Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Ideas & Trends

Articles

Beyond Protest: Harnessing People Power for the New Decade

2019 is being called the year of protest. Citizens across the globe are galvanizing, in large part over the nexus of corruption, inequality, and a sense that governments and political elites are unaccountable and unresponsive to their needs. What comes next? How can people power be harnessed for the long haul? How can we move from the year of protest to a new decade of transformation? […]

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Ideas & Trends

What Nonviolent Struggles against Authoritarianism Can Learn from Movements across Africa

This year, the global spotlight was briefly placed upon Sudan during its overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, and to a lesser extent, Algeria’s popular resistance to Abdelaziz Bouteflika whose 20-year rule has met its end. Yet 2019 has yielded at least nine other African political uprisings from which we can learn. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Lessons of Uprisings Around the World: The Present Moment, and Possible Future

A wave of largely nonviolent uprisings throughout 2019 has led to a wave of media articles on this topic: Why are so many people protesting now? Is this part of a larger trend? Are there common issues driving these uprisings? Where will these uprisings lead? The international landscape is complicated, and the differences between the many uprisings of 2019 are just as interesting as potential commonalities. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Is the Rising Obsession with Digital Security Paralyzing People Power?

A growing obsession with digital security among human rights organizations and progressive donors in East Africa seems to be compromising the efficacy of once-impactful movements. How? For one thing, it’s detracting from planning offensive movement strategy. Second, it’s diverting focus away from countering widely prevalent traditional forms of repression and surveillance (such as spying, trailing, and wiretapping). […]

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Ideas & Trends

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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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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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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Ideas & Trends

It’s In Our Hands Now: Localizing Resistance to Fight Climate Change

As the climate crisis becomes more prominent and imminent, we often look for top down change when problems so profound and systemic must also be addressed from the bottom up. Everyday citizens can slash emissions and move the planet toward environmental sustainability—especially if they leverage their power at the community and city levels. Around the world, this is already a growing reality […]

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Ideas & Trends

The Activists’ Creed: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

This summer will bring the 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans’ first landing in the United States. As their numbers grew, so too did the oppression they faced and, increasingly, its cruelty was codified as law. Colonial oppressors had their laws then, and modern despots have theirs today. They can ban the meetings, shut down Twitter, and burn the books. But the indomitable, immutable human spirit always finds a workaround. […]

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