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.
By: Ivan Marovic, openDemocracy, December 6, 2013
A spectre is haunting the Internet, the spectre of Otpor. Many powers of the blogosphere have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Putin's media outlets, crackpot conspiracy theorists, even some people on the left. Different autocrats want to discredit Otpor because they are afraid their people may use civil resistance against them. Discrediting popular movements as not genuine, as imported, never works. Blaming foreigners for your internal troubles is like blaming your mother-in-law for your marital problems. But I'll put it bluntly: you can't criticize Otpor without endorsing Milosevic and his fascist regime.
By: Al Giordano, Narco News, December 6, 2013
Nelson Mandela began, by his own words, as an expressly Gandhian leader. "I followed the Gandhian strategy for as long as I could," he later reflected, "but then there came a point in our struggle when the brute force of the oppressor could no longer be countered through passive resistance alone." However the movement evolved, returning to its Gandhi-influenced roots, and set about organizing and educating to build public support. It wasn't the gun that defeated Apartheid - and those who claim it was are being willfully ignorant of the authentic history of events - but, rather, the strike, the boycott, the training of participants in how to organize such things, and a full arsenal of nonviolent civil resistance tactics that won the day.
By: Rene Wadlow, FOR, December 4, 2013
Howard Clark, long time co-editor of Peace News and "coordinator" of War Resisters International (WRI) died November 28, 2013. Howard was tuned to broad social change - "Nonviolent Revolution" became a subtitle on the Peace News masthead and "Making Nonviolent Revolution" was Howard's most widely circulated booklet within WRI, starting in 1977 with the third edition in 2012. Howard worked closely with Gene Sharp and George Lakey. After Howard retired as coordinator of WRI in 2006, in part to get married and follow his wife to Spain, he was elected chair of WRI, a post he held at his death. His drive and analytical mind will be missed.
By: Girish Gupta, NY Times, December 5, 2013
A conflict has surfaced between the Guyanese government and calypso singers, who accuse it of repressing their often politically charged music by keeping it off the airwaves. Lester Charles's song so angered the government minister for transport and hydraulics, Robeson Benn, that he stormed into the state radio station's offices demanded that it be banned, along with an array of other competition-winning calypsos.
By: Uri Friedman, The Atlantic, December 5, 2013
On one of the first days of Euromaidan, someone on Twitter asked me why we are protesting. I wrote: "When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedom. We are protesting to restore the meaning of the words justice, freedom, human rights, choice." But that was one week ago, when the biggest desire of Euromaidan was to sign an association agreement with the EU. After last Saturday, when young students and older people were brutally beaten by riot police, the mood of protesters completely changed. Right now we want to be a democratic state, we want to feel like masters of our own country. Yanukovych thought he could play with the destinies of 45 million people; we are showing that he can't.
By: Erica Chenoweth, Political Violence at a Glance, December 3, 2013
Mass movements that do more than just demonstrations show a level of strategic versatility and adaptation that helps them to outlast the repression coming down upon them. In both Thailand and Ukraine, in addition to mass demonstrations, activists have called for general strikes. Thai protestors are occupying the ministry of finance in Bangkok. In Ukraine there are calls to boycott Russian goods, nationally-dispersed demonstrations, and nonviolent occupations. Both campaigns have elicited elite defections. But Ukraine's case has more potential to succeed because of diverse participation and the backfiring effect of repression.
Rami G. Khouri, The Daily Star, November 30, 2013
Will we see popular forces that brought down the Mubarak regime mobilize yet again to oppose the current government's draconian laws that aim to control and stifle political protests? It is not yet clear if those demonstrators who have taken to the streets in half a dozen Egyptian cities in the past few days represent a wide cross section of the Egyptian population, or only a small stratum of activist progressives. Will Egypt now see its fourth popular revolt against autocracy in the past three years?
Nataliya Gumenyuk, openDemocracy, November 29, 2013
The signing of the agreement between Ukraine and the EU was not a question of making a 'geopolitical choice' - neither supporting the EU nor expressing anti-Russian sentiments - but rather the universal right of citizens to take to the streets when their opinions are brazenly disregarded. Abandoning the 'Euro-choice' in Ukraine means remaining in the territory of lawlessness and tyranny, ignorance and kleptocracy. This is a revolution of young educated people, who are educated but have no future. This is a "rebellion by people who were supposed to live like the middle class... and whose only way out is to treat the old politicians and the old politics with scepticism."
Nomalanga Moyo, Nehanda Radio, November 30, 2013
Scores of peaceful marchers from the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group were beaten and some arrested by police in anti-riot gear. The women submitted a petition outlining the needs and expectations of Zimbabwean women in the context of the on-going campaign against gender-based violence. WOZA leader Jenni Williams said baton-wielding officers, who were accompanied by dogs, pounced on the group of women, chasing and beating them up.
Sonya Diehn, DW, December 1, 2013
Opponents of the Ukrainian government are putting increasing pressure on President Viktor Yanukovitch, forming blockades aimed at preventing government officials from entering their offices at city hall and other locations on December 2nd. They also built tents in central Kyiv for around 5,000 of those who took part in massive protests on December 1st The country reports that more than 150 people were injured in clashes between the demonstrators and police officers. Andreas Umland - a political scientist currently teaching at the University of Kyiv - suggested that the police action was in fact a test by the government to see how far it could go. If this was indeed the case, the policy has seriously backfired.