Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Gene Sharp



The Dissident’s Toolkit

Like what subversive activities?

Over the past few years we’ve grown used to the iconography of protest.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, images of angry young street demonstrators shouting slogans, wielding signs, and confronting security forces have become almost commonplace.

But just as often we’ve seen campaigns of public protest flounder or go into reverse: just look at Egypt and Libya, to name the most prominent cases. The recent surge of street demonstrations in Sudan once again confronts us with fundamental questions:

How does public protest undermine authoritarian governments?

Are demonstrations really the key to toppling autocrats?

Erica Chenoweth published this NOV. 4, 2013

Want to topple an autocrat?

Street demonstrations are just one tool among many.

Research shows that demonstrations are just one of many tools that civil resistance movements can use to effect change. Successful movements are those that use a wide array of methods to pressure their state opponents while keeping their activists safe.

The demonstration tactic we’re used to seeing is just one of many hundreds of tactics available to civilians seeking change — and successful campaigns for change must use more than just a single tactic.

Maria Stephan and I conducted research on a related but broader question: “When does civil resistance work?”

The results of our research show that opposition campaigns are successful when they manage to do three key things:

(1) attract widespread and diverse participation;

(2) develop a strategy that allows them to maneuver around repression; and

(3) provoke defections, loyalty shifts, or disobedience among regime elites and/or security forces.

Attracting participation is perhaps the most important of these tasks, since the ability to provoke defections and outmaneuver opponents often depends on whether the movement enjoys large and broad-based support. The most important singular factor for a successful campaign is its participation rate.

According to the NAVCO data set, which identifies the outcomes of over 300 nonviolent and violent campaigns worldwide from 1900-2006, none of the cases failed after achieving the active and sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population — and some of them succeeded with far less than that.

Of course, 3.5 percent is nothing to sneeze at.

In the United States today, this constitutes over 11 million people. But how do movements get this large in the first place, especially in countries where overt participation in a mass movement is highly risky?

One way organizers can grow their movement is by including tactics that are safer and therefore more attractive to risk-averse participants.

For example, instead of relying solely on demonstrations or protests, many movements will allow people to participate through “electricity strikes” where people shut off their electricity at a coordinated time of day, or by banging on pots and pans in the middle of the night to signal the power in numbers.

Engaging in these types of actions may draw in more ambivalent people while also allowing them the opportunity to develop a sense of identity with the movement and its goals.

In Chile under Pinochet, for example, outright demonstrations against the dictator were far too dangerous. In one instance, Pinochet was so threatened by the subtext of some popular songs that he banned public singing; it didn’t take much.

But when people began to bang on pots and pans, it let them demonstrate their defiance anonymously in the safety of their own homes. As the people’s metallic clamor for change became louder and louder, anti-Pinochet organizers and their supporters became emboldened to press for more disruptive and overt action.

A similar movement is underway in Egypt today, where the “Masmou” movement (What’s his name?) has led thousands of people to bang on pots and pans inside their homes at 9 p.m. each night to signal that there are viable alternatives to both the al-Sisi government and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In highly repressive environments there is, indeed, safety in numbers. And actions like this can signal that one is not alone, while making it quite difficult for the government to crack down on participants.

Once people do begin to mobilize, the effects on the internal politics of a tyrannical regime can be intense.

As Gene Sharp rightly argued, no regime is monolithic. Every leader is 100 percent dependent on the cooperation, obedience, and help of the people that form the regime’s pillars of support: security forces, the state media, business or educational elites, religious authorities, and civilian bureaucrats.

And when such people begin to reevaluate the regime’s role in their long-term interests, they can actually be pulled away from supporting the leader. This is much more likely to happen the more people are mobilized against the opponent.

Why? Because no regime loyalists in any country live entirely isolated from the population itself. They have friends, they have family, and they have existing relationships that will bring with them in the long term, regardless of whether the leader stays or goes.

As the literary critic Robert Inchausti is credited as saying, “Nonviolence is a wager — not so much on the goodness of humanity as on its infinite complexity.”

Take an example from the so-called “Bulldozer Revolution,” a Serbian people power revolution against Slobodan Milosevic that toppled him in October 2000. In this case, once it became clear that hundreds of thousands of Serbs were descending on Belgrade to demand that Milosevic leave office, policemen ignored the order to shoot on demonstrators. When asked why he did so, one of them said: “I knew my kids were in the crowd.”

