Authoritarian regimes can often seem too difficult to topple. But history shows that when mass numbers of people unite, they can achieve political rights even in the most brutal political systems. Learn how!
History shows that when enough people come together and challenge hierarchical power with strategic planning, unity of purpose, and nonviolent discipline, people power can win.
Closing Confucius Institutes
Tibet Action is a leading force in the coalition effort to shut down Chinese government-backed Confucius Institutes (CIs) at universities and schools in the United States and around the globe. Since launching a campaign in the Boston area in late 2017, two of three schools targeted – University of Massachusetts-Boston and Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School – have closed their Confucius Institute programs as a direct result of the campaign. The one remaining – Tufts University – is in the midst of a comprehensive review process with a decision expected any day. High-profile media stories on the Boston campaign include the cover story in the Boston Globe and a mention in a short documentary “China: Spies, Lies and Blackmail” by Al Jazeera’s 101 East program.
The campaign also helped secure statements and letters of opposition from influential Boston-area Members of Congress Seth Moulton and Mike Capuano. CIs provide a platform for Chinese government propaganda on topics such as Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen, while forbidding open discussion on the same topics. They are part of a larger effort by the Chinese government to increase its soft power globally while exerting influence to change norms around basic rights like freedom of expression.
The move to shutter Confucius Institutes is gaining momentum. At least 10 American universities have taken steps to close CIs in the past year, and the Canadian province of New Brunswick plans to pull CIs from 28 schools in which it currently operates.
Stop Google Censorship: Drop Dragonfly
Tibet Action is working with a diverse group of international allies, including Uyghurs, Chinese rights advocates, and consumer advocacy groups, to pressure Google to cancel Project Dragonfly, a censored search app for the Chinese market that the company has been secretly developing for the past year.
The campaign was formally launched with two online media briefings on International Human Rights Day on December 10th, 2018. It challenges Beijing’s efforts to shift global norms around free expression and information sharing and inserts Tibet into the center of this important story.
Below is a library of information on how communities have won through strategic nonviolent action. Prepare to be inspired!
Language is critical to maintaining culture and identity for people around the world. In Tibet, despite China’s systematic attempt to stamp out the Tibetan language, Tibetans continue to press for their rights.
Tibet is resource rich, exploited by China’s occupation. Like other communities, Tibetans are fighting practices that largely benefit outside interests, asserting their right to control their economies.
Religion and culture form the very fabric of Tibetan society. Through cultural expressions like dance, dress, and ceremonies, Tibetans are asserting their identity as Tibetan, including their right to religious freedom.
Environmental protection is a pressing global issue of our time. In Tibet, as around the world, countless inspiring people and communities are stopping mining, protecting endangered species, starting eco-tourism projects, and more.
Lhakar Academy – Tibetan School for Leadership & Change
The Lhakar Academy is an intensive training program launched in 2011 to equip talented and experienced young Tibetan leaders with the knowledge and skills to develop and implement sophisticated, effective strategies and tactics, strengthening the Tibet movement’s ability to achieve human rights and democracy in Tibet.
Modeled on programs used to train and inspire activists and grassroots leaders at the forefront of the Indian independence movement and the American Civil Rights movement, this three to four week training aims to provide an in-depth understanding of Tibet and China in the context of contemporary global politics and history; through knowledge of strategy, strategic nonviolent action, and tactics of resistance; and secure communications technology and media skills.
As of Spring 2019, 124 exceptional Tibetan youth leaders have graduated from the month-long Lhakar Academy – Tibetan School for Leadership and Change program and the Lhakar Academy Local – a condensed week-long version of the full training. Collectively, these leaders are a decisive force in the Tibetan freedom movement – strategic planners, campaigners, spokespeople, and skill-sharers.
- Tibetan Identity and Resistance
- Nonviolent Resistance: Power, Strategy & Tactics
- Knowing China
- Personal Leadership
- Messaging and Working with the Media
- Communication, Technology, and Security
Learn more about strategic nonviolence here:
The Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance: Erica Chenoweth at TEDxBoulder
Civil Resistance: A First Look
Strategy and Tactics by Tenzin Dorjee
Mechanisms of Change by Tenzin Dorjee
Freedom from Corruption
Creative Low-Risk Tactics
Why Strategic Nonviolent Action?
The concept of nonviolence can evoke many responses. There are some traits that nonviolence is and is not, though, that can help determine why we might choose strategic nonviolence in our movements.
STRATEGIC NONVIOLENCE IS...
Proactively using psychological, social, economic, and/or political methods
Able to engage widespread participation
Based on the ability and strength to disobey
Identified by the actions people take, not by what they believe
STRATEGIC NONVIOLENCE IS NOT...
A submissive/passive stance
Loving one’s enemy
A path cowards choose
Based only on verbal methods
Assuming people are inherently “good”