Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Interviews & People

Articles

“Vala, Ljeposava”: Organizing and Nonviolent Action against Mistreatment of Women in the Balkans

Last November, Montenegrin politician Dritan Abazovic publicly commented that female politicians and women in general should stay out of negotiations to form a new government so that they are not overburdened with complicated political matters. The statement provoked major backlash in Montenegro, and two female activists, known as Jeka and Joka, using the pseudonym Ljeposava, decided it was time for women to take things into their own hands. […]

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Interviews & People

James Lawson Institute: A Movement School Bridging Past and Present

The history of nonviolent action is rich, diverse, and dates to ancient times. Yet despite its historical and at time revolutionary significance over centuries and across continents, the academy with its universities, the news media, institutes of diplomacy and international relations, and policy makers have neglected the study of the social power and dynamics of civil resistance. In many societies, including the United States, the history of their wars is emphasized, while the successes of their nonviolent struggles are not taught to schoolchildren. […]

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Interviews & People

Comment devenir autodidacte de la résistance civile dans un contexte répressif et avec peu de ressources

Abdourahman s’est lancé dans l’auto-apprentissage de la stratégie de l’action non violente dans un contexte très répressif. Il sortait de quatre mois de prison pour avoir participé à une réunion de crise de la coalition d’opposition. Simplement en tapant le terme « comment vaincre une dictature sans violence » dans un moteur de recherche, il a découvert quelques livres clés sur la résistance non violente, traduits en français et mis à disposition gratuitement sur les sites de CANVAS, d’ICNC, et d’autres organisations engagées dans l’éducation sur ce sujet. […]

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Interviews & People

How to Become Self-Taught in Civil Resistance in a Repressive Context and with Few Resources

Abdourahman embarked on self-study of the strategy of nonviolent action in a repressive climate. He had just served four years in prison for participating in an opposition coalition meeting for which he was serving as secretary general at the time. Simply by typing “how to bring down a dictatorship without violence” into a search engine, he discovered some key texts on nonviolent resistance that had been translated into French and made available free of charge on the websites of CANVAS, ICNC, and other educational organizations. […]

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Interviews & People

Le bon côté de l’histoire : Entretien avec le président du mouvement abolitionniste en Mauritanie

Mon engagement dans la résistance nonviolente à l’oppression sociale et politique à laquelle j’ai été confronté dès ma naissance a commencé d’abord par le questionnement que j’adressais à mon environnement familial mais aussi à mes maitres d’école. Ces derniers lisaient d’ailleurs dans les questions que je leur posais une forme de rébellion en herbe ou de remise en cause des assertions sociales et religieuses. S’en est suivi l’activisme au sein de mouvements d’élèves et d’étudiants contestataires, et l’encadrement de communautés villageoises faisant face à l’arbitraire de suzerains religieux et des féodalités terriennes. […]

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Interviews & People

Brazil’s Struggles for Indigenous Land Protection and LGBTQI Rights (Interview)

“I met Mariah Rafaela Silva in December 2019, at an EU Parliament conference on the trade agreements negotiated and signed between the EU and Mercosur. Mariah spoke passionately about the nonviolent struggles of indigenous and LGBTQI people to protect their human rights in her native Brazil. The stakes are high: the Bolsonaro administration itself verbally attacks and has adopted discriminatory policies against these communities, and indigenous land has been destroyed by fire or stolen by the government and its oligarchic allies. […]”

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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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Interviews & People

Webcasting Civil Resistance: High-Impact International Support on a Shoestring Budget

Today, December 26, is a day of remembrance in Iran, observed by a moment of silence for the approximately 1,500 estimated to have been killed in the government crackdown on protesters since late November. During this moment, people will stop wherever they are—in the street, on the sidewalk, at restaurants. Their standstill is a low-risk, hard-to-repress nonviolent method designed to send a clear signal of dissent and disapproval to the Rouhani government. […]

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Interviews & People

Inside Cote d’Ivoire’s Nonviolent Struggle for Disability Rights (Interview)

For over a decade, ICNC grantee Ahouty Kouakou and his colleagues from two civil society groups have been engaged in a nonviolent struggle for disability rights in Côte d’Ivoire, a small Francophone country in West Africa. Parting with the bleak Parisian winter last December, I thawed out during a three-day site visit to the country’s economic capital, Abidjan […]

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Interviews & People

Criminalizing Boycotts: Reflections on the BDS Movement (Video Interview)

Since 2013, advocating boycotts on behalf of Palestinian rights has been illegal under Israeli law. Supporters and lobbyists for the Natanyahu government have also been working hard to pass similar laws in the United States. ICNC recently spoke about this criminalization of boycotts with Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh […]

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