This policeman wasn’t alone in Serbia or elsewhere. We find that, in general, security forces tend to defect much more often when they face nonviolent campaigns (as compared to armed uprisings), particularly as the numbers rise.

Controlling for other factors, security forces are about 60 percent likely to defect when confronted with the largest nonviolent campaigns and over 30 percent likely with the average-sized nonviolent campaign.

The defection of security forces occurred within the ranks of the Iranian armed forces during the anti-Shah resistance, within Filipino armed forces during the anti-Marcos uprising, and within the Israeli military during the first Palestinian Intifada, to name but a few examples.

And these loyalty shifts can be crucial for the outcomes of these campaigns: They increase their chances of success by over 60 percent.

Of course, demonstrations — and people power movements in general — tend to fail as often as they succeed.

But when we look at outright failures — such as Tiananmen Square, the 1956 Hungarian uprising, or the 2007 Saffron Revolution in Burma — a few patterns become evident. The failed campaigns never spread to include vast proportions of the population, and failed to shift between highly risky tactics and safer ones.

But they also failed to establish a long-term strategy to make the campaigns sustainable, which was especially important given the brutality of state repression.

The average duration of a nonviolent campaign was between two-and-a-half and three years, but few of these campaigns had a long-term strategy, besides the wishful hope that tactical victories might make the regime comply with their demands.

Campaigns of civil resistance are underway in many countries around the world, from Bahrain to Maldives, from Turkey to Bulgaria.

In all of these cases, movement planners must carefully analyze the political effects that tactics like demonstrations have. If these tactics fail to increase sympathy for the campaign at home or abroad, diversify the base of participants, and encourage defections among regime elites, then they are not helping the movement’s chances of succeeding.

But rather than abandoning the struggle because demonstrations stop working, movement leaders would do well to appreciate the many other nonviolent methods of protest and noncooperation they can bring to bear against their opponents. The campaigns that ultimately succeed will be the ones that fully embrace Sun Tzu’s warning that “tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”


Erica Chenoweth is an Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and an Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. This article is adapted from talks delivered at TEDxBoulder and the 2013 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Warsaw.

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Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at their disposal. Listed below are 198 of them, classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, non-cooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.

A description and historical examples of each can be found in volume two of The Politics of Nonviolent Action, by Gene Sharp.


Formal Statements
                    1. Public Speeches
                    2. Letters of opposition or support
                    3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
                    4. Signed public statements
                    5. Declarations of indictment and intention
                    6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience
                    7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
                    8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
                    9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
                    10. Newspapers and journals
                    11. Records, radio, and television
                    12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations
                    13. Deputations
                    14. Mock awards
                    15. Group lobbying
                    16. Picketing
                    17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts
                    18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
                    19. Wearing of symbols
                    20. Prayer and worship
                    21. Delivering symbolic objects
                    22. Protest disrobings
                    23. Destruction of own property
                    24. Symbolic lights
                    25. Displays of portraits
                    26. Paint as protest
                    27. New signs and names
                    28. Symbolic sounds
                    29. Symbolic reclamations
                    30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals
                    31. “Haunting” officials
                    32. Taunting officials
                    33. Fraternization
                    34. Vigils

Drama and Music
                    35. Humorous skits and pranks
                    36. Performances of plays and music
                    37. Singing

                    38. Marches
                    39. Parades
                    40. Religious processions
                    41. Pilgrimages
                    42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead
                    43. Political mourning
                    44. Mock funerals
                    45. Demonstrative funerals
                    46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies
                    47. Assemblies of protest or support
                    48. Protest meetings
                    49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
                    50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation
                    51. Walk-outs
                    52. Silence
                    53. Renouncing honors
                    54. Turning one’s back




Ostracism of Persons
                    55. Social boycott
                    56. Selective social boycott
                    57. Lysistratic non-action
                    58. Excommunication
                    59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
                    60. Suspension of social and sports activities
                    61. Boycott of social affairs
                    62. Student strike
                    63. Social disobedience
                    64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System
                    65. Stay-at-home
                    66. Total personal non-cooperation
                    67. “Flight” of workers
                    68. Sanctuary
                    69. Collective disappearance
                    70. Protest emigration (hijrat)



