Swamp Revolt

Looking for Active Bystander and Nonviolent Intervention Training?

What Kind of Nonviolence Training Do You Need?
Read Rivera Sun’s round-up on types of nonviolence training to determine what will work best for your group.

Are you looking for Peace Team, Active Bystander and Nonviolent Intervention Training?

What you’ll learn: In this training, participants learn skills for nonviolently interrupting violence and discrimination, hate, intolerance, intimidation and harassment. They learn de-escalation skills, documentation skills, intervention and disruption skills, protective accompaniment, peace team and unarmed peacekeeping skills. Role-playing is often an essential part of the training process.

When to use this training: You see verbal abuse happening on the subway, or in line at the grocery store. You live in an area where discrimination and intolerance is visible and vocal. You are going to a situation where there is likely to be hate crimes, verbal abuse, active discrimination, or tensions around difference that could lead to violent and abusive situations.

Who offers it:

D.C. Peace Teams
Michigan-Meta Peace Team
Kit Bonson at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition (email:
Tameka Bell at Story Fuel Strategies
Green Dot
Beautiful Trouble

What if I want to facilitate my own Active Bystander and Nonviolent Intervention Training?

While we recommend inviting trainers who have a broad expertise in nonviolence and a variety of conflict situations, anyone can facilitate an introductory training with a few basic tools.

Contact Kit Bonson at the Montgomery County (Md) Civil Rights Coalition ( to request the training curriculum used by Swamp Revolt at the 23 trainings held in the greater D.C. area on Inauguration Day.

Materials for Nonviolence & Active Bystander Intervention Trainings
Want to learn how to de-escalate hate speech and harassment and better understand what it means to (safely) stick up for your neighbor with compassion and resolve?

Take 32 minutes to complete the following self-study on the basics:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the Principles of Bystander Intervention by Kit Bonson (2 minutes)
  2. Read Six Principles of Nonviolence by Michael Nagler (6 minutes)
  3. Watch Ken Brown explain the science behind bystander effect and active bystander effect: The bystander effect is complicated — here’s why(16 minutes)
  4. Study this illustration on Islamophobic Harassment by French artist Marie-Shirine Yener about how to help if you witness public harassment of a Muslim woman (3 minutes)
  5. Review and personally commit to the Nonviolence Pledge (5 minutes)


Go Deeper in Nonviolent Civil Resistance and Active Bystander Intervention
Want to learn more about the broader social movement for civil resistance to injustice and how to build stronger, more inclusive, democratic communities?

  1. Read Education and Training in Nonviolent Resistance by Nadine Bloch (20 minutes)
  2. Watch Standing Up for Racial Justice’s video, Don’t Be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks (4 minutes)


Featured post

Plan to Show up in Person

Members of Congress are heading back to their districts on February 20th.  That means it’s time to show up and ask them what they plan to do to protect healthcare coverage, demand ethics oversight for the new administration and hold them accountable to their constituents (that’s you!).  Today’s one thing is to take a look at the google spreadsheet below and start to formulate a plan for stopping in at a town hall or open office hours during the recess.

Send your Valentine’s Hearts to the Department of Education


Get out your glitter glue and start cutting out hearts–we’re sending some love and hand delivering Valentine’s cards on February 14th to the civil servants at the Department of Education (see mailing address below).

The civil servants at the Department of Education need a little love.  On the campaign trail, Donald Trump threatened to dismantle the entire Department of Education and now he’s angling to put a grossly unqualified, pay-to-play billionaire at the helm whose record in Michigan serves as a cautionary tale for our nation’s schools.

We’re grateful for the federal workforce at the Department of Education.  We know they work hard every day to provide better educational opportunities for our children, enforce civil rights, administer grants that make college more affordable and support teachers in every community.  So, on February 14th, we’ll hand deliver Valentine’s cards made from people across the United States who want to say “thank you” and “please keep up the hard work.”

This is a fast turn-around, start your notes today and get them in the mail ASAP!.  Please send all your completed Valentine’s cards  to:

Department of Education-Valentine’s Day

PO BOX 3263

Silver Spring, MD


A special thanks to Rachel Cobbs for the beautiful artwork, I’ll update soon with a place to download this art so you can use it for your own cards!

ONE THING: Mentally Ill and Guns

ONE THING 2/7/17: CALL YOU SENATORS AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE H.J. RES 40. Join the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and call your Senators today.
Read more here:

1) The Senate is preparing to vote on a bill to revoke a rule finalized last year by the Social Security Administration. That rule strengthens our nation’s background check system for gun purchases by adding the names of people who are severely incapacitated by mental illness and unable to manage their own finances.
2) 1) The Social Security Administration is required by a 2007 law to send the names of dangerously mentally ill people to the gun purchase background check system. This rule just implements that long-standing law, closing a gap that has existed for far too long.


MEDIA COVERAGE: Citizens take part in non-violence workshop – WBAL-TV


“I wanted to get some tips on how to deescalate violence when we you see it, someone being bullied or someone being picked on.”

Source: Citizens take part in non-violence workshop

MEDIA COVERAGE: Marchers prepare for Saturday with active bystander intervention courses – WHAG-TV

‘We are at a moment where those of us who truly believe in loving our neighbor have to live it out, and it goes beyond tomorrow,” said trainer Tameka Bell.

Source: Marchers prepare for Saturday with active bystander intervention courses

PHOTO GALLERY: #ActiveBystander Trainings on #J20

MEDIA COVERAGE: In the era of Trump, learning to be an ‘active bystander’ to protect victims of harassment – Yahoo News

“The group of about 100 locals split up into groups of four to act out various scenarios where someone is being harassed to practice how to intervene without escalating the confrontation …

“Bell, the leader of the training, told the group to harness their “moral outrage” so they can step in and protect people who are being harassed when necessary …

“The training was organized by the D.C.-based group Swamp Revolt, which encourages people to do one thing a day to “denounce the politics of division.”

Source: In the era of Trump, learning to be an ‘active bystander’ to protect victims of harassment

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