Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Insider Threats: A Closer Look at Infiltrators and Movement Security Culture

In activist circles, sooner or later people can become concerned about the possibility of infiltrators in our midst. During intense periods of activity, I know of times when that concern has become nearly overwhelming. People look at others with suspicion, and mistakes, missteps, or miscommunications by a friend can become a source of doubt. It’s important to note that at such times, the fear of infiltrators itself can become a poison of its own. […]

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Ideas & Trends

“Que la fuerza excesiva esté contigo”: Cómo los activistas pueden manejar la represión para ganar

El 8 de noviembre de 2011, estudiantes de la Universidad de California en la ciudad de Davis ocuparon noviolentamente una acera peatonal, como parte de una campaña desplegada en todo el sistema de sedes de la UC, para protestar contra un alza en los costos de matrícula y el corte de fondos a las universidades. Unos días antes, la policía había usado sus bastones contra estudiantes y personal de la facultad en otro campus, la Universidad de California en Berkeley, y había destrozado un campamento similar al desplegado en la UC Davis. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Peopleless Protest: Bridging the Online-Offline Divide for Greater Movement Impact in the Covid-19 Period

People have rushed to reinvent their campaigns since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Some shifted their focus to community support, lockdown monitoring, and popular education. Others reassessed methods of conveying their message. One of them was Europe Must Act, a pan-European nonviolent movement calling for the evacuation of refugee camps in Greece. I was fortunate to participate in the organization’s process of rethinking campaign strategy and thereby engineered, introduced, and helped implement the concept of peopleless protests. […]

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Scholarship & Research

Religious Groups as Movement Allies: Where Strategic Nonviolent Action and Moral Nonviolence Meet

Religious groups energize movements their resources and influence, bringing with them rich traditions of moral nonviolence and making movements more resilient in the face of opposition. These groups’ moral nonviolence—a belief in the sacredness of nonviolent action and in the impermissibility of violence—advances the goals of broader movements that use nonviolent action as a strategic resistance method. How does this interaction play out in more concrete terms? I can speak on at least one important historical case, which is the subject of my research: Argentina during its 1976-1983 Dirty War. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Aurat March and Pakistan’s Struggle for Women’s Rights

Women’s rights have been on the social agenda in Pakistan for years, but the media largely ignored it until recently. Journalists have become more independent over the past few years, coinciding with the emergence of the Women’s March in the United States and around the world. These marches inspired Pakistani women to finally take action for their rights. Pakistan’s Aurat March (“aurat” means “women” in Urdu) saw its debut on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018. […]

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Movement Commentary

The People vs. Lukashenko: Women-Led Resistance on the Eve of Belarus Election

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is facing the biggest challenge to his 26-year authoritarian rule over 9.5 million Belarusian citizens. He is learning firsthand about the “power of the powerless” (a phrase used by famous Czechoslovak dissident and former Czech president Václav Havel to describe nonviolent resistance against Soviet rule) as he and others witness a major awakening of a heretofore withdrawn and passive population. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Arts and Symbolism in Mexico’s Feminist Movement

Gender violence in Mexico was at historical levels in 2019, with more than nine femicides a day and about 60 percent of the female population reporting having suffered some kind of violence, according to Mexico’s Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP). Feminism in Mexico has many internal strands ranging from what some may consider “radical” tactics (such as vandalism) to peaceful demonstrations. Because of episodes like the one last August, it has gained a reputation as being destructive and intolerant. […]

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