Posts by Erika

Gandhian activist from Mexico, May 17 at Metta

We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to a talk this month by Pietro Ameglio, a prominent Gandhian nonviolence educator/activist and close collaborator of Javier Sicilia, who will be speaking about the current crisis in Mexico and the emerging nonviolent resistance on Tuesday, May 17, 7pm at our office in Berkeley (1730 Martin… read more

effervescence of the crowd

Effervescence of the crowd is a term used to describe the tendency of people to feed off of a momentary sense of excitement, taking to the streets and appearing briefly to be mobilized for a cause, only for the initial excitement to wear off and for the energy to dissipate (or worse, degenerate into violence… read more


In third party nonviolent intervention, interposition is the act of literally getting in between conflicting parties to deter them from using violence against one another. Commonly, it is assumed that interposition owes its effectiveness to the conflicting parties’ unwillingness to harm an innocent bystander. However, there is also a more subtle and compelling reason for why… read more


Non-embarrassment is a nonviolent strategic principle employed by Gandhi. “Embarassment,” in this context refers to the alternate definition of embarrass, “to confuse, flummox.”  The principle states that one should never persist actively in a nonviolent resistance campaign towards an opponent while that opponent is distracted. There are two main reasons, both derived from the intention… read more

reference public

Reference public is the term used to describe those who stand to have their views on a given issue influenced through witnessing a nonviolent struggle.  It is particularly used in relation to the paradox of repression, when witnesses are liable to take the side of the nonviolent activists they see suffering escalating violence from the authorities.… read more

Oceanic Circle

Oceanic circle describes Gandhi’s vision of social organization. Gandhi believed that for a nonviolent society to achieve a lasting peace, it must be organized in a decentralized way. In Gandhi’s own words: “Independence must begin at the bottom. Thus, every village will be a republic or panchayat having full powers. It follows, therefore, that every… read more

Sacrifice Trap

The sacrifice trap is a term coined by peace researcher Kenneth Boulding.  It describes a situation, often in war, in which a decision maker does not withdraw from the situation because of the sacrifices already made for the cause. The US involvement in Vietnam continued for years because of the sacrifice trap.… read more

people power

People power is a term coined during the 1986 uprising of the Filipinos that culminated in the nonviolent moment at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.  It is used to describe movements that mobilize large numbers of people against a repressive regime. It is closely linked with the notion of consent based power, in which nonviolence, is conceived… read more