Political Purpose

To orient your entire strategy, identify the political purpose of your campaign.

The political purpose of your campaign is a clear and simple statement of ‘what you want’.

This political purpose ‘anchors’ your campaign: it tells people what you are concerned about so that you can clearly identify allies, opponents and third parties. Your political purpose is a statement of what you will have achieved when you have successfully completed your strategy.

Here are fourteen examples of a political purpose:

To stop violence against [children and/or women] in [your town/city/country].
To secure constitutional recognition of prior indigenous occupation of [your land/country/continent].
To establish appropriate treaties between indigenous peoples and the settler population in [your land/country].
To end climate-destroying activities in [your town/city/province/country/the world].
To end discrimination and violence against [one or more racial/religious groups] in [your town/city/country].
To stop weapons exhibitions being held in [your city/country].
To halt [coal mining/oil drilling] in [your specified area/country].
To end forest destruction in [your specified area/country/region].
To halt military production by [weapons corporation W1].
To halt fracking in [your specified area/country].
To end weapons shipments from [weapons corporation W1] to [country B].
To halt drone killings by [your country].
To shut down the nuclear reactor at [location] or: To shut down nuclear power in [your country].
To end war as an instrument of national policy in [your country/the world].

Once you have clearly decided the political purpose of your strategy, which might reflect a local wording and/or flavour that gives it extra meaning for your campaign group, write this political purpose – ‘what you want’ – into your ‘campaign strategy document’ which can be downloaded from the Strategic Aims page.

In practice, this political purpose may be publicized in the form of a political program or as a list of demands.

The specific political demands are vitally important and should be compiled with five criteria in mind:

(i) the demands must be concrete, easily understood and ‘within the power of the opponent to yield’;
(ii) they should accurately reflect the needs of the people engaged in the campaign in order to mobilize widespread support for the struggle;
(iii) they should include an explicit commitment to the needs of the opponent;
(iv) they should expose moral weak points in the position of the opponent; and
(v) they should nominate specific positive changes (giving substance to the political purpose), not just token changes.

For a full explanation of any of the above, see The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach.

Once you have defined your political purpose, I suggest that you go to the ‘Assessment’ link in the sidebar and then progressively work your way down the list.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/political-purpose/

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