Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

Let’s Get Real! Facing Up to the Agent Provocateur Problem

In my June 20 post, “Let’s Get Strategic,” I critique the argument for mixing violent and nonviolent tactics in our movements, or what is often euphemistically called a “diversity of tactics.” In this post, I want to add that as an activist, I also have never seen anyone promoting violent tactics get real enough to mention, let alone […]

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Interviews & People

Madagascar: No Defection Too Small, No Act of Resistance Too Isolated

There are often misconceptions about the country of Madagascar, thanks in no small part to the animated children’s movie. While my country is not home to talking lions and zebras, it is home to some 25 million people who just a few weeks ago celebrated the 57th anniversary of their country’s independence from […]

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Movement Commentary

Uprooting Corruption in Uganda: Protest or Persuasion?

In places like Uganda where political leaders leverage their influence as a personal business, institutional tactics like dialogue and advocacy tend to fail. They simply pose no substantial threat to the kleptocrats. Yet one coalition in Uganda has managed to score a significant success rate using primarily […]

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Ideas & Trends

Does Protesting Do Any Good?

Years ago, when U.S. President Ronald Reagan was fixated on Nicaragua, a U.S. general was quoted in a Talk of the Town column in The New Yorker as saying that conditions were so ripe that a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua would be “as easy as rolling off a log.” We protested. Peace people traveled to Nicaragua to volunteer in […]

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Interviews & People

Our Civil Resistance Journeys

What sparked your interest in civil resistance? What does it mean for you in your life, and for the lives of others? And why does it matter for understanding the state of the world today? It would be impossible to answer these questions in one, or even a few blog posts. But as Minds of the Movement Co-Editor, my goal for this blog is to […]

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Ideas & Trends

A Field Whose Time Has Come

When I got involved in the field of civil resistance in 2002, it was the beginning of an exponential growth curve. This fact was not immediately obvious. I worked as the assistant to Gene Sharp at the Albert Einstein Institution, a very small non-profit organization with an office in the basement of a building in Boston. We didn’t have […]

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Ideas & Trends

Memory and Movements in Building Singapore’s Civil Society

It took them decades to work up the confidence to publicly share their stories from that awful day, 30 years ago, when Singapore’s secret police showed up at their doors, rummaged through their homes, arrested them, deprived them of sleep and interrogated them in ice-cold rooms. Some took slaps across the face so hard that they saw stars […]

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Ideas & Trends

Let’s Get Strategic! Why Moving “Beyond Violence and Nonviolence” Is Flawed

I recently read Ben Case’s article “Beyond Violence and Nonviolence,” published in ROAR Magazine on June 5, 2017. In it, Case argues that using a diversity of violent and nonviolent tactics can increase the effectiveness of movements struggling against oppression. As someone working on a forthcoming website about the strategic value of […]

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Movement Commentary

Defending Paraguay’s Constitution: Setbacks, Second Thoughts and Small Victories

It was the night of March 31, and a Congress in flames at the hands of angry protesters was the international image for the political catastrophe that was ensuing in Paraguay. After months of threatening to pass a bill that would approve re-election for the executive, a majority of  […]

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