The '3.5% non-violent rule': How a small minority of 3.5% of a population protesting non-violently, can change the world

by Paul Alexander

Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change. Always non-violence!

Very fascinating research. ‘Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Overall, nonviolent campaigns were twice as likely to succeed as violent campaigns: they led to political change 53% of the time compared to 26% for the violent protests.

This was partly the result of strength in numbers. Chenoweth argues that nonviolent campaigns are more likely to succeed because they can recruit many more participants from a much broader demographic, which can cause severe disruption that paralyses normal urban life and the functioning of society.

In fact, of the 25 largest campaigns that they studied, 20 were nonviolent, and 14 of these were outright successes. Overall, the nonviolent campaigns attracted around four times as many participants (200,000) as the average violent campaign (50,000).’


Non-violence, peaceful civil disobedience protests

A friend reminded me that Covid-19 is winding down. We thus need to fight where we are. Organizations serve to identify us. The answer isn't there. We have be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. He has, and I've gotten so many death threats, we lose count. As we head into a severe recession, we got to tend our own gardens…And be prepared for more ugliness in this nation and these countries than you could have imagined. We will miss these days he ended our exchange with, he reminded me.