In depth

Finding out more

Finding out more

This section provides, on the one hand, a collection of resources relating to the Arab spring, the 15-M protests and links to a series of websites and centres focusing on nonviolence. And secondly, a short biographical text on Gene Sharp in which Rafael Grasa, under the heading "The key practices for nonviolent action", highlights the most significant features of the man and his work.

Materials developed by Jone Lauzurika

The Arab spring

News about the Arab spring, from the alternative journalistic perspective of Periodismohumano.
Chronicles from Syria
. Periodismohumano reports the bloodiest episodes and those that received the least media attention from the Arab spring.
Amnesty International report, "Year of Rebellion"
, analyses the state of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa on the first anniversary of the beginning of the revolts.

The Occupy and 15-M protest movements on a global scale

Interactive map designed by the British newspaper The Guardian, detailing areas and places around the world where protests related to the Occupy and 15-M movements have taken place.
The maps from 15-M to 15-O, analysed by Pablo de Soto, architect and founding member of

The 15-M movement and nonviolence

Document circulated by groups connected to the 15-M to prepare a debate on nonviolence.
from the web page #Acampadasol dealing with violence and nonviolence in the long term.
Article, "The 15-M movement, an opportunity for demilitarisation"
, by Jordi Calvo Rufanges published by the centre for peace studies, Centre d'Estudis per a la Pau JM Delàs (October 28, 2011), analysing the relationship between the 15-M movement and nonviolent practices.

Web sites for centres focusing on nonviolence

Programme for the Active Construction of Peace and Nonviolence, part of the Centre for Social Innovation (NoVA): association that fosters international interventions in favour of peace. The association has a significant document resource centre and publishes its own quarterly magazine, Quaderns NoVA.
Nonviolence Network in the Arab Countries
(NNAC): is a platform composed by 70 nonviolent organisations from the Arab Region which share the values of nonviolence and popular struggle in order to transform conflict and unfair situations in their countries.
Middle East Nonviolence & Democracy
(MEND): promotes active nonviolence and encourages alternatives to violence among youth and adults throughout Palestine.
The Albert Einstein Institution
: The Albert Einstein Institution is a non-profit organisation advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world. The site offers many publications on nonviolence.
Irish Network for Nonviolent Action Training & Education
(INNATE): organisation that publishes a large number of nonviolence resources and provides information about courses and activities concerning the practice of nonviolence.
The Class of Nonviolence
: web page is an eight session class using 48 essays from the classics in nonviolence.

Gene Sharp, the key practices for nonviolent action

Rafael Grasa

Gene Sharp studied Social Sciences and Sociology and was jailed for nine months for objecting to the draft during the Korean War. Sharp received his Doctor of Philosophy in Political Theory in 1968 and his PhD thesis on the politics covering nonviolent action later served as the basis for his principal work, The Politics on Nonviolent Action (3 volumes, with an interesting prologue by Thomas Schelling). From then on, he wrote many other works, always dedicated to nonviolent civilian-based defence. From 1983, with the setting up of the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organisation, he devoted his knowledge and convictions to the service of study and promotion of the use of nonviolence in conflicts around the world. The majority of his works are available from the web site mentioned in this section, the Albert Einstein Institution.

The most significant outcome of his commitment was his book, From Dictatorship to Democracy (1993), translated into more than 35 languages. The book can be downloaded for free from the Internet, and served as the manual, together with workshops and different videos, for many of the nonviolent revolts of the past two decades throughout the world.

We also recommend his famous list of the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action which he himself compiled after studying centuries of nonviolent practices. These 198 methods can be read as successive stages or steps for programming pacific action for toppling dictatorships and tyrannies.

Not quite as well-known is the primordial role which Sharp's writings on Civilian Based Defence played in 1991 in the strategy adopted by governments in the Baltic Republics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) during their separation from the Soviet Union/Community of Independent States. The Scottish director, Ruaridh Arrow made a documentary about the subject, "How to Start a Revolution".