CRISP - Crisis Simulation for Peace e.V.

Non-Violent Resistance

What are the motivations and convictions behind the choice of forms of protest?

Protests are a delicate topic: They are an essential part of a lively and functioning democracy but they also raise worries and fears among many citizens once they turn violent. This was, for example, the case during the G20 protest in Hamburg 2017. The events triggered a broad debate on means of protest and its consequences. What dynamics lead to the choice of violence and non-violence means of protest, however, remains for most people in the dark.

Target-Group:actors in political educational work and students, age 16 and above
Participants:15 to 30
Duration:1 day
Languages:German and English

Scenario & Procedure

In the scenario, the participants prepare a large protest event, which had a history of violent incidences in the past. The participants take over the roles of different fractions of the protest organizers and the public officials tasked with managing the protest. The roles do not only differ in their position on the protest topics, but also on their views of legitimate protest forms and the willingness to cooperate with the other side. The simulation game follows a two-stage procedure: First, both the organizers and the public officials meet internally to discuss and find a joint approach to the protest. In the second phase both sides meet and discuss common pillars for the protest event.


The simulation game deals with the motivations and convictions behind the choice of protest forms and the role of communication between different stakeholders before demonstrations. In the scenario, participants plan a large-scale protest by taking the roles of protesters and representatives of state authorities. The aim of the simulation is to understand the dynamics behind the choice of protest form and to reflect on role of communication in the context of protest preparation.

Learning Goals

  • Develop a better understanding of the dynamics behind protest forms
  • Get sensitized for the influence of communication in context of protest
  • Identify chances for violence prevention and escalation management