Willits Bypass Protests: 198 Methods of Nonviolent Direct Action…

p[Really Dumb, Katz! -DS]


[The treesitter who threw his waste at the CHP officer has done a huge disservice to the overall effort to stop this boondoggle… Ditto for the screeching fools shouting obscenities. It’s what happens when there’s no demo discipline — nutballs do their thing, public attention is diverted on to them, the greater public is estranged, the issues get lost.TheAVA]

Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at their disposal. Listed below are 198 of them, classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention. A description and historical examples of each can be found in volume two of The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp.

The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion

Formal Statements
1. Public Speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
31. “Haunting” officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
37. Singing

38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one’s back

The Methods of Social Noncooperation

Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. “Flight” of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts

Actions by Consumers
71. Consumers’ boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers’ boycott
77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
78. Workmen’s boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders’ boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers’ embargo
95. International buyers’ embargo
96. International trade embargo

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: The Strike

Symbolic Strikes
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners’ strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown

The Methods of Political Noncooperation

Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by
enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations

The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention

Psychological Intervention
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
a) Fast of moral pressure
b) Hunger strike
c) Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Source: Sharp, Gene. The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 Vols.), Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973. Provided courtesy of the Albert Einstein Institution.


Tough call. If your mother/Mother Earth is being raped before your eyes, where do you draw the line?

    Where do you draw the line? The issue is effectiveness. Other than reading the biographies of Gandhi, King, and Chavez, I don’t know how it could be made more clear… How about Nonviolence 101?

I agree, Dave. The tree sitting extraction was effective in getting the attention of the press. The Sacramento Bee will be here today to interview The Warbler and others. It may disgust you that a little poop flew, as it does me. Perhaps the definition of non violence was redefined Tuesday. The poop incident will soon be forgotten as the focus shifts once again to the insanity of the CalTrans Desolation Road.

    John: The incident may eventually go away, but the issue of effectiveness won’t. You just lost a whole bunch of supporters and potential supporters, hopefully temporarily, who are disgusted with such lack of discipline and clueless behavior. Keep it up and your broader community of support will drift away permanently. Redefine Non-Violence with poop? Good luck with that…

I have faced repeated lethal threats in my non-violent resistance. I was spared, mostly, but friends involved with me were not. So, my credentials as a non-violent resister are pretty good. I have not gone over to the violent resistance camp, but with each passing year, and now each passing day it seems, I grow in my understanding and compassion for those who choose violent resistance. While I will not abandon peacefulness, my confidence in non-violent resistance is waning rapidly. There may be no effective resistance possible now, regardless of the theory in play. To a large extent events are evolving in ways that are out of peoples control. Even if we can’t effectively resist, we still have a moral obligation to be accurate witnesses to the evils before us.

What is lacking in every effort at resistance these days is creativity. If resisters keep doing the same things over and over and continue to expect different results, we have a big problem. The authoritarians seem quite comfortable with the opposition they face. Were the truth to be known we would discover that resistance movements are so thoroughly infiltrated with agents of repression (another great book title this one by Ward Churchill who continues to be a victim of repression) that they are immobilized.

The other necessary ingredient for an effective resistance to oppression is solidarity. The resistance is atomized and therefore neutralized. There is no understanding that an injury to one of us is an injury to all. The terrible shame of those who would criticize people defending themselves from armed assault by any available means needs to be publicized and understood as enabling of oppression. A little thought experiment, imagine putting the critics of the chamber pot tossers up in trees, shoot at them and see what happens. I imagine their consciousness would be raised.

Who knows what is next? The Occupy Movement showed a little of what people can do if they come together for mutual aid and defense in really large numbers. We need a new, creative active movement every month if we are to get any traction on the work of freeing ourselves and then saving the Earth from the monsters. There is no shame in trying and failing to win freedom and no honor in abject surrender to monsters.


How about cutting down some landscaping around the corporate and military compounds. They cut a tree guarded by guns and violence, and someone goes and cuts down a tree that the monsters value. Eye for an eye maybe? We need new ideas and the only way to get them is to start talking to each other and working them out. I still think getting a few thousand gallons of human waste sprayed over the worksite some night would definitely delay the process of raping the environment. Unlike the bulldozers, nature would process the mess quickly and return a sanitary environment to us after the monsters have lost interest in this horrendous boondoggle.


