Universalizing resistance and democratizing power are critical in the fight to protect our rights and the rights of targeted groups and individuals in the United States and abroad. Nonviolent direct action continues to be an effective way to create change from the bottom-up by putting pressure on government entities, corporations and individuals threatening our lives through the destruction of our ecology and the erosion of democracy.
This page is a compilation of resources meant to empower grassroots democracy organizers with useful information, strategies and contacts to help in creating action plans and obtaining nonviolent direct action training tools. To add to these resources, please contact us.
New Tactics in Human Rights: Training for Nonviolent Action
Robust guide based on a dialogue between several experienced nonviolent action trainers, with links to useful resources for training theory, methods, tools, case studies and examples and more.
SOA Watch: Handbook for Nonviolent Action
Handbook providing useful information about planning and carrying out nonviolent civil disobedience actions. The handbook can be read in its entirety by scrolling down the page, or by accessing sections “Introduction” through “Representing Yourself” through the links forming a table of contents at the top of the page.
War Resisters’ League: Nonviolence Training: Nonviolent Action Preparation 4 – 5 + hour agenda
War Resisters’ International: Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns - second edition
Training for Change: Nonviolent Action for Social Change
Training for Change: Nonviolent Action Tools
Training for Change: Meeting Facilitation & Better Trainings Tools
Training for Change: Organizing & Strategy Tools
Swarthmore College: Global Nonviolent Action Database
This database not only maps actions across the world, but also allows users to browse an extensive library of campaigns and methods for action dating back many years, making it a useful historical reference as well as a current resource.
Casino-Free Philadelphia: Direct Action Training Manual
Easy to read, 40 page resource giving a background on nonviolent action and specifics on blockades, de-escalation, movement action plans and legal rights.
Organizing for Power, Organizing for Change: Action Resources
Comprehensive resource with links outlining what a direct action campaign is and how to organize one, training agendas (including civil disobedience, nonviolent direct action, peace keeper training and more), tactics (with training agendas), affinity groups (including how to form them), legal information, direct action manuals and more.
Nonviolent Action Strategy Planning Papers (Vernal Project)
This set of resources from the Vernal Education Project brings together documents detailing strategic planning for nonviolent direct action including workshop agendas, notes for planning campaigns, proposal writing tips, steps for preparing a strategic campaign and more. Several of the resources included on the page are listed here for convenience - all papers can be accessed by clicking the link above.
Basics of Strategic Campaign Planning (Vernal Project)
Well-Designed Strategic Nonviolent Actions (Vernal Project)
Action Proposals (Vernal Project)
Strategy Exercises from the START Study Guide (START)
Know Your Rights Introduction (CLDC)
Know Your Rights - Slideshow (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Brochure - English (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Brochure - Spanish (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Brochure - Arabic (CLDC)
Know Your Rights - Activists
CLDC Know Your Rights Activist Training - Video (CLDC)
One hour training video featuring Civil Liberties Defense Center executive director Lauren Regan offering basic information about legal rights and what to expect from law enforcement for activists.
Know Your Rights for Activists Powerpoint (CLDC)
Know Your Rights: Free Speech, Protests & Demonstrations (ACLU NorCal)
This guide outlines free-speech rights in the U.S. and California (what kind of speech is protected and where), steps for ensuring a lawful demonstration (location, permits and ordinances) and helps readers understand how their rights can be violated during a protest (what to do upon arrest and limits to police power).
Know Your Rights - Immigrants
Know Your Rights for Immigrant Communities and their Allies - Video (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Immigrant Slideshow - English (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Immigrant Slideshow - Spanish (CLDC)
Demand of Rights Flow Chart (CLDC)
Bilingual Rural Organizing Project Rights Card (Rural Organizing Project)
Immigrants and Traffic Laws - English (CLDC)
Immigrants and Traffic Laws - Spanish (CLDC)
Juvenile Cases KYR Booklet - English (CLDC)
Juvenile Cases KYR Booklet - Spanish (CLDC)
Know Your Rights - Youth
Know Your Rights Teen Brochure (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Teen Powerpoint (CLDC)
Know Your Rights Immigrant Teen Powerpoint - English (CLDC)
Know Your Rights - Unhoused
Know Your Rights for Unhoused Brochure (CLDC)
Resource posted from Oregonlawhelp.org
Know Your Rights for Unhoused Powerpoint (CLDC)
Useful and detailed 40 page presentation based on U.S. and Oregon law for understanding your rights and what law enforcement is able to do in regards to property, camps, sleeping in vehicles and more as well as giving information about how to deal with law enforcement or immigration enforcement agents upon detainment.
Schools & Universities:
Civil Disobedience at Public Universities (ACLU NorCal)
Outlines best practices for planning a demonstration at a public University (specifically in CA, but information can be applied nationally) and how to handle disciplinary charges due to nonviolent civil disobedience.
The First Amendment (Cornell)
This guide to the First Amendment not only outlines the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution concerning religion, assembly, expression and the right to petition, but also highlights relevant cases establishing how it has been applied legally.
Right to Peaceful Assembly - Full Report (Library of Congress)
Full report outlining the international human rights laws protecting peaceful assembly in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Right to Peaceful Assembly: European Court of Human Rights (Library of Congress)
Summary of the European Convention on Human Rights treaty protecting the peaceful assembly rights of individuals living in forty-seven Member States of the Council of Europe.
Right to Peaceful Assembly: Selected Foreign Jurisdictions (Library of Congress)
Summary of how peaceful assembly rights work in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Right to Peaceful Assembly: United States (Library of Congress)
Summary of peaceful public assembly rights in the U.S.
H.R. 347: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 (GovTrack)
Summary of H.R. 347 (GovTrack)
How Big a Deal is H.R. 347, That “Criminalizing Protest” Bill? (ACLU)
This bill increased the Secret Service’s power to arrest peaceful protesters in D.C.
Oregon House Bill 2595 (Oregon Live)
This bill creates a “crime of interference” with state forestland management, which includes protests and demonstrations happening on state forestland property.
Oregon House Bill 2596 (Oregon Live)
A companion to House Bill 2595, it allows loggers and other corporations operating on state forestland to sue protesters blocking their actions.
Digital Security for Activists Introduction (Civil Liberties Defense Center)
Security Recommendations (CLDC)
Security Blog (CLDC)
Resources outlining why it is important for activists and organizers to protect privacy through encryption, autonomy-preserving and privacy-protecting tools.
Active bystander training key to building culture of solidarity (Waging Nonviolence)
Nude protests, sex strikes and the power of the taboo (Waging Nonviolence)
UPDATE: LAWMAKERS IN TEN STATES HAVE PROPOSED LEGISLATION CRIMINALIZING PEACEFUL PROTEST (The Intercept_)
House passes rules aimed at preventing lawmaker protests (The Hill)
Making the Best of Mass Arrests: 12 Lessons from the J20 Protests (CrimethInc.)