The Power of Nonviolence – Stories of Bravery

The Power of Nonviolence – Stories of Bravery

For fifteen years I have been teaching nonviolence in The Center for Non-Military Cervice in Finland. Based on these lecturers I have written a book called The Power of Nonviolence – Stories of Bravery. It includes examples of the use of the power of nonviolence: from Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr to Greta Thunberg and many others. The book was published by Rosebud Books and Finnish Peace Commettee on April 2020.

The book is currently beeing translated into Russia. If you are interested in publishing it to English or in any other language, pleace contact, we would be very exited to cooperate. Here is a short intro to the book:

Väkivallattomuuden voima - kertomuksia rohkeudesta -kirjan kansi

The power of nonviolence has been used to topple dictators, to gain independence and to defend nations. It has been used successfully in civil activism and peacekeeping, and it has proven effective in finding solutions to conflicts both at the national and international level.

This book tells the reader what nonviolence is all about. These stories prove that when we face injustice, we have – in addition to violence and passivity – a third option.

The stories in this book have been chosen from different time periods and from around the world. The book begins by telling the story of Greta Thunberg and then turns to classic nonviolence struggles: the independence struggle of India, the civil rights movement in the United States, and the struggle to liberate South Africa from apartheid. 

One chapter is dedicated to civil disobedience, one to unarmed struggles against the Nazis, and another one to the revolutions of 1989. From the 21st century, there are stories of the Colour Revolutions, the arab awakening and unarmed peacekeeping.

These historical examples helps us to make nonviolence to an even greater force. It is a force that doesn’t work automatically. We need to know how to use it. That is why we should learn it in schools, study it in universities, and test it, both as individuals and as groups, so that we can develop it further, and make it even more powerful.


INTRODUCTION (including the story of Greta Thunberg & the #ClimateAction -movement)


Mohandas Gandhi and the independence movement of India 1947
Martin Luther King Jr. and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement 1955–68
Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid
Unknown Rebel in Beijing 1989


Finnish Conscription Strike 1902–04
Christmas Truce 1914
Abdul Khaffar Khan’s unarmed army
Arndt Pekurinen and the birth of the Finnish conscientious objection law


The Saint of Auschwitz
Norwegian teachers resistance during the Nazi occupation
Rosenstraße demonstration 1943
Sophie Scholl and White Rose Resistance


Civil resistance in Czechoslovakia 1968
People Power Revolution Philippines 1986
The Baltic Chain and the Singing Revolution 1987–91
Leipzig monday demonstrations and the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989
The interuption of Ceauşescu’s speech 1989


Serbian Bulldozer Revolution 2000
Women’s Peace Campaign in Liberia 2003
Tunisian Jasmine Revolution 2011
Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping

Author: Timo Virtala, +358 45 784 05574,

Publisher: Finnish Peace Committee, Anu Harju, +358 50 358 1441,,

Picture: Markiyan Matsekh playing Chopin in Kiev, Ukraine 7th Dec 2013. Photo by Andrew Meakovsky, Oleg Matsekh and Marikiyan Matsekh. Read the story of the picture.

3 thoughts on “The Power of Nonviolence – Stories of Bravery”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.