Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Movement Commentary

Articles

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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Ideas & Trends

Start Where You Are: Addressing Four Common Questions about Civil Resistance Training

Training activists is now widely considered a foundational movement activity. But what about implementation? If you don’t yet have a movement, or your movement lacks the capacity to hold workshops, where and how do you start to apply this insight?

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Ideas & Trends

We Know We Need Civil Resistance Training. Now Where Do We Start?

“In the face of rising authoritarianism, people worldwide are increasingly turning to civil resistance to fight for their rights. This is an empowering choice, but it can also feel overwhelming for those involved. When people who seek to build or maintain a movement, the first big question is often: Where and how should we start? […]”

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Movement Commentary

Revealing Hidden Injustices: The Filipino Struggle against U.S. Military Presence

“The September 2020 pardon of U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton for the killing of a young Filipina transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, served as a public reminder that a U.S. military presence remains in the Philippines years after the last actual U.S. base was closed in 1992. Protests against the killing, led by local LGBTQ+ and women’s rights groups, erupted in the aftermath of both the original crime in 2014 and Pemberton’s recent pardon. The movement, known as Scrap the VFA!, provides lessons for other nonviolent movements, particularly those with less visible or moving targets (such as financial corruption). […]”

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Ideas & Trends

Przekształcanie sprzeciwu nielicznych w opór wielu

Podczas wielu moich spotkań z ludźmi z całego świata, wielokrotnie zadawano mi pytanie, jak można doprowadzić do masowej mobilizacji obywateli w społeczeństwie, które jest zdemobilizowane? Innymi słowy, w jaki sposób przekształcić sprzeciw niewielkiej grupy w opór wielu? Pytanie to często wynika z frustracji aktywistów wywołanej istniejącą ich zdaniem apatią ogółu, […]

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Movement Commentary

From Hope to Despair: One Year After Lebanon’s October Revolution

Exactly one year ago, Lebanese took to the streets in massive rallies under the renowned slogan kilon yaani kilon (“all means all”), denouncing the country’s corrupt oligarchy. These unprecedented protests were leaderless and decentralized, both in urban and rural areas, and carried a message of hope and unity that condemned the sectarian and divisive agenda of the ruling class. Commentators coined the term “October Revolution” to define these protests, giving the impression that it would result in a transition of power. […]

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