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Nonviolent Campaigns Must Remain Nonviolent

Nonviolent Campaigns Must Remain Nonviolent

Context:

Since the March Of Return protests began, Israeli forces have killed at least 29 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,000.

“Ordinary Palestinians have few defenders, and much of the world has been shockingly mute about what’s happening in Gaza. Journalists have a right to work, and people have a right to demonstrate peacefully — and to assume that responsible authorities will ensure that they can do so without being shot”.

In The News:

“Human Rights Watch said it reviewed videos of the protests — in which a demonstrator was shot in the leg while praying and a man was shot while throwing a rock — showing that victims posed no threat to Israeli troops. Meanwhile, B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, urged Israeli soldiers to disobey open-fire orders because using live ammunition against unarmed people is unlawful.

An independent investigation into the killings is needed. But on March 31, after the first deaths, the United States, in support of Israel, blocked a proposed United Nations Security Council statement condemning the Israeli response, urging a transparent inquiry and affirming the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully.”

Support From Peace Science:

  • Contrary to popular belief, nonviolent resistance movements are subjected to mass killings much less frequently than violent resistance movements are.
  • Since 2010, the success rate of nonviolent movements—though still higher than that of violent movements—has decreased dramatically, partly due to target regimes’ use of increasingly savvy responses.
  • There are multiple ways nonviolent movements/methods can overcome, resist, prevent, or protect people from violence, including “political jiu-jitsu”— when violent repression against a nonviolent movement backfires against the regime using it.
  • Nonviolent activists can strengthen a movement’s ability to withstand and lessen the chances of violent repression by strategically publicizing the contrast between their own actions and those of their opponent, strengthening organizational/civil society capacity, and taking measures to facilitate security force defection.

References:

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