Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

Solidarity, Perseverance, Civil Disobedience: The Struggle for Abortion Access in Northern Ireland

The protest outside Belfast City Hall in June 2022 was a moving display of solidarity with activists in the United States in the bleak aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade. It was also yet another grassroots gathering in the ongoing struggle for abortion access in Northern Ireland. Despite three years having passed since the repeal of harsh, historic legislation that criminalized abortion, a de facto political blockade still prevents women from receiving rights-compliant healthcare. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Comment réaliser la jonction de l’action virtuelle à l’action réelle au sein de la lutte non-violente ?

J’ai pu participer au cours de mon lycée à de nombreuses manifestations et autres évènements s’opposant à l’inaction climatique de nos dirigeants. L’hiver de 2018-2019 vit l’engouement de mes camarades et ma personne exploser, chacun se targuant d’être le plus écolo et, surtout, le plus engagé. Pourtant, au bout de quelques semaines, le vent de fraîcheur et de révolte pour la planète s’était éteint, et mêmes les plus engagés se faisaient discrets. Cette vague d’engagement sitôt levée sitôt éteinte ne s’est pourtant pas limitée à mon lycée de banlieue parisienne. […]

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Interviews & People

“Cette guerre est une guerre des cultures” : Le monde de l’art, un leader de la lutte non-violente contre l’occupation en Ukraine

J’ai rencontré Olga Sagaidak en mai dernier au Centre culturel ukrainien de Paris, en France. Dans le grand salon où j’ai mené notre entretien, les murs étaient tapissés du sol au plafond de photographies stupéfiantes de destructions de guerre et d’œuvres d’art de rue protestant contre l’invasion de l’Ukraine par Poutine. Mon estomac s’est noué lorsque, me penchant vers l’avant pour voir de plus près un dessin anti-guerre, j’ai réalisé qu’il avait en fait été dessiné par la main d’un enfant ukrainien. […]

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Ideas & Trends

How Can Donors Best Support Nonviolent Movements?

Why does such a small percentage of human rights funding support grassroots organizing and nonviolent movements? Why and how have some donors chosen to support the work of grassroots organizers and nonviolent social movements? What can we learn from their experiences? A forthcoming, ICNC-supported special report, Dollars and Dissent opens the black box of donor decision-making. It brings to light common tensions donors have faced when considering support for grassroots organizing […]

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Movement Commentary

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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Interviews & People

“Our Journey, Our Truth, Our Challenges”: African Feminism and Defying Dictatorship in Uganda

It’s a story of fearless resistance to dictatorship. It’s a decolonized story—one told about Ugandans, by Ugandans, not by a former colonial power. The story aspires to give back the power to Africans, and to African women and queers, in particular. It’s the story of Stella Nyanzi, a Ugandan queer woman of numerous facets, but most of all, of power through provocation. Stella, currently in her late forties, is a poetess, academic, African feminist, LGBTQIA+ activist, opposition politician, and fierce challenger of the Museveni regime. She was imprisoned in April 2017 for several weeks for posting on Facebook a poem boldly criticizing the First Lady and President Yoweri Museveni. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Greater Peril, Greater Reward? A New Risk Assessment Tool for Activists

In March 2019, following numerous community pleas to curb graft among local police that had fallen upon deaf ears, residents of Kyere, Uganda tricked a notoriously corrupt police officer into a bribery arrangement. They caught him red-handed. Emerging from their hiding places in a community market, they seized the officer and arrested him—a man who had often used the same power of arrest to extort from them! This effective sting operation occurred without any of the usual police brutality toward activists. […]

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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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Ideas & Trends

La creación de instituciones alternativas como método y expresión de la resistencia civil

En 1973, el académico Gene Sharp estableció el estándar pionero en la clasificación de los métodos de acción no violenta, documentando 198 de ellos y dividiéndolos en tres grandes categorías: protesta y persuasión, no cooperación e intervención no violenta. Cuarenta y cinco años después, la publicación del ICNC titulada Tácticas de resistencia civil en el siglo XXI, del autor Michael Beer en Nonviolence International, asume la formidable tarea de actualizar, ampliar y reclasificar el universo de los métodos de resistencia civil. Entre sus numerosas contribuciones […]

 

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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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