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.

The United Nations has released a damning report into the operations of Canadian mining company Nevsun Resources in Eritrea, which accuses the company of using conscripted labour at it's Bisha Mine in the country. Nevsun estimated that the mine held over a billion pounds of copper and 2.7 billion pounds of zinc.


Two books for the price of one! 2nd October is 'International day of Nonviolence', so until the 9th October, if you buy a copy of the 2nd edition of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, we'll include a copy of the first edition to pass on to a friend! Both editions are available in English and Spanish.

In 2009, War Resisters' International released the 'Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns'; a toolbox of ideas and resources to support activists to run more effective campaigns. The full first edition is available online here: www.wri-irg.org/pubs/NonviolenceHandbook. The original was translated into over ten languages, including Spanish, German, Tigrinya (spoken in Eritrea), Nepalese, Turkish, and Arabic, and has been used by activists all over the world.

War profiteering

We live in a world where people profit from war. In 2014, Global military expenditure was estimated to be $1776 billion. Lockheed Martin - the world's biggest arms company - sold more than $45.6 billion worth of equipment. The war in Iraq wrenched open the country's economy to contractors of all shapes and sizes.

Arms companies profit from every bomb that falls, and every bullet that's fired. Through occupation, companies have the opportunity to exploit cheap land and lax labour laws. Conflict zones give fossil fuel giants access to new resources to exploit. Militarism means that research funding goes towards developing weapons of war, not finding solutions to global challenges like climate change.

After ten years Javier Gárate, WRI's first ever Nonviolence Programme worker, is leaving WRI. When Javier started, there was little else than an old computer and WRI’s track record in nonviolence trainings to help him bring together this programme. He has done so very successfully – numerous international trainings for activists, trainings of trainers and two issues of the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns stand for Javier’s achievements in those ten years. Plus of course three "quadriennials", in Germany, India and South Africa, which Javier together with his co-workers played a crucial role in preparing and conducting successfully.

Javier is moving to Belgium, but will continue to participate in some of WRI's regional networks. So we have reasons to hope that this good-bye is also a "see you soon again". We thank Javier very much for his untiring work, his friendliness, his kindness, his dedication, his humour and his keen commitment. WRI has gained so much from your time in the office, and we hope WRI has given you a lot, too. Javier – vaarwel, adiós, all the best and au revoir!

No choice on drones?

Placheolder image

War Profiteers' News, No 45, February 2015

By Chris Cole

On January 5 I was part of a small group of four people that entered RAF Waddington, the home of UK drone warfare, to protest the growing use of armed drones. British RAF pilots began operating armed US Predator drones in Iraq just over ten years ago before the UK acquired its own Reaper drones in 2007 for use in Afghanistan. Since then UK pilots have launched hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan before returning to Iraq, in November 2014, to begin launching strikes there once again. Along with the US and Israel, the UK is a key proponent of the idea of remote ‘risk free’ warfare.

 By Rafael Uzcátegui

In Venezuela, the left and the right agree on one thing – it is a country which is very rich in oil and mining reserves which must be sold as quickly as possible, ignoring the social and environmental consequences of further using the development model based on extractivism.

There will be many changes in the WRI office this year. Firstly, we say goodbye to Javier Gárate after ten years working in the office. There will be a chance to say goodbye and thank you to Javier next month! Taking over from Javier as WRI's Nonviolence Programme Worker in mid-February will be Andrew Dey.

Also for the first time, thanks to support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, we are able to appoint a part-time staff person dedicated to the Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme, which up until now has been part of the Right to Refuse to Kill Programme. Semih Sapmaz will be starting 2 days/week in the WRI office from February. We will be fundraising to ensure this role continues beyond the one year we have already funded.

Applications have reopened for the positions of Nonviolence Programme Worker and Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker.

Information for both positions can be found on our website:

Nonviolence Programme Worker Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme Worker

We look forward to receiving applications from people committed to nonviolence, with fundraising skills (or willingness to learn) and experience of nonviolent campaigning. Applicants should have knowledge of English and another language, and be willing to travel. All applicants should feel able to sign the WRI declaration: 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war'. Full job descriptions and application forms can be found on the respective adverts.

The closing date for applications for both roles is 23 November, midnight (UTC).

Please share the job adverts with your contacts, and write to info@wri-irg.org with any questions.

Dear friends,


Ten years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life. In Chile, I received an announcement that a position at WRI was opening for work in nonviolence and decided to apply for it. To my surprise – and I think also to that of many others! - I was chosen to be the first coordinator of WRI's Nonviolence Programme. Today I'm writing to you to ask you to help this work continue.

The day I came to work, I was told: “OK, here is your desk. Now you need to produce a handbook on nonviolent action, and launch a global campaign against war profiteering” – all very straightforward indeed.

Title of Position: Nonviolence Programme Worker

War Resisters' International, a network of pacifist organisations and individuals around the world, is looking for a full-time staff-person for its Nonviolence Programme and other general office and networking tasks. The main area of work will be running and developing the Nonviolence Programme, working with other staff, the Executive Committee and the WRI network. Fundraising will be an integral part of the programme work.

Application pack: Job description (.pdf) Application form (.doc)

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