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.

A Pastor reported (in a follow up meeting) “Since I attended the nonviolence workshop, I stopped hating Muslims. They burnt our Churches in Khartoum and since that time, I lost respect to Muslims and hate them. Now we are in a new Country, I don’t want Muslims to suffer the way Christians suffered under Islamic regime in Sudan. Its painful to forgive but my Bible tells me to forgive as God has forgiven us”. Since 2011 the pastor, a few other Christians and group of Muslims are working together. They organize outreach workshops to both Christians and Muslims in Juba.

Dear Friends,

In South Sudan, the seeds of nonviolence are being sown and cultivated by the Organisation for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD), a War Resisters' International affiliate.

Despite changes of attitudes and behaviour of individuals and groups as a result of ONAD's nonviolence trainings, many people still believe armed struggle can bring the changes they hope to see. In South Sudan, society is highly militarized with some civilians owning weapons. While some have surrendered their guns to the government, disarmament of both minds and hearts are equally necessary if we are to avoid ongoing militarization of society.

Statement by Women in Black Madrid

Once again the guardians of democracy rise up as saviors, in this case, saviors of Syria. But when they speak of helping the Syrians, they speak of military support to the insurgents in order to defend their own interests in the area. While peaceful protests lasted, the international community looked aside. When Asad crushed them harshly: the uprising of the children of Deraa, the sit-ins and demonstrations of the young people and the country folks, there was no great echo in the conventional media.

Press statement , 14 October 2013

Belgian former prime ministers and a former Secretary General of the NATO support campaign against nuclear weapons.

'Time to Go!' is the name of the campaign of the Belgian peace movement against the American nuclear weapons stationed in Belgium. On Sunday 20 October 2013 (from 2 until 6 p.m.) the peace movement organizes a national demonstration for nuclear disarmament in the Belgian capital Brussels (Jubelpark- Cinquantenaire ). There will be speeches, entertainment for children and concerts of Jaune Toujours, James Deano en Helmut Lotti.

http://www.timetogo.be

By Igor Seke

The 'War against Drugs' erupted in Mexico at the end of 2006 when Felipe Calderón, just 10 days into his presidency, launched the joint operation 'Michoacán' to fight organised crime. It has resulted in at least 60,000 deaths from executions, confrontations between gangs of narcotrafficers and battles with federal forces.

By Angie Zelter

In 2016 the UK government will finalise the decision to build a new nuclear weapons system to replace the present Trident system (http://actionawe.org/the-trident-system/). The nuclear submarines that carry Trident are getting old, so the government has pledged to finalise contracts to replace them in 2016 in order to build a new generation of nuclear weapons at an estimated cost of £76–100 billion. This is more than the current planned public spending cuts of £81 billion. If the contracts go ahead, the warheads would be designed and manufactured at AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) Aldermaston and Burghfield, in Berkshire, about 50 miles west of London ( http://actionawe.org/awe-burghfield-maps-gates/ ).

By Lindsey Collen

The Island states of Africa often get forgotten. The word “the continent” somehow leaves them out. And this is a serious conceptual error when it comes to scrutinizing the US military presence in Africa.

Let’s take things step-by-step.

By Dr. Masami Kawamura

Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, consisting of some 160 islands with a population of approximately 1.4 million, is known as kichi no shima or military base islands. While Okinawa consists of only 0.6% of all the Japanese landmass, 74% of US military bases in Japan are concentrated in the prefecture. At present, further militarisation of Okinawa is taking place and Okinawan people are putting up a stern opposition to it. With a brief background of the militarisation of Okinawa, I would like to highlight two recent developments: the construction of a US military airport in the Henoko/Oura Bay area and the construction of six helipads at Takae in Yanbaru Forest.

Revolutionary Egypt

Placheolder image

The Worst of Times, the Best of Times…

by Matt Meyer

There is a reason why so many internationalists have had hard times writing clearly about Egypt since the end of June 2013. There is a reason why in English the words “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” resonates so. The cultural chasms and the political complexity of Egypt’s ongoing revolutionary moments will not lend themselves easily to short statements or translated sound bites . . . but we remain distant from, declarative regarding, or dispassionate about these events at our own grave peril. Nothing less than our collective, twenty-first century understandings of such terms as “democracy,” “revolution,” and “violence/nonviolence” are being forged on the streets of Egypt today.

By John LaForge

BÜCHEL AIR FORCE BASE, Germany -- Over 750 people converged here at the country's largest air base – although U.S. bases at Spangdahlem and Ramstein are far bigger -- to condemn the retention of 20 U.S. nuclear weapons, in open violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and in a show of popular rebellion 150 hearty war resisters blockaded all nine base entrances for 24 hours. It was the first time in 16 years of resistance to the base's use of U.S. H-bombs by Germany's Tornado jet bombers that the compound had been completely closed to traffic by a protest.

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