Updates-A Story of Realistic Hope

New Videos Showcasing the Power of Nonviolence

By Mubarak Awad

Recently, our wonderful volunteer intern supervisor, Jules Slater, shared their pride at the impressive young leaders serving this semester as interns with NVI. Meeting them gives me hope. If you haven’t already seen this page, I encourage you to check it out.

Below, I share some of the important video production work our interns are already doing at NVI. 


For years, I urged Michael Beer to update my friend Gene Sharp’s seminal work cataloging 198 Nonviolent methods. Since then the world has changed dramatically with innovations such as the internet and so much more shaping how people express themselves. Michael has just published a book with more than 350 NV tactics. Please watch this short video where our new intern Dassie Spivack interviews Michael about why he wrote this book. The funny thing is he doesn’t even mention that I told him to. 


Next we share an exciting clip from Jamila Raqib, Gene’s successor, who tells how he started collecting NV Tactics and why he stopped at 198. He could have easily rounded up to 200, but he always knew this was unfinished work that should be expanded as the field grew. So for all those who somehow get the impression that Gene’s work was written in stone, please watch this clip made by NVI intern Cam Sephehri. 


As you know, NVI believes that the world is facing a series of interrelated crises and that nonviolence is the most effective response to many of them. We also are convinced that nonviolence doesn’t just happen, but is greatly enhanced by knowledge of Tactics and by NV Training. Check out this video of former intern and volunteer Annalisa Bell explaining how to use our NV Tactics database.


In addition to spreading the word on the power of nonviolence and Tactics and Training, the other main part of our work at NVI is serving as a backbone organization of the global nonviolent movement. We provide fiscal sponsorship to a variety of cutting-edge groups we believe in deeply. Below, please see new videos produced by Dassie and Cam raising up the work of Holy Land Trust, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence and Solidarity 2020 and Beyond.




Finally, I was proud to be in conversation with my cousin Jonathan Kuttab and NVI’s Co-Director David Hart during the recent bombing of Gaza. While the bombs are not falling now, conditions remain unacceptable. We ask for your help changing the conversation and thus building a better future. We recorded our full conversation and present it below along with several shorter clips you might share with others as an introduction to this ongoing and wholly preventable human-caused crisis. 





If you value this work, please donate to help us expand our impact on this beautiful and broken world. 

Looking for hope in hard times? Meet these amazing young leaders.

By Jules Slater

Integral to Nonviolence International’s core team is always a strong cohort of willing, capable, and intelligent individuals serving as interns. This summer semester, NVI has welcomed a team ready to create meaningful change in this world that is nonviolence work.

Some of them are working very much behind the scenes, creating content for our Tactics Database or working alongside professionals to uplift the good work of one of our Founders, Jonathan Kuttab, and our Director, Michael Beer, in the promotion of their respective books. Others of them are working in the foreground, creating videos for our YouTube page and updating our Social Media accounts. All of them, however, have fully engaged with the work to be done here at NVI, and we are so proud of the effort they put forward and the energy they bring to each one of our team meetings!

We would now love to take a moment to let these inspiring new interns introduce themselves to you:

Ren Paul, she/her/hers

My name is Ren Paul, I am a summer Intern for NVI focusing primarily on building the Nonviolent Tactics Database and helping to manage the Rutgers Training Archive. I am pursuing a degree from American University in International Relations, with a focus on conflict resolution, and History. I aim to return to the world in better conditions than I received it, which to me means starting anew and putting in the work wholesale change demands.

Maria Salazar, she/her/hers

Hello, my name is Maria Salazar. I am from Hawthorne, California, and I am currently majoring in government at Franklin and Marshall College. I am a summer intern for NVI and have been working on our social media platforms--Facebook, Twitter, YouTube--and on promoting Michael’s new book, Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century. In my few weeks at NVI, I have learned so much about communicating internally and externally. There are so many global issues that need to be addressed and I hope to learn more about ways to communicate these issues and to address them through combined efforts. As I have learned through NVI, our collective wisdom is strong!

Cam Sepehri, he/him/his

My name is Camron Sepehri and I am a rising senior at Riverside High School. I have always been passionate about nonviolence and nonviolent methods. I am a current intern at NVI, where I am working to further NVI's Nonviolent Tactics Database, improve the Rutgers Training Archive, and edit videos for NVI's growing YouTube channel. Outside of contributing to NVI’s impactful work, I love playing soccer and helping my community in a variety of ways.