Actions by Consumers
                    71. Consumers’ boycott
                    72. Non-consumption of boycotted goods
                    73. Policy of austerity
                    74. Rent withholding
                    75. Refusal to rent
                    76. National consumers’ boycott
                    77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers
                    78. Workmen’s boycott
                    79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen
                    80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management
                    81. Traders’ boycott
                    82. Refusal to let or sell property
                    83. Lockout
                    84. Refusal of industrial assistance
                    85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources
                    86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
                    87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
                    88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
                    89. Severance of funds and credit
                    90. Revenue refusal
                    91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments
                    92. Domestic embargo
                    93. Blacklisting of traders
                    94. International sellers’ embargo
                    95. International buyers’ embargo
                    96. International trade embargo



Symbolic Strikes
                    97. Protest strike
                    98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes
                    99. Peasant strike
                    100. Farm Workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups
                    101. Refusal of impressed labor
                    102. Prisoners’ strike
                    103. Craft strike
                    104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes
                    105. Establishment strike
                    106. Industry strike
                    107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes
                    108. Detailed strike
                    109. Bumper strike
                    110. Slowdown strike
                    111. Working-to-rule strike
                    112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
                    113. Strike by resignation
                    114. Limited strike
                    115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes

                    116. Generalized strike

                    117. General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures

                    118. Hartal

                    119. Economic shutdown



Rejection of Authority
                    120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
                    121. Refusal of public support
                    122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Non-cooperation with Government
                    123. Boycott of legislative bodies
                    124. Boycott of elections
                    125. Boycott of government employment and positions
                    126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
                    127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
                    128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
                    129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
                    130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
                    131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
                    132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
                    133. Reluctant and slow compliance
                    134. Non-obedience in absence of direct supervision
                    135. Popular non-obedience
                    136. Disguised disobedience
                    137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
                    138. Sitdown
                    139. Non-cooperation with conscription and deportation
                    140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
                    141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel
                    142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
                    143. Blocking of lines of command and information
                    144. Stalling and obstruction
                    145. General administrative noncooperation

                    146. Judicial noncooperation
                    147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
                    148. Mutiny
Domestic Governmental Action
                    149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
                    150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action
                    151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
                    152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
                    153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
                    154. Severance of diplomatic relations
                    155. Withdrawal from international organizations
                    156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
                    157. Expulsion from international organizations



Psychological Intervention
                    158. Self-exposure to the elements
                    159. The fast
                                        a) Fast of moral pressure
                                        b) Hunger strike
                                        c) Satyagrahic fast
                    160. Reverse trial
                    161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention
                    162. Sit-in
                    163. Stand-in
                    164. Ride-in
                    165. Wade-in
                    166. Mill-in
                    167. Pray-in
                    168. Nonviolent raids
                    169. Nonviolent air raids
                    170. Nonviolent invasion
                    171. Nonviolent interjection
                    172. Nonviolent obstruction
                    173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention
                    174. Establishing new social patterns
                    175. Overloading of facilities
                    176. Stall-in
                    177. Speak-in
                    178. Guerrilla theater
                    179. Alternative social institutions
                    180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention
                    181. Reverse strike
                    182. Stay-in strike
                    183. Nonviolent land seizure
                    184. Defiance of blockades
                    185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
                    186. Preclusive purchasing
                    187. Seizure of assets
                    188. Dumping
                    189. Selective patronage
                    190. Alternative markets
                    191. Alternative transportation systems
                    192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention
                    193. Overloading of administrative systems
                    194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
                    195. Seeking imprisonment
                    196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
                    197. Work-on without collaboration
                    198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government


Without doubt, a large number of additional methods have already been used but have not been classified, and a multitude of additional methods will be invented in the future that have the characteristics of the three classes of methods: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention.

It must be clearly understood that the greatest effectiveness is possible when individual methods to be used are selected to implement the previously adopted strategy. It is necessary to know what kind of pressures are to be used before one chooses the precise forms of action that will best apply those pressures.


[1] Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973 and later editions.

One-sided Non-violent revolution: Even in “democratic” systems?

Claiming to be in revolt connote a change in political system.  Any political party claiming to be against a political system is tantalizing to think of as a “revolutionary” party.  For example, an extremist Islamic party abhorring a communist system can claim to be “revolutionary”.  Consequently, being a revolutionary does not necessarily lead to any kind of association with programs targeted to be for the well-being of communities…

It is the social and economic programs, detailed and engaged among communities, that project the necessity for reforms, based on the deficiencies of the current system from recreating and revising programs which are demonstrating to be short of breath for any significant improvement and development.

