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Old 02-18-2011   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default CANVAS Doctrinal Manual

is Nonviolent Struggle - 50 Crucial Points A Strategic Approach to Everyday Tactics; Authors: (CANVAS) Srdja Popovic, Andrej Milivojevic and Slobodan Djinovic (direct download for English pdf):


This book is a field guide for waging a strategic nonviolent struggle – it offers a rich and diverse array of practical information that nonviolent activists need to know. The user-friendly format of the book complements the presentation of the content in thematic chapters, which are organized around answering key questions that range from techniques of daily management to strategic planning. Written by those who successfully fought against repressive regimes using strategic nonviolent action, the book is designed as a ready-to-use tool for front-line practitioners who work in nondemocratic, and sometimes violent environments, as well as those who work in established democracies. It is based on firsthand experience from the struggles in Serbia and Georgia, and the lessons learned in Ukraine, Belarus, Zimbabwe and other countries.

The book fills the gap between the tremendous theoretical insights about strategic nonviolent conflict developed by scholars over the past several decades and the accumulated experience of front-line practitioners. This is achieved by creating a synergy between, on the one hand, academic knowledge and the expertise of authors and of outside participants in the project, and, on the other hand, the lived experience of successful activists and leaders. Likewise, the book's content and format build a bridge between the strategic level and the often "heavy" book design of theoretical works, and the "cook-book" approach of existing manuals for political and public-interest campaigns, which mostly focus on tactical issues.

The focus is firmly on practical questions. Crucial points about waging strategic nonviolent struggle appear as "how to" questions:

How do you plan symbolic public actions successfully with just a few supports?

How do you recruit, train, and retain pro-reform activists?

How do you manage scarce assets, such as volunteers and material resources?

How do you plan your campaign and run it with constant feedback-loop management?

How do you prepare to overcome the powerful influence of fear?

How do you minimize the effectiveness of repressive mechanisms, including contaminants, surveillance and police repression?

From this book, those considering launching a strategic nonviolent struggle in any environment will find enough information to steer away from making the most common mistakes and refocus towards selecting realistic objectives, structuring an organization efficiently, and effectively influencing public attitudes to the point where ordinary citizens are willing to participate in the struggle.

The topics covered include the theory of political power, fundamentals of strategic and detailed tactical planning, message development and management of nonviolent actions and campaigns.

The book is compatible with already existing and readily available resources for use in this field, such as the writings from the Albert Einstein Institution and the new computer game, "A Force More Powerful".

In short, this book takes a strategic approach to the problems of day-to-day implementation of nonviolent struggle encountered by pro-reform movements in all environments, from those working for justice in established democracies to those working to end repression or occupation.
Besides this monograph, you can download The CANVAS Core Curriculum - Students Book (direct download for English pdf):

The content of the curriculum is divided into three parts:

I. Theory and its applications: The goal of these lessons is to provide a concrete framework for people to understand how nonviolent action works. First, all movements start with the desire for change, so we offer a methodology to help groups develop their vision for what they want to achieve (Lesson 1). We then address how nonviolent movements can gain the power to achieve that vision. By emphasizing that political power comes from people’s ongoing consent and obedience to their society’s political, economic, and social systems, it becomes clear that nonviolent movements can gain power and create change by shifting people’s consent and obedience patterns (Lesson 2). In order to do this, nonviolent resisters must understand the roles that key organizations and institutions (which we call “pillars of support”) play in their society (Lesson 3), what people’s motivations are for consent and obedience (Lesson 4), how nonviolent movements produce change in society (Lesson 5), and the tactics and methods that nonviolent movements have at their disposal (Lesson 6).

II. Planning considerations: There is rarely victory for nonviolent movements without a strategic plan. Therefore, an understanding of basic strategic principles (Lesson 7) as well as tools and techniques to analyze their past and current situation (Lesson 8 and Lesson A1) is important as movements develop their strategic plans. An essential part of those plans will be communications. How do movements effectively communicate what they stand for? Developing effective messages and analyzing audience segments (Lesson 9) and understanding the tools and types of targeted communications (Lesson 10) are essential. Targeted communication is one of the most important parts of any movement’s strategic plan.

III. Organizational and operational considerations: Nonviolent movements are faced every day with stresses in the areas of leadership (Lesson 11), fear-management (Lesson 13), and avoiding contamination (Lesson 14), so they need to be prepared. They also need to be tactically innovative and choose issues and actions that put their opponents in dilemmas (Lesson 12). Finally, management of key resources (material resources, human resources, time, and knowledge) are critical to operating a nonviolent movement or campaign. The advanced campaign management package (Lessons A2, A3, A4, and A5) addresses these issues.
As to the computer game, A Force More Powerful:

A Force More Powerful – the Game of Nonviolent Strategy is no longer for sale. However, we do have a limited quantity left . If you want 10 or more copies of the game, are sure it will work on your computers (see below), and will pay for the UPS shipping & handling costs, we will give you copies free of charge. This offer is NOT for RESALE. Click here to send us your request.
Upgraded game is People Power ($10).


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