Nonviolent conflict is a way for people to fight for rights, freedom, justice, self-determination, and accountable government, through the use of civil resistance - including tactics such as strikes, boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience. Learn more...
Rana Nessim and Mariam Ali, openDemocracy, June 29, 2015
The “Arab awakening” did not arise out of a vacuum. It was built on the continuous hard efforts of workers and activists of various political stripes, tirelessly calling for justice -- take the build-up in Egypt, for example, which had been happening since at least 2006. To say this is not to deny the sheer power of the premonitory upheaval of 2011, which can be seen as a “psychological and epistemological rupture” with the political and discursive past. The greatest proof that there was an awakening, however brief, is the extraordinary lengths to which our counterrevolutionary regimes are repairing the breaches in the barriers of fear and raising them by several metres.
Freya Putt, Huffington Post, June 25, 2015
The current Dalai Lama raised the Tibetan nonviolent struggle to the level of global politics. It permeates the thinking of the new generation raised in exile and will influence Tibetan political leadership far into the future. A decade ago, opposition to Chinese rule seemed to manifest mainly through small, unplanned protests, which though symbolically powerful are easily countered. Today, resistance is constant, sophisticated, and waged on many fronts. The Tibetan freedom movement has made strides toward establishing the legitimacy of Tibetans' claims to freedom, building a mass base of global support, overpowering China's propaganda factory, and making Tibet a constant challenge to China's reputation on the global stage.
Data-driven optimism for global rights activists
James Ron et al., openDemocracy, June 29, 2015
According to surveys in four world regions, the public views human rights ideas and organizations positively. Critical claims that human rights workers are linked to foreign powers and intervention, moreover, receive scant public support. Our data suggest that rights activists can feel cautiously optimistic about their public reputations. Our polls reveal an underlying global trend obscured in polarized, elite-level debates: ordinary people do generally support human rights ideas and groups, even though both are often widely criticized in the media.
Alexander Golts, The Moscow Times, June 29, 2015
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says his ministry plans to research "color revolutions," noting that some suggest “the army should remain on the sidelines and not take part in the political process, while some say the opposite.” This coincides with a proposed referendum on restoring the monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka — the bloody secret service of the communist regime. The statue’s toppling occurred in 1991, when Muscovites took to the streets and thwarted a military coup. It was to those events that Shoigu referred when he said the regime could not allow their recurrence.
BBC, June 29, 2015
Elena Urlaeva, a leading Uzbek rights activist, has reportedly been subjected to sexual violence by the authorities. The 58-year-old who heads the unregistered Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan is one of the few remaining independent rights defenders in a country tightly controlled by authoritarian leader Islam Karimov. After being arrested, Urlaeva was subject to a body search described by Human Rights Watch as a "double cavity search”. Ms Urlaeva has probably done more than anyone to observe and document Uzbekistan's state-sponsored forced labour system, which has been condemned by the International Labour Organization.
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Description: In the 1960s, the Reverend Dr. James Lawson organized and led one of the most effective campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance in the 20th century: the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, which added significant momentum to the US Civil Rights Movement. In the years that followed he was involved in strategic planning of other major campaigns and actions and was called “the mind of the movement” by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year, Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat received the 2015 James Lawson Award. Steadfastly leading nonviolent resistance since 2004, Iyad Burnat is head of the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Israeli Wall and Settlements, which campaigns against Israel’s plan to replace the village of Bil’in with Israeli settlements. As dominant narratives of Israel and Palestine have focused on the threat of violence on both sides, Burnat has exercised outstanding leadership in nonviolent resistance, achieved victories for his community, and remained steadfast in his commitment to nonviolent means. While he, his family, and friends have been subject to life-threatening violence for their actions, Burnat insists: “We are not against the Jews. We are against the occupation.”
The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) seeks a Coordinator, Digital Initiatives, who:
WEBINAR - Civic Struggle in Venezuela amid Political Polarization
Presented by: Gerardo Gonzalez, Sociologist and Lecturer at Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) and the Universidad Metropolitana
Thursday, April 30, 2015 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
This webinar talk will analyze the civic struggle in Venezuela that took place in 2014. Using Peter Ackerman and Hardy Merriman‘s Checklist for Ending Tyranny, the presentation will evaluate the skill-based and organizational capabilities of protesters as well as trends of nonviolent conflict in the country last year. It will also examine the interactions between different actors involved in the conflict, tactics employed by protesters, and analyze why organizers failed to meet their goals.
WEBINAR - Nonviolent Resistance against Enforced Disappearances
Enforced disappearance has been used by undemocratic and democratic regimes as well as violent groups for decades. It is considered one of the most severe crimes because it consists of simultaneous violations of various interrelated human rights norms and has widespread pernicious psychosocial effects on the society. Despite the terrible impact, enforced disappearances have not necessarily led to civic disempowerment. On the contrary, the relatives of the disappeared persons have often engaged in strategic collective actions as a way to resist nonviolently the crime and its demobilizing effects.
WEBINAR - Gradualist Democratization using Civil Resistance
Presented by: Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of San Francisco; Co-Chair, ICNC Academic Advisors Committee
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Not all successful unarmed civil insurrections against dictatorships take place in a dramatic mass uprising with hundreds of thousands occupying central squares in the capital city. There have also been cases of nonviolent struggles against autocratic regimes that failed to topple the dictatorship in a revolutionary wave, but did succeed in forcing a series of legal, constitutional, and institutional reforms over a period of several years which eventually evolved into a liberal democratic order. These more gradualist transitions have taken place across different regions and against different kinds of authoritarian systems. This webinar will tell the story of pro-democracy movements in three of these countries— Brazil, South Korea, and Kenya —and how they were able to force, over time, autocratic governments to agree to substantive democratic reforms. By focusing on the role of civil society this presentation challenges dominant, top-down, institution and elite-based approaches to democratization.
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