A War Without Violence?

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Renowned revolutionary Srdja Popovic has helped orchestrate five peaceful regime overhauls in countries around the globe. Now he’s on a quest to spread his tactics—starting on an idyllic atoll in the Maldives. As Nicholas Schmidle reports in his story in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, on Democracy Island, Popovic hopes to lead activists from around the world in sharing their nonviolent resistance strategies.

Born in the Ukraine, Popovic was one of the organizers for the Serbian youth resistance movement, Otpor!, which rallied ordinary citizens in a grassroots effort to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic’s 13-year regime. Their methods of agitation—a get-out-the-vote campaign, strikes, street theater, and civil disobedience—led to triumph over a despotic regime.

If you’re still curious after reading Schmidle’s story, I recommend A Guide to Nonviolent Struggle, which was created by Popovic and other members of the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies as a how-to manual for creating a nonviolent resistance movement of your own. “I am not a politician; I am a revolutionary,” Popovic told Schmidle. “I see the world as a big battlefield between those who believe in the power of the people and those who try to control the power of the people.”

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