NW Regional Conference at Seabeck, WA

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We offer scholarships to many young people and others with financial need from all over the US.  In addition, many of our scholarship recipients need help with transportation to the conference. Your tax-deductible contribution to FOR will help future generations learn of the transforming power of nonviolence.  Please give what you can.

Preparing for the Conference

If you have attended past Seabeck conferences, this 2016 FOR Centennial Seabeck Conference will be a different experience than you have had before.  If this is your first year, then you are in for a real treat.

The FOR Seabeck Conference Planning Committee has decided to try to keep all the workshops focused on the central theme of the conference this year:  strategic nonviolence (also referred to as nonviolent struggle, nonvilent conflict or civil resistance). Strategic nonviolence is a way to move beyond one-off demonstrations that take place in reaction to a specific issue or event toward providing a movement the capability of actually choosing which issues it will engage, and when and how that engagement will take place.  It involves creative planning and organization, and may involve actions that take place in several cities, states, or even nations.

The workshops will center around strategic tools that can be added to the nonviolent acivist's toolkit for use both tactically and strategically.  Workshop attendees will be learning how the workshop content can be put to work in a strategic nonviolent campaign.  So, for instance, the workshop on Restorative Justice may focus on how its principles can be used among activist groups to strengthen them internally, thereby reducing tension and increasing collaboration and cohesion.  A workshop involving music, dance or fine arts will speak to using those creative processes to serve the goals and objectives of a nonviolent campaign.

The list of books and film resources below are provided to stimulate your thinking on strategic nonviolence before the conference begins, so that the time you spend there will help you to clarify what you have already seen or read about:


Books about Strategic Nonviolence:
(Core Concepts)

      1. Waging Nonviolent Struggle by Gene Sharp
        This groundbreaking new work builds on 50 years of Gene Sharp’s definitive academic research and practical experience aiding nonviolent struggles around the world.
      2. Why Civil Resistance Works by Erica Chenoweth.
        For more than a century, from 1900 to 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals.
      3. This is an Uprising by Mark & Paul Engler
        There is a craft to uprising—and this craft can change the world.  From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is unleashing strategic nonviolent action to shape public debate and force political change. When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative.
      4. People Power Manual: Campaign Strategy Guide by James MacLeod & James Whelan
        The Campaign Strategy Guide is the first instalment of the People Power Manual , a resource created for activist educators and facilitators.  Campaign strategy needn’t be mystifying, lonely or stressful. Social movements become more powerful as more people are equipped to analyse their political context, consider paths to change and mindfully plan tactics.  The Campaign Strategy Guide equips activist educators to facilitate a range of participatory exercises with activists, organisers and citizens. It can also be used as a do-it-yourself guide for campaigners. The guide incorporates 16 handouts, several workshop schedules and process guides for 24 strategising processes that have been tried and tested by thousands of campaigners.


      1. The Dandelion Insurrection  by Rivera Sun
        In a time that looms around the corner of today, under a gathering storm of tyranny, Zadie Byrd Gray whirls into the life of small town reporter Charlie Rider and asks him to become the voice of the Dandelion Insurrection. With the rallying cry of life, liberty, and love, Zadie and Charlie fly across America leaving a wake of revolution in their path. Passion erupts. Danger abounds. The lives of millions hang by a thin thread of courage. Betrayal and intrigue abound, but in the midst of the madness, the golden soul of humanity blossoms . . . and miracles start to unfold!
      2. The Dandelion Insurrection Study Guide by Rivera Sun
        "Be kind. Be connected. Be unafraid!" - The Dandelion Insurrection You'll love this lively, engaging journey into the heart of The Dandelion Insurrection's story of nonviolent action! Taking lessons off the page and into our lives, author Rivera Sun guides us through the skills and strategies that created the thrilling adventure of The Dandelion Insurrection. Using your favorite scenes from the book and also drawing on historical examples of nonviolent struggles, this study guide brings the story to life in an exciting way.

(Free Resources)

      1. The People Power Game:  The Game of Civil Resistance  website or Facebook
        People Power is about politics, about strategy and about social change. As a leader of a popular movement you fight against tough adversaries who control the police, the army and bureaucracy, even the media. The only weapon in your hand is your strategic skill and ingenuity.  People Power is more than a game. It’s an opportunity to join a community of others who want to learn about civil resistance and nonviolent strategies. Everyone can design scenarios and post them on the scenario page, available to the whole community. On their Forum, you can exchange ideas with other players and scenario designers. [It is an excellent RPG game, but takes time to learn, and is more like chess than World of Warcraft]
      2. Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial Points (download).  This is the manual that Otpor, the student movement that overthrew Milosovec in Serbia, wrote based upon their own findings and on the work of Gene Sharp.  It is available in a number of languages and is a "how-to" book for waging strategic nonviolent campaigns.


      1. How to Start a Revolution (see the traailer here) The BAFTA award winning Documentary following the work of three time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Gene Sharp. As waves of revolutionary spirit sweep the world, one man’s ideas continue to inspire, mobilize and unite protestors, giving them the tools to topple authoritarian regimes. Quiet, unassuming, and softly spoken, 83 year old Professor Gene Sharp is celebrated by revolutionaries and feared by dictators.
      2. Bringing Down a Dictator  (watch the entire film on YouTube) is a 56-minute documentary film by Steve York about the nonviolent defeat of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. It focuses on the contributions of the student-led Otpor! movement. The film originally aired on national PBS in March 2002. It was narrated by Martin Sheen and won the George Foster Peabody Award.
      3. The Singing Revolution (see the trailer here or get from Netflix on DVD).  The Singing Revolution is a commonly used name for events between 1987 and 1991 that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the former Soviet Union.
      4. Orange Revolution (watch on Amazon) Orange Revolution chronicles Ukraine's 2004 presidential campaign, from one candidate's poisoning to the intimidation of voters, acid-bombing of ballot boxes, and the political pressure put on election officials to count votes a certain way. The government's contempt for the people's choice brings nearly a million citizens into the streets of Kyiv for a 17-day around-the-clock protest.
      5. The Green Wave (watch the trailer on Amazon) The attempted overthrow of the Iranian state by tens of thousands of protesters on the streets of Tehran in 2009.
      6. Budrus (watch the trailer on YouTube or stream entire film on Amazon) Ayed Morrar, an unlikely community organizer, unites Palestinians from all political factions and Israelis to save his village from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women's contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. 

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