Despite the fact that history is a pretty bloody affair, there have been plenty of examples of successful nonviolent action from ancient times on.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm taking another swim through Plutarch's Lives, which recounts popular biographies (rich in legend) of prominent ancient Greeks and Romans. Currently, I'm on the life of the Roman general and aristocrat Coriolanus, which became the basis of Shakespeare's play of the same name and a recent movie version I haven't got around to watching yet.
According to Plutarch, in the early days of the Roman Republic, somewhere around the 5th century BC, the lower classes were severely exploited by the elite, with debt being a major issue (good thing that never happens any more, huh?). The poor responded by engaging in what may well be history's first sit down strike...or, if you prefer, occupation:
...the poor commonalty, therefore, perceiving there was likely to be no redress of their grievances, on a sudden collected in a body, and, encouraging each other in their resolution, forsook the city with one accord, and seizing the hill which is now called the Holy Mount, sat down by the river Anio, without committing any sort of violence or seditious outrage, but merely exclaiming, as they went along, that they had this long time past been, in fact expelled and excluded from the city by the cruelty of the rich; that Italy would everywhere afford them the benefit of air and water and a place of burial, which was all they could expect in the city, unless it were, perhaps, the privilege of being wounded and killed in time of war for the defence of their creditors.Since the aristocrats needed the lower classes both for work and war, serious negotiations ensued which resulted in the creation of the office of tribunes or elected officials to serve as "protectors for those in need of succor."
Not too shabby. We might need to dust that one off before its over with.
(Coriolanus himself, by the way, was a bit of a jerk to the poor, which resulted in his own undoing.)
DID NEANDERTHALS INVENT PAINTING? Maybe.
WANT TO OWN A VINTAGE VAMPIRE SLAYING KIT? Here's your chance.
THE SCIENCE ON CAT PEOPLE AND DOG PEOPLE discussed here.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED