Keyword : Nonviolent Action


The Indigenous Roots of Nonviolent Struggle: A Reply to Steve Weissman
13 October 2009

Steve Weissman’s article “How Washington Learned to Love Nonviolence” which recently appeared on this web site is filled with misrepresentations, omissions, and just plain falsehoods. Though Washington’s notorious willingness to intervene in the internal affairs of foreign nations is manifold and transcends the party in power, the examples put forward in this article are misleading and inaccurate.


Weapons of Mass Democracy
16 September 2009

On the outskirts of a desert town in the Moroccan-occupied territory of Western Sahara, about a dozen young activists are gathered. They are involved in their country’s long struggle for freedom. A group of foreigners—veterans of protracted resistance movements—is conducting a training session in the optimal use of a “weapons system” that is increasingly deployed in struggles for freedom around the world. The workshop leaders pass out Arabic translations of writings on the theory and dynamics of revolutionary struggle and lead the participants in a series of exercises designed to enhance their strategic and tactical thinking. These trainers are not veterans of guerrilla warfare, however, but of unarmed insurrections against repressive regimes. The materials they hand out are not the words of Che Guevara, but of Gene Sharp, the former Harvard scholar who has pioneered the study of strategic nonviolent action….


Showdown in ‘Tegucigolpe’
10 July 2009

One of the hemisphere’s most critical struggles for democracy in 20 years is now unfolding in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa (nicknamed “Tegucigolpe” for its long history of military coup d’états, which are called golpes de estado, in Spanish). Despite censorship and repression, popular anger over the June 28 military overthrow of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya is growing. International condemnation has been near-unanimous, and the Organization of American States has suspended Honduras, the first time the hemisphere-wide body has taken so drastic an action since 1962.


A Response to Steve Weissman’s “Nonviolence 101”
28 June 2009

Steve Weissman’s article “Iran: Nonviolence 101” was profoundly inaccurate and misleading, particularly in regard to the role of Peter Ackerman and the organization he co-founded, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), for which I chair the committee of academic advisers. All of Weissman’s arguments against US government involvement in training and related support for nonviolent resistance movements in Iran, which he put forward in his article, would be quite valid – if they were true. They are not, however.


The Iranian Uprising is Home Grown, and Must Stay That Way
19 June 2009

The growing nonviolent insurrection in Iran against the efforts by the ruling clerics to return the ultra-conservative and increasingly autocratic incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinjead to power is growing. Whatever the outcome, it represents an exciting and massive outpouring of Iranian civil society for a more open and pluralistic society.


Iran’s History of Civil Insurrections
19 June 2009

The growing nonviolent insurrection in Iran against the efforts by the ruling clerics to return the ultra-conservative and increasingly autocratic incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinjead to power is growing. Whatever the outcome, it represents an exciting and massive outpouring of Iranian civil society for a more open and pluralistic society….


Serbia: 10 Years Later
17 June 2009

Since the end of the U.S.-led war against Serbia, the country is slowly emerging from the wars of the 1990s. Despite lingering problems, Serbs appear to be more optimistic about their country’s future than they have for decades. The United States deserves little credit for the positive developments, however, and a fair amount of blame for the country’s remaining problems….


Echoes of Solidarity 20 Years after Tiananmen
4 June 2009

Twenty years ago today, I was at Camp Thoreau in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Though I had already become a full-time academic, I was still involved in the topical folk music circles in which I had hung out for much of the previous decade and had come down from Ithaca to join this annual gathering of politically-conscious folk musicians for a weekend of workshops, jam sessions and performances.


Remembering Tiananmen Square
4 June 2009

Twenty years ago, on June 4, I was at Camp Thoreau in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Though I had already become a full-time academic, I was still involved in the topical folk music circles in which I had hung out for much of the previous decade and had come down from Ithaca to join this annual gathering of politically-conscious folk musicians for a weekend of workshops, jam sessions and performances….


Presentation: Nonviolent Action in the Islamic World
11 March 2009

Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, discusses the long history of strategic nonviolent action throughout the Islamic world, in the Middle East and beyond. Based in part on the social contract implied in Islamic teachings which advocate the withdrawal of obedience from unjust authority, nonviolent civil insurrections have played a major role in the struggle for freedom and human rights for more than a century. Dr. Zunes, looks at case studies from Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Mali, Western Sahara, Indonesia, Pakistan, and others.