The aim of this website is to promote understanding of and research on civil resistance - which is another term for nonviolent struggle.
Howard Clark, 6 March 1950 - 28 November 2013
This website has mainly been the work of Howard Clark, who passed away on 28 November 2013. War Resisters' International, which Howard chaired since 2006, published the following announcement:
With deep sadness we must announce that last night WRI Chair Howard Clark passed away.
Howard was Chair of WRI since 2006, and earlier worked for many years as Coordinator of WRI in London before moving to live with Yolanda Juarros Barcenilla in Spain.
He is leaving a gap we are still unable to fully grasp. War Resisters' International is losing with him a good friend, a tireless and committed peace worker, a sharp mind and organizer, and his institutional memory reaching back many decades.
Our thoughts are with Yolanda and their two children, Ismael and Violeta, at this tragic time.
Information about memorials and an obituary can be found on this website later.
The WRI Office and Executive
Friday, 29 November 2013
War Resisters' International has created a space for people to add their messages of condolence. Please feel free to go and add your message. You will find it here: http://www.wri-irg.org/ForHoward and an image gallery http://www.wri-irg.org/HowardClarkGallery. You can also read an obituary http://wri-irg.org/HowardObituary.
NEW: A Guide to Civil Resistance, A Bibliography of People Power and Nonviolent Protest
Volume 1, December 2013
Edited by April Carter, Howard Clark and Michael Randle
With a foreword by Paul Rogers
If we talk about 'people power' or 'nonviolent action', most people will immediately think of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, a few will recall the end of the Marcos regime in the Philippines in the mid-1980s, and some others will remember or have heard of the Prague Spring nearly two decades earlier. Moreover, for most activists and others involved in peace action and movements for social change, there will be little knowledge of the theories of nonviolent action and still less of the huge number of actions taken in so many countries and in such different circumstances across the world. Even recent events across the Middle East are rarely put in a broader historical context.
The book is subtitled A Bibliography of People Power and Nonviolent Protest, but it is much more than this. Although the focus is on post-1945 movements, the opening section provides a wide-ranging introduction to the history and theoretical bases of nonviolent action, as well as reflecting the most recent contributions to the literature and citing key reference works and internet sites. All the main sources have accounts of their content and relevance, frequently managing to get to the core of the books or articles in just a couple of sentences.
What really comes across is the sheer range of examples contained within this bibliography. It is extraordinarily impressive, taking us through the campaigns in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, the earlier actions in late colonial Africa, campaigns of nonviolent resistance in Latin America and the Middle East and the growing number of 'electoral revolutions' since 2000, especially in post Soviet states and Africa, and the burgeoning resistance to repression in various forms.
People Power and Protest since 1945: a bibliography on nonviolent action
- compiled by April Carter, Howard Clark and Michael Randle, with updates
Challenge to Nonviolence
- the book edited by Michael Randle of the proceedings of Bradford's Nonviolent Action Research Project (1994-99), plus three extra chapters!
- Michael Randle's 1994 book, out of print but now online - with an additional chapter.
"Governments need people", proposes Michael Randle, "more than people need governments."
Strikes, boycotts, go-slows, human barricades, sit-ins and occupations are just some of the methods available to people to assert their rights and/or undermine and overthrow arbitrary government. Michael Randle presents a broad and detailed examination of both the history and philosophy of civil resistance including its contribution to the collapse of Communist rule in East and Central Europe.
Living the Intifada
- Andrew Rigby's authoritative study of the first intifada has been unjustly neglected until now it is an out-of-print collector's item. Written before the Oslo agreements and soon after the 1991 Gulf War, its discussion of the intifada as an example of civil resistance remains an important contribution to the field. Now online for downloading chapter by chapter as pdf.
Thirty-One Hours: The Grindstone Experiment
- a report by Theodore Olson and Gordon Christiansen on a 1965 extended roleplay exercise in nonviolent civilian defence. Out of print but now online.
Unarmed Resistance: the transnational factor
- papers from the international seminar organised at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University in July 2006
>Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns - from War Resisters' International
Social change doesn't just happen. It's the result of the work of committed people striving for a world of justice and peace. This work gestates in groups or cells of activists, in discussions, in training sessions, in reflecting on previous experiences, in planning, in experimenting and in learning from others. Preparing ourselves for our work for social justice is key to its success.
It includes sections on:
- developing strategic nonviolent campaigns
- preparing for effective nonviolent actions (complete with checklist)
- exercises for working in nonviolence (including group dynamics and gender issues)
- stories and strategies both showing the use of nonviolent organising tools in specific settings and describing global campaigns.
There is no definitive recipe for successful nonviolent actions and campaigns. This handbook, however, is a series of resources that can inspire and support your own work, especially if you adapt the resources to your own needs and context.
You can access the online version of this handbook at http://wri-irg.org/node/3855
For ordering copies of Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, please go to the WRI webshop
>BBC podcast on revolution
On 30 January 2012, BBC Radio 4 featured a 42 minute discussion inspired by the first anniversary of the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, with Mary King, Wael Ghonim and Paul Mason. To hear the podcast click here - to download it, right click and "save target as" or "save link as".