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Question: Does research show that nonviolence works? CPNN article: Peace Research: We are all interconnected
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Peace Research: We are all interconnected
IPRAs 40th Anniversary Conference in Hungary
Granny D speaks at DC counter-inaugural
Restorative Practices in Australia
National Peace Academy Holds Second Summer Intensive for Community Peacebuilders
Egypt’s revolution vindicates Gene Sharp’s theory of nonviolent activism
Conference Provides Skills for Empowering Peace in Middle   East
Conferencia magistral “Por una Cultura de Paz y No Violencia” [México]
Conference for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence [Mexico]
Everyday Rebellion: Interview with Filmmakers Arash and Arman Riahi
Inaugural Professor for Peace at UMass Amherst(US)
Conference of the Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 07 2002,05:45

To start the ball rolling on a nonviolence discussion, Michael True adds that at the Nonviolence Commission of IPRA in Korea in July, a brilliant paper was presented by Chaiwat Satha-Anand, Thammasat University, Bangkok, who argued "that the demarcation line drawn between those who regard nonviolence as a way of life and those who consider their nonviolence to be pragmatic and strategic is indeed illusory."

David adds a query to readers to identify the best sources about successful campaigns of nonviolence to update the classic works of Gene Sharp, and are any of these sources available on the Internet?

Edited by David Adams on Dec. 07 2002,06:32
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Tony Dominski
Posted: Jan. 26 2003,13:08

The MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence was founded by the grandson of Gandhi (Arun Gandhi) and his wife Sunanda.  The Institute is a source of inspirational stories about how non-violence works.  I read an article by Arun in Self Realizaton yoga magazine and was impressed with the courage and practicality of non-violence.  Peace, Tony   The MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence
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Posted: April 24 2003,17:48

Re: "Does research show that nonviolence works?" and subsequent query:  "Successful campaigns of non-violence:"
Students have been very successful in peacefully overthrowning dictators in recent history, which shores up my conviction that ignorance is the enemy and the problem; education, especially in peace studies, is the solution. For example:
The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia 1989; the strategically failed Beijing uprising by students (if only they'd had Sharp's strategy "From Dictatorship to Democracy); Otpor (Resistance) the Yugoslavia students' successful overthrow of Milosevic about 1996 with Sharp's strategy (PBS has an Otpor page at http://www.pbs.org/weta/dictator/otpor) and Otpor's own page www.otpor.com) but I couldn't get it to translate; and Indonesian students overthrew Suharto about 1999.
It could be argued that violence followed most of these events but the students' intent was nonviolence.
Then, too, there was Nelson Mandela.

Edited by CPNN Administrator on April 27 2003,14:03
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Posted: July 21 2004,08:00

Janet, Thank you for bringing the work of Srdja Popovic to our attention. Nonviolence as a form of warfare is an interesting idea to contemplate. The work of Gene Sharp has been missing from the pages of CPNN. I think using the book of his you cited would be an excellent resource for a non-violence study group. Helen
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Tony Dominski
Posted: Jan. 31 2005,10:31

Doris "Granny D" Haddock speaking in Washington DC on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005

Thank you all.

We have honored Dr. King this week. When we honor him we honor many
others, all the way back in time to the Sermon on the Mount and beyond,
who have given us, if we will but use them, the political tools of love
and their great power over all other human forces.

Gandhi taught us that, when used right, non-violent non-cooperation always
wins. He gave us five principles to remember in its use: First, know that
you are dealing with the truth. Do your research. Bring in the experts.
Know the truth before you dare speak for it.

Second, ask those in authority to remedy the problem at hand, and give
them a reasonable time to act. Don't ask them to do more than they can.
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Tony Dominski
Posted: Jan. 31 2005,10:33

Third, involve the wider community's conscience in the problem. Share the
problem widely.

Fourth, if those in power will not remedy the problem, show the extent of
your moral concern through your personal sacrifice. Stand in the way of
the injustice with your own body, doing no harm to others, for it is your
moral courage that will move the conscience of society toward awareness
and action. If you have not won yet, your sacrifice has been insufficient.
The fifth principle, because the previous four will give you control of
the issue, is to graciously allow the opposing side to save face in the
final settlement, as you must love them, too, and will meet them again.

We have the power to win, to serve justice, to protect our neighbors and
our planet, but victory comes at the price of our courage and our pain.

So we have our issues. A warming planet, an unjust war, a long list of
policies that do great harm to the people and places of the world. We have
done our homework and know the truth. We have petitioned for the redress
of our grievances and we have waited. We have informed the world so that
many are involved. We know what is next for us and it is the fourth
principle: our sacrifice.
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Tony Dominski
Posted: Jan. 31 2005,10:34

So that our great grandchildren will look back and say of us, yes, in the
first years of the 21st Century, they faced the most difficult of times
with extraordinary courage. They knew they would not live forever and they
cared that their lives and deaths should mean something. They saved
American democracy and the life of the planet with their creative
resistance and their courage. While others around them slept through grey
lives, they were awake, they saw, they acted, they overcame all the great
forces against them. They saved the forests and mountains, the oceans,
streams, the air, the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, they saved our
ancient hope for a just world, for a peaceful world, where the highest
potential of every human might be understood as the greatest resource of
every society and nation.

Well, we know where we are and who we struggle against. I know many of you have been in their
prisons and felt the sting of their batons and bullets and gasses, and it
is not so bad, compared to losing our freedom or the life of our planet.
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Tony Dominski
Posted: Jan. 31 2005,10:36

GRANNY D  Part IV -- last part
The limousines of monstrous presumption whisk by us today, but we need not feel powerless, for the real power of history is always in the people's hearts and hands. All the power of change is given by fate and history to the courageous, who fear the loss of liberty and justice more than that brief glimmer of life that sparkles through the eternity of who we are. And so we take our parts in the great struggle between dark and light, fear and love, between the withering decomposition of separation, and the living joy of combination, cooperation and growth.

Let our neighbors, who have voted another way or not at all, see what we are made of and what we are willing to do for love, for life, for justice. Only a few more of them need step forward to our side for love and life and justice to win. They will not step forward if we are not full of courage and grace and beauty and most of all love. We will inspire them with awe. For, from this time forward, our courage must rise to end the war and the coming wars, to end the destruction of our land and its people, and of our planet and its life. With love in our hearts, with a
vision before us of a better America made visible in our own lives, we will do what history demands of us now.

And so say us all.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: May 29 2012,12:49

Did the writings on nonviolence by Gene Sharp help inspire the movements of the Arab Spring in Egypt and elsewhere?

This is debatable.  The New York Times said "yes" and some Egyptians, for example, the blogger Karim Alrawi say "no".

However, it should be recognized that the ideas of nonviolent resistance have a way of transcending borders and centuries.  Nelson Mandela was influenced by Martin Luther King who was influenced in turn by Mahatma Gandhi who was influenced in turn by Henry David Thoreau.

[Note added later: The blog of Karim Alrawi is no longer available on the Internet, but see instead the blog of Hossam El-Hamalawy who says that the Palestinians "have been the major source of inspiration, not Gene Sharp, whose name I first heard in my life only in February after we toppled Mubarak already and whom the clueless NYT moronically gives credit for our uprising."
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