Hadas Spivack, she/her/hers

Hi everyone! My name is Hadas Spivack. I am a rising Junior at Colgate University, where I am double majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies & Computer Science. I have always been passionate about social justice and human rights, which I became even more passionate about after spending a year in Israel and becoming deeply intimate with the challenges and struggles of both Israelis and Palestinians. Since joining NVI, I have been creating new videos for our Spotlight Series and working on NVI's ever-growing and evolving Tactics Database. I firmly believe that it is our duty, as citizens of the world, to leave the world in better shape than we received it. And so, I am incredibly excited and grateful that NVI is giving me the tools and the skills necessary to help further this incredible work.

We at Nonviolence International would like to thank these people for all of their hard work so far this summer semester, and continue to lift up their powerful voices in our organization and in the greater community of those who support a global nonviolent movement.

We hope that throughout the course of the summer, you have the chance to meet all of these amazing young people and get a sense of their passion and power in our organization!

NVI Director's new book on Nonviolent Tactics

By David Hart

The big day is finally here. We celebrate a moment that we have been working towards for years - actually decades. Nonviolence International's longtime director, Michael Beer, has just released his first book and it's an important one. Michael has updated Gene Sharp's seminal text training the world in the value of nonviolent tactics.

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 Michael Explains His Book In Under Five Minutes!

Watch this short video of Michael Beer explaining the essence of his book in under five minutes. Michael explains why he chose to write this book now and what he hopes his book will inspire in the future.


Book Launch Webinar

NVI hosted an interactive webinar with Michael Beer, Jamila Raqib of the Albert Einstein Institution founded by Gene Sharp, and Véronique Dudouet of the Berghof Foundation. 


Michael Beer had a wide-ranging discussion about nonviolent action with Metta Spencer who is a pioneering peace educator, futurist, author, and journalist who hosts a remarkable podcast producing informative videos almost every day on "How to Save the World". Michael shares the power of constructive nonviolent action that is highlighted in his book Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century. The book surveys the world of nonviolent action showing the enormous range and geographic breadth of citizens mobilizing outside of government institutions to reach their goals.


In partnership with our friends at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Michael presented his new book. When you have time, please watch the full inspirational conversation, but don't miss our request for your help below. As Michael said at the end of the webinar, "being active is the essence of nonviolence." We look forward to working with you to promote our shared values. 


Many years ago, when I studied Peace and Conflict as an undergrad and later in grad school, we loved Gene's book and even then we felt it was outdated. Finally, decades later when the world has changed so dramatically, someone is updating that foundational work. Whoever was doing this would have my active support. I'm proud it is my friend and colleague at NVI, Michael, and ask for your help getting this important book widely distributed. More on this vital next step below. 

Creative nonviolence is always evolving and growing, but since Gene wrote the internet has fundamentally changed the nature of our world and thus our work. So we are launching this new book along with an interactive database of nonviolent tactics. This database celebrates our collective wisdom and our capacity to come together - in the face of massive challenges - and find powerful nonviolent ways to protest and to help build the new emerging world. 

To say that we find ourselves at a difficult time is a massive understatement. Our society is dangerously addicted to violence. NVI believes that change has come in the past and will come in the future from social movements seizing our power and paving a way to a brighter future.

NVI is under-resourced for the challenges before us including doing justice to this mission-critical book launch. So, I must do what activists do, and that is ask for your help.

I have several key goals in mind related to this book launch. One is a strong desire to get this book into the hands of those who need it most. To me, that includes those studying nonviolence, peace, and conflict resolution as well as those acting to create a better world. We do not seek to replace Gene's book in classrooms, but instead, hope to supplement that still vital text with Michael's expanded take and online database. Can you help us achieve that goal? Are you a teacher who might know how to go about getting books into the classroom from high school through graduate studies?

We still do not have an active Communications Action Team (nor a Development Action Team). If you believe, as I do, that the world needs to learn about the power of NV tactics, please consider helping us make this book launch impactful. If you can volunteer your time and talents, please contact me. If you can make a gift to support this work, please do so here. 


Here is some promotional text you can use to spread the word about this important book. 

This book belongs on the virtual bookshelf of anyone who is studying or practicing nonviolent action.

For scholars: This book updates Gene Sharp’s 1973 seminal work Methods of Nonviolent Action, reworking Sharp’s classifications to include 148 additional tactics.

For trainers and teachers: Brief yet comprehensive, this overview of nonviolence explains the mechanisms by which nonviolent actions succeed.

For activists: This resource, in conjunction with Nonviolence International’s inspirational Nonviolent Tactics Database and our partnership with Rutgers University's International Institute for Peace our Nonviolence Training Archive, enlarges the activist toolbox. This monograph will serve as a foundational text not only “in the field” of action, but also in classrooms studying nonviolent action, civil resistance, peacebuilding, and creative conflict resolution around the world.

