Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Interviews & People

Articles

The “What” and “Why” of Civil Resistance Tactics—and What’s Missing?

Though violent action can certainly have direct and immediate impacts, it is defined by destruction and harm. In contrast, human agency and creativity are unbounded by those limits. So when it comes to producing an anatomy of civil resistance, it truly takes a village… and the frontiers continue to expand. In that vein, I want to share some ideas—drawing from my personal and professional engagement as an artist, activist, movement trainer and organizer—about how to address potential gaps that persist in spite of Beer’s Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

From Grievance to Funding to Capacity Building: Insights from Movement Coaches

One movement coach I interviewed traced the ideal path from grievance to funding to capacity building. Although many readers will already be in the thick of organizing and fundraising, I thought it would still be helpful to share this model as a way to ground our thinking around movement capacity building. In a perfect world, a group would navigate the following steps: 1) Make a grievance known in your community to help form a critical mass of participants (this can be as few as 5 or 10 people). Take necessary security measures. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

Recruiting Movement Trainers and Developing Training Content

Last year, I read Hardy Merriman’s blog posts about civil resistance training and activists’ common questions about training, and so much rang true to me. I am a fan of learning theories around movement support work and in-field tools and practices used by coaches and activists. Hardy’s posts inspired me to gather in-field experiences of movement coaches and share them with larger audiences. I asked the coaches: How do we find trainers and resource persons? And, how do we decide what kind of content the training participants will need? […]

Read More
Interviews & People

What Future for Women’s Rights in Poland? (Video Interview)

On this day last year, Poland’s high court declared unconstitutional a law that authorized abortions in the case of fetus malformations. The move sparked protests in cities and small towns across Poland, many of them sprinkled with creative, sarcastic and humorous signs, slogans and posters. Some Polish diaspora groups in major cities worldwide actively joined the protests. […]

Read More
Interviews & People

“Intruders of Institutional Politics”: Why Do Activists Sometimes Run for Office? (Interview)

On October 17th, local elections will be organized in North Macedonia. For the first time in the history of the state’s independence—obtained exactly 30 years ago to the day—several cities, including the capital Skopje, have lists with independent candidates. This is of immense importance for Macedonian society, because the government has frequently attempted to sabotage elections with ad hoc changes to election rules. Earlier this week, I interviewed Dragana Velkovska, long-time activist and founder of the movement Zelen Human Grad […]

Read More
Interviews & People

“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. […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
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. […]

Read More
1 2 3

Sign up for our twice-monthly blog newsletter