Apparently, the documentary “How to Start a Revolution” by Ruaridh Arrow was screened at the Zionist Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University.  It comes at a time when Foreign Policy magazine has decided that Gene Sharp “has inspired Arab spring protesters.”

The New York Times decided—without any evidence whatsoever—that Gene Sharp has inspired a non-violent revolution throughout the Arab world. Can anyone claim that governments in any of the revolutions, anywhere, never used and abused of violence against mass demonstrators, marchers, extended sit-ins…?  Do thousands of revolted citizens who were killed, injured, humiliated, rounded up and put in jails, teargazed…didn’t submit to violence?

Can anyone who joined “Occupy Wall Street” protest in the scores of US cities claim that violence was not their daily staple by police forces?  Can we claim that a revolt was non-violent simply because the masses of political disobedience were the only party refraining from using arms, clubs, teargas, camels…?

No, the Arab uprisings have not been non-violent at all: the Egyptian people revolted violently in Suez and other places, and attacked government buildings,offices of Hosni Mubarak’s party. police stations throughout the country, and offices of Hosni Mubarak’s party…

The Libyan uprising degenerated, with NATO intervention, into multiple wars inside Libya, and is turning more vicious after Qadhafi assassination, though the news media refrain from covering this insidious tacit civil war…

In Tunisia, the rebels also attacked government buildings…and the violence has not subsided yet…

In Yemen, the killing and violence from both sides didn’t subside and has turned to an ugly civil war…

What about Bahrain were the Gulf Arab “States” and Western medias are doing their best to not cover the continuing atrocities committed by these self-appointed absolute monarchs…?

In Syria, the situation is now regularly labeled a “civil war.”

Changing a political system is not the same as gradually reforming a system, through unbiased election laws, and unbiased media coverage that usually favor the power-to-be system…Even lukewarm reform demands are confronted with blood and flesh by the system in order to sending “strong messages” that law and order is the sin-qua of any dominant system…

 As’ad AbuKhalil, in his blog “Angry Corner”, wrote on Dec. 2, under “The Delusions of Gene Sharp How to Start a Revolution”:

“Sharp disturbingly has no problem promoting his influence. He starts the movie by talking about the oft-used evidence of the spread of his ideas: that his books have been translated into more than 30 languages. He keeps talking about the translation of one of his books (prominently featured in the film) into Arabic.

This claim is dishonest: Sharp knows that his books were not translated through the initiative of Arab fans. They were translated by his own Einstein Institution, through external funding provided to his organization.

Jamila Raqib (who was featured in the film as his devotee) contacted me a few years ago when the Institution funded the translation of the books. They asked me to supervise the translation process and verify the accuracy. The books were too uninteresting for me, and I turned down the job and I referred them to a friend.

How could Sharp convince himself that the translation of his work into multiple languages is evidence of his influence when he knows that he himself commissioned the translation of his own work?

Politically speaking, Sharp has been working largely in sync with US foreign policy goals. He promoted his non-violent agenda against the communist governments during the Cold War, and his partner (a former US army General) talked about his work under the tutelage of the Republican International Institute.

If Sharp is keen on promoting non-violence, why does he not preach non-violence to the US government which practices more violence than most countries of the world? And why has Sharp preached non-violence to Palestinians but not to Israelis? His project of non-violence seems in the interest of the most violent governments in the world today.”

Can we dismiss the theory of Gene Sharp’s so-called inspiration the non-violent nature of the “Arab spring” uprising? What does the documentary “How to Start A Revolution” say?

AbuKhalil resumes: “It is not easy to finish the movie: there is no story, really. It focuses on Gene Sharp in his old age, in his house in Massachusetts. In the basement of the house works the executive director of his Albert Einstein Institution.  Director Sharp struggles to make his case, and the movie has the feel of a promotional movie of a cult.

The movie could not provide any evidence of Sharp’s influence. Consequently, it invites four men to confirm that Sharp has inspired revolution. One man is from Serbia, and another from Georgia, and one is from Egypt, and the fourth, a Syrian from London.

Each one of the four was tasked with providing a testimonial (clearly under prodding from the interviewer behind the camera) to the effect that “yes, Sharp inspired the revolution”.  That was it. The film was crude in contrasting images of revolutions and protests with a close up of Gene Sharp’s face in his house.

