Manuals and Training Materials
- Nonviolence Handbook | War Resisters’ International (Multilanguage) http://bit.ly/rplI07
- Midnight Special Law Collective – Materials & Resources – Trainers http://bit.ly/pbyorQ
Historically, nonviolence training was used extensively during the civil rights movement, in Gandhi’s campaigns in India against the British, and in recent years in the struggles against nuclear technology, against U.S. policy in Central America and Southern Africa and for the rights of farm workers, women and people with AIDS, to name a few.
The purpose of training is for participants to form a common understanding of the use of nonviolence. It gives a forum to share ideas about nonviolence, oppression, fears, and feelings. It allows people to meet and build solidarity with each other and provides an opportunity to form affinity groups. It is often used as preparation for action and gives people a chance to learn about an action, its tone, and legal ramifications. It helps people to decide whether or not they will participate in an action. Through role playing, people learn what to expect from police, officials, other people in the action and themselves.
Nonviolence training can range from several hours to several months. Most typical in the United States are sessions that run up to eight hours and have 10-25 people with two trainers leading the discussion and role plays.
Areas covered in a session include:
- History and philosophy of nonviolence, including role plays on the use of nonviolence and nonviolent responses to violence.
- Role plays and exercises in consensus decision making, conflict resolution, and quick decision making.
- A presentation of legal ramification of civil disobedience and discussion on noncooperation and bail solidarity.
- What is an affinity group and what are the roles within the group.
- A sharing of fears and feelings related to nonviolence and nonviolent action.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that the philosophy and practice of nonviolence has six basic elements.
- First, nonviolence is resistance to evil and oppression. It is a human way to fight.
- Second, it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his/ her friendship and understanding.
- Third, the nonviolent method is an attack on the forces of evil rather than against persons doing the evil. It seeks to defeat the evil and not the persons doing the evil and injustice.
- Fourth, it is the willingness to accept suffering without retaliation.
- Fifth, a nonviolent resister avoids both external physical and internal spiritual violence- not only refuses to shoot, but also to hate, an opponent. The ethic of real love is at the center of nonviolence.
- Sixth, the believer in nonviolence has a deep faith in the future and the forces in the universe are seen to be on the side of justice.