WRI's Nonviolence Programme promotes the use of active nonviolence to confront the causes of war and militarism. We develop resources (such as the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns) and provide nonviolence training to groups seeking to develop their skills.

WRI's Nonviolence Programme:

  • empowers grassroot activists in nonviolent campaigns, through resources, publications and by leading training in nonviolence;

  • coordinates regional nonviolence trainers' networks;

  • educates the WRI and wider network of the connections between economics and war.

We believe the goals of peace and justice will eventually be achieved through the persistent work of grassroots movements over time, in all countries and regions. Our mission is to support these movements, helping them gain and maintain the strength needed for the journey they face, and to link them to one another, forming a global network working in solidarity, sharing experiences, countering war and injustice at all levels.

The front cover of our Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns


Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns

In 2014 we published the second edition of our Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, a book to accompany and support social change movements. The book – written by over 30 seasoned activists - has been translated into over ten languages, and several thousand copies have been sold. A wide variety of movements, campaigns, trainers and individual activists from around the world have made use of the Handbook.

The English and Spanish version of the Handbook can be bought from the WRI webshop.

The German version of the Handbook is published and sold by Graswurzelrevolution.

For information other editions/languages, please contact us at

Empowering Nonviolence

From April 2017, the Handbook – and lots of other content – will be available online on our new Empowering Nonviolence website. Empowering Nonviolence allows users to browse the content of the Handbook, helping to make activists and movements more effective in their campaigning and direct action, more strategic in their planning, and to become more sustainable, as they learn from others and share stories and ideas.

New Worlds in Old Shells

When we think of nonviolent social change we often think of protests, direct action, banners, placards, and crowds in the street. Often these actions are saying “No!”, resisting the causes of violence and war, and they are very necessary. As important though, are the communities and organisations “building a new world in the shell of the old”, saying “yes!” by putting into practise the emancipatory, nonviolent, empowering ways of working and living we hope – one day – everyone will experience. Gandhi coined the word “constructive programmes” to describe this sort of social change, and we are currently writing a new publication exploring these ideas, called New Worlds in Old Shells.

Nonviolence Training

The Nonviolence Programme is a direct response to needs expressed by activist groups for nonviolence training and resources, especially focusing on campaign strategies for nonviolent direct action (NVDA). The training tools and materials we use are designed to facilitate the groups that contact us in the processes they initiate and lead. We do not prescribe a particular way of taking action; our goal is to train and empower local nonviolence trainers, to build independent, local capacity with the groups we work alongside.

Rafael Uzcategui is a member of the group that publishes the anarchist newspaper El Libertario in Caracas (Venezuela). As antimilitarist, he is also a member of the War Resisters' International and works in a Venezuelan human rights NGO called Provea. He is author of the books “Heart of Ink” and “Venezuela: Revolution as Spectacle” in which he reports the so-called Bolivarian process of Chavez and the true face of his "revolutionary" government. Taking advantage of his conference tour in Germany, we interviewed Rafael for the magazine Gai Dao.

If you were wondering if the Peace Riders managed to finish the Dunwich Dynamo ride, well, yes! It was a great ride and all six of us completed it. It took us a bit less than 10 hours. It was amazing to see so many cyclists joining this crazy ride. A big thank you to the organisers who designed a very good route mostly through quiet countryside roads. After the ride, some in the team even went for a swim in the sea in the very early morning hours. As Peace Riders we are already considering what should be our next adventure - for now it would be getting a bit of rest.

Dear friends,

The former WRI team Triathletes for Peace has now reformed as the WRI Peace Riders. The Peace Riders team is formed by Jenny Amery, Andy Neidhardt, Matt Neidhardt, Stephen J Gillam and Javier Gárate. The first challenge of the Peace Riders is to complete the 2012 Dunwich Dynamo bike ride, which is a ride of 120 miles (193 km) from east London to Dunwich on the Suffolk coast in the UK. And if you thought that riding 120 miles was not hard enough, the ride is during the night- hence the name dynamo - and will be taking place on 30 June (2012). So while you are most likely sleeping, the Peace Riders will be pedalling hard for peace and to support the work of War Resisters' International.

By Matt Meyer

Despite decades of anti-colonial civilian resistance in Africa, a pernicious movement of land acquisition is overtaking the continent at a rate unprecedented since the conquests of the 19th Century. In a low-profile manner, significantly more than 125 million acres of land—more than double the size of Britain—has been sold to wealthy investors or foreign governments since 2010. With China and India leading the list of national purchasers, and Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan amongst the leading multinational corporate plunderers, the countries most affected by recent sales include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Oxfam International has reported that, in some cases, land has been sold for less than forty cents an acre.


Placheolder image

Land-grabbing and militarism is the theme of this Broken Rifle, a theme that it is as timely as ever. As I write, activists in South Korea are using their bodies to blockade the construction of a military base in Jeju Island - as reported in Angie Zelter's article.

Nonviolent Movements Against Land Grab and Militarism

By Howard Clark

From the men of property the order came:
They sent the hired men and troopers to wipe out the Diggers' claim.
"Tear down their cottages. Destroy their corn!"
They were dispersed but still the vision carries on.

- Lines from Leon Rosselson's song celebrating the Diggers and their struggle for land in 17th century England

By Angie Zelter

For five years, the Gangjeong villagers on the Island of Jeju, Republic of Korea (ROK/South Korea), have nonviolently and bravely resisted the construction of a naval base on their land. The proposed ROK naval base would cover 50 hectares of prime agricultural land and would be available for unlimited use by the United States (US) navy and military and would be used to host aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and AEGIS warships that are part of the US anti-ballistic missile defence (MD) system. It is also likely that the base would be used in the conflict with China that the US is planning and openly preparing for. The US Space Command have been computer war-gaming a first-strike attack on China (set in the year 2016) and the MD (really missile offence) is a key part of US first-strike strategy. MD systems have also proven to be capable anti-satellite weapons and they are driving a new arms race with Russia and China.

By Cattis Laska

North European Aerospace Testrange (NEAT), Europe's largest overland military training area, covers 24 000 sq km of space in northern Sweden, right above the land that historically belongs to and still is used by the indigenous people of Sweden, the Saami. The land areas where the bombs are dropped during military exercises are the same areas where the reindeers are herded. According to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples”, but if so, the indigenous people need to be consulted through an official channel. This did not happen before military exercises started at NEAT.

On March 15th 2012, Benjamin Monnet, a dedicated French peace activist who has been active in Gangjeong for 9 months now, was forcibly deported by the Korean Government. An injunction order was issued against him and he was deported within 24 hours despite a legal suite that had been filed immediately. Angie Zelter, a British nuclear disarmament activist and Trident Ploughshares founder was issued with an exit order for her involvement in the same struggle against the naval base despite charges against her that she has not been able to defend in the courts.

So much to tell you. I started writing this inside the police station and then the Immigration Centre and now am back at Father Moon's home finishing it. It is so good to be back and free again.

Monday 12th March.

11a.m. Sunday, 11th and I am back in Gangjeong – it really feels like home. I had a quick change of clothes and then I was grabbed by a reporter for an interview and then told the SOS team (they are the ones that organise the boat and swimming actions of which I am a part) wants to meet me at 4p.m. But there is a press conference before that at 2 p.m. And loads of people to hug ….. so it is a good idea I had a nice rest in the police station! As there is no work being done on the site today there are no blockades – thank goodness.

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