Nasheed's arm was badly hurt while he was being physically manhandled into the courtroom by police, and he has been denied legal representation.

Nasheed’s arm was badly hurt while he was being physically manhandled into the courtroom by police.

A basic premise of Feisty Doves Climate Action: Nonviolent tactics can mitigate both climate deterioration and militarism. 

Feisty Doves Climate Action has long-term goals and an immediate project.




Immediate Project

Overturning the unjust sentence of former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, a champion of both democracy and a sustainable climate. He was the first democratically elected president of his country.  As Bill McKibben wrote in The Guardian, 30 Nov. 2015:

Nasheed was the star – almost the only star – of the disastrous Copenhagen climate conference six years ago… He was the first head of state to arrive, and he went straight from the airport to a packed meeting hall where he led a giant crowd in chant after chant…Nasheed,  had taught his entire cabinet to scuba dive, so they could hold a formal meeting underwater against the backdrop of a dying coral reef, there to pass a resolution for the UN demanding action to return the planet to an atmosphere of 350 parts per million CO2. He climbed up on the roof of his own presidential house with his own presidential hammer to install solar panels. He pledged that his archipelago nation would become the first on earth to go carbon neutral…And all around the world people responded…The satraps of the old dictator never gave up, and eventually they pushed him aside in a military coup…Amnesty International and the great human rights lawyer Amal Clooney are doing their best – but they’re up against thugs, pure and simple.

TWEET. You can send a tweet to the current president of the Maldives, requesting that Nasheed’s unjust conviction be overturned. First, go to http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/amal-clooney-tells-amnesty-international-why-the-former-president-of-the-maldives-must-be-released; at the bottom of that page, click on Send a Tweet to the President of the Maldives.


Long-term Goals

1. We support replacing militarism, an exceptionally harmful cause of climate deterioration, with nonviolent civilian-based defense.  Defense is necessary, but we propose a rapid transition to a nonviolent defense.

2. We support more vigorous nonviolent tactics such as boycotts and blockades, to encourage polluters to stop their excessive production of greenhouse gases.  Some of the same nonviolent actions that can be used to defend against military aggression could also be used to guide nations like the United States, China, and Canada to drastically reduce emission of greenhouse gases.

3. We also propose a structure/organization to implement the nonviolent strategy: an international alliance of nations. Member states could use nonviolent action to encourage big greenhouse gas producers to mitigate their production and to deter any military aggression against members of the international alliance. A possible name for the alliance: Nonviolent Action for National Protection League (NANPL).



Feisty Doves Climate Action’s goals proposes an organization of sovereign nations to deal nonviolently with climate disruption and with the threat of coups d’état and military invasions. This may seem like an unlikely combination, but there is a body of tactics (nonviolent actions) that can deal with both. An actual organization of nations to deal with these threats would offer mutual encouragement and assistance.  Security needs to be a collective enterprise on the highest level.  The United Nations unfortunately is hamstrung by vetoes in the Security Council and other issues. A coalition of nations that are willing to take action on these issues now and to give it the priority it deserves is in order.

Drastically reducing greenhouse gas production requires immediate and sustained pressure on major producers. Although the threat of military invasions and coups d’état threaten individual nations less consistently, considerable resources are obviously used to deter them and to deal with them if they should occur. Military establishments have a large carbon footprint even in peacetime. With deteriorating climate, conflicts between nations are apt to increase, with struggles over water, environmental migration, and reparations. Thus Feisty Doves could serve to mitigate climate disruption by not only encouraging tested nonviolent tactics to forcefully counter climate disruption from power generation and other sectors but also to counter militarism. Struggles that may well occur because of climate disruption need to be dealt with nonviolently to prevent military threats and escalation and an even greater carbon footprint from the military in the future. The carbon footprint from nonviolent defense preparedness and utilization would not be zero but would in all likelihood be far less than what we are seeing from militarization. It is unsustainable to continue to pour scarce resources into military preparedness; nonviolent civilian-based defense would work better.


These actions will not necessarily unfold sequentially.


Helping to overturn the unjust sentence of the former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, a champion of both democracy and a sustainable climate.


Conversations with friends, neighbors, academics, activists, diplomats, and others about what international structures/organizations are needed to deal with climate deterioration and with military threats to nations’ sovereignty.

Exchanging ideas about such structures with citizens of other countries.

Exchanging ideas with government officials in various countries about such structures.

