Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

How Online Courses on Civil Resistance Can Make Real Impact

With the growth of online courses on civil resistance comes the challenge of measuring and assessing their impact. To this end, ICNC developed and conducts different surveys to evaluate its online courses that may serve as a useful template to others. This blog post shares the instruments we use to measure the impact of online education and the real changes we can discern from this work.

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Ideas & Trends

Five Tips for Building an Organization that Supports Movements

Since 2012, Solidarity Uganda has grown from a local volunteer collective in a remote farming community to an international network supporting grassroots resistance movements in over 70 countries. I hope the below tips—derived from Solidarity Uganda’s victories and shortcomings—can assist those walking similar paths, and help progressive funders understand what to look for in movement-minded organizations. […]

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Interviews & People

Inside Cote d’Ivoire’s Nonviolent Struggle for Disability Rights (Interview)

For over a decade, ICNC grantee Ahouty Kouakou and his colleagues from two civil society groups have been engaged in a nonviolent struggle for disability rights in Côte d’Ivoire, a small Francophone country in West Africa. Parting with the bleak Parisian winter last December, I thawed out during a three-day site visit to the country’s economic capital, Abidjan […]

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Ideas & Trends

“Revolutionizing” Revolution: A New Path for Political Change in Latin America

The term “Revolution” has ceased being associated uniquely with bloody revolts that generally end up with new dictatorships in power, and has become a synonym of truly mass movements with poetic names, capable of paving the road to lasting democracies. Latin America is not exempt from this reality, in spite of all stereotypes that try to restrict and disqualify the development of strategic nonviolent action on our continent. […]

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Ideas & Trends

How “Movement Halfway Houses” Can Increase Activist Learning

January 21 is a national holiday in the United States that honors Martin Luther King, Jr., who first came to prominence as a civil resistance leader during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Yet, the boycott was not inspired by King. It was inspired by Rosa Parks, one of the Highlander Folk School’s best-known graduates […]

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Ideas & Trends

Small Grants, Big Commitment: Reflections on Support for Grassroots Activists and Organizers

An increasing number of human rights foundations focus on supporting “movements” and the “grassroots.”  Definitions of these terms may vary, as do approaches. Amidst this backdrop, I want to offer some reflections and lessons learned on this topic from ICNC’s work.  Consider this one of many reference points in the growing conversation. […]

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Movement Commentary

Protesting Corruption in Iran: Real Demands for Real Change

December 28 marks the one-year anniversary of a new wave of civil resistance in Iran, that had been brewing in various towns and cities around the country since the 2009 Green Revolution. Corruption and economic hardship—although not entirely new problems—are the two main grievances that link the past year’s demonstrations […]

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Ideas & Trends

Encouraging Agents of Repression to Defect: Psychology for Activists

One lab experiment that focused on why people repress is the Stanford Prison Experiment, where participants were put in a simulated prison. The experiment was supposed to go two weeks, but had to shut down after six days. Participants got into a madhouse of social roles… The reason it was finally shut down was that an outsider with some authority intervened, doing on a small scale what nonviolent social movements do on a large scale. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Defending the Truth: An Activist’s Guide to Fighting Foreign Disinformation Warfare

Without a strategic approach to countering disinformation warfare from abroad, activists are in danger of becoming “useful innocents”—unwitting assistants for external interests bent on sowing discord and undermining democratic practices and trust in democracy. As such, activists must be better prepared for the authoritarian onslaught, and An Activist’s Guide to Fighting Foreign Disinformation Warfare aims to serve just this purpose. […]

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Ideas & Trends

“May the Excessive Force Be With You”: How Activists Can Manage Repression to Win

The speaker yells to the police, “We are willing to give you a brief moment of peace. You may take your weapons and our friends and go. Please do not return.” Then, the crowd chants, “You can go! You can go!” The crowd finally leaves the police alone in a cluster, looking slightly bewildered and unsure, robbed of the kind of confrontation for which their training, armor, and weapons were designed. […]

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