Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

In a Time of Democratic Backsliding, How Should Civil Society Be Supported?

Imagine you’re in a country in which democracy is under attack. A few years ago a demagogue won an election, packed his administration with loyal supporters, and they’ve broken norms and expectations of governance ever since. They are using the power of government to enrich themselves, entrench their rule, and battle their opposition. What’s more, they seem to be getting away with it. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Communications, and Why It’s Vital for Today’s Nonviolent Campaigns and Movements

Nonviolent campaigns usually seize the latest technologies available, perhaps leading some organizers mistakenly to think that e-mail blasts produce effective civil resistance. Yet communications is a larger, more comprehensive component for effective nonviolent action, possessing kaleidoscopic capacities. […]

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Movement Commentary

Greta Thunberg and the Power of Strategic Movement Messaging

Though Greta Thunberg is not the leader of the youth climate change movement (which defines itself as leaderless), she has emerged as an eloquent spokesperson and almost singlehandedly has fashioned a powerful moral narrative for the movement. She has done so by using imagery, subconsciously resonating with pop culture, pushing social boundaries, and evoking moral authority. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Meira Paibis: The Brave Mothers of Manipur at the Forefront of a Strong Nonviolent Resistance Movement

India is often referred to as the world’s largest democracy, but one may question what kind of democracy imposes martial law on its own people. The Meira Paibis (“women with bamboo torches”) of Manipur in northeast India have been organizing for decades against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a controversial act that has spurred police impunity in the region. […]

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Ideas & Trends

The Youth Climate Movement’s Early Tactics and Gains: Declaring A Climate Emergency

Student climate strikers have sought to get local and national authorities to “treat the climate crisis as a crisis” by passing climate emergency declarations. The NGO Climate Mobilization now estimates that over 221 million people are represented by governmental entities that have made such declarations. This fundamental reframing work is a strategic first step in galvanizing power of ordinary citizens around the world to pressure their governments to take action.

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Movement Commentary

What’s Next In Puerto Rico’s Movement for Justice and Democracy

“This is a fight for democracy and decolonization… The people are asking for respect, transparency, and a decolonization process,” Puerto Rican activist Javier Smith Torres said. The talk of revolution, a radical change to the entire system of government, is still afoot in Puerto Rico. What has already crystallized here this summer, though, is that ordinary people have become the protagonists in their political sphere. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Four Ways We Can Engage with the Global Community of Civil Resistance

We can engage through small acts of support, by improving our knowledge about movements, and by applying that knowledge in our daily activities and conversations. If profiles as diverse as an anthropologist in Puerto Rico, a director of a good governance NGO in Zimbabwe, a citizen journalist in Singapore, a National Minister of Culture in Armenia, a professor of peace psychology, and a front-line activist against modern-day slavery in Mauritania can do this, then ordinary, conscientious world citizens like us can too. […]

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