And the movie claimed falsely that governments around the world have been attacking Gene Sharp’s works due to his influence. Sharp himself, without any evidence, claimed that the Russian government set on fire two printing presses because they carried his books. The film claimed that protesters in Iran were convicted on following the instructions of Sharp — and again no evidence was presented.

The second part of the movie focuses on the Egyptian and Syrian cases.

In the Egyptian case, the movie brings in a guy and introduces him to us as “a leader of the Egyptian revolution.” I personally have never heard of the guy, but you had to believe that he is the leader of the revolution. This Egyptian “leader” said: “yes, Sharp inspired the Egyptian revolution”.

The Syrian guy, Ussama Munajjid, was even funnier. He lives in London but the film introduced him as a  “leader” of the Syrian revolution. We saw him in his office uploading footage from cameras that he “had placed” all over the country, as the film alleges. If this guy’s testimonial was not enough, he was flown to Boston to be filmed while listening to Sharp’s advice.

It is not difficult to mock the writings of Sharp. His instructions for revolution are too basic and common-sensical to be credited to Sharp. The film even suggests that he was behind the idea of beating pots and pans in Serbia, when Latin Americans have engaged in this form of protests for decades, long before Sharp’s books were translated (at his own initiative) to Spanish.

Sharp suggests that protesters should wave flags, as if they did not think of that prior to the publication of Sharp’s books!

The message of Sharp in the film is condescending and patronizing, although his firm belief in his own international influence has a tinge of self-delusion. He believes that he — the White Man — alone knows what is the best course of action for people around the world. He preaches to Arabs that they were wrong in insisting on the resignation of the leader: he urges that the downfall of the government be stressed instead, as if Arab popular chants did not aim at that.

Sharp (or his one Egyptian fan in the film) may have not heard of the nine bombings of the Egyptian pipeline to Israel. That was not in any of Sharp’s books.” End of quote

Communication technology activists: The challenge to the Syrians secret services

The Irish NGO Frontline, located in Jordan, trained Syrian activists on how to erase data at long distance, secretly exchanging e-mails, and saving sensible database (videos, pictures…). 

For example, the Iranians have provided the Syrian security forces GSM antennas that can expand (balloon) the reach of signals and thus, capture the coordinates of anyone using performing satellite mobiles.

Fidaa al-Sayed, communication Syrian specialist and activist, located in Sweden, countered that breach in security by asking his “operators” on the ground to shut down automatic mode and using solely the manual mode.

Since March 15, If you are caught in Syria publishing images and videos on YouTubes or sending videos to Al-Jazeera channel, you are more likely to be beaten silly or killed in prison.

Transmitting, emitting news from Syria is resembling to activities engaged in Radio London during the occupation of Nazi Germany to France.

Usama Monajed, 31 of age and residing in London since 2005, is one of the precursors for clandestinely supplying communication equipments into Syria.  Usuma had assimilated the “non-violence tactics” of Gene Sharp.  Usama held seminars on communication technologies to Syrian activists, able to visit Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon without visas.

The sophisticated equipments included satellite modems, smartphones, and portable computer. Usama manages the network “Shaam News”, a site based in the USA and functioning since February, three weeks before the start of the Syrian uprising on March 15.

On March 15, 2011, two dozens of young activists demonstrated in the Souk of Damascus, by the Great Mosque.  They shouted: “Syrians, where are you?”  They shot a video of their demonstration that made the tour of foreign news media.  All these youth were detained, and not a single one has emerged from prison since then.

The Syrian regime tactics are to close-off a city, cut electricity and internet connections.  In Daraa, the activists recharged their mobiles using electric generators: They filmed the repression, particularly the beating to death of marchers by the security services, the “Mukhabarat”.  The activists vacated Daraa in the night, walked to nearby villages by the borders with Jordan, and remitted their communication equipments to their contacts.  The videos were transmitted on Al Jazeera.

The “authorities” or the 4th brigade of Maher Al Assad, brother of Bashar, ordered a few neighborhoods to either hand-over the activists or face occupation.  The neighborhoods opted for the second alternative. Maher Al Assad is on top of the wanted list for crimes against humanity.

Amrou is a Syrian activists residing in Paris.  He is 29 of age and has been transmitting live videos to Al Jazeera.  Amrou had smuggled to the activists in Banias quality communication equipments and explained to them how to use the software Bambuster. Bambuster can transmit high quality images directly from a phone. On Skype, the operator in Banias relayed the news: “It is done.  He is on the roof. The manifestation is starting.”  Amrou calls his contact in Al Jazeera in Doha and tells him: “All is in place”.  Three seconds later the live video is on TV stations.

