The utility of nonviolence

“The United States has its own rich history – past and present – of effective uses of nonviolent resistance,” writes Erica Chenoweth in The Guardian, including in her essay a wealth of useful hyperlinks.

Nonviolent resistance does not happen overnight or automatically. It requires an informed and prepared public, keen to the strategy and dynamics of its political power. Although nonviolent campaigns often begin with a committed and experienced core, successful ones enlarge the diversity of participants, maintain nonviolent discipline and expand the types of nonviolent actions they use.

They constantly increase their base of supporters, build coalitions, leverage social networks, and generate connections with those in the opponent’s network who may be ambivalent about cooperating with oppressive policies.

Crucially, nonviolent resistance works not by melting the heart of the opponent but by constraining their options. A leader and his inner circle cannot pass and implement policies alone. They require cooperation and obedience from many people to carry out plans and policies.

South Florida boasted another protest, this one outside Mar-a-Lago. No arrests.

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