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...
Amanda Taub, Vox, July 8, 2015
To President Putin, ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s fate is a reminder of the danger protests could pose to his own regime, i.e. he could be ousted from power via "Maidan technology." Although Putin tends to couch those fears in warnings of "foreign coups" or "CIA plots", his concern is that a mass protest movement could force him into an impossible choice between popular support, political control, and the loyalty of Russia’s elite. The elite “would never make the first move, but they will join the winning side," said Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian lawmaker who now lives in exile. For all of Putin’s apparent strength in crushing political dissent, this reveals weakness against his own elites.
Samson Yuen and Edmund Cheng, ChinaFile, July 1, 2015
Those in power, whether they sit in Beijing or in Hong Kong, now face a society that will be increasingly difficult to govern in the same old way. Members of Hong Kong’s younger generations are now asking for what they believe they deserve—not a promising course of socio-economic development, but the right to determine the future for themselves. For now, the city might have returned to normal. But if the government thought that all it took to return everything to normal was a clearing of the streets, history will prove them wrong. A few hours before the police cleared the streets of the last protestors, a large yellow banner bearing the image of an umbrella still hung saying, “It’s just the beginning.”
Erica Chenoweth, Political Violence at a Glance, July 7, 2015
Authoritarian regimes are now pushing back against civil society, activists, and oppositionists, seeing them as a direct threat to the established order. Maria J. Stephan, an expert on nonviolent movements, notes that "regimes have figured out that ‘people power’ endangers their grip on power and they are cracking down. There’s no better evidence of the effectiveness of civil resistance than the measures that governments take to suppress it." She recommends “that external actors increasingly embrace a movement mindset and develop flexible means to support non-traditional civil society actors who are in the best position to mobilize people around shared democratic goals.”
Jessica Evans, Al Jazeera, July 8, 2015
People who suffer harm because of development projects financed by the World Bank Group take grave risks to speak out and often face severe consequences. Yet the Bank has taken few concrete steps to protect community members from harassment and ensure that people can speak freely. In Cambodia security forces have jailed Nget Khun, a 75-year-old community activist on several occasions for protesting evictions stemming from projects financed by the World Bank. The bank has strongly opposed the government’s plan to evict people from their homes, but it has been silent about the attacks on outspoken community members. Deterring such reprisals entails publicly establishing the bank’s support for the rights and safety of community members and activists.
Van Langendonck, McClatchy, July 8, 2015
A group of nonviolent activists called “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” was formed in April of last year, at a time when the Islamic State did not dominate world news, hence the “silently” in its name. One of the group’s tactics is to post anti-Islamic State pamphlets overnight on walls in Raqqa and elsewhere, while filming the act and posting the result online. “Of course, nobody wants to die for a poster,” says one member, “but it is one of the few weapons we have, and it annoys the hell out of Daash (“Dulat al-Islam fi al-Iraq wal-Sham” – “the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria”). Humor is another method. “Daash rules through fear,” says one activist. “If we can make people laugh at them we break through the fear barrier.”
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.”
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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