For everyone: If you wish to join the team to promote this inspirational text, fill out this form so we know how you can help move this effort forward. You can also help us promote the book over social media. This toolkit provides tips and directions on how you can be most helpful on social media platforms! Followed by images used to promote this text, here's an example of the type of post most helpful to this effort:

 


Testimonials:

Stephen Zunes

Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco and editor, author, and co-author of publications on Nonviolence, Middle-Eastern Policy, and War

“The use of strategic nonviolent resistance has grown dramatically worldwide in the nearly fifty years since Gene Sharp documented his now-famous 198 methods of nonviolent action. Since that time, scores of additional methods have been utilized and the theoretical understanding of civil resistance has grown tremendously. Michael Beer has brought us up to date with this impressive monograph with a revised, expanded, and recategorized list which is a must-read for both scholars and activists.”

Véronique Dudouet

Senior researcher and program director at the Berghof Foundation and author of many publications on nonviolent action and civil resistance

"Michael Beer’s new Monograph “Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century” fully meets its ambitious goal of revisiting the field of nonviolent action in light of recent tactical and strategic innovations. Influenced by Gene Sharp’s seminal categorization of civil resistance methods – which remains an authoritative reference among activists and scholars alike – Beer adapts it to the contemporary realities of nonviolent activism. The rich array of approaches and cultural practices covered in this study is fascinating, with illustrations ranging from ‘maximalist’ campaigns to sectorial struggles for rights, justice, accountability and sustainability across the globe. It helpfully outlines distinctions between disruptive and constructive resistance, and between acts of expression, omission and commission. In particular, the monograph explores in detail positive inducements such as appeals, refraining acts, and creative intervention, which bring to light the constructive dimension of civil resistance. Moreover, it usefully spells out the ‘frontiers’ between nonviolent action and overlapping practices that belong to the domains of institutional, violent, third-party or support intervention. This monograph will be both highly valuable for activists who are interested in learning about the rich plurality of nonviolent methods to pursue social change, and for researchers to think creatively about new ways to systematize tactics and methods in relation to broader strategies and campaigns."

Maria J. Stephan

American Political Scientist and former Director of the program on nonviolent action at the United States Institute of Peace

"In his ambitious new monograph, Michael Beer explores the expanding universe of nonviolent tactics and helps us make sense of them. Building on Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action and integrating the frameworks of many other scholars and practitioners, Beer offers a revised and updated table and classification system for analyzing nonviolent tactics. His account, brimming with global applications of lesser-known tactics (exs. kiss-ins, virtual reality games, and reverse strikes) shines a light on creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability of activists, organizers, and movement leaders around the world. I expect that this new classification of tactics will be of great use to activists, academics, and practitioners seeking to strategize, understand, and support nonviolent campaigns and movements around the world - particularly in our new digital age."

Lisa Schirch

Co-author of "Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding" and the author of 10 other books on peacebuilding and social movements

“Stuck with just a few tactics in your go-to list for making social change? This book offers clear, compelling, creative options for making nonviolent action more effective and more engaging.”

Jack Healey

Former Director of Amnesty International USA

“Awesome book for every human rights defender doing actions outside the court system.”

Barbara Wien 

Sr Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service at American University and Peace Educator of the Year 

“This book is an invaluable tool for constructively transforming the current challenges roiling the US and the globe. Please join me in using this in your classrooms."

(From left to right) Mubarak El-Amin, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Steve Williamson celebrate Michael’s new book!

Nonviolence International - Canada Supports Forest Defenders’ Blockade

An Update from NVI Canada’s Director: 

Located off of Canada’s Pacific Coast, Vancouver Island is home to a selection of the dwindling old-growth forests in the northern hemisphere. These untouched forest ecosystems have been under exploitation since the arrival of non-First Nations and as a consequence, few remain. Activists have now blockaded for more than 320 days Protecting Vancouver Island's Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Pacheedaht and Dididaht Territories.

In spite of the courageous work of our activists, there have been more than 222 arrests in the past 28 days of police action by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

One week ago, First Nations, who hold a traditional title to the area, called for a deferral of logging in key areas in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran. 

Despite this announcement, large-scale logging could still occur in old-growth forest directly adjacent to Fairy Creek and in parts of the Central Walbran not included in the deferral. Therefore, the forest defenders and blockade remain in place as police action against our nonviolent protections continue.  


Logging truck loaded with massive old growth.

Above Photo credit: Logging truck photographed on the road in central Vancouver Island on 25 May 2021 by Lorna Beecroft.

