Nonviolent conflict is a way for people to fight for rights, freedom, justice, self-determination, and accountable government, through the use of civil resistance - including tactics such as strikes, boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience. Learn more...
By: Howard Barrell, Wales Online, December 9, 2013
Nelson Mandela led the ANC into both its greatest error - its disastrous turn to armed struggle in 1960-61 - and then to its greatest triumph between 1990 and 1996 at the head of a coalition of South Africans of all colours and many political shades who wanted democracy. In the interim, he turned his own greatest weaknesses - his tendencies to dissociation and imperiousness - into his greatest strengths at his moment of most acute need. That long moment of need came in the 1960s and 1970s as his jailers sought to break his and his comrades' spirits in the rock quarries of the Robben Island penal colony. But they could not reach into his mind because he did not recognise their dominion over him.
By: David Kenner, Foreign Policy, December 10, 2013
Syrian activist Razan Zaitouneh was reportedly kidnapped today from her office in Damascus, along with her husband and two colleagues. It is still unknown whether she was taken by Bashar al-Assad's regime or Islamist rebels who have been growing in strength in the area - she has loudly criticized both. Zaitouneh is one of the few internationally-known activists who has remained in Syria since the days when civic resistance, rather than armed revolt, was the uprising's calling card. A human rights lawyer, she launched the Violations Documentation Center (VDC), which meticulously tracks the casualties of the Syrian uprising and provides ground-level reports of the atrocities committed by the regime.
By: Nadia Diuk, Foreign Policy, December 5, 2013
Just ten years ago, the streets of Ukraine's capital were filled with a million peaceful protesters, demanding justice and the reversal of a falsified vote. Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" also revealed another force: a lively, diverse, and large civil society sector. Despite Yanukovych's turn toward authoritarianism and corruption, this civil society is relatively exceptional in the post-Soviet space, consisting primarily of young people, a vibrant independent media, particularly online, and with strong intellectual leadership that produces a broad and easily accessible body of ongoing information that comments on and critiques government officials' activities.
By: Olena Perepadya and Markian Ostaptschuk, DW, December 10, 2013
"Berkut," which means golden eagle in Ukrainian, is one of the special units of the Ukrainian security service and the militia originally created in 1992 as a rapid response force to fight organized crime. But Berkut has shocked the public with its unnecessary brutality and aggression against demonstrators, including the bloody suppression of the peaceful student protests at Maidan Square in Kyiv, on November 30. Ukrainian human rights activist Oleg Martynenko is alarmed that even during peaceful protests, there as many Berkut members as there are demonstrators. "They simply just can't judge which orders are lawful," he explained. They also don't know enough about citizens' and demonstrators' rights - which human rights advocates fear has allowed the special units to increasingly became tools for oppression.
By: Roy Greenslade, The Guardian, December 9, 2013
Visas are being delayed or denied for international reporters in China. Reporters are finding it increasingly difficult to conduct interviews because people who speak to them suffer from police intimidation. The authorities have also demanded that journalists obtain special permission to film or report in a number of locations designated as politically sensitive - all in an apparent effort to influence editorial coverage. "The key rule governing foreign journalists in China - that they need only obtain the consent of their interviewees for an interview to be legal - has been progressively weakened in practice," said the Foreign Correspondents Club of China in a statement.
Civil Resistance and Military Dynamics: Examining Security Force Defections in the Arab Spring
Sharon Erickson Nepstad, University of New Mexico
Recent studies have emphasized that security force defections can greatly improve the odds that civil resistance movements will achieve their goals. Yet we still know relatively little about why defections occur and the long-term consequences for nonviolent struggles. In this webinar, I describe a variety of security force responses and the factors that shape whether security forces remain loyal, defect, or divide internally. To illustrate these dynamics, I explore several cases from the Arab Spring including Egypt, Bahrain, and Syria. I conclude by examining some problems that may arise when defectors join the opposition and the ways that civil resisters can maintain control of their movement.
The James Lawson Institute 2013
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Reverend James Lawson organized and led one of the most effective campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance in the 20th century: the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins for the US Civil Rights Movement. Drawing strategic lessons from this and numerous other past and contemporary nonviolent civil resistance movements, the James Lawson Institute will engage participants in depth about a wide variety of aspects of organizing and activism in North America. Topics to be discussed include:
Get up-to-date, nonviolent conflict news stories from around the world delivered to your inbox twice a week.
Get access to all of ICNC's educational and research materials, information on its latest activities and news on nonviolent conflicts and struggles around the world.