560 Harrison Ave Suite 402 Boston, MA 02118 USA tel: 617.247.4882 fax 617.247.4035 einstein@igc.org http://www.aeinstein.org

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 statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience

7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications 9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations

13. Deputations 14. Mock awards 15. Group lobbying 16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts

18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors 19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects

22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property 24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals

31. “Haunting” o cials 32. Taunting o cials 33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music

35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music 37. Singing


38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions 41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead

43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals 46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies

47. Assemblies of protest or support 48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest 50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation

51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors 54. Turning one’s back

The Methods of Social Noncooperation

Ostracism of Persons

55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott 57. Lysistratic nonaction 58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions

60. Suspension of social and sports activities 61. Boycott of social a airs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience

64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System

65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation 67. “Flight” of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts

Actions by Consumers

71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods 73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers

78. Workmen’s boycott 79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen

80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management

81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property 83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance 85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources

86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments 88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments

92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo 95. International buyers’ embargo 96. International trade embargo

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: The Strike

Symbolic Strikes

97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes

99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups

101. Refusal of impressed labor 102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes

105. Establishment strike 106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes

108. Detailed Strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike 112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in) 113. Strike by resignation 114. Limited strike

115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes

116. Generalized strike 117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures

118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown

The Methods of Political Noncooperation

Rejection of Authority

120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government

123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies 127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions 128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed o cials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience

133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision 135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse 138. Sit-down
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation 140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel

142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides 143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation

146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate ine ciency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action

149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action

151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations 152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations

155. Withdrawal from international organizations 156. Refusal of membership in international bodies 157. Expulsion from international organizations

The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention

Psychological Intervention

158. Self-exposure to the elements 159. The fast

a. Fast of moral pressure b. Hunger strike
c. Satyagrahic fast

160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention

162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids 170. Nonviolent invasion 171. Nonviolent interjection 172. Nonviolent obstruction 173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention

174. Establishing new social patterns 175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in

178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention

181. Reverse Strike
182. Stay-in Strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of Blockades
185. Politically Motivated Counterfeiting 186. Preclusive Purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems 192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention

193. Overloading of administrative systems 194. Disclosing identities of secret agents 195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws 197. Work-on without collaboration

198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Far too often people struggling for democratic rights and justice are not aware of the full range of methods
of nonviolent action. Wise strategy, attention to the dynamics of nonviolent struggle, and careful selection of methods can increase a group’s chances of success.

Gene Sharp’s researched and catalogued these 198 methods and provided a rich selection of historical examples in his seminal work, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 Vols.) Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973.


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