Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

One Foot In and One Foot Out: Interview with a Tibetan MP in Exile

Tibetans, like other liberation struggles with a diaspora component, have one foot in and one foot out. Some movement actors—the diaspora and the government-in-exile—can exert pressure on the occupier from the outside. “That’s our domain, so there is pressure coming from all sides. We [MPs] are all united that we should find ways to restore freedom”, Jigdal explains to my students. On the other hand, the occupied population can exercise pressure on the occupier from the inside—if empowered to do so. […]

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Ideas and Trends

Breaking Down Barriers to Movement Support in the European Union

“It is like some diplomats only see instability when bombs fall on a presidential palace. But we Sudanese have suffered instability for over 30 years under a dictatorship…”

Last May, I helped organize a round table discussion at the annual SIPRI Forum on Peace and Development in Stockholm, Sweden. At one point, the current war in Sudan came to the fore, suggesting a general misunderstanding about nonviolent movements for rights, justice and freedom among some discussion participants. […]

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REACT Series Powered by ActionAid

Broken Promises: The Congolese “Fatshimétrie” Campaign for Government Accountability

The citizen movement LUCHA was founded in 2012 by young Congolese frustrated by the dramatic situation in their country. LUCHA pursued nonviolent resistance to inform citizens and fuel their outrage, as well as to hold those in power more responsible and accountable. One of the tools they use is called Fatshimétrie, a barometer for assessing the level of fulfilment of commitments and promises made by the head of state to transform the DRC. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Lifting the Language Curtain and Affirming Georgia’s Nonviolent History

Earlier this year, in a meeting with students and colleagues here in Tbilisi, Georgia, we came to a consensus that many important civil resistance stories related to decision-making, specific tactics and defining strategy are frequently lost here. We—activists engaged in movements for democracy, environmental justice, good governance and more—are not writing or documenting enough to create transferable knowledge, so future generations will not know about our country’s civil resistance stories. But with no local resources available to support such “knowledge management” actions, how can we affirm our nonviolent history in the interest of advancing our struggles? […]

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Interviews & People

Mohsen Sazegara: Portrait of a Social Media Influencer of Nonviolent Revolution

Mohsen Sazegara has been a social media influencer since before it became a thing. Having started his YouTube channel in June 2009 to share knowledge and resources on nonviolent action in Farsi, he pre-dates nearly every pioneer of the influencer phenomenon. But Mohsen’s influence has nothing to do with the fashion or fitness industries. The only “brand” he represents is nonviolent revolution for rights, freedom and democracy. […]

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REACT Series Powered by ActionAid

Southern Mexico: A Caravan Campaign of Joy, Solidarity and Life Affirmation in the Face of Dispossession

Last April and at the beginning of this May, a group of about 150 people spent 12 days and nights traveling the roads of south-southeast of Mexico, responding to the National Indigenous Congress’ call to organize a Caravan called “The South Resists”. Hot days and nights, in regions where temperatures can exceed 40 C degrees (104 F); hostile roads, where thousands of people have disappeared without a trace; hours shared with strangers, who eventually became friends, all in response to a call: it is time to organize ourselves to push back against environmental injustice and protect our lives and livelihoods. […]

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Movement Commentary

Dilemma Actions and Defections: Crackdown Underway on Djibouti’s Nonviolent Struggle for Democracy

From July 2 until today, July 4, 2023, police have been raiding the homes of several pro-democracy activists in Djibouti, a highly geostrategic country in the Horn of Africa, where the world’s major powers jostle for influence—each with their respective military bases. At the time of writing, seven activists, including four women, have been arrested and the general secretary of the movement “RADDE” are in custody. The police are still looking for others. The reason for their arrest was the impersonation of military, police and Republican Guard uniforms as part of a recent nonviolent campaign organized by RADDE. […]

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