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Name: The Pillars of Power

Time: Minimum 30 minutes

Goal or purpose of the exercise

1. To identify the pillars holding up the power structures we want to overcome.

2. To analyse the pillars with the goal of developing strategies to weaken them.

3. To identify the vulnerability of power structures.

How it's done/facilitator's notes

Describe the Pillars

1. Draw an upside down triangle, with pillars holding it up. Write the name of the problem in the triangle. It can be an institution or an injustice. (i.e. “war”).

2. Ask the group to identify the pillars that represent the institutions and factors that support the problem (i.e. the military, corporations, patriotic citizens, etc.) Be specific about elements of the support structures (i.e. the military includes the leadership, soldiers, veterans, military families). This will help as we analyze how to weaken the structure.

3. Identify the underlying principles that are the foundation of the pillars (i.e. sexism, greed, lies, etc).

Analyse a Pillar

Choose a pillar that your group wants to knock down. Consider your group's mission as you make your decision. Draw another set of pillars, writing name of the institution from your chosen pillar in the triangle. Now analyze what holds up that problem. The questions in "Analyze why this problem exists" in the Nonviolent Campaign section of this handbook are helpful analysis tools. This can become the basis for your strategy development.

Note to Facilitators: Explain to the group that while the problem seems hard to shake, the inverted triangle symbolilzes its weakness. Whole pillars to do not need to be knocked down to weaken the power, weakening the pillars can have a great effect.

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