Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Ideas & Trends

Articles

How is the Covid-19 Crisis Changing the Global Movement Landscape?

In this article I offer a big-picture framework for how the Covid-19 crisis is impacting activism, organizing, and civil resistance movements. I hope this article, which defines four main phases I’ve observed, is helpful as movements make sense of this moment, analyze where they want to go from here, and begin planning a transition to the post-Covid-19 period. […]

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Ideas & Trends

How Training Can Be Optimized for Building People Power

Those of us who train and educate movements, whether in informal environments or in the classroom, would like to believe that our curriculum and how we present it directly determines the extent to which our participants thrive. While this may be partially true, these factors are far from being the most important determinants of a participant’s success. […]

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Ideas & Trends

A Civil Resistance Awakening in Latin America?

Last year was a bustling year for societies around the world that took up the cause of civil resistance. Nonviolent actions for rights, justice, and freedom were incredibly diverse, energetic, and inspiring in Latin America, where a peaceful popular awakening shook regimes, toppled governments, and captured the world’s attention. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Necessity Defense and the Climate Crisis: Can a Good Law Be Broken for a Good Reason?

In 2016, James Hansen, revered NASA Goddard Space Center climatologist and official who announced publicly in 1988, “Global warming has arrived,” stood next to me outside a North Dakota courtroom. The trial of Michael Foster, one of the five climate activists who became known as Valve Turners, was happening on the other side of the door. […]

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Ideas & Trends

How Social Movements Think

“The last decade saw some very powerful movements—yet almost by definition their existence means that if many of us see a need for change, we have not yet succeeded in making that change central to our societies. What can we do, beyond more of the same? Part of the answer lies in what makes a movement a movement. Behind their visible, external aspect—protest, resistance, and other challenges to institutions and powerful actors, together with trying to change people’s minds—lies the work of organizing and self-education, building networks and coalitions, discussing who “we” are, and thinking about what we are doing and how we can do it better. […]”

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Ideas & Trends

20 Key Civil Resistance Stories to Refocus for “20-20” Vision in New Decade

Moving into 2020 calls for reflection on events and insights gained in recent years. Here are 20 key stories from Minds of the Movement—10 that were most-read by readers, and 10 picked by editors. We hope this helps you energize and refocus for “20-20” vision in the new decade of civil resistance work! […]

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Ideas & Trends

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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