Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Movement Commentary

Articles

Georgia’s Pro-Democracy Movement in Full Swing as 2020 Elections Approaches

Last week, protests resurged in the Republic of Georgia when Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, failed to pass election reform ahead of the 2020 parliamentary elections. The party had promised this concession to pro-democracy protesters last summer, following political controversy that ushered in a new era of Georgian history. Although the country’s pro-democracy movement is still in its early stages, it’s never too early to evoke some key strategic considerations. […]

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Movement Commentary

Corruption in the Balkans: An Out-Spin of the Rise of Authoritarianism?

Corruption is spreading through the Balkans as countries like Bulgaria, Serbia, and Macedonia are impacted by the government-backed construction sector. Monuments, renovations, demolitions, and kitsch construction projects are being commissioned by state governments—not to create something that will last for future generations, but instead to launder money for government officials and private businesses. […]

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Movement Commentary

Why Do Hong Kong Protesters Use Pepe the Frog as an Icon for Freedom and Democracy?

A German radio station recently contacted me to ask why Hong Kong protesters have started using Pepe the Frog as a mascot for their pro-democracy protest. This question is intriguing considering that internet memes of Pepe are known in the West for their hatred and racist slurs, rather than freedom and democracy. […]

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Movement Commentary

Greta Thunberg and the Power of Strategic Movement Messaging

Though Greta Thunberg is not the leader of the youth climate change movement (which defines itself as leaderless), she has emerged as an eloquent spokesperson and almost singlehandedly has fashioned a powerful moral narrative for the movement. She has done so by using imagery, subconsciously resonating with pop culture, pushing social boundaries, and evoking moral authority. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Meira Paibis: The Brave Mothers of Manipur at the Forefront of a Strong Nonviolent Resistance Movement

India is often referred to as the world’s largest democracy, but one may question what kind of democracy imposes martial law on its own people. The Meira Paibis (“women with bamboo torches”) of Manipur in northeast India have been organizing for decades against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a controversial act that has spurred police impunity in the region. […]

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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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Movement Commentary

What’s Next In Puerto Rico’s Movement for Justice and Democracy

“This is a fight for democracy and decolonization… The people are asking for respect, transparency, and a decolonization process,” Puerto Rican activist Javier Smith Torres said. The talk of revolution, a radical change to the entire system of government, is still afoot in Puerto Rico. What has already crystallized here this summer, though, is that ordinary people have become the protagonists in their political sphere. […]

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Movement Commentary

From Local to Transnational: Puerto Ricans’ Struggle against Coal Ash Dumping

For the past 40 years, the community of Tallaboa Encarnación, in the municipality of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, has been the site of sustained civil resistance campaigns against environmental polluters in the area. Yet the struggle has intensified in the past few months. […]

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Movement Commentary

Rural Ugandan Youth Turn to Direct Action, and It’s Curbing Deforestation

Uganda’s forests are disappearing at disturbing rates. After tireless but unproductive advocacy efforts, a small group of young farmers in the remote district of Amuru may have found a hack to curb deforestation with direct action. This year they’ve already impounded 27 truckloads of charcoal […]

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Movement Commentary

Cómo el levantamiento por la democracia de Sudán sacude los mitos prevalecientes sobre la Resistencia Civil

Una poderosa insurrección civil por la democracia en Sudán que ha derrocado a un dictador que ha permanecido por mucho tiempo en el poder, y con el sucesor aún en proceso de designación los sudaneses están esperanzados de obtener una completa transición a la democracia. […]

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