Friday, September 2, 2016

Offer to Pro-Liberty Students

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed in 1960 to fight racial oppression. The group has been described as “fantastically influential.” SNCC got thousands of people involved in uprisings throughout the U.S., and it was the principle force that caused large-scale social, economic, and political changes during and after the 1960’s. 

The “How SNCC Built a Movement” seminar uses psychosocial science and historical scholarship to explain its unique and powerful grassroots organizing method, which students can use today to advance the cause of liberty. 

This year, while resources are available, Action for Liberty will offer this 1-2 hour seminar free to vetted conservative, libertarian, and other pro-liberty student groups in or near the Philadelphia-Harrisburg-Washington triangle. The seminar, which was presented at the 2016 International Students for Liberty Conference, is currently given to small groups of 4-12 students who are sincerely interested in learning new ideas for activism. If you cannot reserve a meeting room, one will be provided. For information inquire at Tell us about your organization. 


Disclaimers and Conditions

1. This seminar, including the verbal presentation and any written materials, is provided free and without obligation to students who belong to organizations deemed by Action for Liberty to advance the cause of liberty in America. The presenter will not solicit sales for any service or product.

2. Although the presenter and Action for Liberty have made every effort to ensure that the information in this seminar was correct at the time of presentation, they do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.

3. Neither the presenter nor Action for Liberty will make any public statement concerning participation by the student or involvement in the seminar by any student organization or college/university.

4. Contact information and other personal data will be for Action for Liberty internal use only and will not be sold or shared with any outside party.

5. Any discussion during the presentation of tactics or courses of action are for educational purposes only and shall not be construed to constitute an endorsement or recommendation of such tactics or courses of action.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Primary Resources

Highly Recommended
  • Frances Fox Piven, Challenging Authority. Describes a theory about how ordinary people can get power from disrupting the status quo and use it to force change. Compatible with Gene Sharp's theories about nonviolent struggle.
  • Charles Payne, I've Got the Light of Freedom. An outstanding history of the black uprising of the 1960's. Provides insight into SNCC organizing methods.
  • Francesca Polletta, Freedom is an Endless Meeting. Analysis of "participatory democracy," used by SNCC to deliberate on problems and issues.
Also Recommended
  • Wesley Hogan, Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC's Dream for a New America. Good overall history and analysis of SNCC with information about how SNCC organizing methods spread to other movements.
  • Jane F. McAlevey, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age. Analyzes the American labor movement and unearths the organizing philosophy, which is similar to SNCC's, that accounts for how certain unions became powerful and successful.

Books on nonviolent struggle by Gene Sharp
  • The Politics of Nonviolent Struggle. 902 pages. This is a three-volume set, the second of which describes 198 tactics.
  • Waging Nonviolent Struggle. 598 pages.
Since the above books are lengthy, consider deferring them and reading one of the following first:
  • "From Dictatorship to Democracy," 102 pages (online article).
  • How Nonviolent Struggle Works.

Additional resources

Two videos by Jack Wheeler describing how his dreams of bringing down the Soviet Union came true:
  • Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society. Discusses from a Christian perspective the moral and ethical issues involved in using power to force changes in society.
  • Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: Science and Practice. Good book on persuasion and social influence for the general public.
  • Dave Mitchell and Andrew Boyd, Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. This is a good source for ideas about tactics. The same content, along with other information, is on the website
  • Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement. A good biography of the main founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
  • David S. Meyer, The Politics of Protest. Chapter 3 is about becoming an activist. 
  • Richard H. Buskirk, Frontal Attack: Divide and Conquer, the Fait Accompli, and 118 Other Tactics Managers Must Know.
  • Chin-ning Chu, The Asian Mind Game.
  • H.L. Richardson, Confrontational Politics. A rare book by a conservative about a confrontational style of activism for conservatives.
  • Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960's.
  • Daniel Hunter, Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: An Organizing Guide. The "new Jim Crow" is the American prison system, which the author wants to dismantle. Conservatives might prefer to pursue different goals, but the book's ideas about organizing may help in pursuing virtually any political goal.

Two Articles on Psychology