Gene Sharp’s “Methods of nonviolent protests and persuasion”

Gene Sharp is Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is known for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which have influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world. Over the past four decades, revolutionaries from Belgrade to Tehran have cited Sharp’s work as a key tool in their struggles. His writings on nonviolent strategy have been translated into 40 languages. All are freely accessible on the website of the Albert Einstein Institution, a nonprofit Sharp founded in 1983 “to advance the worldwide study and strategic use of nonviolent action.”

“How to start a revolution” is a documentary following the life and work of Gene Sharp. For more read the “Lessons from the Godfather: Interview with Gene Sharp”.

You can purchase his books from Albert Eistein Institution website. The list of 198 methods of nonviolent actions from his book, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action are the following:

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

Formal Statements
1. Public Speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
31. “Haunting” officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
37. Singing

Processions
38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION

Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. “Flight” of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS

Actions by Consumers
71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
78. Workmen’s boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo
95. International buyers’ embargo
96. International trade embargo

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: (2)THE STRIKE

Symbolic Strikes
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION

Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION

Psychological Intervention
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
a) Fast of moral pressure
b) Hunger strike
c) Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

16 Responses to Gene Sharp’s “Methods of nonviolent protests and persuasion”

  • spydr_byte says:

    if these methods could be downloaded in pdf or similar format will allow maximum circulation that everyone attending should know if not already. K33p up th3 g00d fight. Many m0r3 c0ming ;)

  • Anon says:

    Thank you for posting. Going to share and pass around my college in support of social justice movements here!

  • Taralynn says:

    No longer are the 99% silenced by the greed of corporate welfare. Occupy Wall Street is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. I was downtown on Sunday – couldn’t stay long, but was proud and smiling. I will stop by 2nd street at 4 p.m. as much as I can.

  • Friend says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Information of this sort is so valuable for everyone in the world at this time.

    Support and respect from Canada!

  • miike121 says:

    Thats the ultimate guide to get a message across Kodos for puting this up !! Gonna forward to as many as I can.. My first time protesting can’t wait to get out there….

  • ecurb says:

    “Seizure of assets”? That’s the best euphemism for “theft” I’ve ever heard.

  • Marty says:

    A MUST WATCH/LISTEN:

    “Occupy Seattle” This song speaks for many voices in protest…

    A Song of a Million Voices – from Seattle to Wall Street
    The protest from “Occupy Wall Street” has grown largely,
    demonstrated at “Occupy Seattle”.
    Below is a link that speaks for many voices in protest.
    This song, titled “Strike”, was originally written around 1990
    from a Seattle-native,
    and is very iconic to this event:

    OccupySeattle October 16, 2011
    Marty Doros sings the song “STRIKE”
    Power to the Money is Dictatorship

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpMQZQxq7bA

  • REPUBLIC says:

    What is the difference between the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party?

    Occupy Movement:
    Protesting to an absurd number without a true statistics “99%”
    Tea Party:
    Protesting to a legitimate number with true statistics “53%”

    Occupy Movement:
    Crimes, littering the streets, riots, and including sexual assaults not reported to the police, usurp and defy the law of the land and taking the law in his or her own hands (vigilante style)
    Tea Party:
    Peaceful events, no crimes, no littering the streets, no riots, no sexual assaults, respect the law of the land (law abiding citizens)

    Occupy Movement:
    Censorship, inequality, and removal of profile and contents of anyone that oppose the group, anti-Semite (based on signs held by Occupy Wall Street protesters), and demonize, labeling and name calling the oppositions and other groups
    Tea Party:
    Freedom of speech, equality, and no removal of profile and contents of anyone that oppose the group, respect the freedom of speech of others and no name calling other groups

    Occupy Movement:
    Belief in government entitlements and handouts, such as free education, free food (welfare), free housing (section 8), free transportation, government created jobs, and government given rights that will change the First Amendment to this: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their government with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . Most of all believers of Big Daddy Government Control and authoritarian control of people
    Tea Party:
    Belief in earning a pay check based on your talents, entrepreneur, small business, innovation, enterprise, I can do attitude, and I work hard and accumulate wealth Creator given rights that will keep the law of the land as such: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Most of all believers of small government and people controlled government

    Occupy Movement:
    Funded by the 1% puppeteer masters Mr. Richard Trumka, Mr. Andy Stein, the insurrection and communist believer Mr. Van Jones, radicals of the sixties, and Mr. Cass Sunstein
    Tea Party:
    Funded by the 53% working Americans

    Here is a secret that I will divulge to you about me:

    1. I am a Christian
    2. I voted for Obama in 2008 and I believed what you believed I was left wing liberal, and when I noticed our freedom was being plucked away and water down by adding more meaning since the 9/11 attacks I started to move my ideologies towards the center
    3. I started to see the reality of change of where is the US Constitution is going with left wing liberals. The removal of Jesus, God, Christianity, the Pledge of Allegiance removal of “under God” and make it unconstitutional to recite in school. Systematically removal of the national anthem, and rewriting history
    4. Mass Amnesty to illegal aliens that is watering down our traditions and values to a foreign traditions and values. Here is proof go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC3xejOJyrI&feature=player_embedded
    Believe it or not, but this the beginning of the USA that will be unrecognizable by the time our grandchildren are our age.

