Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

نگاهی به گذشته، نگاهی به آینده: انقلاب ایران در حال پیشروی است

زیر سایه بسیاری از خبرهای رسانه‌ای، و در حالی که هدف شدید‌ترین سرکوب‌ها قرار گرفته است، انقلاب ملی ایران برای رسیدن به سکولار دموکراسی مطلوبش در حرکت است. این انقلاب در حالی در سراسر ایران ریشه می‌دواند وارد پنجمین ماه خود شده است. علی‌ رغم سرکوب‌های شدید و بی‌رحمانه رژیم، گستره اعتراضات چه به لحاظ جغرافیایی و چه به لحاظ مشارکت اقشار مختلف در حال گسترش است. مسئله‌ای که نشان می‌دهد رژیم در حال از دست دادن قدرت و کنترل اوضاع است.

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Movement Commentary

Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Iranian Revolution Forges Ahead

Shadowed by many breaking headlines and increasingly brutal repression, the Iranian revolution for secular democracy continues to forge ahead. Soon in its fifth month, the uprising has taken root across Iran. Its widening geographic spread and deepening diversity of participants have been met with an intensified crackdown ordered by the Islamic regime–evidence that its grip on power is slipping. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Widespread Assumptions about Nonviolent Resistance: Steering Conversations to Higher Ground

Nonviolence is naïve. Humans are violent by nature.” “Violence is needed to confront violent adversaries.” “Nonviolent resistance undermines institutional means of change.” Views such as these are understandable in light of society’s socialization and ongoing elevation of violence in news, education and entertainment media. It can be frustrating to have to respond to such views on a regular basis. But if the other person is engaging in good faith, responding can also be an opportunity to deepen the conversation, learn about their perspective, and share our own. In this article, I dig deeper into some widespread assumptions about nonviolent resistance, in the spirit of reinforcing the capacity of advocates of the effectiveness of civil resistance to steer conversations toward higher ground. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Dying in the Truth: A Closer Look at Self-immolations in Freedom Struggles

“This is why we must break the silence on self-immolation in the field of nonviolent resistance. Whether one believes self-immolation to be an act of violence or of nonviolent resistance, oppressive regimes are eager to fill the silence and portray self-immolation as an outcome of mental illness or religious extremism. Dictatorships always seek to throw a veil of doubt over acts of resistance that challenge their power. […] Without recommending this harrowing tactic to anyone, we can still honor the sacrifice of self-immolators for rights, justice and freedom. For whether it is to die in the truth or to live in the truth, it is still the truth that is always worth pursuing…”

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Ideas & Trends

The Succession Crisis: What Implications for Activists?

The reason we try to understand the succession crisis that embroils many dictatorships is rather practical: we would like to figure out ways for movements to use this opportunity to expand political space, maybe even push the regime for concessions and, further down the road, achieve substantive political changes towards democratization. The wobble that represents the “S-word”, succession, should be seen an opportunity for the movement, but one that does not automatically lead to disintegration regime. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Anatomy of a Dictatorship—and Its Hidden Infirmity

In the last decade, many countries have been backsliding into authoritarian rule. Serbia, the country where I was born, is one of them. This is a scary development that prompts us to focus on the democracy crisis, and many observers do. But there is another crisis brewing, largely unnoticed: the dictatorship crisis. It may sound like a paradox but currently authoritarian rule is experiencing a resurgence and going through a crisis at the same time. The resurgence is apparent, promoted even, but crisis is not being seen as authoritarian countries are less transparent than democracies and would rather keep their weaknesses hidden. […]

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Movement Commentary

“Mahsa, Your Name Will Be a Symbol”: Revolution and the Prospects of a New Iran

The 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the monarchy of Iran, and an Islamic dictatorship was established in its place. Over the ensuing four decades, people have nonviolently defied the regime and challenged its policies. However, because of the lack of communication channels with the free world, combined with the military power of the regime, the people have not been able to spread their voices. Until now… On September 16, 2022, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died in custody of the Morality Police after being detained for allegedly breaking the law requiring women to wear the hijab. […]

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