only search openDemocracy.net

Transformative Nonviolence

Far from being merely an absence of violence, or even passivity, nonviolence is a way of building grassroots power and transforming society in ways that people are using in innovative ways around the world.

This week's articles explore ways in which nonviolent struggle calls people to acts of personal transformation — seeing themselves and their role in history in a different way — as part of the process of social change.


Remembering Dorothy Cotton, freedom educator

We need to believe ourselves capable of something greater than the dehumanizing roles our society has given us.

Building a different form of power: young people’s voices from California’s Central Valley

We are proud to be Black and Brown, we are proud to be immigrants and refugees, and we are thriving.

What we can really learn from Gandhi?

Social struggle calls for true transformation, a trading in of old lives for new.

Eight lessons from climate organizing for today’s youth-led movements

As a young person, there’s nothing less empowering than listening to an older person tell you how real activism was done in the 1960s. 

Is it time for voluntary poverty?

Alternative forms of charity could have a deeper impact on the forces that underpin moral and social transformation.

Fifty years later, the spirit of the Catonsville Nine lives on

Those who burned hundreds of draft files to protest the Vietnam War deserve to be honored, remembered and emulated.

Can antifa build an effective broad-based anti-fascist movement?

Using violence and suppressing free speech is no way to build a just society.

The US teachers strike in historical perspective

Previous waves of unrest offer clues to the possible regeneration of the American labor movement.

Sacred activism: a movement for global healing

Our natural sense of interdependence has been replaced by an addictive focus on personal short-term profit.

How do you tell the kids that Grandma is in jail for resisting nuclear weapons?

“Wait, these nuclear weapons…They are war things?” Seamus asked. “Yep, they are war things bud.” “Good for grandma.”

What Standing Rock gave the world

The Indigenous struggle that goes hand in hand with protecting the Earth was made visible for everyone.

Where are all the leaders?

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination—a good time to reflect on leadership and moral courage.

The Great Society versus the Poor People’s Campaign

What can we learn from contrasting efforts to combat poverty and injustice in 1960s America?

Gun violence has dropped dramatically in three US states with very different gun laws

To have an honest, nonpartisan discussion about gun violence, we must look at what happened in New York, California, and Texas.

Radical happiness: moments of collective joy

True happiness is produced by cultivating our ties to one another: a review of Lynne Segal’s new book.

Why reconciliation and redemption are central to countering white supremacy

Sammy Rangel, director of Life After Hate, talks about his work with violent extremists.

A renewed Poor People’s Campaign revives King’s dream of challenging class divides

Can a new fusion of movements reignite the search for freedom and equality in America?

After Erica Garner’s death, I can’t breathe through the tears

In praise and memory of a great advocate for peace and social justice.

The strategic naiveté of Antifa

Why violent protest rarely works.

Living prayer at Standing Rock

We are more powerful when we live together as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us.

Ken Burns’ powerful film on Vietnam ignores the power of the anti-war movement

The Vietnam peace movement was inspirational. Its story deserves to be told fully and fairly.

Swords in the hands of children: an insider’s account of what happened to America’s New Left

How Weatherman confused violence with militancy and triggered the downfall of Students for a Democratic Society.

How to fight the global Wall Street landlords

Banks and vulture funds make money from ordinary people’s distress. The only way to fight back is to outsmart them. 

Before the NFL took a knee: four lesser-known moments of resistance in sports history

This isn’t the first time the world of professional sports has entered the fight for civil rights and racial justice.

I’m a Muslim—ask me anything

Hearing Muslims being ignorantly targeted is like waking up to see a cross burning on the communal front lawn. I want to help put out that fire.

How to prevent nuclear war

What can be done to build support for a peaceful resolution to the stand-off with North Korea?

Lessons from the front lines of anti-colonial pipeline resistance

Ceremony, mindfulness and healing practices play a key role in radical social movements.

Why are Nazis so afraid of clowns?

Using humor and irony to undermine white supremacy dates back to the days of the Third Reich.

Sacred activism: the story of Tamera

‘We all were indigenous once. We have been waiting for you. Welcome back.’

What can be learned from the movement to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Why indigenous civil resistance has a unique power.

The future of security

Healthy and healed relationships are the key to sustainable peace.

The power of the long march

Walking across a country provides people with a tangible and visceral experience of solidarity.

What will cure the U.S. addiction to war?

We must redouble our efforts to stop the war makers from gaining the upper hand in our lives.

Six principles of nonviolence

Nonviolence can be a safe, effective and lasting way to defeat injustice, but like any other science it takes knowledge, courage and determination.

Slow science, slow food, slow down

When we rush, we make decisions that lack information, lack proper reflection, and ultimately make the problems of humanity worse.

Syndicate content