Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Movement Commentary

Articles

Macedonians against Deadly Mines: The Struggle for a Clean and Safe Future

For almost a decade, Macedonians have engaged in a nonviolent struggle to protect their land and air from mass pollution as a result of foreign direct investments in copper, gold, and silver mining in the Balkan state. Actions have intensified since 2017 with citizen initiatives like SOS Valandovo, Zdrava Kotlina (“Healthy Valley”), and Youth Against Stuka-Ilovica Mine of Death organizing protests and road blockades to prevent the opening of mines. They count a number of successful closures so far, but the struggle isn’t over […]

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Movement Commentary

From Anti-Corruption Demands to Fundamental Reforms: Achievements of Iraq’s Current Uprising

Iraqis began showing their outrage in October 2019 as unemployment and poverty set root in many areas of the country, months after the government announced a controversial economic reform. Thousands have been participating in sit-ins in Tahrir and many other squares in Baghdad, Basra, as well as other areas in the southern governorates. They are outraged over almost two decades of corruption and poor public services. […]

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Movement Commentary

The Long Haul toward Justice and Peace: A March from Delhi to Geneva Underway

On October 2, 2019—150 years to the day after the birth of Mohandas Gandhi—50 people from the Gandhian organization Ekta Parishad departed from the Raj Ghat memorial, dedicated to Gandhi, in Delhi. It was Day One of what will be a year-long journey on the Global March for Justice and Peace. With a jaw-dropping itinerary of 11,000 kilometers winding through 10 countries on the way to Geneva, 50 core marchers are receiving support from, and being joined by, self-organized local groups along the way. […]

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Movement Commentary

A Decade after the Arab Spring, Reflections on a Little-Known Bedouin Youth-Led Movement

The Al Hrak al-Shababe movement gained traction largely thanks to its strategy of putting solidarity and unity first. In fact, the movement’s list of accomplishments—both concrete and abstract—is compelling. Alongside successfully thwarting the Prawer plan, the movement also re-examined its internal inequalities as a necessary step to resisting external discrimination and oppression. […]

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Movement Commentary

¿Qué podemos aprender de las protestas en Ecuador?

El 2 de octubre de 2019 el presidente de Ecuador Lenin Moreno, mediante el decreto 883, anunció la eliminación de los subsidios a la gasolina y el diésel, lo que desencadenó 11 días de protestas. Las protestas terminaron el 13 de octubre con un acuerdo entre el Gobierno y el movimiento indígena – el principal grupo que se oponía a la medida – para derogarlo y reemplazarlo por otro elaborado en consulta con el movimiento. […]

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Movement Commentary

What Can We Learn from the Ecuador Protests?

Last October, Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno announced the removal of petrol and diesel subsidies, sparking 11 days of protests. The protests ended on October 13, following an agreement between the government and the indigenous movement—the main group opposing the move. A resolution was swift, but state repression and violence from both within the resistance movement and by outside actors left eight dead and over 1,300 injured. With such a heavy toll in such a short time, can the movement truly be considered a success? More importantly, what can be learned from this episode? […]

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Movement Commentary

Extinction Rebellion: People Power on a Global Scale?

After Greta Thunberg, the social force that has drawn most attention to climate change in recent months is Extinction Rebellion (XR), a London-based environmental group committed to nonviolent civil resistance. In little more than a year, XR has seen its profile rise dramatically, owing in part to its disruptive tactics and use of art and theatre. […]

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Movement Commentary

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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