200 Tactics of Nonviolence


In The Politics of Nonviolent Action (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), Gene Sharp describes each tactic below and gives examples of its use. You could decide which ones best fit your situation and how to apply them.  However, there is no reason you should have to pick and choose from this list.  No list could ever be complete.  Be creative and come up with ideas of your own.  The list of tactics below may help jump-start your own creative processes.


Protest and persuasion


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 reclamation

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


Social Noncooperation



55.  Social boycott

56.  Selective social boycott

57.  Lysistratic nonaction

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 noncooperation

67.  Flight of workers

68.  Sanctuary

69.  Collective disappearance

70.  Protest emigration


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.  Worker'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


Economic noncooperation: strikes


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


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 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.   Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision

135.   Popular nonobedience

136.   Disguised disobedience

137.   Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse

138.   Sit-down

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 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

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


Nonviolent intervention


Psychological intervention

158.   Self-exposure to the elements

159.   Fast of moral pressure

160.   Hunger strike

161.   Satyagrahic fast

162.   Reverse trial

163.   Nonviolent harassment


Physical intervention

164.   Sit-in

165.   Stand-in

166.   Ride-in

167.   Wade-in

168.   Mill-in

169.   Pray-in

170.   Nonviolent raids

171.   Nonviolent air raids

172.   Nonviolent invasion

173.   Nonviolent interjection

174.   Nonviolent obstruction

175.   Nonviolent occupation


Social intervention

176.   Establishing new social patterns

177.   Overloading of facilities

178.   Stall-in

179.   Speak-in

180.   Guerrilla theater

181.   Alternative social institutions

182.   Alternative communication system


Economic intervention

183.   Reverse strike

184.   Stay-in strike

185.   Nonviolent land seizure

186.   Defiance of blockades

187.   Politically motivated counterfeiting

188.   Preclusive purchasing

189.   Seizure of assets

190.   Dumping

191.   Selective patronage

192.   Alternative markets

193.   Alternative transportation systems

194.   Alternative economic institutions


Political intervention

195.   Overloading of administrative systems

196.   Disclosing identities of secret agents

197.   Seeking imprisonment

198.   Civil disobedience of "neutral" laws

199.   Work-on without collaboration

200.   Dual sovereignty and parallel government