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.
Today's Zaman, April 22, 2014
Workers' unions and professional chambers that are insistent on holding rallies for May 1, celebrated in Turkey as Labor and Solidarity Day, in Taksim Square should forget about it, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. He reiterated his government's earlier position that unions would be able to hold rallies in İstanbul's Yenikapı Square, or Maltepe Square if space was an issue. Civil society organizations and workers' unions have announced that they will be in Taksim Square in defiance of the ban.
Tania Branigan, The Guardian, April 21, 2014
Pyongyang's media portray a nation unified in its devotion to its leader. In reality, the lifeblood of the system - the people's faith in it - has finally leached away, citizens interviewed have said. In comparing China and North Korea, says Chae Un-ee, a migrant worker, that "You can sell whatever you want and go to foreign countries and do whatever you want...There is no control." Last month's UN report concluded: "The key to the political system is the vast political and security apparatus that uses surveillance, coercion, fear and punishment... Public executions and enforced disappearance to prison camps serve as the ultimate means to terrorise the population into submission."
Luke Harding, The Guardian, April 21, 2014
Pro-Russian groups have seized a string of town halls across eastern Ukraine demanding a referendum. The pro-Ukrainians at the rally in eastern city Khartsyzk on Monday claimed that separatists in the east enjoyed only minority support. A majority in the Russian-speaking Donbass region were actually in favor of Ukrainian unity, they said. Peaceful residents regarded the appearance of "little green men" in Slavyansk - allegedly undercover Russian soldiers - with horror. Despite the harassment of civic activists who support Ukraine, about 200 students, professionals and pedagogues joined the rally.
Ibrahim Al-Assil, FOR, April 21, 2014
Two civil resistance groups, I Am Syrian and the Syrian Nonviolence Movement, sponsored an exhibit called "Stories of the Revolution." The display took place in two rounds during March and April, in part of Aleppo outside regime control, despite the city's ongoing devastation by the regime attacks. Syrian activists know that telling the stories of their struggle is not only crucial to the contest for power, but is empowering for the traumatized population of Syria.
Andrew Higgins, Michael Gordon, and Andrew Kramer, NY Times, April 20, 2014
Photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine suggest many of the mysteriously well-armed gunmen there are Russian military and intelligence forces. Some of the men photographed in Ukraine have been identified in other photos clearly taken among Russian troops in other settings. This confirms international speculation that Russia has been closely involved with separatist movements in Ukraine.
Arzu Geybullayeva, Global Voices, April 17, 2014
When Maxim Gorky wrote about revolutionary workers in his 1906 novel, "The Mother", little did he know that a century later, social uprisings and revolutions would still be affecting people around the world. He might not have imagined that in December 2013 in Azerbaijan, a young man would read "The Mother" in his prison cell and, saddened by difficult circumstances yet full of pride at having a heroic mother, be inspired to write a letter to his own mother. The young man's name is Zaur Gurbanli. He is one of eight members of an Azerbaijani youth movement called N!DA whom I witnessed undergoing court proceedings in Baku on April 15, 2014.
Timothy Snyder, New Statesman, April 17, 2014
The revolution in Ukraine was not only a disaster for Russian foreign policy, but a challenge to the Russian regime at home. The weakness of Putin's policy is that it cannot account for the actions of free human beings who choose to organize themselves in response to unpredictable events. Its strength is its tactical dexterity and ideological shamelessness. Russian propaganda presented the Ukrainian revolution as a Nazi coup, and blamed Europeans for supporting these supposed Nazis. This version, although ridiculous, was much more comfortable in Putin's world, since it removed from view the debacle of Russian policy in Ukraine and replaced spontaneous action by Ukrainians with foreign conspiracies.
Mong Palatino, The Diplomat, April 17, 2014
In a rare protest, several Myanmar newspapers and journals blacked-out their front pages on April 11 after a provincial court sentenced a video reporter to one year in prison for trespassing and disrupting the work of a government official. For Toe Zaw Latt, bureau chief of the Democratic Voice of Burma, the case negates the government boast about the supposed rise of press freedom in the country. "These are not good signs for press freedom, if journalists have to face a lawsuit for covering news during office hours. We are worried that these actions might be a sign of restrictions in press freedom again, as it was in the past," he said.
Colin Daileda, Mashable, April 17, 2014
No matter the country, protesters show up to clashes outfitted with gear designed to protect them from the state's military and/or police. "I think that there is a perception that wearing armor or carrying light weapons makes the protesters look more credible and forceful," Erica Chenoweth, Ph.D. "Interestingly, though, the evidence suggests the exact inverse. In many places, the use of armor or weapons may repel sympathizers who see participation as more risky when protests take on this character, thereby undermining the power of the movement."
Justin McCurry, The Guardian, April 17, 2014
Music is deeply rooted in Okinawa's tragic place in Japan's history and the conduit for its modern grievances against the glut of US military bases on the island. As Barack Obama prepares to visit Tokyo to meet Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, later in April, the anti-war message of sanshin players such as Shoukichi Kina and Misako Oshiro is back in vogue. "Our job as musicians should be to celebrate the good and do something about fixing the bad," said Kina, who some have called Okinawa's answer to Bob Marley. "That's why I hate the military bases here, but I love Americans."