Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

The Aurat March and Pakistan’s Struggle for Women’s Rights

Women’s rights have been on the social agenda in Pakistan for years, but the media largely ignored it until recently. Journalists have become more independent over the past few years, coinciding with the emergence of the Women’s March in the United States and around the world. These marches inspired Pakistani women to finally take action for their rights. Pakistan’s Aurat March (“aurat” means “women” in Urdu) saw its debut on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018. […]

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Movement Commentary

The People vs. Lukashenko: Women-Led Resistance on the Eve of Belarus Election

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is facing the biggest challenge to his 26-year authoritarian rule over 9.5 million Belarusian citizens. He is learning firsthand about the “power of the powerless” (a phrase used by famous Czechoslovak dissident and former Czech president Václav Havel to describe nonviolent resistance against Soviet rule) as he and others witness a major awakening of a heretofore withdrawn and passive population. In a break with precedent, his political opposition is led by several women who, until recently, were not widely known. This combined with widespread nonviolent resistance happening on the eve of the August 9th presidential elections is upsetting expectations, and shaking Lukashenko’s rule to the core.

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Movement Commentary

The Arts and Symbolism in Mexico’s Feminist Movement

Gender violence in Mexico was at historical levels in 2019, with more than nine femicides a day and about 60 percent of the female population reporting having suffered some kind of violence, according to Mexico’s Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP). Feminism in Mexico has many internal strands ranging from what some may consider “radical” tactics (such as vandalism) to peaceful demonstrations. Because of episodes like the one last August, it has gained a reputation as being destructive and intolerant. This blog post challenges that misrepresentation and explains how the Mexican feminist movement’s use of art and symbols as nonviolent weapons has been effective and can serve as an example for other movements around the world.

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Movement Commentary

PétroCaribe: Haitian Hope and the Struggle against Corruption

On August 14, 2018, Gilbert Mirambeau, a Haitian-Canadian man in his early 30s tweeted a photo of himself blindfolded, holding a sign that said in Haitian Creole: “Kot Kob Petwo Caribe A???” (“Where is the PétroCaribe money???”). The PétroCaribe program was supposed to put money towards development, but those funds went missing, and Mirambeau’s post triggered a nonviolent movement against corruption in Haiti […]

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Ideas & Trends

Paradigm Shift: Media Imagery and the BLM Movement

There is no denying the drama of the worldwide mass demonstrations against systemic racism generally, discriminatory policing particularly, and George Floyd’s murder specifically. For weeks and weeks, it has unfolded in both predictable and surprising ways. In my experience, honed from decades in the news media, newsrooms begin to lose interest in such phenomena after about two weeks. But, as with practically everything else associated with this movement, the media attention has held steady. […]

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Interviews & People

Brazil’s Struggles for Indigenous Land Protection and LGBTQI Rights (Interview)

“I met Mariah Rafaela Silva in December 2019, at an EU Parliament conference on the trade agreements negotiated and signed between the EU and Mercosur. Mariah spoke passionately about the nonviolent struggles of indigenous and LGBTQI people to protect their human rights in her native Brazil. The stakes are high: the Bolsonaro administration itself verbally attacks and has adopted discriminatory policies against these communities, and indigenous land has been destroyed by fire or stolen by the government and its oligarchic allies. […]”

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Ideas & Trends

¿Despertar de la resistencia en América Latina?

2019 resultó ser un año muy movido para las sociedades del mundo que decidieron escribir nuevas páginas de resistencia civil. Las acciones no violentas en demanda de derechos, justicia y libertad fueron increíblemente diversas, enérgicas e inspiradoras en América Latina, donde el despertar popular sacudió regímenes y cambió gobiernos capturando la atención mundial.

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Ideas & Trends

Property Damage, Violence, Nonviolent Action, and Strategy

The opinions about property damage during protests are all over the map. Please entertain mine for a minute, as I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the 1960s, when my friends destroyed Selective Service files to interfere with the draft for the preposterous Vietnam war. I thought about property destruction harder when some of my mentors hammered on nuclear weapons in symbolic disarmament. I followed their footsteps and reflected on it while incarcerated for these sorts of acts. […]

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Movement Commentary

การชุมนุมของนักศึกษา และรุ่งอรุณใหม่ของการต่อสู้ด้วยสันติวิธีในประเทศไทย

เมื่อไม่นานมานี้ ปรากฏการณ์พลังประชาชนนำโดยเยาวชนเริ่มปรากฏขึ้นใหม่ในประเทศไทย แต่การประท้วงที่เพิ่งเริ่มต้นใหม่จะแปรเปลี่ยนเป็นขบวนการเคลื่อนไหวระดับประเทศได้หรือไม่นั้น ขึ้นอยู่กับยุทธศาสตร์ที่มีประสิทธิภาพ และวิสัยทัศน์ต่ออนาคตที่เป็นเอกภาพ แม้ว่าสถานการณ์การระบาดของเชื้อไวรัสโคโรนาไปทั่วโลกจะเป็นอุปสรรคใหม่ต่อขบวนการเคลื่อนไหว แต่เหล่านักศึกษาก็พยายามแสวงหาการประท้วงออนไลน์รูปแบบใหม่ๆ และรวมเอากิจกรรมด้านมนุษยธรรมเข้าไว้ในรายการกิจกรรมของพวกเขา เพื่อสร้างความสัมพันธ์อันดีกับชุมชน […]

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Ideas & Trends

Have Movements Disappeared during Lockdown?

Such a long period of lockdown, dominated by social distancing, fear of the virus spreading, and the omnipresence of state leaders in mainstream media all certainly represent challenges for movements. Holding demonstrations would present health risks and/or are outlawed, and alternative forms of protest do not draw as much media and public attention. Have movements disappeared? […]

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