It is important to understand that the much bigger picture game is all about opening up the North CA corridor for mineral and timber extraction:

“What rarely gets mentioned is that the Willits bypass is part an ongoing series of Caltrans projects designed to open up the California North Coast to large trucks, thereby creating a through loop to foment the development of Humboldt and Del Norte counties (where these trucks are currently banned). The best we can hope for is an informed citizenry willing to stand in the way of bulldozers poised to do irreversible damage to a pristine valley once the deal-makers have provided the project with legal cover.”
GREG KING President, Siskiyou Land Conservancy.

This is verified by the recent sale of the Press Democrat to local politico’s who have deep interests in mineral and timber extraction:

“As reported this morning, the Press Democrat has been sold by Florida-based interim owners Halifax Media Acquisitions to a group of local investors, including lobbyist and developer Darius Anderson and former North Coast Congressman Doug Bosco.

Other key players in the purchase group include Steven Falk, former president and publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle and chief executive of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Bill Hooper, president of Anderson’s development firm, Kenwood Investments, and a former executive with Clear Channel Outdoor, the billboard advertising company.

Darius Anderson has a long history as a high-powered lobbyist for companies like PG&E, Station Casinos, Pfizer, Microsoft and Catellus, and has worked for Clint Eastwood and been a fundraiser for Gray Davis. In 2010, Anderson was fined half a million dollars in a corruption probe. He currently wants to build a $30 million boutique hotel off the Sonoma plaza.

Doug Bosco is another beast entirely, and could wield the type of political influence over the Press Democrat that many of its newsroom writers may not like. With ties to the Savings & Loan scandal and, as a congressman, implicated in the check-bouncing scandal, Bosco is a behind-the-scenes powerbroker with deep interests in gravel mining, timber and development.

His close friend, Eric Koenigshofer, is the attorney for the redwood-clearcutting Preservation Ranch project in northwestern Sonoma County, and appears to have Fifth District Supervisor Efren Carrillo in his back pocket. Anderson, in fact, interned for Bosco in the mid-’80s, and another one of the “Bosco Boys” (yes, they have a cutesy name) is Robert Bone, responsible for the infamous race-mongering 2010 campaign mailer against Pam Torliatt.”

This is also what the ‘Smart train’ coming now up to Cloverdale and eventually further North is also about. The rails are being laid to accommodate commercial traffic. It is part of a grand UN Agenda 21 overall ‘Smart Growth’ agenda being directed internationally into every region to control all resources and people.

Make no mistake. The U.S. is ‘in play’ as for far as natural resource extraction through our water, natural gas fracking, mountain top removals, forests and minerals to now feed other country’s needs for their consumer growth. Where we were the consumers, we are now being used for consumption to be the fuel for other country’s growth and debt exploitation.

What we have been doing to other countries for over a century to support our consumer lifestyles, has now come home to roost. Globalists owe no loyalties to any one country and protestors and activists in Willits would be well advised to understand who and what much larger agenda they really are fighting against.

A critical read is a book written by Rosa Kloire’s excellent expose of what is going right here in the North Bay and beyond titled, “Behind the Green Mask, UN Agenda 21”

Cf. “From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation” by
Gene Sharp, which was just recently published. From the cover:

Twenty-one years ago, at a friend’s request, a Massachusetts professor sketched out a blueprint for nonviolent resistance to repressive regimes. It would go on to be translated, photocopied, and handed from one activist to another, traveling from country to country across the globe: from Iran to Venezuela—where both countries consider Gene Sharp to be an enemy of the state—to Serbia; Afghanistan; Vietnam; the former Soviet Union; China; Nepal; and, more recently and notably, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, where it has served as a guiding light of the Arab Spring.

This short, pithy, inspiring, and extraordinarily clear guide to overthrowing a dictatorship by nonviolent means lists 198 specific methods to consider, depending on the circumstances: sit-ins, popular nonobedience, selective strikes, withdrawal of bank deposits, revenue refusal, walkouts, silence, and hunger strikes. From Dictatorship to Democracy is the remarkable work that has made the little-known Sharp into the world’s most effective and sought-after analyst of resistance to authoritarian regimes.

    Technically, we are not dealing with dictatorships. Those are run by client monsters on behalf of concentrated wealth. Here in the US we have an oligarchy with an iron grip on our economy. I would like to believe that non-violent methods might work, but I am not holding my breath. We are dealing with an entire system of depravity that involves a sufficient number of people on the benefiting end of things. Even when non-violent means have appeared to be successful, like India for instance, there were violent actions going on simultaneously that enhanced the position of the non-violent activist. It is not so much that non-violence can restore justice. It is more that the oligarchs will choose them over the people with the guillotines. That way concentrated wealth, as in the example of India, stays in control of the society while making concessions to the suffering masses that demotivate violent actors.