Dr Gene Sharp's 198 methods of non-violent action

My family went to Egypt and saw the violence of extreme poverty for ourselves. Dr Sharp's 198 non violent methods to challenge tyrannies  helped to bring down Mubarak. They are the best way to challenge oppression across the world, wherever we encounter it.

 

The Methods of Nonviolent Action

​​​​​(from Gene Sharp, The Methods of Nonviolent Action, Boston 1973)

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

FORMAL STATEMENTS

  1. Public speeches
  2. Letters of opposition or support
  3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
  4. Signed public declarations
  5. Declarations of indictment and intention
  6. Group or mass petitions

COMMUNICATIONS WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE

  1. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
  2. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
  3. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
  4. Newspapers and journals
  5. Records, radio, and television
  6. Skywriting and earthwriting

GROUP REPRESENTATIONS

  1. Deputations
  2. Mock awards
  3. Group lobbying
  4. Picketing
  5. Mock elections

SYMBOLIC PUBLIC ACTS

  1. Displays of flags and symbolic colours
  2. Wearing of symbols
  3. Prayer and worship
  4. Delivering symbolic objects
  5. Protest disrobings
  6. Destruction of own property
  7. Symbolic lights
  8. Displays of portraits
  9. Paint as protest
  10. New signs and names
  11. Symbolic sounds
  12. Symbolic reclamations
  13. Rude gestures

PRESSURES ON INDIVIDUALS

  1. “Haunting” officials
  2. Taunting officials
  3. Fraternization
  4. Vigils

DRAMA AND MUSIC

  1. Humourous skits and pranks
  2. Performances of plays and music
  3. Singing

PROCESSIONS

  1. Marches
  2. Parades
  3. Religious processions
  4. Pilgrimages
  5. Motorcades

HONOURING THE DEAD

  1. Political mourning
  2. Mock funerals
  3. Demonstrative funerals
  4. Homage at burial places

PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

  1. Assemblies of protest or support
  2. Protest meetings
  3. Camouflaged meetings of protest
  4. Teach-ins

WITHDRAWAL AND RENUNCIATION

  1. Walk-outs
  2. Silence
  3. Renouncing honours
  4. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION

OSTRACISM OF PERSONS

  1. Social boycott
  2. Selective social boycott
  3. Lysistratic nonaction
  4. Excommunication
  5. Interdict

NONCOOPERATION WITH SOCIAL EVENTS, CUSTOMS, AND INSTITUTIONS

  1. Suspension of social and sports activities
  2. Boycott of social affairs
  3. Student strike
  4. Social disobedience
  5. Withdrawal from social institutions

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE SOCIAL SYSTEM

  1. Stay-at-home
  2. Total personal noncooperation
  3. “Flight” of workers
  4. Sanctuary
  5. Collective disappearance
  6. Protest emigration (hijrat)

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS

ACTION BY CONSUMERS

  1. Consumers’ boycott
  2. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
  3. Policy of austerity
  4. Rent withholding
  5. Refusal to rent
  6. National consumers’ boycott
  7. International consumers’ boycott

ACTION BY WORKERS AND PRODUCERS

  1. Workers’ boycott
  2. Producers’ boycott

ACTION BY MIDDLEMEN

  1. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

ACTION BY OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

  1. Traders’ boycott
  2. Refusal to let or sell property
  3. Lockout
  4. Refusal of industrial assistance
  5. Merchants’ “general strike”

ACTION BY HOLDERS OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES

  1. Withdrawal of bank deposits
  2. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
  3. Refusal to pay debts or interest
  4. Severance of funds and credit
  5. Revenue refusal
  6. Refusal of a government’s money

ACTION BY GOVERNMENTS

  1. Domestic embargo
  2. Blacklisting of traders
  3. International sellers’ embargo
  4. International buyers’ embargo
  5. International trade embargo

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOOPERATION: THE STRIKE

SYMBOLIC STRIKES

  1. Protest strike
  2. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

AGRICULTURAL STRIKES

  1. Peasant strike
  2. Farm workers’ strike

STRIKES BY SPECIAL GROUPS

  1. Refusal of impressed labour
  2. Prisoners’ strike
  3. Craft strike
  4. Professional strike

ORDINARY INDUSTRIAL STRIKES

  1. Establishment strike
  2. Industry strike
  3. Sympathy strike

RESTRICTED STRIKES

  1. Detailed strike
  2. Bumper strike
  3. Slowdown strike
  4. Working-to-rule strike
  5. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
  6. Strike by resignation
  7. Limited strike
  8. Selective strike

MULTI-INDUSTRY STRIKES

  1. Generalised strike
  2. General strike

COMBINATION OF STRIKES AND ECONOMIC CLOSURES

  1. Hartal
  2. Economic shutdown

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION

REJECTION OF AUTHORITY

  1. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
  2. Refusal of public support
  3. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

CITIZENSNONCOOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENT

  1. Boycott of legislative bodies
  2. Boycott of elections
  3. Boycott of government employment and positions
  4. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
  5. Withdrawal from governmental educational institutions
  6. Boycott of government-supported institutions
  7. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
  8. Removal of own signs and placemarks
  9. Refusal to accept appointed officials
  10. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

CITIZENSALTERNATIVES TO OBEDIENCE

  1. Reluctant and slow compliance
  2. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
  3. Popular nonobedience
  4. Disguised disobedience
  5. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
  6. Sitdown
  7. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
  8. Hiding, escape, and false identities
  9. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

ACTION BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL

  1. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
  2. Blocking of lines of command and information
  3. Stalling and obstruction
  4. General administrative noncooperation
  5. Judicial noncooperation
  6. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
  7. Mutiny

DOMESTIC GOVERNMENTAL ACTION

  1. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
  2. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL ACTION

  1. Changes in diplomatic and other representation
  2. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
  3. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
  4. Severance of diplomatic relations
  5. Withdrawal from international organisations
  6. Refusal of membership in international bodies
  7. Expulsion from international organisations

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION

PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION

  1. Self-exposure to the elements
  2. The fast
    1. Fast of moral pressure
    2. Hunger strike
    3. Satyagrahic fast
  3. Reverse trial
  4. Nonviolent harassment

PHYSICAL INTERVENTION

  1. Sit-in
  2. Stand-in
  3. Ride-in
  4. Wade-in
  5. Mill-in
  6. Pray-in
  7. Nonviolent raids
  8. Nonviolent air raids
  9. Nonviolent invasion
  10. Nonviolent interjection
  11. Nonviolent obstruction
  12. Nonviolent occupation

SOCIAL INTERVENTION

  1. Establishing new social patterns
  2. Overloading of facilities
  3. Stall-in
  4. Speak-in
  5. Guerrilla theatre
  6. Alternative social institutions
  7. Alternative communication system

ECONOMIC INTERVENTION

  1. Reverse strike
  2. Stay-in strike
  3. Nonviolent land seizure
  4. Defiance of blockades
  5. Politically motivated counterfeiting
  6. Preclusive purchasing
  7. Seizure of assets
  8. Dumping
  9. Selective patronage
  10. Alternative markets
  11. Alternative transportation systems
  12. Alternative economic institutions

POLITICAL INTERVENTION

  1. Overloading of administrative systems
  2. Disclosing identities of secret agents
  3. Seeking imprisonment
  4. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
  5. Work-on without collaboration
  6. Dual sovereignty and parallel government​​​​​

 

Views: 1375

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 2nd mo. 21, 2011 at 10:21pm
Who should we follow Dr. Gene Sharp or Jesus ?
Comment by Rosemary Rimmer-Clay on 2nd mo. 22, 2011 at 6:36am

Oh dear. This response by R D Whetstonre implies that Dr Sharp is in competition with Jesus.Whereas in fact Dr Sharp suggests nonviolent responses to tyranny rather than being a religious leader  or a messianic figure. Quakers support nonviolent action in the face of oppression of human rights. Supporting civil rights and the rule of law does not mean that  people 'follow' him. These are tools to help people peacefully and lawfully challenge  oppressive governments.

The above comment is the equivalent of asking 'Should we follow Nelson Mandela or Jesus? Or Martin Luther King or Jesus?' The two are not mutually exclusive!

Dr Sharp has devoted his life to the political theories behind peaceful action, and his gentle approach deserves wider publication.

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 12:47am
So . .   did you ever see a peaceful strike .  Another item listed is . . . mutiny.  Where is  God in all of this.  If you trust in God then he will help us . . . if we strike out against anyone  . . .on our own  . . . then we are like the oppressors.  Jesus clearly tells us " do not resist an evil man . . . if they strike you on the right cheek then allow them to strike the left cheek.  "  If this is not a clear example for us live by . . . where are we heading?
Comment by Rosemary Rimmer-Clay on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 6:27am

Dear Mr Whetstone,

I have been reading your blogs with great interest.  You wrote, 'I'm for freedom of MEN everywhere'.

Perhaps that is a sufficient comment on your attitude  to humanity, that freedom is only for men? If you didn't intend to exclude women then your blog is repeatedly rather careless and perhaps intentionally exclusive.?'Love is the solution to MEN'S problems' is the conclusion of your blog.

 

I had the advantage of being in Egypt for some months before the crisis and was there during the revolt. I saw the police using tear gas and shots were pinging off the wall over my head.  There was a huge thirst for freedom in Egypt, but also a reverance for their past. Many ordinary people came out to protect the treasures in the Egyptian museum, and those few people who tried to exploit the unrest were arrested, and so only minimal damage was done to the treasures in the museum.

Ghandi said that poverty is the worst form of violence. When I was there I was able to talk to many people about the very corrupt regime which was stealing wholesale from the country. There was a regular item in the press, 'Lift death of the week' which listed the latest child killed by lift mechanisms, because of poverty and corruption every kind of infrastructure was failing. Children died because of live wires protruding in the street. It was an extremely violent society, but the worst example of violence was the extreme divide between the ordinary people and the super-rich, such that life expectancy was very low. Our driver was one of 25 children, in his early forties only four of his siblings were still alive.

