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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.


To seize back democracy we need carpe diem politics

We're immersed in one of the most dynamic periods of public protest ever recorded, so let’s seize the day.

How anti-Vietnam War activists stopped violent protest from hijacking their movement

Governments welcome violent protests and know how to deal with them. It’s a lesson the anti-Trump movement should remember.

Preparing for the long haul under the Trump administration

There are hundreds of ways to stay upright and human in trying times—here’s a selection.

Six reasons why the Left should keep on infighting

Having lots of people with lots of voices isn’t a weakness—it’s a strength.

Why black bloc tactics won’t build a successful movement

Nonviolence can be just as powerful and militant as violence, and it works.

We aren’t so different—three steps to overcome hate and fear

Avoiding Trump supporters only increases our already dangerous polarization. Here’s how to really listen and find compassion.

Love in action: the life, work and death of Sister Maura Clarke

Celebrating a stellar example of how to say no to the warmongers and yes to life itself.

How the everyday use of militaristic jargon makes us more combative

The language of violence pervades our discourse, even when we’re not talking about war.

How Somali Muslims are raising a 10,000-person anti-hate army

The refugee community in Minnesota is a big target for bigotry, but they have a plan.

Why mindfulness matters now

I didn’t learn how to cross lines of difference when I was younger. Maybe you didn’t either, but we can all learn it now.  

The growing political impotence of images

Are photographs of war and atrocity losing the power to move us?

Welcome to another year of transformation

We need your help to expand our coverage of deep-rooted personal and political change.

Textured activism: in-between liberation and oppression

By reducing life to dualisms we lose the rich fabric of possibilities that can generate important social change.

Violence brought us Trump, but it’s not how we will stop him

The best way to protect those we love is to win over those who hate them.

Sustainable activism: managing hope and despair in social movements

A new generation of activists is developing a much healthier and more emotionally-intelligent culture.

Why targeting corporate Democrats is part of the fight against Donald Trump

Trump rose to the presidency by railing against the Washington establishment. The Democratic Party’s propensity for compromise and triangulation only plays into his hands.

Sheriffs refuse to send troops to Standing Rock as public outrage mounts

The state governor has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to evacuate, but will the authorities enforce that decision?

Making our movements work for kids and families

Children have always been part of people’s work for rights and social justice, so what does it take to make activism more family friendly? 

Without empathy for Trump voters, movements can’t succeed

The white working class reading of recent American history may be more accurate than that of many progressive activists.

Where to Turn?

Many people awoke this week with a new understanding of the dangers that face our common life together. We must redouble our efforts to abolish war.

Five successful campaigners share their secrets

Great campaigns have lots of things in common, but they’re not the things we’re often taught.

Recomposing the fabric of affection

Living well together helps everyone to be connected, and it’s connection that makes us thrive as human beings. Español

Social movements need imagination, which is why I’m not buying my kids any more toys

Resistance means more than politics; it involves poetry, magical thinking and wonder, and begins with children having time and space to be creative.

Climate justice meets racism: Standing Rock was decades in the making

The militarized response to activists opposing the Dakota Access pipeline—and the Standing Rock Sioux’s fierce resolve—reflect the area's deep racial divides.

What can be learned from recent studies on nonviolent action?

Books about peace are rare when compared to books about war, but a raft of new work expands our understanding enormously (3k words).

A new activist toolkit arrives in beautiful fashion

Lots of resources on nonviolent action come from the global north, yet courageous activists in the global south are living a whole other political life.

Six creative ways to make your point at political party conventions

“Look, I know I’m not supposed to be up here, but to be honest neither is Donald Trump.”

How I became a refugee within a day

As a refugee, there is no place I can call home. I've had to accept a life in exile.

Nude protests, sex strikes and the power of the taboo

Nonviolent tactics like stripping naked can be highly effective political advocacy, even ending wars, particularly across the African continent.

Islam and the future of tolerance

A new book by best-selling atheist Sam Harris and Islamist-turned-reformist Maajid Nawaz fails to convince.

#BlackLivesMatter makes some people angry. Isn’t that good?

A new wave of activism is rooted in a different spiritual tradition to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Get real! Five spiritual responses to political reality

Do you belong to one of these five groups of people who are changing politics through spirituality?

The life and death of Daniel Berrigan

Celebrating the remarkable life of a renowned peace activist and writer who died on April 30 2016.

Resisting in our free time: the state of civil society today

Young activists attend the CIVICUS International Civil Society Week—and come back disappointed.

Court victory gives momentum to long struggle against London arms fair

Eight people have been found not guilty of using direct action to shut down one of the largest arms fairs in the world.

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