Peace by piece: George Lakey’s research into nonviolent resistance

‘What happens when people fight nonviolently to defend something they value?’

‘Nonviolent struggles were twice as likely to win.’

As a 1950s undergraduate, new to Friends’ worship, I dug into the history of the Quaker movement. I found extraordinary achievements in conflict situations – early Quakers waging ‘the Lamb’s war’ to change laws and practices in Britain, and crossing the Atlantic to challenge the theocracy of Puritan Massachusetts. I learned that Friends were deeply moved by Spirit to take on opponents much bigger than they were, and in that way they reminded me of stories from early Christianity.

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