintain the illusion of their monolithic power, making their subjects feel helpless.
    VIOLENT SANCTIONS

    It may seem counter-intuitive that nonviolent resistance can be effective against rulers who have massive amounts of force at their disposal. But that is precisely the beauty of nonviolence. Using violence against "violence experts" is the quickest way to have your organization or movement crushed. That is why governments frequently infiltrate opposition groups with agents provocateurs—to sidetrack the movement into violent channels that the violence professionals (police, military, security agencies, etc.) can deal with.

    After World War II military historian Basil Liddell Hart interviewed German generals about their reactions to the various forms of resistance they encountered during the war. In his essay "Lessons from Resistance Movements" he writes about the difficulties Nazi generals had in dealing with nonviolence:
    "Their evidence also showed the effectiveness of non-violent resistance....Even clearer, was their inability to cope with it. They were experts in violence, and had been trained to deal with opponents who used that method. But other forms of resistance baffle them—and all the more as the methods were subtle and concealed. It was a relief to them when nonviolent forms were mixed with guerrilla action, thus making it easier to combine drastic and suppressive action against both at the same time."
    When rulers choose to use their superior force (what Sharp calls "sanctions") against nonviolent actionists, they sometimes find that it does not bring about the desired results. First, all sanctions must be carried out by the ruler's agents (police or military personnel) who may or may not obey (or may drag their feet and only make a show of obeying). A ruler's agents can become unreliable for a number of reasons. They may become reluctant when ordered to commit especially brutal acts against people who are clearly presenting no physical threat. Agents may also feel their leader is losing his/her mantle of authority, or may begin to sympathize with the opposition's cause.

    Rulers have another potential problem when using violent sanctions against nonviolent actionists. Too much brutality may result in what Sharp calls "political jiu-jitsu" where the opposition group is able to increase their unity and support while politically throwing the ruler off balance and weakening his/her regime. This can happen when martyrs are created, or when third parties (either foreign countries or internal groups) who were previously neutral are appalled by the brutal treatment of nonviolent actionists and begin to sympathize with their cause.

    Furthermore, sanctions do not always achieve their intended effect because it is impossible to physically force a person to obey. To take an extreme example, someone can put a gun to my head and order me to dig a ditch. But the choice to dig or not is still mine. If he pulls the trigger the ditch will certainly not get dug. As Sharp puts it: "It is not the sanctions themselves which produce obedience, but the fear of them." For those who think that it really comes down to the same thing it should be pointed out that history is full of examples where masses of people willfully refused to comply with their ruler's wishes, despite the very real risk of injury or death.
    VICTORY

    Sharp cites three ways that nonviolent actionists can prevail. The first is conversion. Gandhians and many religious groups insist that converting the opponent to their point of view—winning their hearts and minds—is the only true victory. Accommodation, on the other hand, occurs when the opponent doesn't agree with the resisters, but decides it is too costly to continue the fight. Accommodation is probably the most common path to victory. The third way that success can be achieved is through what Sharp calls nonviolent coercion. This occurs when the opposition is forced to make concessions against its will because its power base has been dissolved. Thus, even when a nonviolent campaign is unable to change its adversary's way of thinking, it can still wield power and influence the course of events.
    THE INVISIBLE HISTORY

    Until recently, nonviolent action has not been recognized as a legitimate method of struggle. Sharp lists a number of reasons for this oversight:
    • Rarely have nonviolent actionists been romanticized as heroes. Rather, warriors and terrorists and their dramatic acts of heroism are mythologized for future generations.
    • Historians have accepted the dominant culture's view that violence is the only legitimate form of combat.
    • Historians conspire with the ruling class to keep the people ignorant of their own power.
    • Western civilization is "biased toward violence."
    • It requires a "new way of viewing the world." It is a paradigm whose time has not yet come.
    • Nonviolence has never been seen as a coherent conceptual system. Consequently, historical examples of nonviolent action are viewed as isolated events rather than as different aspects of the same technique of struggle.
    • Nonviolence is unfairly compared to violence. Nonviolence is often used when violence has no chance of success. When nonviolence fails, themethod is condemned. But when violence fails, strategy or tactics are blamed—not violence as a method. Nonviolence successes are written off as flukes. Partial successes are seen as total failures.
    THE FUTURE

