8 Ways to Defuse Terrorism Non-Violently: In light of Paris, Beirut, Nigeria, Turkey, Chad and the world…

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Strategies for defusing potential violence/terrorism, applicable to terrorism, police violence, racism, and school shooters.

1) Befriend people different than you, and work to make sure everyone has enough.

2) Don’t let a group become isolated, make friends with outcasts.

3) Make peace the more popular thing to do by building a strong community around non-violence and unarmed civilian peacekeeping.

4) Suppressed grievances can erupt in violence. Create space for grievances and non-violent conflict.

5) Prevent post-terror polarization. Seek out trauma counseling and create ritual to prevent perpetuating a cycle of violence.

6) Advocate for police as peace officers, integrated into the community.

7) Do not invade other’s space. Reckless use of power invites opposition. Work to curb your government’s irresponsible use of power.

8) Negotiation can prevent future violence more effectively than retaliation.

These come from George Lakey’s Swarthmore College course on the nonviolent defense against terror, as popularized in the article below. I renamed his strategies to make them slightly less academic and more accessible. His course syllabus is available in “Peace, Justice, and Security Studies: A Curriculum Guide” (2009).

Lakey, George. 2015. “8 ways to defend against terror nonviolently.” http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/8-ways-defend-terror-nonviolently/ 


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