The Albert Einstein Institute in East Boston

Area of Anti-Violence:
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Boston, Massachusetts

Mission Statement/Vision:
The Albert Einstein Institution is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Gene Sharp in 1983 to advance the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world. We are committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action. Our goals are to understand the dynamics of nonviolent action in conflicts, to explore its policy potential, and to communicate this through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops. The Institution has been responsible for the translation and dissemination of some of the most influential texts on nonviolent action. Many of these works have been studied among resistance movements worldwide. Dr. Sharp’s most popular book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” was first published in Burma in 1993. It has since been translated into at least 34 other languages and was used by the campaigns of Serbia’s Otpor, Georgia’s Kmara, Ukraine’s Pora, Kyrgyzstan’s KelKel and Belarus’ Zubr. One of Pora’s leaders, Oleh Kyriyenko said in 2004, “The bible of Pora has been the book of Gene Sharp, also used by Otpor, it’s called: From Dictatorship to Democracy.” Dr. Sharp’s writings on “Civilian-Based Defense” were used by the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian governments during their separation from the Soviet Union in 1991. Lithuanian Defence Minister Audrius Butkevicius declared at the time, “I would rather have this book than the nuclear bomb.” The Institution is named after the physicist Albert Einstein who was deeply concerned about war, oppression, dictatorship, genocide, and nuclear weapons. He was willing to explore new approaches to confronting these problems of political violence. At various times he was a war resister, a supporter of the war against the Nazi system, and an advocate of world government. In his later life, he became impressed with the potential of nonviolent struggle. In 1950, he remarked on a United Nations radio broadcast that, “On the whole, I believe that Gandhi held the most enlightened views of all the political men in our time” In 1953 Einstein wrote a foreword to Dr. Sharp’s first book on Gandhi, “Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power”. He continued to correspond with Gene Sharp during Dr. Sharp’s time in prison as a conscientious objector in Danbury, Connecticut.

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