Think non-violent movements are passé? Are Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Betty Williams oh-so yesterday? (Do you even know who Betty Williams is?) If you think creating political, economic, and social change through non-violent resistance is only for people in vegan-leather sandals gnawing on raw almonds, think again.
Research examining 323 campaigns from 1900 to 2006 against dictatorships and foreign occupation or those promoting territorial self-determination revealed that non-violent resistance succeeded about 54 percent of the time, compared to 26 percent for violent campaigns. Yes, non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to succeed compared to their violent counterparts. And, yet, the primary response to conflict in Syria, Nigeria, Yemen, Ukraine, etc., etc., is to provide “military assistance.” GC360 encourages our readers to get off the bus to crazy town and, instead, revisit the power of blockades, boycotts, digital activism, and other forms of non-violent civil disobedience. This month’s recommended reads show that history is on the side of non-violence.