    Last, this group the Occupy Movement is the start of the tipping point where United States will fall and become another Europe and worst of all with foreign influences, tradition and values by the mass entry of population uncontrollable borders and the failed immigration laws thanks to the Dept. of Justice.

    If you remove my profile and posts again then all that I have to say is that this movement is biased and you are you own law, judge and jury, therefore I will be silenced and persecuted by people like you that have blinders and don’t see anything that is going on the left and right. You are just going straight to the end of the road and make the whole nation fall in the cliff with no point of return.

    • Bradford B. Morrison says:

      Friends;
      I am on a bit of a tight schedule for the rest of the day, so I’ll try to just cover a couple of points where I disagree with REPUBLIC.
      Here’s a little background about me:
      I am 64 years old, caucasian male, retired on social security retirement. I am an agnostic as far as religion goes. (By that I mean, I just don’t know for sure whether God ((or more than one god or goddess)) exists. I tend to believe that one or more gods or goddesses exist, but I tend to doubt very much that if he, she, or it DOES EXIST, that it is a judgemental spiritual force which has created a “punishment” place called hell or a place for “good” people called heaven. Seems very unlikely to me, but of course, I do not know for sure, since I am an agnostic…lol!)
      I personally feel more strongly about wanting to 1) solve the problem of war; and 2) solve the (probable) problem of man-made global climate change which, if Al Gore and most climatologists are right (and I think they probably are) is caused by burning fossil fuels, that is, OIL, NATURAL GAS,and COAL. I am saying here that those two issues are more important to me than income disparity problems. The reason is that both (WAR and GLOBAL WARMING) are potentially HUMAN SPECIES EXTINCTION problems; whereas if, for instance, Chase CEO Jamie Dimon makes thousands of times as much money as the average worker, while I believe that that is unfortunate and probably should be discussed and maybe changed, it DOES NOT THREATEN the SURVIVAL of HUMANITY ( although it DOES threaten the survival of individual humans when Chase does things like foreclose on a family, leaving them homeless.)

      Any way, back to my comments about your point of view, REPUBLIC:
      1) I have spent part of every day since the beginning day OCT.1st of the occupy seattle movement, and have averaged abot 8-10 hours per day. I have never once heard anything from anyone which I would regard as being “anti-semitic” or “anti-jewish”.
      Could it be possible, REPUBLIC, that you are confusing anti-semitism with anti-Israeli Zionism? I myself do my best to respect all religions, as far as the right of everyone to worship (or not worship) however they choose. But I am virulently ANTI-ISRAELI- ZIONISM, which I percieve as a belief system that says that God chose certain prominent Jewish tribes about 3,000 years ago or so, above all other tribes or groups of humans, and gave them a certain area of land in the Middle East, and that their ancestors have a God-given right to that land for the rest of time. That belief system (Zionism) has led to the (I believe illegal) creation of the nation of Israel in 1948. Israel has evolved to become an APARTHEID nation which discriminates openly against all other groups besides Jews, and which has stolen (and continues to steal) land in the Middle East which until very recently belonged to others (mainly Palestinians), and often was lived on for many, many generations, sometimes thousands of years, by the ancestors of those (mostly) Palestinians. I could go on and on, but long story short: I do not believe there is a God who ever chooses one group of people over another ( of course, I MIGHT be mistaken, but I doubt it very much). Therefore, I feel perfectly justified in saying that I am in no way anti-semitic or anti-Jewish, but I AM very anti-Iraeli-Zionist. THERE is a BIG DIFFERENCE between the two, REPUBLIC!
      Just one more quick issue, REPUBLIC. You state that the TEA PARTY is funded by the 53% working Americans. I guess that you are including the Koch brothers, who are mega-multi billionaires, and who provide much of the funding for the Tea Party. Or did you miss that rather salient fact, REPUBLIC, that the Tea Party is mostly funded by a very few extremely wealthy extreme right-wing folks?? Check it out, if you were not aware of it. It could mean something ( something significant)
      MORE ON THIS and OTHER STUFF LATER…GOTTA GO

      Thanks for listening
      Peace and Love
      Loudmouth Karaoke Brad

    • fiddlesteven says:

      Some of you just won’t get it until it affects you,which is going to be soon. In the end ,there will be just a few of you left, lonely, with no friends except for a few ,with selfish psychopathict beliefs ,sitting alone in a room watching reruns of old corporate news casts, now laughed at and understood as the propaganda it once was. You will be all alone in the world, left behind, a remnant of anouther age, of a time when preditory capitolism and criminally insane psychopathic Billionairs exploited every thing and everyone because they wanted more and more and more. And more wasn’t enough,, and they even took yours. LOL And still,, you didn’t get it. Don’t be taken in by the Corporate spin. Join the occupy movement. Sooner or latter. they are you! We’ll leave the light on for ya.

