Albert Einstein Institution

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This article is about a non-profit organization involved in non-violent resistance. For the physics research institute with a similar name (The Albert Einstein Institute), see Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.
Albert Einstein Institution
Albert Einstein Institution.jpg
The AEI on Cottage Street in East Boston.
Abbreviation AEI
Formation 1983
Type Non-profit
Purpose To advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.
Headquarters East Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Executive Director Jamila Raqib
Key people Gene Sharp
Website www.aeinstein.org

The Albert Einstein Institution is a non-profit organization that specializes in the study of the methods of non-violent resistance in conflicts and to explore its policy potential and communicate these findings through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops. The institution's founder and senior scholar, Gene Sharp, is known for his writings on strategic nonviolent struggle.

History[edit]

The institute is named after the physicist Albert Einstein, who was, at least at some points in his life, a pacificist. The institution "is committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action".

To further this mission, the Institution has supported research projects; actively consulted with resistance and pro-democracy groups from Burma, Thailand, Egypt, Tibet, Serbia, Equatorial Guinea, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and elsewhere; and worked to publicize the power and potential of nonviolent struggle around the world through educational materials, scholarly writings, workshops, and the media.

The Albert Einstein Institution was founded in 1983 and operates out of a small office in East Boston, Massachusetts.

A feature documentary by Scottish director, Ruaridh Arrow, How to Start a Revolution, about the global influence of the Albert Einstein Institution and Gene Sharp's work was released in September 2011. The film won "Best Documentary" and "The Mass Impact Award" at the Boston Film Festival in September 2011.[10] The European premiere was held at London's Raindance Film Festival on October 2, 2011 where it also won Best Documentary.[11] The film has been described as the unofficial film of the Occupy Wall St movement being shown in Occupy camps in cities all over the world. The film screened to MPs and Lords in the British Houses of Parliament on February 1, 2012.

Criticism[edit]

Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez accused the Albert Einstein Institution of being behind a "soft coup" attempt in Venezuela.[1] Similarly, a number of critics, such as French writer Thierry Meyssan, have accused the institution of being part of CIA subversion efforts.[2] Dr. Sharp[3] and the Albert Einstein Institution have dismissed such accusations.[4] In response to the accusations against the institution, professor Stephen Zunes initiated a petition titled "Open Letter in Support of Gene Sharp and Strategic Nonviolent Action"[5] which expresses support for Dr Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution. The petition was signed by many prominent left-wing scholars and activists, including Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.

References[edit]

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