Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

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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Movement Commentary

#GotaGoHome: Now that Sri Lanka’s President Has “Gone Home”… What’s Next?

Will #GotaGoHome activists be able to sustain the movement beyond this initial protest phase? It will depend on many factors, but laying out a clear vision for a better, and achievable, economic model for Sri Lanka, a better institutional set-up, and more democratic organizational structures will be crucial. So many nonviolent movements before them have fallen short of this key step in driving a country in political transition down the road to democracy—not democratic backsliding. […]

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Interviews & People

Встановлення істини: культурний документальний спротив війні путіна

У моїй першій публікації я поділилась надихаючими розповідями про немілітарний цивільний захист музеїв в охопленій війною Україні. Я також аналізувала міжнародний заклик українських митців бойкотувати російські об’єкти культури та наближених до Путіна митців. У цьому дописі я детально розповім про те, що в інших публікаціях називала «документальним спротивом», спираючись на нещодавнє інтерв’ю з українською культурною діячкою Ольгою Сагайдак. […]

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Interviews & People

«Ця війна –війна культур»: як світ мистецтва виступає лідером ненасильницької боротьби проти окупації в Україні

Я познайомилась з Ольгою Сагайдак в травні поточного року в Українському культурному центрі в Парижі. У великій вітальні, де я проводила наше інтерв’ю, стіни від підлоги до стелі були вкриті приголомшливими фотографіями воєнних руйнувань та вуличним мистецтвом на знак протесту проти вторгнення путіна в Україну 2022 року. У мене всередині защемило, коли, нахилившись, щоб ближче розглянути один антивоєнний малюнок, я зрозуміла, що його намалювала рука української дитини. […]

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Interviews & People

Setting the Record Straight: Cultural Documentary Resistance against Putin’s War

Facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I find it truly courageous that the Ukrainian art world is taking bold actions to preserve their country’s immense cultural heritage, both in-country and from afar. After all, as Olga aptly puts it, “This war is a war of cultures”. Putin’s only language is violence; Ukrainians have been fluent in the language of nonviolent resistance for decades. By putting culture in a key position of the anti-occupation struggle, Ukrainians can and are nudging the conflict to where they can have a battlefield advantage.. […]

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