Nonviolent civic action has played a critical role in expanding democracy in Europe, both in the 19th and 20th century struggles for civil liberties, universal rights and the right to vote, and in the campaigns in Central and Eastern Europe since the 1980s for national independence and full democracy. Nonviolent action depends crucially on the power of people acting together, and on the refusal to cooperate with repressive power-holders. It includes ‘offensive’ tactics that undermine the support base of a regime, capacity building tactics that increase people’s organisation and strength, and ‘defensive’ tactics that protect activists and limit the scope for repression.
Nonviolent action is increasingly used by diverse groups around the world to demand human rights, advocate for justice, establish democracy and insist on transparency and accountability in governance. It can serve as an alternative to violent struggle for people facing oppression, undercut the power of extremist and militant armed groups, and contribute to regional security and stability....