Nonviolent Action Method #137: Refusal of an Assemblage or Meeting to Disperse

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Refusal of an Assemblage or Meeting to Disperse

A formal or informal meeting may demonstrate opposition by rejecting requests, whether official or not, to disperse. Sometimes, this technique is closely linked to non-obedience or civil disobedience with “illegitimate” laws.

In 2014, protesters demonstrating against the killing of unarmed African-American teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, refused to disperse. In response, police fired tear gas into the crowd.

(Editor’s Note: This week, we are featuring five different methods of nonviolent protest as described in Gene Sharp’s book The Politics of Nonviolent Action. If you want to read ESA’s entire catalogue of methods, you may do so here, or download the full list of 198 methods here.)

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