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Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns

Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns

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Published by Howard Clark

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Published by: Howard Clark on Jun 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/01/2011

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Time: Minimum 30 minutes
Goal or purpose of the exercise:

ITo identify the pillars holding up the power structures we want to over

come.

ITo analyse the pillars with the goal of developing strategies to weaken

them.
ITo identify the vulnerability of power structures.

How it’s done/facilitator’s notes

Describe the Pillars

1. Draw an upside down triangle with pillars holding it up. Write the name
of the problem in the triangle. It can be an institution or an injustice
(e.g., ‘war’).
2. Ask the group to identify the pillars that represent the institutions and
factors that support the problem (e.g., the military, corporations,
patriotic citizens). Be specific about elements of the support structures
(e.g., the military includes the leadership, soldiers, veterans, military
families). This will help as we analyse how to weaken the structure.
3. Identify the underlying principles that are the foundation of the pillars
(e.g., sexism, greed, lies).

Analyse a Pillar

Choose a pillar that your group wants to knock down. Consider your group’s
mission as you make your decision. Draw another set of pillars, writing the
name of the institution from your chosen pillar in the triangle. Now analyse
what holds up that problem. This can become the basis for developing your
strategy.

Explain to the group that while the problem seems hard to shake, the
inverted triangle symbolises its weakness. Whole pillars do not need to be
knocked down to weaken power; weakening the pillars can have a great
effect.

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