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.

By Angie Zelter

For five years, the Gangjeong villagers on the Island of Jeju, Republic of Korea (ROK/South Korea), have nonviolently and bravely resisted the construction of a naval base on their land. The proposed ROK naval base would cover 50 hectares of prime agricultural land and would be available for unlimited use by the United States (US) navy and military and would be used to host aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and AEGIS warships that are part of the US anti-ballistic missile defence (MD) system. It is also likely that the base would be used in the conflict with China that the US is planning and openly preparing for. The US Space Command have been computer war-gaming a first-strike attack on China (set in the year 2016) and the MD (really missile offence) is a key part of US first-strike strategy. MD systems have also proven to be capable anti-satellite weapons and they are driving a new arms race with Russia and China.

By Cattis Laska

North European Aerospace Testrange (NEAT), Europe's largest overland military training area, covers 24 000 sq km of space in northern Sweden, right above the land that historically belongs to and still is used by the indigenous people of Sweden, the Saami. The land areas where the bombs are dropped during military exercises are the same areas where the reindeers are herded. According to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples”, but if so, the indigenous people need to be consulted through an official channel. This did not happen before military exercises started at NEAT.

On March 15th 2012, Benjamin Monnet, a dedicated French peace activist who has been active in Gangjeong for 9 months now, was forcibly deported by the Korean Government. An injunction order was issued against him and he was deported within 24 hours despite a legal suite that had been filed immediately. Angie Zelter, a British nuclear disarmament activist and Trident Ploughshares founder was issued with an exit order for her involvement in the same struggle against the naval base despite charges against her that she has not been able to defend in the courts.

So much to tell you. I started writing this inside the police station and then the Immigration Centre and now am back at Father Moon's home finishing it. It is so good to be back and free again.

Monday 12th March.

11a.m. Sunday, 11th and I am back in Gangjeong – it really feels like home. I had a quick change of clothes and then I was grabbed by a reporter for an interview and then told the SOS team (they are the ones that organise the boat and swimming actions of which I am a part) wants to meet me at 4p.m. But there is a press conference before that at 2 p.m. And loads of people to hug ….. so it is a good idea I had a nice rest in the police station! As there is no work being done on the site today there are no blockades – thank goodness.

Professor Yang Yoon-Mo is now on his 27th day of hunger strike in prison on Jeju Island in South Korea. He is back in jail for interrupting Navy construction vehicles. Last summer Yang, while in jail for lying under a construction truck, nearly died as his 71 day hunger strike only ended when Jeju Island Catholic Bishop Kang convinced him to stop.

The days pass so quickly here. On Tuesday 28th February I was needed to give interviews with a progressive Korean military publication who asked searching questions about how South Korea can protect itself from North Korea and China without US bases, what I think about South Korea getting nuclear weapons to protect itself from North Korea (this is something being seriously considered!) and why I was here. It was an opportunity to discuss the ever expanding US military presence in north-east Asia, what real security consists of and ways to stop proliferation.

Yesterday we internationals went into Jeju City for a press conference so that the Mayor of Gangjeong could explain the situation and internationals could make statements as to why they were supporting the villagers struggle against war and for peace.

135 full bows of prayers for peace at Destruction Gate

Trident Ploughshares member Angie Zelter is supporting villagers in their fight to stop the building of a US nuclear base on Jeju, the South Korean “Island of Peace”. The new base just 300-miles from the Chinese mainland will become a port for U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers fitted with the missile defence systems that are key elements in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. Gangjeong village and endangered soft-coral reefs will be destroyed to build the base. Here is Angie’s first report.

Angie Zelter is in Korea supporting the people of Ganjeong Village in their struggle to stop the destruction of Jeju Island where the South Korean military has begun construction of a naval base which will be the port for the US Navy’s Aegis Destroyers.

Trident Ploughshares Press Release: 23rd February 2012
The anti-nuclear campaign group Trident Ploughshares is among a number of international groups and individuals who are supporting villagers in their fight to stop the building of a US nuclear base on Jeju, the South Korean “Island of Peace”.

The anti-nuclear campaign group Trident Ploughshares is among a number of international groups and individuals who are supporting villagers in their fight to stop the building of a US nuclear base on Jeju, the South Korean “Island of Peace”.

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