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.
Monim Eljak, The Guardian, December 11, 2014
A ceremony in Addis Ababa unveiling a new political agreement, known as the Sudan Call, may be a turning point in Sudan's pursuit of democracy. The call unites the core of a formerly fragmented political and armed opposition for the first time, calling for a peaceful and popular democratic transformation. “We... have come together and pledged to work to dismantle the one-party state regime and replace it with a state founded on equal citizenship,” it declares. The signatories maintain it is the Sudanese people - in particular members of the youth movement who took to the streets in September 2013 - who are key to the country’s development. The formation of groups such as Girifna,Change Now and the Al Khalas Initiative signals wider engagement in political activism in Sudan.
Yael Marom, +972, December 10, 2014
The recent death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died during a protest marking International Human Rights Day has highlighted the Palestinian resistance movement and Israel's response. Issa Amro, one of the leaders of Youth Against Settlements, an organization that practices nonviolent resistance in Hebron, explained the need for nonviolent resistance: “[Israeli armed forces] don’t want this type of struggle because if there is a nonviolent movement it will weaken the occupation. They say the occupation is there for security, but if the struggle is nonviolent then they can no longer justify the occupation.”
Matt Schiavenza, The Atlantic, December 12, 2014
Few Hong Kongers see themselves as Chinese. And that’s bad news for Beijing. In tactical terms, the Hong Kong protests’ conclusion is a clear victory for the Chinese government. Student leaders — including the precocious 17-year-old Joshua Wong, who appeared on the cover of Time — wanted universal suffrage and the territory’s chief executive to resign, yet they got nothing. But as Hong Kong residents identify less and less with China, Beijing has a more serious problem on its hands: The territory’s younger generations, epitomized by the bespectacled Wong, supported the protesters the most. “These kids are never going to cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party,” said Trey Menefee, a lecturer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Robert Mackey, NY Times, December 11, 2014
The Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari, detained in Tehran in 2009, has released previously unseen footage he recorded during the first deadly clashes between Green Movement protesters and security forces. He was filming as some of the protesters tried to storm a base of Basij militiamen, who had been firing tear gas and warning shots -- and then began “shooting indiscriminately into the crowd.” Opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi said later that the men who instigated the violence by attacking the base were agitators from a banned Iranian exile group. “I think that moment really played into the hands of the government,” Mr. Bahari said. The large and completely peaceful protest that came before the violence that day, he said, was far more threatening to the authorities.
Global Voices, December 12, 2014
As the Hong Kong police removed the last scrap of tarp from the site of the 75-day massive sit-in protest at Admiralty, protesters vowed, “We'll be back!” At Occupy Central, protesters faced violent attacks from thugs and aggressive police fearlessly, and they started to see that they had to leave the streets and develop other battlefields to push for genuine democratic reform in Hong Kong. New strategies such as symbolic resistance, civic-disobedience, grassroots elections, monitoring police violence and by-elections might make up the new battlegrounds for pro-democracy protesters who have left the streets.
Jorge Ramos, Fusion, December 10, 2014
In her beautiful book, “A Man,” the late journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote how Alexandros Panagoulis, a leader of the resistance against Greece’s dictatorship in the 1970s, showed her three large letters carved on a hill in the Peloponnese region: “OXI”, Greek for “no,” put there decades ago by rebels fighting fascism and the Nazis. Fallaci called that symbol of resistance “the most beautiful monument to human dignity.” The recent protests both in Mexico and the United States have been expressions of discontent and despair. It’s possible that nothing will change in Mexico, and that racism and injustice will continue in America. But every change begins by saying no. We don’t know what’s next, but we know that we won’t stand for what we have now.
Arzu Geybullayeva, Global Voices, December 10, 2014
The December 5 arrest of 38-year-old investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil, on trumped up charges, will test the limits of the government’s external facade. Outside of Azerbaijan she is known for her outstanding work in exposing the Azerbaijani government, specifically the ruling family’s illicit, and very international, business empire. If Ismayil is incarcerated, she will be Azerbaijan's most globally famous political prisoner. The ongoing crackdown on free speech and human rights in Azerbaijan negates the millions the country's leadership has paid western PR firms to improve its international reputation.
Scott Mitchell, Vice News, December 9, 2014
Indonesian troops opened fire in West Papua and killed five civilians during disturbances on Monday, as Indonesia faces growing pressure over its occupation of the region. The shootings occurred in Paniai, where locals gathered to demonstrate at Karel Gobay Square. Local media quoted community leaders claiming that the unrest was provoked by the beating of a 12-year-old boy on Sunday night, while military spokesperson Rikas Hidayatullah claimed it was a political demonstration against the electoral commission. Indonesia occupied West Papua in 1963, following a colonial Dutch government. Ever since, the national Morning Star flag of West Papua has been banned and independence supporters have been suppressed.
France 24, December 5, 2014
Fuelled initially by anger over the Ferguson, Missouri ruling, which prompted thousands of New Yorkers to take to the streets last week, protesters of the latest decision said they felt that the US criminal justice system was “broken” and “unashamedly racist”. Protester Dave James told France 24, “I’m here because the whole system needs to be reformed.” The U.S. Justice Department has stated that it will investigate the New York case. It is already looking into the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown’s death in Missouri. President Barack Obama said the grand jury decision spoke to "the concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way".
Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, December 3, 2014
Across Mexico, mounting public outrage over the case of 43 missing students has galvanized anti-government street protests, which now appear to threaten the twenty-four-month-old administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. His government was slow to respond to the massacre, and then did so clumsily. A leading figure in the current protests, Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Catholic priest, told the Independent: “This is a crucial moment in Mexico. The people want the change they’ve been denied for years. Now they’re saying ‘Enough!’ We don’t want this country anymore. It’s a horrible, corrupt country. We want to start a new Mexico.”