It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance

Many people across the United States are despondent about the new president. But at no time in recorded history have people been more equipped to effectively resist injustice using civil resistance. The United States has its own rich history – past and present – of effective uses of nonviolent resistance. Historical studies suggest that it takes 3.5% of a population engaged in sustained nonviolent resistance to topple brutal dictatorships. If that can be true in Chile under Gen Pinochet and Serbia under Milosevic, a few million Americans could prevent their elected government from adopting inhumane, unfair, destructive or oppressive policies – should such drastic measures ever be needed.


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