The Rothko Chapel presents two rare opportunities this week to learn about nonviolent action and the work of Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution. Thursday night there’s the film How to Start a Revolution, and Saturday there’s a half-day workshop that includes setting goals and articulating strategy for nonviolent campaigns, From Dictatorship to Democracy. Follow the links to register (space is limited on Saturday).
Both discussions will be led by Jamila Raqib, Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution, whose slogan is: Advancing freedom through nonviolent action.
To get a taste, here are some excerpts from “Correcting Common Misperceptions about Nonviolent Action”
Nonviolent action is a technique of socio-political action for applying power in a conflict without the use of physical violence….
As a technique, therefore, nonviolent action is not passive. It is not inaction. It is action that is nonviolent.
These acts comprise a multitude of specific methods of action or “nonviolent weapons.”…
Nonviolent action provides a way to wield power in order to achieve objectives and to sanction opponents without the use of physical violence.
Overwhelmingly, nonviolent action is group or mass action. While certain forms of this technique, especially the symbolic methods, may be regarded as efforts to persuade by action, the other forms, especially those of noncooperation, may, if practiced by large numbers, coerce opponents.
Whatever the issue and scale of the conflict, nonviolent action is a technique by which people who reject passivity and submission, and who see struggle as essential, can wage their conflict without violence. Nonviolent action is not an attempt to avoid conflict. It is one response to the problem of how to wield power effectively.