Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

From Grievance to Funding to Capacity Building: Insights from Movement Coaches

One movement coach I interviewed traced the ideal path from grievance to funding to capacity building. Although many readers will already be in the thick of organizing and fundraising, I thought it would still be helpful to share this model as a way to ground our thinking around movement capacity building. In a perfect world, a group would navigate the following steps: 1) Make a grievance known in your community to help form a critical mass of participants (this can be as few as 5 or 10 people). Take necessary security measures. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Recruiting Movement Trainers and Developing Training Content

Last year, I read Hardy Merriman’s blog posts about civil resistance training and activists’ common questions about training, and so much rang true to me. I am a fan of learning theories around movement support work and in-field tools and practices used by coaches and activists. Hardy’s posts inspired me to gather in-field experiences of movement coaches and share them with larger audiences. I asked the coaches: How do we find trainers and resource persons? And, how do we decide what kind of content the training participants will need? […]

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Ideas & Trends

Leadership, Victories, Future Directions of the Global Indigenous Women’s Movement

“The global Indigenous women’s movement has not lost momentum. The formation in 2019 of the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples, Gender Justice and Peace, gathering Indigenous women from seven socio-cultural indigenous zones of the world, is the latest form of organizing that has emerged. It shows the continuing strengthening of the movement that started over 30 years ago and that will no doubt continue its important work in the years to come. […]”

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Ideas & Trends

The Global Indigenous Women’s Movement: Its Emergence and Strategy

Compared to just a few years ago, Indigenous women’s search for women-led peace and security is now a brave new reality which will help deepen democracy in our communities and globally. After decades of almost exclusively grassroots, local organizing, Indigenous women-led struggles are gaining major international recognition for their causes. Thanks to what has become a true international movement, Indigenous women from Chile, Nicaragua, Kenya, Argentina, USA, Canada, Guatemala and many other countries are now regularly represented in international decision-making processes. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Le paradoxe français : Pour une plus grande reconnaissance de l’action non-violente comme force politique

J’ai constaté que le milieu académique français (et plus largement le public français) porte peu d’intérêt et partagent une incompréhension générale de ce qu’est la lutte non-violente et de la manière dont elle façonne la politique. C’est “le paradoxe français” : les Français sont connus dans le monde entier pour leurs marches massives sur les places de la République et de la Bastille à Paris ; leurs grèves paralysantes de plusieurs semaines dans les transports publics ; leurs syndicats d’enseignants extrêmement actifs et puissants… et pourtant, la stratégie non-violente comme force politique est peu étudiée dans les universités. […]

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Ideas & Trends

“The French Paradox”: For a Greater Recognition of Nonviolent Action as a Political Force

What has surprised me most is not the movements themselves, but rather the discovery that most French political scientists (and the French public more broadly) share a general misunderstanding of what nonviolent struggle is and how it shapes politics. This is “the French paradox”: The French are known world-wide for our massive marches in Paris’ République and Bastille plazas; our crippling, weeks-long public transportation strikes; our extremely active and strong teacher unions… yet our academia don’t specifically study why nonviolent struggle is powerful. […]

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Movement Commentary

Serbian People Bid to Nip Lithium Mining in the Bud

For the last few months, people in the western part of Serbia near the city of Loznica have been struggling to preserve their homes and livelihoods from the invasion of lithium mining investors. This region is rich in jadarite ore from which much-demanded lithium metal is extracted (used in nearly all technology). But the extraction procedure itself would not come without consequences for the environment and the local population. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Upping our Game as Activists and Organizers (Book Review)

I first began exercising my ‘activist muscle’ and learning about nonviolent tactics to abolish nuclear weapons back in the 1980s. At the time, the go-to resource was Gene Sharp’s “198 Nonviolent Action Methods”, published in 1973. It was exhilarating to read about the variety of tactics that had been tried, often successfully, to win social and political change without resort to violence. Now almost 50 years later (did I do the math right?!), I am thrilled that 2021 brought an update to Sharp’s crucial catalog of nonviolent methods […]

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Ideas & Trends

What Soldiers and Police Should Do at a Protest (Series Part II)

What you do when on duty at a protest can influence others around you. By being calm and nonthreatening, you can ease tension. If you talk with protesters and laugh at their humorous stunts, you can set an example for other troops. Simply making light-hearted comments to your colleagues like, “Wait a second, I think I see my dentist in the crowd, don’t shoot” can make them think twice about engaging in potentially brutal behavior against peaceful protesters. […]

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Ideas & Trends

What Soldiers and Police Need to Know About Protests (Series Part I)

You’re a soldier or police officer who’s been asked to control and possibly shut down a public protest. You’ve been told the protesters are threatening public safety and national security. However, when you encounter them, things are not so clear. There are hundreds or thousands of people and they are not being violent. They say they are standing up for your country’s values. […]

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