      • Marty says:

        The Ones that have it going on see the 99% as the problem. The fact is that they are part of us. They just don’t realize it yet. We have been swept under the carpet, and aren’t suppose to make it known that we exist. As long as we stay under the bridge, we are no bother, and no one knows. We can’t have sanitation, water, heat or food without breaking a law when it should be our right. It is our right to assemble peacefully without being brutally assaulted and without a shutdown or closing time. The future of this world depends on what we are doing. This isn’t just about Wall Street or the USA, It’s about the entire world and it is obvious to anyone who reads the news. It is time everyone is fully aware of what is happening and get the world living for the people with human compassion instead of destroying all of mankind with corporate greeeeeed. WE BETTER STRIKE !!!!

  • REPUBLIC says:

    What is the difference between the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party?

    Occupy Movement:
    Protesting to an absurd number without a true statistics “99%”
    Tea Party:
    Protesting to a legitimate number with true statistics “53%”

    Occupy Movement:
    Crimes, littering the streets, riots, and including sexual assaults not reported to the police, usurp and defy the law of the land and taking the law in his or her own hands (vigilante style)
    Tea Party:
    Peaceful events, no crimes, no littering the streets, no riots, no sexual assaults, respect the law of the land (law abiding citizens)

    Occupy Movement:
    Censorship, inequality, and removal of profile and contents of anyone that oppose the group, anti-Semite (based on signs held by Occupy Wall Street protesters), and demonize, labeling and name calling the oppositions and other groups
    Tea Party:
    Freedom of speech, equality, and no removal of profile and contents of anyone that oppose the group, respect the freedom of speech of others and no name calling other groups

    Occupy Movement:
    Belief in government entitlements and handouts, such as free education, free food (welfare), free housing (section 8), free transportation, government created jobs, and government given rights that will change the First Amendment to this: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their government with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . Most of all believers of Big Daddy Government Control and authoritarian control of people
    Tea Party:
    Belief in earning a pay check based on your talents, entrepreneur, small business, innovation, enterprise, I can do attitude, and I work hard and accumulate wealth Creator given rights that will keep the law of the land as such: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Most of all believers of small government and people controlled government

    Occupy Movement:
    Funded by the 1% puppeteer masters Mr. Richard Trumka, Mr. Andy Stein, the insurrection and communist believer Mr. Van Jones, radicals of the sixties, and Mr. Cass Sunstein
    Tea Party:
    Funded by the 53% working Americans

    Here is a secret that I will divulge to you about me:

    1. I am a Christian
    2. I voted for Obama in 2008 and I believed what you believed I was left wing liberal, and when I noticed our freedom was being plucked away and water down by adding more meaning since the 9/11 attacks I started to move my ideologies towards the center
    3. I started to see the reality of change of where is the US Constitution is going with left wing liberals. The removal of Jesus, God, Christianity, the Pledge of Allegiance removal of “under God” and make it unconstitutional to recite in school. Systematically removal of the national anthem, and rewriting history
    4. Mass Amnesty to illegal aliens that is watering down our traditions and values to a foreign traditions and values. Here is proof go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC3xejOJyrI&feature=player_embedded
    Believe it or not, but this the beginning of the USA that will be unrecognizable by the time our grandchildren are our age.

    Last, this group the Occupy Movement is the start of the tipping point where United States will fall and become another Europe and worst of all with foreign influences, tradition and values by the mass entry of population uncontrollable borders and the failed immigration laws thanks to the Dept. of Justice.

    If you remove my profile and posts again then all that I have to say is that this movement is biased and you are you own law, judge and jury, therefore I will be silenced and persecuted by people like you that have blinders and don’t see anything that is going on the left and right. You are just going straight to the end of the road and make the whole nation fall in the cliff with no point of return.

    • Bradford B. Morrison says:

      Friends;
      In reference to your item 3, above, REPUBLIC,
      I want to make sure that you understand something. The U.S.A. is NOT a Christian nation. It IS a nation with FREEDOM of RELIGION,( including the freedom to have no religion at all, even to believe strongly that God does NOT exist, as atheists do). Please educate yourself with the following: Google this: “God and Galileo: Why People Who Believe The Universe Should Revolve Around Their Religion Are Dangerous”, by Rob Boston. It is on the website called The WALL of SEPARATION, which is “The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.” A very interesting commentary, indeed. I dare you to read it, REPUBLIC!!
      In reference to your item 4, above, REPUBLIC: You seem to be very concerned about what you percieve to be “illegal aliens”.
      I dare you to listen to the John Lennon song “IMAGINE”, and listen especially to the lines which say “Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for…”.
      Will we ever have a truly free, borderless world, instead of the somewhat problematical “nation-state” system we have evolved so far?? Maybe so, maybe not…Time will tell. Meanwhile, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”.

      Thanks for Listening
      Peace and Love
      Loudmouth Karaoke Brad