Charts on Structural Violence


Jean Zaru's Chart on Forms of Violence Against Palestinians

Occupied with Nonviolence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks by Jean Zaru (2008)

Possible Responses

Forms of Violence

  • Build multiple nonviolent strategies for resistance and confidence building (e.g., Witness for Peace, international solidarity movements, and international protection forces)

  • Expose and delegitimize the violence of the powerful and the state

  • Advocate ban on arms sales and production

  • Advocate human rights and international law

  • Economic boycott

  • Arms embargo

Direct Violence

  • Killing (e.g. targeting civilians, political assassinations)

  • Torture

  • Domestic violence

  • Closure, siege

  • Use of civilians as human shields

  • Imprisonment without charge or trial

  • Expulsions

  • House demolitions

  • Advocate economic rights, water rights, land rights, and ecological sustainability

  • Create jobs

  • Advocate fair trade

  • Advocate right sharing of resources

Economic Structural Violence

  • Restrictions by Israel (e.g., road blocks, closure, control of roads, house curfew)

  • Unemployment and impoverishment

  • Economic marginalization and exclusion

  • Exploitation of water, land, people’s work

  • Destruction of civil society and infrastructure

  • No protection

  • Advocate political rights according to international law and UN resolutions

  • Advocate human, water, and land rights

  • Advocate for self-determination

Political Structural Violence

  • Military occupation

  • Settlements

  • Denial of self-determination, sovereignty, right
    of return

  • Closures

  • Siege

  • Encagement

  • Fragmentation

  • Media and education strategies building on authentic witness

  • Dialogue

  • Encounter

  • Participation in decision making

  • Learn about Palestinian history and heritage

Cultural Structural Violence

  • Stereotyping of Palestinians, Arabs, women in the media, education, language

  • Anti-Arabism

  • Discrimination of women

  • Imposition of other cultures and their value systems (e.g., patriarchal culture, Western culture)

  • Authoritarianism and glorification of militarism/the violence of the state and direct violence

  • Destruction/shelling of cultural heritage sites, both archeological and architectural

  • Expose the political chauvinism of fundamentalist movements and their stand against women, as well as their religious and political exclusivity

  • Contextual and liberation theology based on nonviolence

  • Work for ecumenism and unity

  • Disassociate ourselves from fundamentalisms

  • Education on Islam (e.g., among Christians)

  • Alternative pilgrimages

Religious Structural Violence

  • Language (chosenness)

  • Disunity among the churches

  • Christian Zionism

  • Fundamentalisms

  • Demonization of Islam

  • Negation of Arab and Middle Eastern Christians (e.g., pilgrimages without contact with local Christians, missionary movements)

  • Adherence to international environmental conventions and protocols (e.g., Convention on Combating Desertification, Convention of Conservation of Biodiversity, Kyoto Protocol)

  • Adherence to Geneva Conventions which call for protection of natural resources of Occupied Territories

  • Observe international human rights standards which call for clean water and sanitation

  • Support international environmental organizations working in the Occupied Territories

  • Eco-friendly tourism

  • Support greening campaigns in Occupied Territories

  • Recycle, reuse, reduce

Environmental Structural Violence

  • Confiscation and destruction of agricultural land

  • Uprooting of trees

  • Pirating and diversion of water resources
    Restrictions on water well drilling and water capture

  • Dumping of solid and toxic waste in Occupied Territories

  • Settlement sewage onto village lands

  • Restrictions on movement and settles violence prevent farmers access to their lands

  • Damaged infrastructure leads to public health problems such as no clean water and no refrigeration for vaccines

Race, Systemic Violence, and Retrospective Justice:
An African-American Quaker Scholar-Activist Challenges Conventional Narratives (2020)
by Harold d. weaver, jr.

The BlackQuaker Project Chart

on Selected Direct and Structural Violence against African Americans

Direct Violence

•    Police brutality
•    Mass incarceration 
•    Expulsion/eviction from homes
•    Gang violence
•    Burning of African American churches


Economic Structural Violence

•    Poverty
•    Unemployment
•    Inadequate minimum wage
•    Urban renewal/razing Black neighborhoods
•    Lack of municipal resources in Black neighborhoods
•    Redlining residential areas/housing segregation  


Political Structural Violence

•    Voter ID Laws
•    Mandatory minimum sentencing and three-strike laws
•    Increased use of death penalty
•    Voter disenfranchisement for ex-felons
•    Election days on work days 
•    Restricting vote by mail
•    Militarization of the police force


Cultural Structural Violence

  • Appropriation of African culture into mainstream, white culture

  • Stereotyping of people of color in media

  • Destruction of Afrocentric cultural landmarks

  • Construction of Eurocentric, anti-Black monuments and landmarks

  • Omission from and distortion of African American history in the larger US narrative

Religious Structural Violence

•    Islamophobia 

Environmental Structural Violence

•    Lead poisoning in tap water (Flint, MI)
•    Cancer corridor stretch from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA
•    Dangerous chemicals in older homes (asbestos, lead paint, etc.)
•    Polluted air in urban areas
•    Food deserts (no availability of fresh food)


Health Structural Violence

•    Racist medical assumptions and practices 
•    Prescription overpricing 
•    Opioid epidemic
•    Criminalization of drug use
•    Linkage of health insurance to employment 
•    Increased maternal health risks

Educational Structural Violence

  • School-to-prison pipeline

  • Demand that students behave “white” (school policies against Black natural hair)

  • Over-punishment of Black students

  • Omission of accurate African American history from textbooks

  • Few teachers of color, a lack of role models 

  • Uneven funding between school districts

  • Secondary-school counselors who demean students of color and their capabilities 

  • Lack of high expectations for students of color

  • Racial isolation of school districts


The BlackQuaker Project (1) celebrates the lives and contributions of Quakers of Color worldwide and (2) documents and addresses their concerns. It is an outreach and in-reach ministry of Wellesley Friends Meeting, guided by the Quaker testimonies of Truth, Peace, Equality, Community, and Justice.


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