Madrid, Spain
March 20-23, 2011

 
This workshop covered key strategic and tactical lessons of successful movements, examined the role of independent media in civil resistance, looked at the impact of digital resistance and international actors, and offered practical guidance to citizen or authentic journalists in developing stories, doing investigative field reporting, initiating video reports, and other practical aspects of citizen journalism.

Workshop Content

Today hundreds of civilian-based movements and campaigns for human rights, democracy, social justice, political freedom and other causes are being waged with participation by ordinary people, all over the world. In Egypt, Iran, Belarus and Burma, movements against authoritarian governments are underway. In Palestine, Western Sahara and West Papua, movements for self-determination are gathering momentum. In numerous countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, campaigns for the rights of indigenous people, against environmental abuses and corruption, and for women’s rights and other goals are gaining headway.

Madrid FlyerUnfortunately, major global media broadcasters, newspapers and news services give little if any attention to the causes and work of these movements. Although large protests are sometimes reported, the full scope of civil resistance – including strikes, boycotts, stay-aways, and hundreds of other nonviolent tactics – are rarely covered. Nor is there any real understanding of the underlying dynamics of how civil resistance can take power away from oppressors.

This workshop covered key strategic and tactical lessons of successful movements, examined the role of independent media in civil resistance, looked at the impact of digital resistance and international actors, and offered practical guidance to citizen or authentic journalists in developing stories, doing investigative field reporting, initiating video reports, and other practical aspects of citizen journalism in countries where civil resistance is now being used. The workshop helped active citizen journalists upgrade their understanding of civil resistance and helped those involved in movements and campaigns to improve their skills in developing successful media coverage.

Workshop Hosts

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict is a nonprofit educational foundation based in the United States which disseminates knowledge about civil resistance. Its educational collaborators have included Oxford University, the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, Stanford University, Rutgers University, Collegium Civitas/Warsaw, the Council of Europe Summer University, the Ibn Khaldun Centre in Cairo, and many other civic and educational organizations.

Co-hosting this workshop was the world’s pioneering organization in authentic journalism, Narco News, an online newspaper that covers democracy, the drug war, and other social and political events in Latin America. Launched on April 18, 2000, Narco News now works with 474 journalists and co-publishers and features investigative reporting and translations in seven languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German and Dutch.