Promoting Feisty Doves Climate Action to implement the goals of the project and recruiting individuals as members. It could work with other organizations like Greenpeace and Democratic World Federalists. “Democratic World Federalists, a civil society organization based in San Francisco with supporters worldwide, advocates a democratic federal system of world government in order to end war and crimes against humanity and to promote ‘a just world community and the preservation of a livable and healthful global environment’ through the development of enforceable world law. [Wikipedia].”

Recruiting individuals, organizations, and countries (sovereign states) as members.


–Establish an organization of member states to promote a nonviolent strategy to deal with climate disruption and militarism and recruit states. A possible name for the alliance: Nonviolent Action for National Protection League.

–The member states set up educational programs to train citizens in the use of nonviolent tactics to deal with threats (climate disruption, invasions, coups d’état), as was done in Lithuania around the time of the unsuccessful Soviet invasion.


–Member countries insist that major produces of greenhouse gases reduce their production of them along the lines recommended by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Diplomatic efforts and negotiations are backed up where necessary by arbitration, primary and secondary boycotts, media campaigns, divestment, and other forms of nonviolent action.

–Unless a country that is a member has already abolished its military (like Costa Rica), it enters into a process to move from a military defense to a defense based on nonviolent action. This gradual process is sometimes referred to as transarmament.

–If a member country is threatened with invasion or a coup d’état, the potential perpetrators are warned that the members of Feisty Countries consider an attack on one of their members as an attack on themselves.

–If an actual military attack occurs, the members employ tactics similar to those mentioned above to counter it.


Governments. In Phase Four, countries (sovereign states) become the primary members.

–Democracies rather than dictatorships are more likely members because the latter would probably fear that knowledge of nonviolent tactics could be used to turn them out of office.

–Countries with little or no military expenditures would have much to gain because they would obtain allies; if they have rejected militarism, strengthening nonviolent defense is advisable.

–Neutral Countries would strengthen their defense. They would need to decide that an alliance of nonviolently defended nations is more advantageous than their neutrality.

–Militarized democracies such as NATO members might decide not to become full members of NANPL but instead to become supporting members. A reason for them to be supportive? If potential adversaries opt for nonviolence, the militarized democracy need not fear invasion. For example, if Argentina had adopted nonviolence, Britain would not have had to deal with defending the Falkland Islands/Malvinas.  If a militarized country like the United States has a treaty obligation to defend another country , as the United States does in the case of Taiwan, the protected country’s defense would be improved through civilian-based defense.

[This page was updated on 7 July 2016.]

2 responses to “HOME

  1. Wondering about how this proposal maps onto the problem. Defence against invasion is a small subset of the reasons for military spending (biggest spenders are direct or proxy invaders not invadees?). Nonviolence alliances might attract only a subset of military spenders (the small ones – while overall weapons spending could go on upwards?). Conflict is a subset of the problem dynamic involving climate (all issues are worsened so should all be considered?)

  2. “The problem” seems complex, with interrelated issues including climate deterioration, military invasions and military coups d’état, imperialism assisted by armies, and structural deficiencies in the United Nations and other international organizations.

    As you say, defense against invasion is a small subset of reasons for military spending. If we think that nonviolent tactics are comparable or better against invasion than a military defense, than the other reasons for military efforts need to stand on their own merits: controlling other nations (e.g., U.S. invasion of Vietnam and Grenada), intimidating other nations with nuclear weapons, proping up military dictarorships (e.g. Egypt), supporting the military-industrial complex and the jobs and profits it provides. Many people reject these other reasons and their support for the military and military spending would deminsh if they supported nonviolent civilian-based defense.

    The United Nations reflects the positions of the victors in World War II who positioned defense in the Security Council and then provided themselves with veto power. An contravaling structure would include a nonviolently defended group of democratic nations and nations that aspire to democracy, having little or no military power. Those with small militaries could eliminate their military expenditures as Costa Rica did permanently in 1949 by eliminating their military. The resulting “peace dividend” would be assigned to education, health, infrastructure and other projects that would leverage more employment and positive growth. This also effectively deals with the danger of military coups d’état, which have often happened, e.g., in Argentina and Chile in the 20ieth century. Excluding the dictatorships would enable the peaceful nations to embrace nonviolent tactics, whereas dictatorships would probably not want to empower their own people with the tools that that could be turned against the dictators.

    Thus an attractive international structure could arise based on those nations that consider nonviolent civilian-based defense to be a good policy. The toolbox of nonviolent tactics could also be used to pressure nations with a high per capita carbon footprint. Climate deterioration is upon us and we need to act now.

    A interesting summary of what needs to happen to eliminate war is A Global Security System: an Alternative to War, published by World Beyond War.

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