Nonviolence Handbook


Brainstorming is a group technique designed to generate a large number of ideas in a limited amount of time.

Conflict line

To have an experience on how we deal with conflict or how we often think about violence as a solution to solve a problem. An exercise to begin to question our militaristic mindset and challenge ourselves to find nonviolent and win-win solutions.

Hassle - Parallel line

To give people an opportunity to solve a hassle or conflict using nonviolence. To practice what it feels like to be in both roles in a conflict. This is a good introductory exercise for many situations.

Check-list for Facilitating a Training

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1) Facilitators should realise that it may take as long to prepare for as to actually present/facilitate the training. It is important that co-facilitators work together to build the agenda and are clear who is responsible for what and how they will work together.

2) Be realistic about the amount of time allotted for each section. Don't give in to the pressure to do the training quickly if it can't be done.

Check-list for Organising a Training

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1) Make sure that the space where the training will occur has enough room for people to do role plays and exercises, to sit in a circle, and that it is accessible to those coming.

2) Make sure there is a wall board or paper to write on.

3) Food and beverages are important; make sure someone is responsible for it or that participants are asked to bring something to share.

4) Outreach should include a clear description of the training and the need for full participation, its length, etc.

15th of May - International Day of Conscientious Objection

Since 2001, War Resisters' International has coordinated international activities around 15 May - the International Day of Conscientious Objection. The day began in 1982 as European CO Day, but since 1986 has been celebrated as International Day of Conscientious Objection.
War Resisters' International sees activities around 15 May as an opportunity for conscientious objection activists to share their experience, and learn from each other's struggles and campaigns. Since 2002, these activities include an international event, often with a nonviolence training and a nonviolent action as major parts.

Doing your own handbook

Since this is an international handbook, we realize that many groups will translate materials to create their own handbook. If you are thinking of producing your own handbook here are some tips. First of all you need to be clear about the reason for the handbook, who is it for? and how it will be used? This will shape what you choose to include. You need to think about the amount of energy you are willing to put into doing your own handbook - will you use existing materials from this handbook and others? or do you want to write additional materials? Another important aspect while thinking of producing your own handbook is thinking, what would make special your handbook?

Handbook glossary of terms

A glossary of terms used in the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns.


Founded in 1998, within two years the Serbian youth group Otpor (Resist) was to play a central role in bringing down Slobodan Milošević. Initially their campaign aimed to change attitudes towards resisting Milošević, for instance by using nonviolent “guerrilla” tactics of communication (graffiti, street theatre, etc), often using humour to attract interest and to reduce fear. Increasingly, they began to put pressure on the divided democratic opposition and to find points of unity to counter Milošević and to undermine “the pillars of his power”.

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