Waging Nonviolence: Top 10 Most-Read Stories of 2017: Peaceful Strategies to Effect Change


Looking back on the past year may not sound like a very uplifting activity, but when we finished compiling WNV’s top 10 most-read stories of 2017, we were actually feeling completely energized. That’s because the list isn’t merely a reminder of what’s wrong with the world (like the New York Times’ most-read stories). It’s a reminder of how people are confronting those wrongs and making serious advances toward justice.

What’s more, WNV’s list is a reflection of what excites and interests readers like you. And, more than anything, it’s a reflection of what you aren’t seeing elsewhere. Author and activist Bill McKibben recently shared with us the perfect explanation for why WNV is so vital:

“We have a thousand journalists and ten thousand novelists covering the art, science, and business of making war, and thus it has been for centuries. But though nonviolence is used in far more cases and can work much better, almost no one takes the time to seriously analyze how movements and campaigns work (or don’t). Waging Nonviolence is unique, critically useful — and conducted in the right spirit, equal parts rigor and love.

Editors, Waging Nonviolence

WNV’s Most-Read Stories of 2017

10. A manual for a new era of direct action
An organizing manual that powered the civil rights movement gets a 2017 update.

9. Why Black Bloc tactics won’t build a successful movement
Black bloc tactics have received much praise in recent weeks, but there are many valid questions about their effectiveness that we ignore at our own peril.

8. How prisoners organized to elect a just DA in Philly
Thanks to an insurgent criminal justice reform campaign waged by prisoners, their families and community groups, Philadelphia elected an anti-incarceration district attorney.

7. Syrians roll back extremism in Idlib without military intervention
Syrian citizens are managing their civil affairs, alleviating suffering and rolling back extremism in Idlib City without Assad or outside military force.

6. Don’t feed the trolls — how to combat the alt-right
Using humor and creative tactics or overwhelming the alt-right with our sheer numbers is the best way to win, and for that nonviolent discipline is key.

5. How anti-Vietnam War activists stopped violent protest from hijacking their movement
The tactics of isolation that kept groups like the Weathermen away from peaceful protests may help today’s activists struggling with Black Bloc disruptions.

4. The urgency of slowing down
We need to act, but addressing this crucial moment can’t come at the expense of strategy, process, intention and remembering to slow down enough to breathe.

3. Gandhi’s strategy for success — use more than one strategy
How creating a healthy “ecology of change,” as Gandhi did in India, can help propel social movements.

2. Why Nazis are so afraid of these clowns
Clowns have an impressive track record of subverting Nazi ideology, de-escalating rallies and bringing communities together in creative resistance.

1. A 10-point plan to stop Trump and make gains in justice and equality
While enthusiasm for the struggle seemed high among Women’s March participants, an important question was looming: What’s the strategic plan?