Javier Gárate

Nonviolent social movements often have - or think they have - an understanding of the problems we face, and what world we would like to live in. The challenge is to know how to move from the problem to building the vision. There are many factors that influence what actions we take to challenge the status quo. Often, the starting point is the motivation of the group: you get together and think "So what can we do about this?"

The question of what to do is not easy to answer. It is easy to fall into a routine of repeating activities you like or have expertise in, without considering whether they are effective. Identity is important, so routines are not always bad, but it is important to challenge them and reflect on if you could be doing things differently. In my piece I argue that Nonviolence training facilitates this process.

In this issue of The Broken Rifle, we examine several cases of how groups work towards being strategic. An article by Rasmuss Grobe looks at how activists can use social movement theory. Majken Jul Sørensen's presents the concept of dilemma actions through the story of the Gaza Flotilla. Igor Seke and Boro Kitanoski take a look at conscientious objection to military service as a strategy against militarism. Alex Rayfield and Laura Shipler Chico share with us the challenges of solidarity work in West Papua and Kenya. Finally, Jungmin Choi lays out the stages that the movement against the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island has gone through, using the Movement Action Plan model.

Learning from different experiences can inspire you to think outside the box. I hope these stories inspire you as much as they inspired me.

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