Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Movement Commentary

Articles

Building Bridges on the Path to Justice: Nonviolent Action to End Religious Violence in Nigeria

On May 12, 2022, some students of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State, Nigeria, killed a Christian teenager, Deborah Samuel, for alleged blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed. Deborah had complained through a voice note in her class WhatsApp group about how some of her colleagues were posting about religious issues in the group, which she regarded as nonsense, because the initial agreement was that the group should be used for academic updates. A fellow student responded that Deborah had blasphemed Prophet Mohammed. […]

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Movement Commentary

Kenya Election: Building a United Front against Corruption in Politics

To combat such deeply rooted political problems—in particular, corruption—nonviolent movements, faith-based groups, and other community actors have emerged as a last line of defense, with noticeable participation of media actors, to boot. Primarily engaging in naming and shaming, petitions, and “scrutiny debates”, the purpose of Kenyans’ anti-corruption campaigns has been to promote ethical leadership anchored in integrity, whether locally or nationally. Below, I provide an overview of one such campaign, the Red Card Campaign, with the goal of highlighting effective anti-corruption organizing during election season. […]

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Movement Commentary

Ousted by People Power: A Glimpse at Sri Lanka’s Popular #GotaGoHome Movement

On July 9, members of Sri Lanka’s #GotaGoHome movement surrounded the presidential secretariat and the presidential palace in the capital of Colombo. Their list of grievances against now ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa: mismanagement, corruption, nepotism, intimidation, alleged war crimes, and alienation of minorities. Since that day, images of ecstatic protesters swimming in the president’s pool and jumping on a bed in Gotabaya’s home have been circulating worldwide. On July 14, Gotabaya resigned after only serving two years and eight months, instead of five years. Although these achievements are important, it is crucial to understand that this is only the beginning of the struggle. Parliament has just today elected a new president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Gotabaya’s loyal ally and now former Prime Minister. […]

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Movement Commentary

#GotaGoHome: Now that Sri Lanka’s President Has “Gone Home”… What’s Next?

Will #GotaGoHome activists be able to sustain the movement beyond this initial protest phase? It will depend on many factors, but laying out a clear vision for a better, and achievable, economic model for Sri Lanka, a better institutional set-up, and more democratic organizational structures will be crucial. So many nonviolent movements before them have fallen short of this key step in driving a country in political transition down the road to democracy—not democratic backsliding. […]

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Interviews & People

Встановлення істини: культурний документальний спротив війні путіна

У моїй першій публікації я поділилась надихаючими розповідями про немілітарний цивільний захист музеїв в охопленій війною Україні. Я також аналізувала міжнародний заклик українських митців бойкотувати російські об’єкти культури та наближених до Путіна митців. У цьому дописі я детально розповім про те, що в інших публікаціях називала «документальним спротивом», спираючись на нещодавнє інтерв’ю з українською культурною діячкою Ольгою Сагайдак. […]

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Interviews & People

Setting the Record Straight: Cultural Documentary Resistance against Putin’s War

Facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I find it truly courageous that the Ukrainian art world is taking bold actions to preserve their country’s immense cultural heritage, both in-country and from afar. After all, as Olga aptly puts it, “This war is a war of cultures”. Putin’s only language is violence; Ukrainians have been fluent in the language of nonviolent resistance for decades. By putting culture in a key position of the anti-occupation struggle, Ukrainians can and are nudging the conflict to where they can have a battlefield advantage.. […]

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Interviews & People

“This War is a War of Cultures”: The Art World, A Leader in Ukraine’s Nonviolent Anti-Occupation Struggle

I met Olga Sagaidak last May at the Ukrainian Cultural Center here in Paris, France. In the large drawing room where I conducted our interview, the walls were lined floor-to-ceiling with jaw-dropping photography of war destruction and street art protesting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. My stomach knotted when, leaning forward for a closer glimpse of one anti-war drawing, I realized it had in fact been sketched by the hand of a Ukrainian child. […]

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Movement Commentary

“ရှင်သန်ခြင်း နှင့် ခံနိုင်ရည်ရှိခြင်း” (မြန်မာ့ဒီမိုကရေစီရေးလှုပ်ရှားမှုတပ်ဦး)

အယ်ဒီတာ၏မှတ်ချက်။ ။ အောက်တွင်ဖော်ပြထားသောအကြောင်းအရာများသည် ၂၀၂၁ခုနှစ် ဖေဖော်ဝါရီလတွင်အာဏာသိမ်းမှုပေါ်ပေါက်ခဲ့ပြီးနောက် ဆန့်ကျင်သည့်ဆန္ဒပြပွဲများကို ရက်စက်စွာဖြိုခွင်းခဲ့ပြီးသည့်နောက် မြန်မာပြည်မှာထွက်ပြေးလွတ်မြောက်လာသော ဒီမိုကရေစီလိုလားသူ ဆန္ဒပြခေါင်းဆောင်သည် ICNCနှင့်အတူ မျှဝေထားသော ကိုယ်ရေးကိုယ်တာ ဇာတ်ကြောင်းတစ်ခုဖြစ်ပါသည်။ ထိုဆန္ဒပြခေါင်းဆောင်၏မှတ်တမ်းသည် တပ်မတော်၏ လက်၀ယ်တွင်ဖြစ်ပွားခဲ့သော ပြည်တွင်းစစ်နှင့် ရက်စက်ကြမ်းကြုတ်မှုများ ဖိနှိပ်မှုများကြောင့် မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ၏ ဆယ်စုနှစ်များစွာကြာ ပေါ်ပေါက်ခဲ့သော ဒီမိုကရေစီရရှိရေးတိုက်ပွဲများ၏တပ်ဦးမှဆင်းသက်လာခဲ့ခြင်းဖြစ်ပါသည်။ […]

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Movement Commentary

Survival and Resilience: From the Frontlines of Myanmar’s Pro-Democracy Movement

The following is a personal narrative shared with ICNC by a pro-democracy organizer who fled Myanmar following the brutal crackdown of anti-coup protests in February 2021. His account comes from the frontlines of the country’s decades-long struggle for democracy, which has been punctuated by civil war and brutal repression at the hands of the Tatmadaw. Our contact shares his personal experience with repression but also a message of resilience and solidarity that hopefully resonates with activists living under harsh dictatorships worldwide.

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Movement Commentary

The Bersih Movement and Democratization in Malaysia

“Today, the Bersih movement continues to be committed to democratization and clean elections in Malaysia. Bersih’s actions aim to induce political change not by empowering people to bring down the regime, but instead by improving the integrity of institutions so that the people can legitimately vote the government out of power. The movement has left a legacy in Malaysian politics by promoting civic awareness of the right to vote and a sense of togetherness in a nation with multiracial and multicultural roots. […]”

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