Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

One Year in Review: Minds of the Movement Highlights

In the one year—to the day—that the Minds of the Movement blog has been in operation, much has changed in the world. Although newspapers and schoolbooks will likely remember the wars and violence that sketched the contours of history during this blink of an eye, our blog readers know there are other processes of change that have promise to deliver greater rights and justice in our world. […]

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Scholarship & Research

Alternative Institution-Building as Civil Resistance

From American colonists nonviolently resisting British rule (1765-1775), to the Indian Independence Movement (1920s-1940s), to the Solidarity movement in Poland (1980-89), it is well known that movements engaged in extensive alternative institution-building. Forty-five years after pioneering scholar Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action, a forthcoming ICNC book is proposing an entirely new category of Creative (Constructive) Intervention to capture the many forms of alternative institutions—and reflecting the true significance that these methods have for civil resistance scholarship and practice.

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Movement Commentary

The PTM: A Nonviolent Movement for Protection of Pashtun Rights in Pakistan

Since the US government launched the war on terror in 2001, Pakistan’s Pashtun population has been caught up in the crossfire between Taliban and state security forces. But through nonviolent collective action that eventually became known as the Pashtun Protection Movement, the Pashtun have recently seen some of their demands met and at least some of their suffering eased. And still, their struggle continues. […]

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Ideas & Trends

A Movement-centered Support Model: Considerations for Human Rights Funders and Organizations, Part II

In my previous blog post, I shared a definition of the term “movement” and discussed some distinguishing aspects of movements—such as how they are different from organizations, and the functions that they perform in a society.

This leads to the next question: how do movements make change?

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Movement Commentary

Facebook, Twitter, Telegram: Considerations for Activists and Organizers

Facebook is a marvelous tool for civil resistance organizing, but it can also be a dangerous place for activists. Which social media tools to use and how are strategic decisions that activists must make. The purpose of this blog post is to help you assess risks of using Facebook and other social media tools in your activism.

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Movement Commentary

After Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, New Colors and Vibes in Country’s Politics and Society

Before April 23rd, it seemed impossible to stop Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia’s president of 10 years, from becoming a lifetime prime minister. But thanks to the pressure of continuous mass protests—first in the capital of Yerevan then throughout the country leading up to this historic date—Prime Minister Sargsyan resigned, after being in office for only six days.

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Ideas & Trends

A Movement-centered Support Model: Considerations for Human Rights Funders and Organizations, Part I

There’s a growing effort among human rights funders and organizations to focus on supporting grassroots movements around the world. This trend is rooted in recognition that movements often play an essential role in making social, political, and economic change; that traditional models of funding and support are coming under greater pressure by governments; and that alternative models of change and support are needed.

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Movement Commentary

When Protest is Creation: Venezuela’s Civic Laboratory for Active Nonviolence

In early May 2017, in a small bookstore in Caracas, people from all walks of life and ages gathered to talk about protesting the Venezuelan government’s kidnapping of human rights and democracy. Within days, the Civic Laboratory for Active Nonviolence was founded—a space for ordinary people to express their disapproval, not through violence and destruction but through creative, innovative, nonviolent civil resistance. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration: Reflections on Maintaining the Integrity of a Movement

A year before he was assassinated, Dr. King delved into the highly charged debate over the Vietnam War, taking a firm and unequivocal stance in opposition. Many supporters, including some of his closest advisors, had practically begged him not to speak out against the war and risk alienating President Lyndon Johnson, who had ushered the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts through a fitful Congress. The press weighed in too. But Dr. King took care to protect the integrity of the movement, even if it entailed risk and cost. […]

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Interviews & People

Martin Luther King’s Little-Known Journey to Civil Resistance

King had never imagined himself as a prominent civil resistance leader in Montgomery, let alone the U.S. Yes, he had experienced racism, and hated it, but all black folks in the country had experienced racism and hated it. He had also read a bit of Gandhi and Marx at Boston University and written several thoughtful papers about social gospel movement theologians who challenged the Church to take up the fight for social justice. Yet, in December 1955, all these ideas were mostly academic concerns for King. […]

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