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.
MadubesBrainPot, October 22, 2014
People often ask why Zimbabweans speak of a repressive government when freedom ‘of’ expression is guaranteed in the Constitution and articles can freely be published. However, they often overlook that freedom ‘of’ expression does not guarantee freedom ‘after’ expression, when people are often given ‘visits’ to police cells and often extends to bruises and broken bones for those who dare go onto the street to protest. In response, we (Zimbabweans) have taken to our creative juices; letting our grievances out in the flow of our words, and in satire we have found expression, and the ability to say things we would dare not say openly. Richard Matimba's skit, popularly known as “Uncle Richie,” has widened the doors to our freedom of expression.
George Soros, NY Review of Books, November 2014
Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence. Neither the European leaders nor their citizens are fully aware of this challenge. Russia is presenting an alternative that poses a fundamental challenge to the values and principles of the EU, which is based on the use of force that manifests itself in repression at home and aggression abroad. Western authorities have also ignored what I call the “new Ukraine,” which was born in the successful resistance on the Maidan, which was led by the cream of civil society. But the new Ukraine has to contend with Russian aggression.
Mona Eltahawy, NY Times, October 23, 2014
Coinciding with President el-Sisi’s address to the UN General Assembly, advertisements introducing a “New Egypt: Peace, Prosperity & Growth,” were posted last month in Times Square. But the “New Egypt” in these ads is as much an illusion as Mr. Sisi’s address to the General Assembly, in which he cited a respect for human rights and a country where journalists worked and expressed themselves freely. In reality, almost four years after those mesmerizing scenes from Tahrir Square, human rights abuses are ever prevalent in Egypt and these three different billboards tell the story of the dissent and unrest that still seethe beneath the surface.
Bryan Farrell, Waging Nonviolence, October 22, 2014
This past summer in Cape Town, Bryan Farrell met handfuls of inspirational peace and justice activists from around the world. In Farrell's short interview with Mkhuseli Jack, we learn of Mkhuseli's birth into a situation akin to slavery and how he became a revered figure of the anti-apartheid struggle. His leadership of the Consumer Boycott Campaign in the city of Port Elizabeth during the 1980s played a major role in destabilizing the regime. In this podcast, you’ll hear about his incredible personal journey, and the infectious optimism that continues to fuel it, and be treated to a 60-voice African choir singing the South African National Anthem.
Doron Shultziner, openDemocracy, October 22, 2014
The dramatic Hong Kong democracy movement caught¬ the world’s media by surprise, and even its student initiators did not expect the widespread participation that it has gathered. As the umbrella movement nears its one-month anniversary, it has already made several important achievements, but it also faces challenges inasmuch as the Chinese leadership appears unwilling to compromise and public protests take their toll on participants and their energies. Can the umbrella movement win and if so how? Doron Shultziner analyzes the current situation in Hong Kong, noting the achievements thus far and deliberating possible ways forward for the movement.
Brian Martin, openDemocracy, October 22, 2014
Shaazka Beyerle's new book Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice is the first major treatment of how popular nonviolent action can be a powerful approach for challenging corruption. She documents fascinating episodes of popular action being used as a tool to target corruption after in-depth investigations of people’s anti-corruption campaigns in 16 countries. Her book reports on 12 of them, including ones in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Afghanistan and Uganda, and the result is a rich compendium of information about popular anti-corruption struggles, with ideas worth exploring and developing further. Curtailing Corruption leaves readers with an important message: people power - organised collective action by citizens - can be a powerful force against corruption, often far more effective than formal processes run by government agencies and international bodies.
Saeed Kamali Dehghan, The Guardian, October 22, 2014
Thousands of people have staged a protest in Isfahan, Iran’s top tourist destination, demanding authorities bring to an end a spate of acid attacks on young women that has sparked horror and outrage. Assailants riding on motorbikes, in a similar sequence of events, have thrown acid in the face of at least eight women who were driving in the street with their windows pulled down. Local media say the number of victims could be higher. The attacks have so far claimed one life, an opposition website said. Many Iranians believe that victims were targeted because they were women wearing clothes that could be deemed inappropriate in the eyes of hardliners – a claim vehemently denied by the authorities.
Adam Chandler, The Atlantic, October 23, 2014
One of the lesser-noted tendrils of the Arab Spring is the ongoing movement to end the ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia. The decades-long ban, which technically stems from religious custom rather than an actual Saudi traffic law, has a history of being challenged, including a "drive-in" protest in November 1990 and individual women videoing themselves driving. Last year, a campaign called on Saudi women to defy the driving ban on October 26, with limited success. Ahead of a renewed push to recreate the "drive-in" on the one-year anniversary, Saudi officials once again warned against defying the ban, claiming that the protests represent "an opportunity for predators to undermine social cohesion."
Tabloid Jubi and Majalah Selengkah, West Papua Media Alerts, October 14, 2014
More than 60 West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian police in Jayapura and Merauke, Papua on Monday, as rallies calling for respect of press freedom and the release of two French journalists who continue to be imprisoned without charge, attracted thousands of people across Papua and Indonesia. Indonesian police had prohibited the rallies on the pretext that the West Papua National Committee, which organized the rally, is an incorrectly registered organization, and that demonstrators may use the police-banned Morning Star flag on banners and posters. The plight of the two journalists has elicited record levels of support amongst Papuan civil society.
Minxin Pei, NY Times, October 17, 2014
Corruption has penetrated so very deeply into the party-state that it has become the glue that holds it together. And so Mr. Xi's campaign, which is meant to ensure the C.C.P.'s longevity, seems to pose an existential threat to it in the short or medium term. Between one-third and two-thirds of all corruption cases in China today involve multiple officials and businessmen. In the 1980s, most corruption was committed by individuals acting alone. This newer, collusive form of corruption is far more pernicious because it is harder to detect and to stop, and it corrodes the institutional integrity of the state.