The operator on the ground has to cut filming within 30 minutes, lest he is localized by the Syrian communication specialists to the regime.  Amrou prefers the Iridium satellite phone instead of Thuraya, because it is far secure.   Amrou suggests to his operators to use the software YouSendIT to post on YouTubes: It leaves “no trace on your portable computer.”

The Syrian activist Firas Atassi, residing in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), is in charge of the “communicators” in Homs.  Ammar Abdulhamid of Silver Spring (USA) is managing the activists in Damascus. Syrian communication leaders overseas are centered in Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Australia; every where there are heavy Syrian immigrants.

Note 1:  Since March 15, over 15,000 Syrians have gone throught the prisons revolving doors, after suffering harsh and savage torture.  More than a thousands have been assassinated, even within the prisons.  Bashar Al Assad has called upon the retired old guards in the secret and intelligence services to join in the efforts of taming the revolts.  Most probably, things are getting out of hand and Bashar has to pay for not demonstrating firm control over his brutish oligarchies.

Note 2: Most of these information were taken from the French weekly “Le Nouvel Observateur”

“Time for Outrage”, “Indignez-vous”: Who are Gene Sharp, Stephane Hessel, Assad Abou-Khalil, Adonis49?

Gene Sharp, 83-year old, have been disseminating for decades articles on non-violent revolutions such as “From dictatorship to democracy” that has been on the net in 24 languages.

Sharp served a prison term of 9 months as a conscious objector to the war in Korea and participated in sit-ins against black segregation in the 60’s.

Sharp is overwhelmed by the discipline of the Egyptian demonstrators and their poised calm.  “When the people is no longer scared of the dictator, it means the dictator is not going to last for long” writes Sharp.

Sharp studied Gandhi’s teachings and methods to promoting civic rights, freedom of speech… The conclusions were that for snatching liberty, the non-violent movements have got to be organized and methodical.

Ahmed Maher, an Egyptian activist of the April 6 Movement, discovered Sharp’s files while studying the Serbian movement Otpor, which contributed to the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic. A clandestine group organized a meeting in Cairo a few years ago to discuss non-violent uprising and Sharp’s strategies for non-violent protests were analyzed.

Hugo Chavez, and the Iranian and Burman regimes accuse Sharp of being an infiltrated CIA agent. In 1989, Sharp happened to be in China to witnessing the Tiananmen Square upheaval.  In 1990, Sharp was in Myanmar at the invitation of the retired colonel Robert Helvey.

The founder of the blog “The angry Arab news services“, Assad Abou-Khalil, is contesting the role of Sharp in the current Arab people uprising:  The western media are looking for a new Lawrence of Arabia to explaining the successes of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.  As if only foreign western impulses guarantee successes in the Arab World.

The late French Stephane Hessel, 93-year old, published lately a pamphlet of 27 pages titled “Indignez-vous”.

Hessel has published “Citizens without frontiers” and “Dance with the century”.

He wrote: “The foundation of the French resistance was based on indignation of German occupation. This was a straightforward indignation.  It is more complex to get outraged now, and to formulate rationally the causes for our wrath .  Indignation is shared by immigrants, downtrodden, ethnic minorities, and their realization of the increasing huge gap between the rich and the poorer classes.”

Hessel managed to enter Gaza on diplomatic visa after the Goldston report and witnessed the facts of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Israeli army during 3 weeks of savage genocide on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Adonis49 has been very angry lately and vented his wrath. He published a dozen articles on the social platform, sharp and to the point articles, on the events taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrein, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia…

He is reminding the people in the USA that all indicators are in favor of an US mass uprising by the lower middle class and the 20% of the downtrodden in this highly capitalist structured system, dominated by the multinational financial companies and the elite “old-money” classes.  I opened a special category called “Time for Outrage”

People marching counter to the wind” was coined by the Omaha Sioux tribe.  The international organizations such as Attac, Amnesty, International Federation for human rights… are the striking proof of this awareness.

Gene Sharp is about to publish “Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle”.

It is great to express your indignation and joining mass peaceful protesters and discussing plans for a better future and the array of valid non-military jobs and opportunities.




February 2023

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