Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Climate Change: Challenges to Measuring Impact of Civil Resistance, Some Solutions

In late 2021, Adani Corporation announced the first coal shipment from the freshly dug Carmichael Coal Mine in central Queensland. A five-year blockade encampment, the re-occupation of traditional lands on the minesite by Waddananggu Traditional Owners, and relentless fierce civil resistance by hundreds of activist groups seeking to stop the proposed mega-mine appears to have been a failure. But was it? […]

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Ideas & Trends

What’s Next in the Push for Democratization in Tunisia?

A coup d’état is underway in Tunisia that threatens the success of the Arab world’s only democratic hopeful. On July 25, 2021, President Kais Saied used national protests calling for a dissolution of parliament as a justification to invoke emergency law across the country. Under the state of exception, Saied sacked his prime minister, dissolved parliament with military support, and has since silenced journalists, lawmakers, political opponents, and dissidents through a slew of prison sentences, military trials, house arrests, and convictions in absentia. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Learning to Grow Movements Out of Organizations

If activists are resisting an incinerator in one town and the neighboring town is resisting a megadump, how can they get beyond just fighting their own battles in isolation? How can they link up those different struggles and push for environmental justice? And how can they work together with other groups to challenge the underlying economics and incentives that produce waste in the first place? […]

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Interviews & People

The “What” and “Why” of Civil Resistance Tactics—and What’s Missing?

Though violent action can certainly have direct and immediate impacts, it is defined by destruction and harm. In contrast, human agency and creativity are unbounded by those limits. So when it comes to producing an anatomy of civil resistance, it truly takes a village… and the frontiers continue to expand. In that vein, I want to share some ideas—drawing from my personal and professional engagement as an artist, activist, movement trainer and organizer—about how to address potential gaps that persist in spite of Beer’s Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century. […]

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Movement Commentary

Pulling Away Putin’s Pedestal: Opportunities and Challenges for Nonviolent Resistance

La Boétie knew then, as do the Russians driving civil resistance in the cities and towns of Russia today, that the tyrant is one man. By himself he cannot do anything. Understand Putin’s sources of power and peel away the pillars of support that prop him up, and the man’s rule will collapse. Already we are seeing early signs of mass civilian-based noncooperation. Last week the entire staff at independent Russian TV station Dozhd walked out live on air while declaring “no to war” after being shut down over their coverage of the Ukrainian invasion. […]

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Ideas & Trends

From Grievance to Funding to Capacity Building: Insights from Movement Coaches

One movement coach I interviewed traced the ideal path from grievance to funding to capacity building. Although many readers will already be in the thick of organizing and fundraising, I thought it would still be helpful to share this model as a way to ground our thinking around movement capacity building. In a perfect world, a group would navigate the following steps: 1) Make a grievance known in your community to help form a critical mass of participants (this can be as few as 5 or 10 people). Take necessary security measures. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Recruiting Movement Trainers and Developing Training Content

Last year, I read Hardy Merriman’s blog posts about civil resistance training and activists’ common questions about training, and so much rang true to me. I am a fan of learning theories around movement support work and in-field tools and practices used by coaches and activists. Hardy’s posts inspired me to gather in-field experiences of movement coaches and share them with larger audiences. I asked the coaches: How do we find trainers and resource persons? And, how do we decide what kind of content the training participants will need? […]

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