Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Movement Commentary

Articles

What Soldiers and Police Should Do at a Protest (Series Part II)

What you do when on duty at a protest can influence others around you. By being calm and nonthreatening, you can ease tension. If you talk with protesters and laugh at their humorous stunts, you can set an example for other troops. Simply making light-hearted comments to your colleagues like, “Wait a second, I think I see my dentist in the crowd, don’t shoot” can make them think twice about engaging in potentially brutal behavior against peaceful protesters. […]

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Movement Commentary

Pigs in Parliament: Uganda’s Anti-Corruption Struggle

The Jobless Brotherhood pulled off their first action in 2014, when activists released two pigs painted yellow (the color of the ruling party) in the Ugandan Parliament while in session. The pigs were wearing tags with written descriptions of corrupt acts that ruling members of Parliament had committed. Pigs were chosen to symbolize the corrupt Ugandan elites who are “eating” public funds. In order to infiltrate Parliament, the activists had befriended the guards for six months. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Arts in Today’s Movements: Insights from Nigeria’s #EndSARS Campaign

In my previous blog post I talked about the destructive role that agents provocateurs played in Nigeria’s #EndSARS campaign, which took place last fall. But there were many examples of beauty and constructive power in this movement as well. One of those was in the form of artistic resistance that emerged from diverse communities across the country. In this post, I will share a few examples below–including photography, video, inspirational designs, illustrations, graphic design, paintings, music and dance—and also offer some analysis of the roles that they played in the campaign. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Nigeria: How Agents Provocateurs Triggered Government Repression during the #EndSARS Movement

On October 3, 2020, a young man was said to have been shot in front of a hotel in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria by a police officer working with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a division of the Nigerian Police Force. The incident served as a watershed event for popularizing the Twitter campaign #EndSARS, which had begun in 2017. […]

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Movement Commentary

How a Commonplace Slogan Became a Dilemma Action in Afghanistan

President Biden’s decision to complete US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31 has elicited strong reactions at home and internationally. While opponents of the decision claim that it emboldens the Taliban and gives them a sense of victory, supporters hail the decision as an end to the long US engagement in Afghanistan. Regardless of the merits of either view, the fact remains that violence escalated across Afghanistan just after this announcement. The Taliban have increased their attacks throughout Afghanistan, in a few cities, and particularly in rural areas.

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Movement Commentary

Small Victories and Stumbling Blocks: Georgian Activists Mobilize to Protect their Environment

The country of Georgia is stumbling towards parliamentary elections this autumn, against a complex backdrop of political violence and discord. Amid the disarray, a number of nonviolent campaigns for environmental protection are percolating all over the country. Although some of these campaigns—“Shukruti” and “Namokhvani” to name just two of them—are successfully galvanizing support from civil society allies to counter harmful mining and damn-building activities, the road to long-term success will no doubt be a long one. […]

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Movement Commentary

Friend a Political Prisoner, Join a Revolution

“Belarus’s struggle for democracy began in August 2020 and repression has only intensified in recent months. People have been arrested even just for wearing white-red-white socks (symbolic colors adopted by the movement), and criminal prosecution of activists is common. However, strong solidarity and will to make change through nonviolent action are countering these forces. Both in the detention centers and outside, Belarusian people live under constant pressure and need to be supported. This was the main reason we created the Politzek.me project. […]”

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Movement Commentary

Against Settler Colonialism—and for a Just, Sovereign and Sustainable Puerto Rico

Abandoned billboard signs overlooking the Caribbean Ocean are spray-painted with #yankeegohome as you drive west on Highway 2 in Puerto Rico. The stories of displacement have become increasingly common since 2019. Entire communities, including elders, must find new homes as millionaires buy up property, taking advantage of a law passed under former Governor Ricky Rossello’s administration as Act 60—before he was ousted from office in the summer of 2019 by the most widespread protests in the history of Puerto Rico […]

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Movement Commentary

Civil Resistance against Climate Change: Insights from Australia

Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future burst onto the world stage in 2018 to demand urgent action on the climate crisis. These movements organized strikes, blockades and demonstrations, building on the work of activists before them. But how frequently do climate activists use civil resistance? How do they sustain their campaign and organizing despite various challenges and repressive responses by the opponents and their allies? And what has civil resistance against climate change been able to achieve?

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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. […]

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