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Nonviolent Civil Resistance: Practical Guides and Manuals

compiled by Catherine Morris


"Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association." ~ Article 20, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

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Nonviolence Training Manuals | International Law on Peaceful Protest | Domestic Law on Peaceful Protest |


Please also visit the bibliography on nonviolence. The following publications are provided for research and education purposes. Inclusion of an title in the bibliography does not indicate endorsement or agreement by Peacemakers Trust with views expressed by authors. Peacemakers Trust is not responsible for materials posted on external websites.


The success of nonviolent civil resistance: Erica Chenoweth at TEDxBoulder (13 minutes)


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Does nonviolence really work? How and Why?

Chenoweth, Erica, and Maria Stephan. "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict." International Security 33(1): 7-44.

Sharp, Gene. There Are Realistic Alternatives. Boston, MA: Albert Einstein Institution, 2003.

More in our bibliography on nonviolence.

International Law on Peaceful Protest

UN Human Rights Committee, General comment no. 37 (2020) on the right of peaceful assembly (article 21), 2020. English, Español, Français, Русский, العرب, 中文.

Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada (LRWC). The Right to Dissent: International law obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the right to participate in public affairs by engaging in criticism, opposition and dissent. Vancouver, BC: LRWC, 2016.

UN Human Rights Council. Joint report on the proper management of assemblies. Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, A/HRC/31/66, 4 February 2016.

Amnesty International, Use of Force: Guidelines for Implementation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (.pdf), 7 September 2015.

OSCE/ODIHR Panel on Freedom of Assembly and by the Venice Commission. OSCE/ODIHR - Venice Commission Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly. (2nd Edition). Prepared Strasbourg- Warsaw, 9 July 2010. Study no. 581/2010. Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 83rd Plenary Session (Venice, 4 June 2010) European Commission For Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission). Warsaw: OCSE-ODIHR.

Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association: International Standards, on the website of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association.

Domestic Law on Peaceful Protest

Please feel free to make suggestions as to useful titles to add here.

Canada

Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA). Know Your Rights: A Citizen's Guide to Rights When Dealing with Police. Toronto: CCLA, n.d. Available (pdf) at https://ccla.org/cclanewsite/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Know-Your-Rights-Booklet.pdf.

McGrady, Leo. The Law of Protest. Manual prepared for a workshop at the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers 2017 Annual Conference, Montréal, Québec, June 1- 4, 2017. Available at Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada: https://www.lrwc.org/ws/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Guide-to-the-Law-of-Protest.pdf

Pen Canada, "Can I be Arrested for Protesting?" 1 April 2016. Available at: https://pencanada.ca/blog/canadians-right-to-protest/

British Columbia, Canada

Eby, David. The Arrest Handbook: A Guide to Your Rights. Vancouver, Canada: B.C. Civil Liberties Association, 2010. Available at https://bccla.org/our_work/the-arrest-handbook-a-guide-to-your-rights/

Eby, David, and Caroline Price. Olympic Legal Observer Information and Training Guide. Vancouver, Canada: B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Pivot Legal Society, 2009. Available at https://bccla.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/20110916-Guide-Olympics-legal-observer-training-manual.pdf

Pivot Legal Society. Pivot Rights Card: Statement for Police. Vancouver, Canada: Pivot Legal Society, n.d. Available for at https://www.pivotlegal.org/know_your_rights_when_speaking_to_police.

South Africa

Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI). The right to protest: A handbook for protestors and police. Johannesburg: FXI, 2007.

United Kingdom
USA

American Civil Liberties Union. Know Your Rights: What To Do If Your Rights Are Violated at a Demonstration or Protest, n.d. Protesters Rights (English and Spanish). See a .pdf version.

Amnesty International, USA. "The Right to Protest: Resource Pack for Staff and Members, n.d. https://www.amnestyusa.org/files/pdfs/protestresourcepacket_web.pdf.

Nonviolence Training Manuals

Ivan Marovic. The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, 2018. Available at https://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/path-most-resistance-step-by-step-guide-planning-nonviolent-campaigns/ (free download of PDF available at this page).

Erica Chenoweth: Why Civil Resistance Works: Nonviolence in the Past and Future (1 hour 20 minutes)

Christian Peacemaker Teams. Writing a Media Release. Chicago: CPT, n.d. Available at https://www.cpt.org/files/public_witness/PressRelease.pdf

Christian Peacemaker Teams. Public Witness. Resources, checklists, handouts. Chicago: CPT, n.d. Available at https://www.cpt.org/resources/witness

Christian Peacemaker Teams. Training: Selected Materials. Chicago: CPT, n.d. Available at https://www.cpt.org/resources/training

Miller, Christopher A. Strategic Nonviolent Struggle: A Training Manual. Addis Ababa: University for Peace, 2006. Available https://www.everydayrebellion.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/nvtc_Training_Manual.pdf.

National Lawyers Guild. Legal Observer Training Manual. New York: NLD, 2003.

Sharp, Gene. "198 Methods of Nonviolent Action." In The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action. Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973. Available at https://www.aeinstein.org/nonviolentaction/198-methods-of-nonviolent-action/.

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Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding: A Selected Bibliography (formerly Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding: A Selected Bibliography). Copyright 1997-2008 Catherine Morris. All rights reserved.


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