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How to Bring Down the Iranian Regime Posted on 25 June 2009 Tags: Bring Down, Iranian Regime, Nonviolent Action Today, due to the elevated threat of violent force against the protesters, the numbers on the street decreased somewhat. No one should be fooled, however, by a relative downturn in the demonstrations. The opposition is planning how to confront the Iranian leadership in ways that go beyond demonstrations and public protests. Today, I’d like to offer a closer look at specific ways those pillars of support can be chipped away. There is an incredible variety of nonviolent actions the Sea of Green opponents can choose from. As Gene Sharp states in Waging Nonviolent Struggle, “The technique of nonviolent action consists of numerous specific “methods,” or forms of action. Such methods are the weapons of nonviolent struggle. They are used to conduct the conflict by psychological, social, economic, or political pressure.” (49) Below I have included a list of 198 specific nonviolent actions, most of which go beyond protests and demonstrations, that the people of Iran could implement. Not all actions fit every context, so I encourage you to read through the list below to see which ones you think might be applied to the ongoing struggle in Iran. I also encourage you to visit Gene Sharp’s website at the Albert Einstein Institution, which contains many materials that are free and downloadable. Let me know what you think of this list. Which of the 198 would be most applicable to Iran?

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION (from Gene Sharp, The Methods of Nonviolent Action, Boston 1973)

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION FORMAL STATEMENTS 1. Public speeches 2. Letters of opposition or support 3. Declarations by organizations and institutions 4. Signed public declarations 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

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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 colours 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. Humourous skits and pranks 36. Performances of plays and music 37. Singing PROCESSIONS 38. Marches 39. Parades 40. Religious processions 41. Pilgrimages 42. Motorcades HONOURING 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 honours 54. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION OSTRACISM OF PERSONS 55. Social boycott 56. Selective social boycott 57. Lysistratic nonaction 58. Excommunication 59. Interdict

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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 noncooperation 67. “Flight” of workers 68. Sanctuary 69. Collective disappearance 70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS ACTION BY CONSUMERS 71. Consumers’ boycott 72. Nonconsumption 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. Workers’ 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

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOOPERATION: THE STRIKE 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 labour 102. Prisoners’ strike 103. Craft strike

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104. Professional strike ORDINARY INDUSTRIAL STRIKES 105. Establishment strike 106. Industry strike 107. Sympathy 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. Generalised strike 117. General strike COMBINATION OF STRIKES AND ECONOMIC CLOSURES 118. Hartal 119. Economic shutdown

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION REJECTION OF AUTHORITY 120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance 121. Refusal of public support 122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance CITIZENS’ NONCOOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENT 123. Boycott of legislative bodies 124. Boycott of elections 125. Boycott of government employment and positions 126. Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies 127. Withdrawal from governmental educational institutions 128. Boycott of government-supported institutions 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. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision 135. Popular nonobedience 136. Disguised disobedience 137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse 138. Sitdown 139. Noncooperation 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 representation

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152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events 153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition 154. Severance of diplomatic relations 155. Withdrawal from international organisations 156. Refusal of membership in international bodies 157. Expulsion from international organizations

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION 158. Self-exposure to the elements 159. The fast 160. a) Fast of moral pressure 161. b) Hunger strike 162. c) Satyagrahic fast 163. Reverse trial 164. 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 theatre 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 Prepared by Mike Crudereff. Share and Enjoy:      

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