    Since The Politics of Nonviolent Action was published, public awareness of nonviolence as a legitimate and effective form of struggle has blossomed. The technique has been used successfully in numerous high visibility conflicts, most notably the ousting of Marcos in the Philippines (1986) and the prevention of a military coup in Russia (1991). Although history is filled with such examples, they seem to be occurring with increasing frequency in the late twentieth century. Perhaps it is an indication that we are finally realizing that using violent methods against those in power—who are violence specialists—is not strategically smart. Perhaps there are more effective ways to wage conflict.
    THE OTHER TWO VOLUMES

    Part Two: The Methods of Nonviolent Action

    Here Sharp examines 198 different kinds of nonviolent actions, giving historical examples of each. He breaks them down into three categories:
    1. Protest and persuasion
    2. Social, economic and political noncooperation
    3. Nonviolent intervention
    Part Three: The Dynamics of Nonviolent Action

    This is an exploration of nonviolent strategy and tactics that can be used against violent, repressive opponents. Sharp explains how the relative power relationships of all parties should be carefully analyzed so the resisters can develop a strategy that uses their strengths to attack their opponent's weaknesses. The problem of dealing with brutal repression is explored, along with the phenomenon of "political jiu-jitsu."

    Also included in this volume is a discussion of how the act of nonviolent struggle itself can be beneficial to groups and their society. The feeling of empowerment that evolves within resisting groups during a campaign can bring about increased self-esteem and personal development, whereas the use of violence tends to create callousness and de-humanization. The use of nonviolence also disperses power throughout a society, in contrast to violent struggles that tend to centralize power.
    1997
    LINKS TO RELATED PAGES ON THIS SITE
    NONVIOLENCE
    THE POLITICS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION
    THE KING WHO RULED NOTHING


    LINKS TO RELATED PAGES ON OTHER SITES
    The Politics of Nonviolent Action
    Some examples of successful and partially successful nonviolent struggles. Part of an on-line course on nonviolence.
    The Technique of Nonviolent Action
    An excerpt from The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp. Part of an on-line course on nonviolence.
    The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion
    An excerpt from The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp. Part of an on-line course on nonviolence.
    Albert Einstein Institution
    Gene Sharp's organization dedicated to advancing "the worldwide study and strategic use of nonviolent action in conflict."
    Gene Sharp's Theory of Power
    A sympathetic critique of Gene Sharp's theories.
    Nonviolence Training Project
    A site dedicated to promoting, developing and supporting the use of nonviolence training by providing resources and networking opportunities.
    International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
    This organization aims to “develop and disseminate knowledge related to nonviolent conflict and its practice, throughout the world.”
    Why Nonviolence?
    A 6,500-word introduction to the history, theory and power dynamics of strategic nonviolence.
    Gene Sharp: Theoretician Of Velvet Revolution
    Feature article from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (November 27, 2009).
    Gene Sharp: A Biographical Profile
    An extensive (but not exhaustive) list of Sharp’s publications.
    Waging Nonviolence
    A news and analysis blog covering nonviolent movements around the world.
    Nonviolence International
    A decentralized network of resource centers that promote the use of nonviolent action.
    py

  4. #4
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    How to Start a Revolution

    By Regine
    on January 10, 2012 10:12 AM


    Yesterday evening i went to Foto8 in London again for the screening of How to Start a Revolution, a documentary tracing the global influence exercised by the work of Gene Sharp, the world leading expert in nonviolent struggle. Investigative journalist Ruaridh Arrow who directed the movie was there to introduce the film and later on to answer our questions. He was accompanied in the Q&A by Jamila Raqib. She's Sharp's close collaborator and the executive director at the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organisation Sharp founded in 1983 to study strategic non-violent resistance.





    Although the American academic's seminal essay From Dictatorship to Democracy: A conceptual framework for liberation has toured the countries living under dictatorship for decades now, i only got to know his work last Summer when Willem Velthoven told me about it on a day i was visiting Mediamatic in Amsterdam.


    Sharp believes that non-violent struggle has a greater chance of success than violent resistance, because violence is typically the most powerful weapon used tyrannical regimes and they will always have the upper hand. His booklet From Dictatorship to Democracy (which you can download as a PDF) provide a list of 198 "non-violent weapons", including mock awards, alternative communication system, wearing of symbols, pray-in, boycott of elections, withdrawal of bank deposits, consumers' boycott, renouncing honours, etc.


