As non-violence gains traction as a vehicle of popular protest, protesters from Manama to Madison are reminding each other to be peaceful. This is “strategic” non-violence, playing to the people’s strength as it tries to negate the state’s strong arm.
It is also similar to India’s experience with non-violence: political subversion wrapped in morality that broke few rules but wreaked havoc. This was a formidable weapon against the British. Despite the greater ruthlessness of despotic governments, it is the only viable course of mass resistance in the Middle East.