Nonviolence

WRI's Nonviolence Programme promotes the use of active nonviolence to confront the causes of war and militarism. We develop resources (such as the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns) and provide nonviolence training to groups seeking to develop their skills.

WRI's Nonviolence Programme:

  • empowers grassroot activists in nonviolent campaigns, through resources, publications and by leading training in nonviolence;

  • coordinates regional nonviolence trainers' networks;

  • educates the WRI and wider network of the connections between economics and war.

We believe the goals of peace and justice will eventually be achieved through the persistent work of grassroots movements over time, in all countries and regions. Our mission is to support these movements, helping them gain and maintain the strength needed for the journey they face, and to link them to one another, forming a global network working in solidarity, sharing experiences, countering war and injustice at all levels.

The front cover of our Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns

Resources

Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns

In 2014 we published the second edition of our Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, a book to accompany and support social change movements. The book – written by over 30 seasoned activists - has been translated into over ten languages, and several thousand copies have been sold. A wide variety of movements, campaigns, trainers and individual activists from around the world have made use of the Handbook.

Empowering Nonviolence

From April 2017, the Handbook – and lots of other content – will be available online on our new Empowering Nonviolence website. Empowering Nonviolence allows users to browse the content of the Handbook, helping to make activists and movements more effective in their campaigning and direct action, more strategic in their planning, and to become more sustainable, as they learn from others and share stories and ideas.

New Worlds in Old Shells

When we think of nonviolent social change we often think of protests, direct action, banners, placards, and crowds in the street. Often these actions are saying “No!”, resisting the causes of violence and war, and they are very necessary. As important though, are the communities and organisations “building a new world in the shell of the old”, saying “yes!” by putting into practise the emancipatory, nonviolent, empowering ways of working and living we hope – one day – everyone will experience. Gandhi coined the word “constructive programmes” to describe this sort of social change, and we are currently writing a new publication exploring these ideas, called New Worlds in Old Shells.

Nonviolence Training

The Nonviolence Programme is a direct response to needs expressed by activist groups for nonviolence training and resources, especially focusing on campaign strategies for nonviolent direct action (NVDA). The training tools and materials we use are designed to facilitate the groups that contact us in the processes they initiate and lead. We do not prescribe a particular way of taking action; our goal is to train and empower local nonviolence trainers, to build independent, local capacity with the groups we work alongside.

Moses John (South Sudan) and Jungmin Choi (South Korea) are members of WRI's Council, and attended protests in London against the DSEI arms fair. They both gave speeches about the impact of the arms trade in their countries and around the world - you can hear some of what they had to say below.

WRI's Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns is now available in French! The translation was completed by friends at the Union Pacifiste de France, collaborating with WRI staff on the design work – to get a copy of the book, please email andrew@wri-irg.org.

Empowering Nonviolence is a project of War Resisters' International's Nonviolence Programme, offering campaigning resources and nonviolence training to grassroots activists around the world in several languages. Radical social change doesn't “just happen”; change happens when committed people take action together in ways that are effective and strategic. Empowering Nonviolence makes our resources available online, for free, to help activists build stronger, more powerful campaigns. Visit www.nonviolence.wri-irg.org to find out more.

All over the world, activists are taking nonviolent action for a more just, more peaceful world. Empowering Nonviolence is a new website, and a project of War Resisters' International's Nonviolence Programme, offering campaigning resources and nonviolence training to grassroots activists around the world. It is based on the text of our Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, and offers the opportunity for writers to submit their own articles and stories.

Journalists in the UK and Denmark have uncovered evidence that BAE Systems – the UK's largest arms companies and one of the largest in the world – has profited from the sale of surveillance technology, including to many oppressive governments in the Middle East.

In May and June 2017, activists in Canada, Israel and France have taken nonviolent direct action against arms fairs. In Ottawa, Canada, 40 activists blockaded the entrance to the CANSEC fair for over an hour. CANSEC is an annual two day event hosting 800 companies from across the arms industries, and attended by 12,000 people. As well as exhibits of weapons and other equipment, attendees were given the opportunity to hear presentations from government ministers and attend evening receptions sponsored by Lockheed Martin.

In May 2017, US vendors of weapons made by German company Heckler and Koch received a letter purporting to be from Martin Obermann, the company's head of Transatlantic Sales, informing them of a mass recall of the weapons. The letter read,

REPRESSIVE RESPONSE AGAINST ANTI-MILITARIST MOC ACTIVISTS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCEUP TO 12.000 EUROS  FINE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SEVERAL YEARS JAIL SENTENCE FOR  BLOCKADE IN THE PORT OF SAGUNTO AGAINST NATO MANEUVERS. 

The group of antimilitarists that paralyzed the transport of armoured vehicles to the NATO “Trident Juncture“ manoeuvres last October face accusations of “serious disobedience”, “breach of the peace”, and fines for “intrusion". 

The second edition of the Handbook for Nonviolent for Campaigns was first released in English in 2014, at WRI's International Conference in Cape Town. The book has now been translated into Spanish via the support of a crowdfunding campaign, and is available from the WRI webshop here: http://www.wri-irg.org/node/24916

During the NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015 the alliance will practice military interventions in North Africa

Marines from the US train in la Sierra del Retin, Barbate

The NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015 will take place during October 2015 and until early November in Italy, Portugal, and the State of Spain. According to a variety of sources, this will be the “largest exercise of NATO since the end of the Cold War”1, “largest exercise conducted by the Alliance since 2002” (…) and “the Alliance’s most important exercise in 2015”2, or “the largest deployment of the Alliance in the last decade”3. The exercise consists of two clearly distinguished phases, a command post exercise (CPX, 3-16 October) and a phase of real action (Live Exercise, LIVEX, 21 October-6 November).

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