Peace Magazine

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​​​​​

Link to the Albert Einstein Institution for more of Gene Sharp’s work

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