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.
Howard Fineman, Huffington Post, April 14, 2014
Government corruption is rampant in Cambodia. Protests continue against Hun Sen who has been prime minister for nearly 29 years. The evil spawn of the marriage of convenience between Adam Smith and Karl Marx is corruptionism. It’s a flat-out and often secret conspiracy between government officials and for-profit business, with the latter paying the former vast sums for the privilege of access to markets, resources and the cheap labor of the citizenry. Russia under Vladimir Putin is one of the most extreme examples. But one of the worst regions in the world when it comes to this problem is Southeast Asia.
Michael MacDonald, Huffington Post, April 14, 2014
A trade agreement to sell Canadian seal meat in China announced more than three years ago has been largely thwarted by animal rights activists, federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says. Shea announced the deal in January 2011 in Beijing, saying that gaining access to the world's most populous country would breathe new life into an industry crippled that year by a new European ban on seal products. Organized groups opposed to the sealing industry have succeeded in spreading misinformation about the slaughter of "baby" seals, a practice that was banned in the 1980s, the minister said.
Khalid El Kaoutit, DW, April 14, 2014
One month before the presidential elections, protests against the government are increasing in Egypt. The activists demand more rights and the release of political prisoners. Around 300 participants clap their hands and shout slogans against the military. The law says that all demonstrations need to be approved by the interior ministry — effectively banning them, the opposition says. Opposition leaders are calling their protest a "marathon," even if the march is less than two kilometers.
Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress, April 14, 2014
About 800 Moroccan protesters, most of whom were women, flooded the streets of the capital city on Sunday to demand their government implement a portion of the constitution that guarantees gender equality. The section of the constitution in question, Article 19, states that “men and women have equal civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights and freedoms” and “the state shall work towards the establishment of parity between men and women.” But it hasn’t been fully implemented by Morocco’s Islamic leaders. So hundreds of NGOs have formed the Civil Coalition for the Application of Article 19 to push political leaders to follow through.
Lilia Shevtsova, The American Interest, April 14, 2014
Putin has become a wartime President—a transition he has been gearing up for since the August 2013 trade war with Ukraine. Wartime consolidation will eventually be followed by public discontent. This means that Putin has to plunge into wars or search for new enemies to feed the militarist paradigm. But 50 percent of Russians tell pollsters he should leave office after his current term. Military adventurism will sooner or later backfire: It might be exploited by a new authoritarian leader, or Russian society might seize the moment and free itself from the fortress mentality.
Stephanie Höppner, DW, April 14, 2014
The unrest in eastern Ukraine is being orchestrated by Russia, in order to make the country unstable and disrupt the Ukrainian election. “The main motivation behind Russian tactics is probably that Ukraine should not develop into a European, democratic, stable and economically successful state, because that would bring Vladimir Putin's own Russian model into question,” says political scientist Andreas Umland.
J. Michael Cole, The Diplomat, April 11, 2014
Over 500 hours after they led an unprecedented occupation of the Legislative Yuan to protest a trade pact with China, hundreds of Taiwanese on April 10 vacated the country's parliament and were welcomed by tens of thousands of supporters. Hundreds of young Taiwanese raided the legislature on the evening of March 18 following a sudden announcement the previous day by the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that the controversial trade pact would be put to a vote in the legislature, where the KMT was certain to prevail. The Sunflower Movement was an entirely new phenomenon in Taiwan, an awakening from a slumber of defeatism that will likely change the face of politics on the island as well as Taipei's relations with Beijing.
Mandeep Tiwana, Thought Leader, April 10, 2014
On March 25 South African diplomats, supported by the Indians and some authoritarian governments, attempted to impede the passage of a UN Human Rights Council resolution on the "promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests". They proposed that the right to peaceful protest should be qualified by the need to ensure stability of the state and friendly relations with foreign countries. Although the proposals, supported by South Africa and India were defeated when put to vote, it is deeply troubling that two proud democracies with vibrant civil societies that contribute substantially to national life should make common cause with authoritarian and repressive governments.
Maria Stephan and Maciej Bartkowski, Foreign Policy, April 10, 2014
As separatists in eastern Ukraine stage demonstrations and occupy government buildings, calling for Russian annexation, there is renewed anxiety about the 40,000 Russian troops massed along the border. The prospect of Russian incursion raises the question of how Ukrainians might be able to resist. Though there have been murmurs of Moscow's troops being met with a guerilla campaign, Ukrainians' best hope for challenging Russian aggression might be to follow the same method used to oust Kiev's corrupt regime: civil resistance.
Michael Georgy, The Globe and Mail, April 9, 2014
Wafaa Hefny is a 47-year-old veiled academic trying to save the Muslim Brotherhood, the outlawed group that Egypt's army-backed authorities brand a "terrorist group", by ensuring it remains committed to peaceful change and rejects violence. "The harder the state presses us, the more committed we should be to peaceful activism. That is what gives us strength. Violence would be very dangerous for us...Resorting to violence would be disastrous because the movement would lose its moral high ground and provide an excuse to the government to crack down even harder," Hefny said.