Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

The Road to Exile: Paths of Identity and the Search for Homeland

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 3, 2021, I received that life-altering call. My mother had passed away in Egypt. The caller offered words of solace, urging me to remain steadfast and pray for her soul, while cautioning against any thoughts of returning to Egypt, knowing all too well the regime’s penchant for imprisoning dissenters upon arrival. At that moment, the reality of my exile hit me with full force. It was exile in its truest form—I was robbed of the opportunity to lay my mother to rest. They stripped away my right to exist in my homeland, denying me the chance to bid a final farewell at her graveside. […]

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Social Justice Editors Chime in on Tips for Activist-Writers

In the grips of the pandemic I felt like I lost my voice. I went from speaking at colorful climate justice rallies to watching the scudding clouds from my sickbed. In short, I went from being an organizer and cofounder of Extinction Rebellion UK to being disabled by Post Covid Syndrome. Over the last few years I have been dabbling in writing online as a way to find my voice again. It’s a vast world of clickbait, corporate media and quick news cycles that can easily drown out an authentic activist voice. […]

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OnEstEnsemble: Citizen mobilization for sustainable agriculture and climate justice in Cameroon

We were around twenty local residents, members of the association, from various villages located around 120 kilometers from the sugar plantations in central Cameroon. On July 6, 2023, we gathered peacefully in front of the headquarters of a multinational company in Yaoundé’s administrative district to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the destruction of our crops by the pesticides dumped on the fields by the company’s planes. In protest, we dumped the contaminated and visibly burnt crops-cassava leaves, groundnuts-in front of the agro-industrial company’s head office. […]

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Bosembo: Slam Poetry to Denounce Armed Violence and Impunity in the DRC

Ben Kamuntu belongs to the generation of young Congolese born during the war who have never known peace. From an early age, he had to endure the death of his loved ones, the looting of his family’s possessions and the displacement caused by the war. As an adult, Ben Kamuntu joined the nonviolent citizens’ movement Lutte pour le changement LUCHA to urge the Congolese authorities and the international community to promote peace, justice and freedom in the Democratic Republic of Congo. […]

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Building the Future: A New Model of Nonviolent Resistance to Democratic Backsliding in Senegal

Last month, a silent march organized by AAR SUNU Élection gathered hundreds of Senegalese to demand the date of the presidential election to be set and political prisoners to be released. A few days after this popular demonstration, the two main demands were met. The Senegalese authorities released the political prisoners and set the election date for this Sunday, March 24. […]

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Resilience, Perseverance, Innovation: Resisting Violence and Dictatorship in Africa

“Despite the independence of African states and the abolition of slavery, African democracies offer very few positive prospects in terms of good governance. The people of Africa are still faced with corruption, democratic backsliding and a range of other ills. As in the past, Africans are not giving up in the face of the predatory oligarchies in power. In many countries, activists and nonviolent movements have emerged to campaign against rulers’ abuse of power and to push nonviolently for good governance. […]”

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Movement Commentary

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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