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A.1.b.i. Dolci and the Reverse Strike

One unusual tactic, associated with the prominent nonviolent activist Danilo Dolci, is the ‘reverse strike’. Thus tactic was used in Sicily as part of a series of campaigns between 1952 and 1965 to relieve the extreme local poverty. When unemployed men started to repair a road outside Partinico in 1956, appealing to their constitutional right and duty to work, the police sent them home, and banned a second attempt to repair the road, arresting Dolci and six others. Gene Sharp records in The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part Two under ‘Reverse Strike’ that the Congress of Racial Equality used a similar tactic in Chicago, mobilizing unemployed young men to engage in slum clearance, and leaving a bill for the work at City Hall.

Dolci, Danilo, The Outlaws of Partinico, London, MacGibbon and Kee, 1960, pp. 316

Describes context of his campaigns – not much detail on the campaigns themselves.

McNeish, James, Fire Under the Ashes: The Life of Danilo Dolci, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1965, pp. 256