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CSA’s free weekly publication, a carefully curated collection of original articles at the intersection of spiritual formation and social action.

Advent Longing

By Jennifer Carpenter

I think it’s fair to say that Christmas in the United States is mostly a commercialized experience around themed decorations, gifts, and traditions.  We know from history that the holiday itself was created by hijacking a pagan holiday (winter solstice) and making it “Christian.”

What if—since we’re all in a forced “new normal” this year—we focused on Advent instead?

Advent Longing

By Jennifer Carpenter

I think it’s fair to say that Christmas in the United States is mostly a commercialized experience around themed decorations, gifts, and traditions.  We know from history that the holiday itself was created by hijacking a pagan holiday (winter solstice) and making it “Christian.”

What if—since we’re all in a forced “new normal” this year—we focused on Advent instead?

Children with Disabilities in Bethlehem

By Kevin Vollrath

Noor Society is a group of mothers of children with developmental disabilities advocating for each other and their children in Aida Camp, a refugee camp of over 5,000 people started in 1948 after the Nakba.

Nonviolent Action Method #13: Deputations

From Gene Sharp

After almost a decade of civil war, both Christian and Muslim women in Liberia, led by Leymah Gbowee, began to protest. When Liberian warlords met in the city of Accra, in Ghana, the women were optimistic for a solution.

Nonviolent Action Method #12: Skywriting and Earthwriting

From Gene Sharp

One example is the protests in Hungary in 2005 against the war in Iraq (pictured here). National Geographic features other examples in this slideshow.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Nonviolent Action Method #11: Records, Radio and Television

From Gene Sharp

During the 2012 elections in Mexico, many youth felt that Enrique Peña Nieto, the eventual winner, was given an unfair advantage by the television monopolies of TVAzteca and Televisa. So they took to the Internet, using Youtube and other websites as means of communicating their dissent.

Nonviolent Action Method #10: Newspapers and Journals

From Gene Sharp

Tygodnik Solidarność was a Polish weekly magazine. Started and published by the Solidarity movement on April 3, 1981, it was banned by the People’s Republic of Poland following the martial law declaration from December 13, 1981, and the thaw of 1989.

Nonviolent Action Method #9: Leaflets, Pamphlets, Books

From Gene Sharp

For example, the Occupy Wall Street Noam Chomsky Pamphlet Series, published by Zuccotti Park Press.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Nonviolent Action Method #8: Banners, Posters, Displayed Communications

From Gene Sharp

The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace was a movement of thousands of women who, among other efforts, bravely took to the streets united under a banner that said, “The women of Liberia want peace now.” The movement’s organizer, Leymah Gbowee said, “It was the first time in the history of Liberia that Muslim women and Christian women came together.”

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Nonviolent Action Method #7: Slogans, Caricatures, and Symbols

From Gene Sharp

“We are the 99%” was the rallying cry of the Occupy Wall Street movement—referring to the vast majority of Americans who are struggling to pay their mortgages, facing debilitating student loan debt, and living without health insurance…while the 1% grows ever wealthier.

Nonviolent Action Method Method #6: Group or Mass Petitions

From Gene Sharp

One example is the petition organized by United We Dream, urging people to protect immigrant youth by protecting the DREAM Act.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Nonviolent Action Method #4: Signed Public Statements

From Gene Sharp

In December 2011 in Saudi Arabia, 100 wives of Saudi political prisoners signed a document protesting a ban on protests.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Nonviolent Action Method #3: Declarations by Organizations and Institutions

From Gene Sharp

Occupy Wall Street started off their movement with the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” which detailed both a list of complaints and their vision for the future.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Nonviolent Action Method #1: Public Speeches

From Gene Sharp

On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech.

(You can read more about the different methods of nonviolent protest in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.