Each week, ICNC features 5-10 news stories from around the world related to nonviolent conflict. These stories are shared with you via our website, our News Digest, Facebook, and/or Twitter. Featured news stories are ones that can stimulate conversation about the phenomena of nonviolent conflict and civil resistance. ICNC does not necessarily endorse any of the views expressed in these articles or any comments left by visitors to our site. Featured articles remain posted for 30 days, after which time they can be found by searching our nonviolent conflict news database.
Amro Ali, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, January 21, 2015
Despotism relies on citizens’ psychological isolation, making them anxious to gain the regime’s meager favors. Mutual suspicion prevents the communication necessary for organized opposition. In Egypt, the citizen reinforces the repressive status quo – from someone who reports innocent journalists to the police, to a sycophantic lawyer suing an actor who deviated from the state line. The regime provides “benefits” to an imagined homogenous citizenry, who in turn perform exercises of political legitimation. But in certain spaces, like the university campus, there are harbingers of despotism’s deterioration. Despotism is highly fragile, in that voluntary servitude is never guaranteed, even with all forms of threats.
Andrius Kuncina and Daisy Sindelar, The Atlantic, January 21, 2015
The 98-page guide and emergency response manual being distributed aims to prepare Lithuanians for the possibility of invasion, occupation and armed conflict. The publication, which is also available for download from the Defense Ministry website, includes instructions for appropriate forms of civil disobedience in the event of an occupation — strikes, blockades, and the online organization of cyber-attacks against the enemy. Officials say the past year in Ukraine, with the annexation of Crimea and deadly fighting in the country's eastern region, has shown that Russia remains a danger to all of its neighbors.
Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, January 18, 2015
Over the past decade, as ultra-Orthodox believers have grown in influence, women’s equality has declined. Among the many images that circulated after the attacks in Paris, one ran in the Israeli newspaper Hamevaser, showing only the world’s male heads of state. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been digitally removed. But Rachel Azaria, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, says that because showing images of women has become a public issue, progress is possible. She partly credits this growing awareness to the broader social-protest movement in Israel, started in 2011, which championed values of equal rights and personal freedom.
Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 7-12, 2015 | Application deadline: February 16, 2015
Civil resistance campaigns for rights, freedom and justice are capturing the world's attention as never before. Since 2006, over 400 participants from more than 90 countries have gathered at FSI to learn and share knowledge. The program is taught by leading international scholars, practitioners, organizers and activists. It provides a firm grasp of the subject of civil resistance as well as a practical understanding of how it is used in a variety of conflicts. FSI is the leading executive education program in the world focusing on the interdisciplinary study of civil resistance. For more information, visit: http://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/index.php/learning-and-resources/educational-initiatives/fletcher-summer-institute/fsi-2015
Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, January 21, 2015
Inspired by the widespread "Arab Spring" movements in countries across the Middle East, opposition groups in Bahrain rose up in a series of protests against the ruling Al Khalifa family. Within months, most of the demonstrations were violently broken up by government forces. Dozens of protesters were killed and hundreds were jailed. In the four years since, the pro-democracy movement has grown quieter but never died away. Gathered here in a new portfolio of photos are images of Bahrain's continued uprising, taken over the past year.
Alexander Noyes, Foreign Policy, January 16, 2015
Over the last two months large opposition protests have rocked the small West African nation. In November, thousands of opposition protesters marched through the streets of the capital, where two were injured in clashes with security forces. A few weeks later, women with brooms took to the streets chanting that it was time to “sweep” out the current regime. The opposition has called for daily protests to continue, in which demonstrators have marched with signs saying, “Without reforms, no elections” and “50 years for the father and the son is enough.”
Francisco Peregil, El Pais, January 21, 2015
Thousands of protesters banging pots and pans took part in marches throughout the country to show their discontent over the death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who had accused President Fernandez de Kirchner and other government officials of conspiring to cover up the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center. In the capital’s Plaza de Mayo, demonstrators held up posters that said: “I am Nisman,” alluding to the slogan “Je suis Charlie Hebdo” which became popular after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. On October 5, 2006, Nisman had filed a complaint against Iran accusing the state of masterminding the bombing and accusing Hezbollah of carrying it out.
Today's Zaman, January 21, 2015
A Turkish criminal court has asked Twitter to remove tweets posted by dozens of users, including journalists and human rights defenders, on a complaint by a judge. Dozens of Turkish Twitter users tweeted on Wednesday that they had received e-mails from Twitter asking them to delete certain tweets and saying the company might take action if they did not delete them. Turkish Journalists Union president Uğur Güç has deemed the decision of the court as an act of restricting freedom of expression. “It definitely indicates that freedom of expression and freedom of thought are under attack.”
David Remnick and Steve Schapiro, The New Yorker, January 6, 2015
A half century ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the “creative battle” that 22 million black men and women in the U.S. were waging against “the starless midnight of racism.” A few months later, in March 1965, that battle came to Selma, Alabama. The series of marches – including the 54-mile procession from Selma to the State House in Montgomery -- pushed Lyndon Johnson to send voting-rights legislation to Congress. The nonviolent discipline of the marchers is portrayed here in a new portfolio of photos of the Selma-to-Montgomery march.
Hendrik Wagenaar, openDemocracy, January 20, 2015
When people feel that politicians don't care or promote ideological pet solutions against all common sense, they turn away from politics. Why bother? This is the real meaning of the democratic deficit. But most people want to engage with democracy, just not the democracy of political parties and powerful lobbying organizations. There is a new type of democracy emerging that is not about verbal fights, political grandstanding and grandiose promises. People are not estranged from democracy. So they organize themselves.