Committee of 100

In 1960, the activist and philosopher Bertrand Russell resigned his presidency of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in order to form the Committee of 100. This more militant resistance organisation advocated civil disobedience instead of the demonstration march as the appropriate method of protest against weapons of mass destruction and the war in Vietnam.

Resistance was the bulletin of the West Midlands branch of the Committee of 100, which used direct action to protest against war and violence.

This policy statement indicates the Committee's position within the tradition of non-violent direct action, a method of resistance pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian Independence movement against British rule. Gandhi's method of civil disobedience emphasised non-aggression and non-retaliation. Civil resisters should occupy an area, defend their position, refuse to obey any order given during their protest and allow themselves to be arrested without retaliation.

Resistance was an internal bulletin, read by members of the Committee and members of other related groups such as CND, which gave periodical updates on the state of the movement. This excerpt comes from an article in which various protest groups, including the Committee of 100 itself, are evaluated. Each group has the same broad (protest against war and weapons of mass destruction) and each uses a different type of direct action to achieve it. By assessing the effectiveness of each approach this article aims to provoke debate and inspire action.