Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Making History, Being Remembered: Afghan Women Nonviolently Defy Taliban Rule

The Taliban takeover on August 15, 2021, was a huge setback for civil liberties and the young democracy in Afghanistan. The takeover was a tragedy for all Afghans, women in particular. Within weeks, the Taliban banned girls’ education beyond the sixth grade (11-12 years old) and imposed restrictions on women’s work in the public and private sectors. With half of the country’s population deprived of education and work, that means more than 20 million Afghans are deprived of their basic human rights. Through my recent work, I have spoken with some of the female protesters in Kabul and Mazar Sharif. […]

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Are Trade Unions Still a Relevant Force for Nonviolent Change?

Trade union membership worldwide has been on the decline for years, and my country, Kenya, is no exception. Does this mean trade unions are no longer relevant actors for social change? Can we no longer expect to see trade unions mobilizing and galvanizing society-wide nonviolent action as we saw in major episodes of nonviolent history like the Polish resistance to Communist rule and Chilean resistance to defeat dictatorship in the 1980s? […]

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Ideas & Trends

Nonviolent Struggles for Border Justice and Border Abolition

Last fall, I participated in the Copenhagen People Power Forum, which brought together movement leaders from all over the world to speak with leaders in public, private and humanitarian sectors to critique and advise the forms their solidarity with movements can take. It was an immense effort toward globalizing our struggles, but as with any other recent global gatherings, many invitees from Africa and elsewhere were unable to attend because of visa denials/delays at destination and transitory country embassies. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Kali’na Nation in Village Prospérité: The Nonviolent Struggle against Extractive Injustice in French Guyana

Village Prospérité, which regroups part of the nation of Kali’na in French Guyana along the northeastern coast of South America, is nonviolently resisting the construction of the West Guyana Power Plant (Centrale électrique de l’ouest guyanais, CEOG), a photovoltaic power plant coupled with hydrogen. The project launched in 2016 and the plant has been under construction since October 2022. Its completion is projected for 2024—unless the Kali’na nation succeeds at their objective to preserve their region from extractive-industry related degradation. […]

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Decolonization of West Papua: Supporting a Nonviolent Struggle from Abroad

I began to explore the problems of West Papua during the COVID pandemic through human rights forums Amnesty International, Tapol.UK, ICNC and other sites. With the extra time I had during lockdowns in 2020 here in France, I launched the bilingual (French/English) blog, Markus Haluk Papua, on the struggle of West Papuans against Indonesian colonization, as a way to engage in activism as a member of the Indonesian diaspora in France. I have always enjoyed writing. I’m committed to using my residency in France, where freedom of expression is recognized, as an asset to this largely overlooked independence struggle. […]

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Ideas & Trends

From Losses to Victory: The Art of the Possible, the Attainable and the Ideal

With devastating violent conflicts emerging internationally in the space of three years, it is difficult—perhaps to some, even tone deaf or naïve—to write about nonviolent resistance. Readers are, understandably, less attentive right now to other forms of conflict happening in the world. Violence and war will surely but sadly endure in this human journey we are all on. This does not mean that nonviolent conflict is any less effective […]

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Learning the Dance of Movement Leadership

At age 16, I initiated a youth education group, touring high schools and supporting struggling high schoolers. It was the prime of my organizing, and to date, I wish the group had had a structure and stable leadership that enabled it to hang on better after I left. But movement leadership is a dance, and it takes time to learn the steps. Being part of and eventually leading Activista Nigeria, a massive youth movement with a membership of over 10,000 young people, I saw and embodied the movement’s vision. […]

 

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