The Dilemma Demonstration: Using nonviolent civil disobedience to put the government between a rock and a hard place
In this notebook you will learn how Operation SalAMI created a situation that placed the Canadian government in a real dilemma regarding their position and actions in the negotiation process of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). When the government refused to make public the draft documents, hundreds of its citizens showed up at the Ottawa headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade holding “Search and Rescue Warrants” for the release of these draft documents.
Behind the success of the campaign was a strategy that included a number of common tactics, including petitions, letter writing, etc., but with the added twists of an unequivocal ultimatum, civil disobedience training on the premises of the Canadian parliament and the drama of the Search and Seizure Operation, a type of nonviolent direct action. Operation SalAMI’s dilemma demonstration tactic, as part of a broader nonviolent campaigning strategy, pressured the government to act according to its professed values and at the requests of its citizens.
New Tactics Project of the Center for Victims of Torture, September 2004