Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

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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Scholarship & Research

Climate Change: Challenges to Measuring Impact of Civil Resistance, Some Solutions

In late 2021, Adani Corporation announced the first coal shipment from the freshly dug Carmichael Coal Mine in central Queensland. A five-year blockade encampment, the re-occupation of traditional lands on the minesite by Waddananggu Traditional Owners, and relentless fierce civil resistance by hundreds of activist groups seeking to stop the proposed mega-mine appears to have been a failure. But was it? […]

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Ideas & Trends

What’s Next in the Push for Democratization in Tunisia?

A coup d’état is underway in Tunisia that threatens the success of the Arab world’s only democratic hopeful. On July 25, 2021, President Kais Saied used national protests calling for a dissolution of parliament as a justification to invoke emergency law across the country. Under the state of exception, Saied sacked his prime minister, dissolved parliament with military support, and has since silenced journalists, lawmakers, political opponents, and dissidents through a slew of prison sentences, military trials, house arrests, and convictions in absentia. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Learning to Grow Movements Out of Organizations

If activists are resisting an incinerator in one town and the neighboring town is resisting a megadump, how can they get beyond just fighting their own battles in isolation? How can they link up those different struggles and push for environmental justice? And how can they work together with other groups to challenge the underlying economics and incentives that produce waste in the first place? […]

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Ideas & Trends

สิ่งที่ตำรวจและทหารควรทำในการประท้วง (ตอนที่ 2)

ในตอนแรก ผมเล่าถึงเฉดของความคลุมเครือที่ตำรวจและกำลังความมั่นคงต้องรับมือเมื่อพวกเขามาควบคุมความสงบเรียบร้อยในการประท้วง ผมอยากพูดต่อจากตอนที่แล้วในตอนนี้เพื่อให้ข้อวิเคราะห์บางประการเกี่ยวกับสิ่งที่คุณสามารถทำได้ ขั้นตอนแรกค่อนข้างง่าย นั่นคือคุณต้องหาคำตอบก่อนว่าที่จริงแล้วกำลังเกิดอะไรขึ้น […]

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Ideas & Trends

สิ่งที่ทหารและตำรวจต้องรู้เกี่ยวกับการประท้วง (ตอนที่ 1)

คุณเป็นเจ้าหน้าที่ทหารหรือตำรวจที่ถูกขอให้ไปควบคุม รวมถึงอาจให้ปิดฉากการประท้วงของประชาชน คุณถูกบอกมาว่าผู้ประท้วงกำลังคุกคามความปลอดภัยของสาธารณะและความมั่นคงของชาติ อย่างไรก็ตาม เมื่อคุณเผชิญหน้ากับพวกเขา สิ่งต่างๆ กลับไม่ชัดเจนนัก มีประชาชนหลายร้อยหรือหลายพันคนอยู่ที่การประท้วงและพวกเขาไม่ได้ใช้ความรุนแรงแต่อย่างใด […]

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Interviews & People

The “What” and “Why” of Civil Resistance Tactics—and What’s Missing?

Though violent action can certainly have direct and immediate impacts, it is defined by destruction and harm. In contrast, human agency and creativity are unbounded by those limits. So when it comes to producing an anatomy of civil resistance, it truly takes a village… and the frontiers continue to expand. In that vein, I want to share some ideas—drawing from my personal and professional engagement as an artist, activist, movement trainer and organizer—about how to address potential gaps that persist in spite of Beer’s Civil Resistance Tactics in the 21st Century. […]

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Movement Commentary

Pulling Away Putin’s Pedestal: Opportunities and Challenges for Nonviolent Resistance

La Boétie knew then, as do the Russians driving civil resistance in the cities and towns of Russia today, that the tyrant is one man. By himself he cannot do anything. Understand Putin’s sources of power and peel away the pillars of support that prop him up, and the man’s rule will collapse. Already we are seeing early signs of mass civilian-based noncooperation. Last week the entire staff at independent Russian TV station Dozhd walked out live on air while declaring “no to war” after being shut down over their coverage of the Ukrainian invasion. […]

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Ideas & Trends

From Grievance to Funding to Capacity Building: Insights from Movement Coaches

One movement coach I interviewed traced the ideal path from grievance to funding to capacity building. Although many readers will already be in the thick of organizing and fundraising, I thought it would still be helpful to share this model as a way to ground our thinking around movement capacity building. In a perfect world, a group would navigate the following steps: 1) Make a grievance known in your community to help form a critical mass of participants (this can be as few as 5 or 10 people). Take necessary security measures. […]

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