For more on the log read: The Mystery Behind a Photo of a Logged Old-Growth Tree


Forest defenders are clustered under the banner of the Rainforest Flying Squad and made up of affinity groups and individuals banding together to maintain a blockade to halt further cutting of the last remaining old-growth forests. In turn, they have been supported by thousands of other concerned British Columbian citizens who have brought out material support, contributed financially, or organized sympathetic demonstrations in other parts of the province.

They also receive support from many provincial and national civil society organizations such as Nonviolence International Canada, which has offered support in the training of legal observers that serve as witnesses to the mass arrests as well as on the ground training in de-escalation techniques for tense encounters between protestors and loggers.


Protestor being lifted by a crane.

Above photo credit: Blockader removed / Rainforest Flying Squad

To learn more about NVI Canada click here. 

NVI Director at White House 40th-Anniversary Vigil Against Nukes

Today, Nonviolence International (NVI) director Michael Beer gave a keynote speech at the White House for the 40th-Anniversary Peace Vigil Against Nukes. NVI has been an avid supporter of the Peace Vigil and its efforts to promote peace and stop the use of nuclear weapons. The White House Peace Vigil is one of the longest-running vigils in America. Through collective efforts, the vigil has taken place regardless of unforeseen circumstances, such as blizzards, riots, and COVID-19. 


Michael’s speech concerned the imminent threat that nuclear weapons continue to pose to all life forms. “We still have nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. We all could be exterminated within three or four hours,” he stated. 

Activists at the White House Peace Vigil are doing essential work by bringing awareness to this urgent issue. Protestors have helped spark dialogue regarding the disarmament of nuclear weapons. However,  there remains considerable room for progress in the fight to ensure a nuclear-free world. NVI believes that this fight for nuclear disarmament must begin with the broader context of eliminating global violence.  We must call upon the Biden Administration to dismantle the use of all nuclear weapons.


To learn more about vigils and other nonviolent ways to advocate for the disarmament of nuclear weapons please visit our database and download Michael’s book which contains over 350 nonviolent tactics.

 


Michael Beer speaks at 2:14

A Jew Asks Questions of Two Palestinians in a Time of War

In this short clip Mubarak Awad gets to the heart of the issue reminding us of our shared humanity.

Jonathan Kuttab reflects on the importance of hope in hard times.

They've got a great deal more to say.

Please share this clip, watch the entire conversation, and take action to help build true and lasting peace with justice.


Please sign our petition and visit this page for additional suggested Action Steps

Here is the full video conversation with timestamps below.


In conversation with Mubarak Awad and Jonathan Kuttab.
(Photo - Mubarak in Bethlehem, 2005)
We offer this in-depth conversation at this time of crisis. We hope many will be inspired to watch the entire video, but we list timestamps below for those who would like to dive into a particular question.
2:00 - Mubarak intro
9:47 - Jonathan on his new book - Beyond The Two-State Solution
14:52 - Mubarak raises up NVI's impressive partners
19:40 - Jonathan on the power of narrative
22:58 - Mubarak reflects on how trauma impacts children for life
27:55 - Jonathan on the self-serving motivations of politicians
30:43 - Mubarak speaks about dehumanization in the name of religion
34:45 - Jonathan on two major organizations that have declared the occupation to be a form of apartheid
41:10 - Mubarak confronts Christian evangelicals role in the region
45:40 - Jonathan on the new definitions of anti-semitism being used to limit acceptable speech
50:08 - Mubarak speaks on equality, democracy, and hope
57:43 - Jonathan reflects on the ongoing pattern of evictions and what it meant to attack the Dome of the Rock
1:02:28 - Mubarak questions the so-called Abraham accords and the “deal of the century”
1:06:57 - Jonathan speaks to ways this moment is different than any other
1:13:31 - Mubarak questions the role of the United Nations
1:19:35 - Jonathan on the role of the United States

At several points in the video, we raise up the vital work of our partners in the region. They are doing visionary work in difficult circumstances and we hope you will be moved to support them. NVI's Partners

Please sign our petition and visit this page for additional suggested Action Steps

To get a free copy of Jonathan Kuttab’s book Beyond The Two-State Solution, please visit:https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/beyond2states

To view our webinar where Jonathan is in conversation with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb and takes questions, please visit:https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/beyond_2_states_webinar

Here is the video we mention where Mubarak tells his powerful personal story.

