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.
Matt Mulberry, openDemocracy, October 13, 2014
Civil resistance has been one means by which many Maldivians have waged a struggle to defend basic political, civic and human rights. In 2008 a mass movement culminating in free and fair elections successfully ended the authoritarian presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had been South Asia’s longest standing dictator. But this new period of democratic leadership was short-lived. In 2012 democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in a coup so swift and bloodless that the international community could scarcely figure out what had happened. Now with journalists under threat, blogs and even poetry being censored, and Islamist groups successfully recruiting young people to fight abroad, the international community faces the question of whether to ignore another democracy at risk.
Kaja Baum, Foreign Policy in Focus, October 13, 2014
Beijing’s initial willingness to allow negotiations came in contrast to the hard line propagated in state media outlets, painting Occupy Central as a hostile movement. For China, the outcome of the protests will have consequences that reverberate beyond the borders of Hong Kong. As Vox’s Max Fisher observes, the Chinese government views Occupy Central as “a potentially existential threat to the entire Chinese system, which is perceived as so weak and embattled that leaders believe even peaceful protests like this could bring everything crashing down.” Contrary to its reputation in much of the world as a rising power and economic powerhouse, China is facing numerous internal challenges that have greatly diminished its own self confidence.
Tessa Love, IPS News, October 14, 2014
A year after the Gezi Park uprising – a protest that began as an act to save trees – exploded into anti-government protests around the country, the face of environmental activism in Turkey has changed. The demonstrations were ignited by concerns of rampant urban development, and later became an issue of human rights and democratisation. Within 20 minutes of the arrival of bulldozers in Gezi Park in May 2013, throngs of people filled the park to block the construction, and they stayed for 20 days before being forced out by police. One year later, the movement is still alive and grass roots organisations have joined forces to make changes where they can.
Ellen Barry, NY Times, October 10, 2014
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi is not an international celebrity like 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, with whom he is sharing the Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, he has labored for three decades to shave away at child slavery in India, using undercover operatives and camera crews to find the airless workrooms and mine shafts where children were being kept. Mr. Satyarthi’s organization, called Save the Children Mission, is credited with freeing some 70,000 children. He was so deeply impressed with Gandhi’s teachings that, as a teenager, he invited a group of high-caste local bigwigs to a meal prepared by low-caste “untouchables”; the invited guests boycotted the event and then shunned his family. Deeply upset, the boy dropped his Brahmin family name in favor of Satyarthi, which means “seeker of truth.”.
Michael Caster, openDemocracy, October 10, 2014
By claiming that inequality does not exist, delegitimizing Uyghur claims, and circumscribing available nonviolent channels for Uyghurs to express grievances, Communist Party policy in Xinjiang continues to engender unrest. The unrest is labeled as the influence of foreign forces because the government refuses to acknowledge the existence of legitimate domestic grievances. Virtually all Uyghur participation in nonviolent resistance may be labeled as inciting separatism and treated with severe repression. The increase in violent resistance, the ongoing and perhaps escalating crackdown on Uyghur rights advocates, and zero-tolerance for all Uyghur dissent prompts us to wonder why we haven’t seen more nonviolent resistance.
BBC, October 12, 2014
Azerbaijan is cracking down on pro-democracy organizations and individuals by freezing bank accounts or launching tax inspections and forcing NGOs that received foreign grants to suspend projects. Ironically, the crackdown is taking place as Azerbaijan chairs Europe's leading pro-democracy institution, the Council of Europe. "It's shocking that the chairman is basically a dictatorship using its chairmanship period this summer to arrest literally every three days all the critical minds that defend the very value of the institution," says Gerald Knauss, who heads the Berlin-based European Stability Initiative.
Jack DuVall, The Daily Beast, October 5, 2014
Calling their massive, sustained protests the Umbrella Rehttps://220.127.116.11/administrator/index.php?option=com_contentvolution shows that Hongkongers have a sense of humor. If it feels as if your overlords are control freaks, it may be poetic justice to suggest that they ought to be afraid of umbrellas. What’s in a name? Movements based on civil resistance need unity of purpose and strategy to be effective, because they are based on the diversity and versatility of multitudes. Naming a movement is a natural way of recognizing this emerging power. Names and symbols have become a natural expression of the demand for change through people power.
Maria J. Stephan, Foreign Policy, October 6, 2014
Beijing probably expects to wage (and win) a war of attrition against this civilian uprising. The main challenge now for the democracy movement is to maintain pressure while withstanding inevitable repression and finding ways to erode Beijing's pillars of local support. So far the movement has relied heavily on methods of concentration like sit-ins and street demonstrations. These are hard to sustain. The movement needs to create cracks and fissures within the Hong Kong political and economic elites in order to achieve its aims.
Janek Lasocki, openDemocracy, October 6, 2014
There is a lot that the government failed to achieve in the past seven months but people seem both more engaged and patient. EuroMaidan imbued a lot of Ukrainians with a determination to not repeat the mistakes of the Orange Revolution. Unfortunately, this is all happening against the backdrop of a war in the east that has drained finances and government attention. Still, the best way to win back popular support in these regions will be to be successful back in Kyiv.
Juan Cole and Shahin Malik Cole, Truth Dig, October 7, 2014
The welcome news last month that Egyptian activist Mahienour El-Massry was released early from prison is an occasion to consider what the political upheavals in Egypt since 2011 have meant for women’s issues. A hero of the 2011 overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak she and the young female activists of her generation are still feared by the military-backed government of President el-Sissi. The overthrow of Mubarak gave young Egyptian women the opportunity to escape the manacles of state feminism and to think for themselves about the position of women.