Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Setting the Record Straight: Cultural Documentary Resistance against Putin’s War

Facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I find it truly courageous that the Ukrainian art world is taking bold actions to preserve their country’s immense cultural heritage, both in-country and from afar. After all, as Olga aptly puts it, “This war is a war of cultures”. Putin’s only language is violence; Ukrainians have been fluent in the language of nonviolent resistance for decades. By putting culture in a key position of the anti-occupation struggle, Ukrainians can and are nudging the conflict to where they can have a battlefield advantage.. […]

Read More
Movement Commentary

“This War is a War of Cultures”: The Art World, A Leader in Ukraine’s Nonviolent Anti-Occupation Struggle

I met Olga Sagaidak last May at the Ukrainian Cultural Center here in Paris, France. In the large drawing room where I conducted our interview, the walls were lined floor-to-ceiling with jaw-dropping photography of war destruction and street art protesting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. My stomach knotted when, leaning forward for a closer glimpse of one anti-war drawing, I realized it had in fact been sketched by the hand of a Ukrainian child. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

Should We Train Movements when We Disagree with their Goals?

As Covid emerged in 2020 and altered our lifestyles, some of us who offer nonviolent movement trainings in the United States became aware of the anti-Covid vaccine, anti-health mask campaign launched across the Canadian border, in Ottawa. The campaign spread somewhat to the U.S. North, notably resulting in a trucker blockade in February 2022 at the Ambassador bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, Michigan. The phenomenon left many of us trainers asking many thorny questions about ethics. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

Bridging the Online-Offline Divide in Nonviolent Movements

“I participated regularly in Fridays for Future marches to fight climate change during my high school years. At the beginning, in the winter of 2018-19, my entire high school here in France went into a climate change frenzy. But after a few weeks the enthusiasm had died down, and even the most outspoken students on social media suddenly seemed much less engaged. According to the Fridays for Future website, this rapid drop in participation was not unique to the French context. […]”

Read More
Movement Commentary

Survival and Resilience: From the Frontlines of Myanmar’s Pro-Democracy Movement

The following is a personal narrative shared with ICNC by a pro-democracy organizer who fled Myanmar following the brutal crackdown of anti-coup protests in February 2021. His account comes from the frontlines of the country’s decades-long struggle for democracy, which has been punctuated by civil war and brutal repression at the hands of the Tatmadaw. Our contact shares his personal experience with repression but also a message of resilience and solidarity that hopefully resonates with activists living under harsh dictatorships worldwide.

Read More
Movement Commentary

The Bersih Movement and Democratization in Malaysia

“Today, the Bersih movement continues to be committed to democratization and clean elections in Malaysia. Bersih’s actions aim to induce political change not by empowering people to bring down the regime, but instead by improving the integrity of institutions so that the people can legitimately vote the government out of power. The movement has left a legacy in Malaysian politics by promoting civic awareness of the right to vote and a sense of togetherness in a nation with multiracial and multicultural roots. […]”

Read More
Scholarship & Research

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? […]

Read More
Read More Stories

Sign up for our twice-monthly blog newsletter