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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.


Meet the activist who brought Monopoly Man to life

Behind the fake mustache and provocative message is a dedicated activist for economic justice.

Lessons on building democracy after nonviolent revolutions

Why do some nonviolent revolutions end in democracy while others do not?

Five ways new social movement leaders are effecting change

The Parkland students and others are reinventing models for people-powered activism that adapt to today’s rapid pace of change.

It’s time to go on the offensive against racism

Nonviolent direct action campaigns that stay on the offensive can build vision-led movements that win.

The everyday power of movement activism

Activism is normal; what’s strange is that we don’t see it that way.

How does change happen? One man’s journey through the personal and the political

The first step to building a new world is to start living it, but don’t stop there.

How repression can fuel a movement

Repression often energizes resistance and undercuts the legitimacy of elites.

No justice without love: why activism must be more generous

I want to be a member of a thriving and diverse social movement, not a cult or a religion.

Navigating the white water of these turbulent times

The struggle for liberation has never been about safety; justice is gained by confronting reality, however dangerous it may be.

The rise of resistance and resilience to tear gas

Tear gas turns the square, the march and the public assembly into a toxic space.

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.

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