    The book was first published in 1993 to support the opposition movement in Burma and was circulated among dissidents. Anyone seen carrying the book around was sentenced to seven-year prison terms by the regime. This kind of manual for toppling dictators has since inspired opponents of oppression in places as far apart as Thailand, Ukraine, Serbia, Estonia, Iran, China, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and more recently in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.





    Sharp's work which is committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence doesn't always receive the praise one would think they deserve. Some regimes have accused him of being a CIA agent and the Albert Einstein Institution he founded struggles to find funding.





    The film How to Start a Revolution uses extended interviews with Gene Sharp. Now in his mid-eighties, Sharp hardly ever leaves Boston where he runs the non-profit Albert Einstein Institution and dedicates his free time to orchids. There are also long contributions from his assistant Jamila Raqib, and from Robert Helvey, a retired US army colonel with whom Sharp worked in Burma and who has remained his ally since, training activists in various parts of the world to practice peaceful resistance. The film also includes testimony from key players in the Serbian revolution and activists involved in non-violent unrest in the Middle East.


    How to Start a Revolution has been described as the unofficial film of the Occupy movement and was shown in Occupy camps in cities all over the world. In an Q&A with Aljazeera, Gene Sharp's reaction to the question What advice would you give to the Occupy movement? was the following:


    I think they need to study how they can actually change the things they don't like, because simply sitting or staying in a certain place will not change or improve the economic or political system.


    This is Ruaridh Arrow's first documentary and it has already received numerous awards. It's easy to understand why: we are in critical need to hear more about Sharp's thinking and the film traces the impact of his work with clarity. It's an energizing movie, it gives hope in a time when newspapers deride any attempt at optimism. However, the film isn't flawless. The music was a bit too emphatic, with trumpets and pathos to highlight the moments when tyranny hits the dirt. The images didn't need added drama. Neither did i need to witness anyone's parking skills at length. It would have been helpful to be able to read on the screen for more than 2 seconds the names of the interviewees. But these are minor grudges. I wish How to Start a Revolution was available online.
    Like Sharp's booklet, it should be distributed widely.



    How to Start a Revolution film will be shown in the UK Houses of Parliament on 1 February. Check out the facebook page to read about upcoming screenings.
    py

  5. #5
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    Practical examples of what can be done.





    198 Methods of Non-Violent Action
    These methods were compiled by Dr. Gene Sharp




    III. THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NON-COOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS

    A. Actions by Consumers
    B. Action by Workers and Producers
    C. Action by Middlemen
    D. Action by Owners and Management
    E. Action by Holders of Financial Resources
    F. Action by Governments

    A. Actions by Consumers
    71. Consumers’ boycott
    72. Non-consumption of boycotted goods
    73. Policy of austerity
    74. Rent withholding
    75. Refusal to rent
    76. National consumers’ boycott
    77. International consumers’ boycott


    Umno Baru is not invincible



    A schoolchild knows that when conducting scientific experiments, a definite conclusion cannot be made if the analyses and observations are based on flawed data. In a post-mortem of GE13, it is a fallacy for experts or analysts to report on trends, when their assumptions are based on a set of doctored evidence.

    Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that BN won 47 percent of the votes in GE13 is seriously deluded. If allegations of cheating have been recorded in one constituency, then doubt is cast on the entire voting process.

    The rakyat has long been aware of wholesale fraud and blatant gerrymandering in previous elections, but they allowed Umno Baru’s intransigence to browbeat them into submission. Under pressure, Malaysians capitulated easily to Umno Baru’s weapons of apathy and fear.

    Successive years of apparent electoral successes, won by blatant fraud and cheating, have given rise to the perception that Umno Baru is invincible. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Umno Baru cheats the rakyat before, during and after every election. The groundwork is laid to thwart the opposition with gerrymandering, the registration of foreigners as citizens, violent mob attacks on ceramahs and the denial of access to national media.

    On polling day, vote-buying, intimidation, blackouts and low-quality indelible ink clinch the deal. Some voters discovered that their votes had already been cast, by an imposter.

    After GE13, the Election Commission (EC) has continued to deny the allegations of cheating and refused to take responsibility for the mass electoral fraud.
    The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Abdul Rahman Dahlan (left), claimed that “divine intervention”helped BN to win.

    “... Pakatan has won the popular vote, statistically speaking, but BN has the support of ‘takdir’ (fate) that helped it won the recent 13th general election. In short, fate and God’s will determines everything...” (sic).