Dr Sharpe's methods of nonviolent action were used to peacefully challenge the corrupt regime, and at least Mubarak fell. I saw for myself the many thousands of peaceful protesters standing under a hail of stones, rubber bullets and baton charges  who were asking for an opportunity to have a democractic change that represented t

Comment by Rosemary Rimmer-Clay on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 6:30am

People whose peaceful protest represented the wishes of the peaceful majority.

 I also saw  a small mob of young men who took advantage of the unrest to set fire to several police stations of the hated police. The police would arrest a suspect and lacking the sanctions of a civil society would torture the suspect to death. This minority did not represent the peaceful majority.

Cairo boasted a huge park where the very wealthy could go, but for other Cairenes there was only one small public park where the entry cost precluded the majority of the public from any contact with nature. The environment was heavily polluted with exhaust fumes, and the people lived in a very degraded environment.

I think as a Quaker you should consider the Quaker maxim, 'Consider that you may be mistaken'.

You personally may consider 'Everything is going just as God envisioned it', but other Quakers may disagree.

I have found much to disagree with in your writing, particularly 'Will you be suckered into hating others by their actions.' One is free[at least in the West] to loathe some one's actions without feeling the need to hate THEM personally.

I think you do not have any really useful perspective on poverty or social change, so I hope that we can be free to disagree and that this comment will be a final response.

Yours in Friendship,

Rosemary Rimmer-Clay

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 10:05am

Thanks for everyone's input.  It seems that Quakers,  who have the wonderful tool of communication with God . . . are allowing that tool to not be used.   If  we look at the life of Daniel  a prisoner of war.

 

 If Daniel followed the ideas of Mr. Sharp  what would have happened?  Daniel would have be eaten by the lions.    So are the lions on your side?  Or are the lions going to eat you?

Comment by Forrest Curo on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 12:33pm

The New English Bible translation of your passage was not: "Don't resist evil" but rather "Do not set yourself against a man who would harm you." We get a sharper idea of what "evil" means and a sharper idea of how we may properly resist it-- by not setting ourselves against anyone inclined to do it. What we have to say about an evil or the people perpetuating it may not be nice-- but once we begin glorying about "We're so good and they're so bad!" we've lost it!

 

A nonviolent campaign against any evil will certainly lead to suffering, so anyone intending to start one does need to weigh that against the ongoing cost of inaction. But this is no reason to cast blame on people for merely for seeking to defend what is right nonviolently. Considering various conditions & events in Jesus' lifetime, and other things he said, I consider that he was not trying to forbid this.

 

On yet another hand. Why do we assume that we are able or required to overcome, ourselves, intolerable social/economic/political wrongs? We may be led to do so-- a great privilege and honor to be so led. But there are deeper causes which sabotage all our social tinkering (including the determined, clever, and largely successful manuevers of those who "benefit" (short-term, at cost to their own souls and sanity!) from existing evils.) Consider, please, what are these deeper causes of human evil & suffering?

 

 

Comment by Rosemary Rimmer-Clay on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 12:47pm

Pastor Martin Niemoller...
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

We can ignore the cruelty and oppression that we see in our own community and in the wider world, or we can take the actions that we feel are right to make the world a better place...

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 10:10pm

Forrest

I can understand . . . that your on the fence about this subject and it's your opinion and I welcome all comments on the subject.  This problem has been around since the garden of Eden.  When a human observes the actions of another human and then physically  acts to oppress the oppressor.  They  are actually making this statement.

" God you are not in control of the universe and you don't know what you are doing and I'm going to correct the situation by taking action. "     

 

When Jesus was living on this planet  . . . Israel was occupied by the nasty Romans . . . who were killing  any Jews that were rebelling against Rome.   So . . . why did Jesus start killing Romans and rescue his people from the enemy?   Many Jews believed that the messiah would free Israel from all their enemies.  And when Jesus did not kill one Roman soldier they thought he was a fake.   

 

So . . . the answer is . . . are you going to act like Jesus . . . or are you going to act like the devil?

Comment by Forrest Curo on 2nd mo. 23, 2011 at 11:23pm

Rickey, would you prefer your karma to impact you with an inarticulate thud, or would you rather have somebody pointing out to you how and where it needs a serious overhaul?

 

I am not "on a fence;" I am letting God put up the fences where needed, and endeavoring not to build any of my own.

 

But I am saying that there is a way, and a motive, for nonviolent political action that is not "oppressing the oppressor" but rather seeking to  inform him that he needs to stop oppressing, or suffer consequences that I won't be responsible for...

 

And I am not in a position to condemn a nation I don't know for their nonviolent-- and deeply courageous-- efforts to say no to their current oppressors. Neither are you, going by what you've been saying about this. God may or may not give them the outcome they'd like, but it won't be for not deserving better!

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