We discuss two recent reports from respected human rights organizations. Here are the links: B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Human Rights Watch Report


Our hearts are breaking. And, still we celebrate those who are lighting candles of hope even as we must curse the darkness. At NVI, we know that we are not condemned to live in a state of perpetual violence. Let’s raise up a vision of a better future and a nonviolent path to get there. Below we list a variety of powerful resources shared with us by our partner the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. In these hard times, we hope you will take inspiration from the wonderful ongoing vital work of our partners. They deserve our active support.

Collected resources: Support Palestinian Resistance

Online Actions

Protests across the US

Connecting with Palestinian Partners and Hineinu Activists

Social Media - Follow These Accounts

Educational Infographics

Video Explainers

Podcast Recommendations

More Educational Resources


 “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.  It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness...What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.  If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction...And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future.  The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."  -- Howard Zinn

NVI Videos 

Raising up our Partners in a Time of War

Our hearts are breaking.

And, still we celebrate those who are lighting candles of hope even as we must curse the darkness.

At NVI, we know that we are not condemned to live in a state of perpetual violence.

Let’s raise up a vision of a better future and a nonviolent path to get there. 

Below we list a variety of powerful resources shared with us by our partner the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.

In these hard times, we hope you will take inspiration from the wonderful ongoing vital work of our partners

They deserve our active support. 

We Are Not Numbers

Holy Land Trust

Hebron International Resource Network 

US Boats to Gaza 

Center for Jewish Nonviolence

https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/our_partners

(Below the current resources, please see a collection of our relevant videos on this topic featuring these partners.) 

Please take this quick step - sign our petition and then dive into the imporant material below. 


Collected resources: Support Palestinian Resistance

Online Actions

Protests across the US

Connecting with Palestinian Partners and Hineinu Activists

Social Media - Follow These Accounts

Educational Infographics

Video Explainers

Podcast Recommendations

More Educational Resources


 “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.  It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness...What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.  If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction...And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future.  The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."  -- Howard Zinn

NVI Videos 

NVI Book and Database Launch on Nonviolent Tactics - Webinar

This webinar was an inspirational discussion between Michael Beer, author of the book Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century and Director of Nonviolence International, and Jamila Raqib of the Albert Einstein Institution. These two, facilitated by Véronique Dudouet of the Berghof Foundation, presented on the relevance of this book and its content, personal experiences with some new tactics, and fielded questions from the audience. The NVI Tactics Database was also highlighted and its use was demonstrated by NVI volunteer Annalisa Bell. 

Time stamps:

Véronique Dudouet - 0:00

Michael Beer - 2:37

Annalisa Bell - 21:50

Jamila Raqib - 30:24

Barbara Wien - 42:07

Discussion - 45:30

 


Our NVI series themes for 2021: The world is facing a series of devastating interrelated crises. Nonviolence is the most effective answer to many of them. We must not become frozen in fear, but instead moved to action. History has proven that powerful people’s movements can make what once seemed impossible become inevitable. Again and again we have seen that when people rise up together and declare they see a path out of the darkness, the world can change in deep and lasting ways. We often seem so small and the problems seem so vast. At Nonviolence International, we proudly declare that the world can be better than it is today and it is up to us to direct that change.

Panelists:

Michael Beer has just published an important new book and wants to be in conversation with you about it and our interactive online database of NV Tactics. Michael has been Director of Nonviolence International since 1998. He is a global activist for human rights, minority rights and argues against war and casino capitalism. He has trained activists in many countries, including Myanmar, Kosovo, Tibet, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Zimbabwe, and the United States. He is a frequent public speaker on nonviolence and has been broadcast on CSPAN, CNN, and other major media outlets. Michael is the co-parent of two children with his life partner, Latanja.

Jamila Raqib serves as the Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution. Jamila joined the Albert Einstein Institution in 2002, focusing on the promotion and distribution of writings and translations, on the technique of nonviolent struggle and its potential in acute conflicts worldwide.  In 2009, she collaborated with Dr. Sharp to create a new curriculum titled Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression.  The publication is intended to provide in-depth understanding of nonviolent struggle to individuals in order to enable them to develop effective strategies for their struggles.  Since its publication, it has been translated into Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Italian.

Facilitated by:

Véronique Dudouet, Senior Researcher and Program Director at the Berghof Foundation in Berlin, Germany. Véronique has been coordinating participatory action research, training, and policy advice activities on resistance and liberation movements in transition’ since 2005. Her current research interests include transitions from armed to unarmed insurgencies, the role of external actors in nonviolent resistance, negotiation and third-party intervention in asymmetric conflict, inclusive post-war governance. As a scholar-activist, she has been involved in several anti-war and nonviolent campaigns, including as a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the Palestinian territories. She also carries out consultancy projects for various civil society organizations, state and international agencies (EU, OECD, UNDP).

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