    Who is Rahman Dahlan to express God’s will? Is he a self-proclaimed prophet?

    A desperate Najib Abdul Razak, the Umno Baru leader who is himself facing a leadership challenge, is aware of the devastating impact of the ‘Black 505’ rallies. He has tried to refute the claimsabout the squadrons of aeroplanes bringing Bangladeshis to vote.

    He said, “I, as the BN chairman, strongly refute that there was cheating by BN (in the GE13) as alleged. The general election was conducted in a fair manner and in accordance with the law and regulations.”

    Umno Baru leaders have called for reform within their party to reflect the changing societal and political landscape; the Alliance party morphed into Umno and later became Umno Baru.

    Mentality cannot be altered

    Will Umno Baru politicians appreciate that the mentality of its leaders and their supporters cannot be altered, as easily as changing one’s underwear? You cannot just slap a clean nappy onto the bottom of a heavily soiled baby, without first removing the muck and stench from his posterior. A new Umno Baru identity cannot remove the rotten core lurking under the facade.

    Law and order have broken down in Malaysia. As conditions worsen and the rakyat finds it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, only ‘people power’ will instigate change.

    Large-scale public rallies get attention and maintain the rakyat’s will to improve. The ‘Black 505’ marches have highlighted the rakyat’s disgust of the EC’s role in perpetrating fraud.

    Many powerful, ruthless leaders have been toppled by non-violent civil mass resistance. Countries which successfully replaced authoritarian regimes, like Chile, Philippines and South Africa combined mass rallies with other forms of resistance, like strikes and boycotts.

    In apartheid South Africa, black South Africans refused to patronise the white South African shops. When the white traders faced financial ruin, they eventually became the blacks’ most powerful ally and lobbied strongly for change.

    Boycotts work. Many people, including women and children are able to participate without risking violent beatings or arrest. The rakyat should consider a boycott of Umno Baru crony companies. Perhaps, a nationwide boycott could start simultaneously with the June 22 ‘Black 505’ rally in Kuala Lumpur and continue until the objectives are fulfilled.

    In a boycott, no one is breaking the law. People are merely withdrawing their purchasing power.

    People power successfully brought down repressive regimes in countries where people once believed that resistance was impossible. Umno Baru thrives on image, but the street marches and demonstrations portray a government which has lost control and is incompetent.

    A combination of marches, boycotts and strikes will doubtless disrupt public life and cause mayhem. Sometimes, small sacrifices must be made for the good of all. Surely, giving up fast food is not too great a sacrifice to make. What would you rather have? A few chicken nuggets this year, or a better education for your children?

    Many people believe that Umno Baru did not cheat in GE13. Al David once said, “One lie has the power to tarnish a thousand truths”.

    So, does the wife of a serial philanderer believe her husband when he says he is late home again, because of overtime? Will the husband of a compulsive gambler believe his wife when she demands more housekeeping money? Should the girlfriend of an abusive boyfriend trust him, when he says he will not beat her again? Can the kleptomaniac be trusted to handle money? Should Malaysia be encumbered with another 56 years of Umno Baru?

    The young people of Malaysia are spearheading change and are not seduced by Rahman Dahlan’s simplistic and childish notion that BN’s win was ‘takdir’ and fated. Former PM Mahathir Mohamad has manipulated the Malays and used policies which have created a fatalistic and feudal mindset in Malays. He keeps reminding Malays that the government knows best.

    A party which controls Malaysia with an iron hand, which alters the goalposts, which refuses to enforce the law, and which treats it natural wealth, its financial institutions and its people as tools to achieve its own ends, will never relinquish power. Not now, not in GE14.

    The action of a united rakyat

    Only the action of a united rakyat will conquer Umno Baru. This action should consist of marches, strikes, boycotts, pressure by NGOs and religious groups. We must engage the international community and foreign media to help the rakyat gain freedom. Violence by the rakyat is not an option, but persistence and commitment are.

    Umno Baru will never agree to a re-election because they will then be scrutinised carefully. Moreover, their benefactors cannot squander more billions of ringgits on another election, when the last attempt failed so miserably.

    The irony is that Umno Baru wants to keep the goose which lays the golden eggs, but they keep the goose in intolerable conditions, which will eventually kill her.

    A nationwide, year-long boycott of a fried chicken firm could begin now and would not only hurt the crony owner but would gain media coverage in America. When even a small part of the American economy is threatened, they react!

    MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak', this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.
    py

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