Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

Expanding Our Movement Vision and Odds of Success

Are we already on our way to the next political jolt? Our movements are probably more populous and diverse than ever before. Movement leaders are increasingly deliberate to organize intersectionally and across decentralized structures. Creativity is now mainstreamed within activist culture and there is stronger cooperation across national borders and continents. To ensure that civil resistance remains a force more powerful, though, we’re still going to need a better consolidated ideology, more enduring staying power, and exceptionally innovative tactical chops. […]

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Ideas & Trends

The Impact of Civil Resistance is Declining. What to Do?

The new data are depressing, with mass nonviolent resistance success rates dropping from 52 percent to 34 percent. At the same time however, violent resistance success rates dropped to their lowest point in the past century, at 8 percent. In her Journal of Democracy article a year ago, Chenoweth asks why, and what next? I want to ask, additionally, what to do? To answer this question, I propose to first take a step back and put the evolution of asymmetrical political conflict into perspective, considering developments in both ideology and in practice. This will help us as activists better harness our collective power in the new global context—the focus of my follow-up post. […]

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Scholarship & Research

“Civil Resistance Against Climate Change”: Major Contributions, Remaining Challenges for Our Field (Book Review)

Over the last five years, groups and organizations like Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future emerged to mobilize against climate change and adopted more radical measures than the environmental movement has traditionally used. Although temporarily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a global nonviolent civil resistance movement is coalescing and it is clear that its leaders have been studying and drawing lessons from the field of civil resistance studies. […]

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Interviews & People

What Future for Women’s Rights in Poland? (Video Interview)

On this day last year, Poland’s high court declared unconstitutional a law that authorized abortions in the case of fetus malformations. The move sparked protests in cities and small towns across Poland, many of them sprinkled with creative, sarcastic and humorous signs, slogans and posters. Some Polish diaspora groups in major cities worldwide actively joined the protests. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Nigeria: How Agents Provocateurs Triggered Government Repression during the #EndSARS Movement

On October 3, 2020, a young man was said to have been shot in front of a hotel in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria by a police officer working with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a division of the Nigerian Police Force. The incident served as a watershed event for popularizing the Twitter campaign #EndSARS, which had begun in 2017. […]

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Scholarship & Research

Toward More Sustainable Movements: What Path for Building Relationships between Social Work and Civil Resistance?

In my previous blog post, I discussed how social work experience and perspectives are a valuable resource to support communities engaged in civil resistance. I reasoned that a profession that brings skills and resources to address psychosocial, material, and relational well-being—and which claims an ethical accountability toward social justice—should work in partnership with those who put their own well-being on the line to advance a more just society through nonviolent action. If nonviolent movements can draw support from social work, couldn’t that positively impact the sustainability and perhaps even the success of their work? […]

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Ideas & Trends

ความเสียหายต่อทรัพย์สิน ความรุนแรง ปฏิบัติการไร้ความรุนแรง และยุทธศาสตร์

ปัจจุบันเราอยู่ในช่วงเวลาของการเคลื่อนไหวที่มีพลังอย่างมาก และกำลังสร้างแรงกดดันต่อพวกเราทุกคน ไม่ว่าจะเป็นกลุ่มที่เรียกร้องความยุติธรรมและขอให้ตำรวจหยุดเข่นฆ่าคนผิวสีที่ไร้อาวุธต่อสู้ กลุ่มที่เดือดร้อนอย่างมหาศาลจากการแพร่ระบาดของโควิด 19  กลุ่มธุรกิจขนาดเล็กที่ถูกทำลายและปล้นสดมภ์ และกลุ่มที่เพียงหวาดกลัวแม้แต่จะออกไปไหนมาไหนในช่วงเวลานี้

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Interviews & People

“Intruders of Institutional Politics”: Why Do Activists Sometimes Run for Office? (Interview)

On October 17th, local elections will be organized in North Macedonia. For the first time in the history of the state’s independence—obtained exactly 30 years ago to the day—several cities, including the capital Skopje, have lists with independent candidates. This is of immense importance for Macedonian society, because the government has frequently attempted to sabotage elections with ad hoc changes to election rules. Earlier this week, I interviewed Dragana Velkovska, long-time activist and founder of the movement Zelen Human Grad […]

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Ideas & Trends

Unraveling and Reporting Nonviolent Struggles for Rights, Freedom and Justice

Beyond raising public awareness of long-lived racial injustices, the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations had another salutary effect: They created an opportunity for journalists to dive deeper into social justice issues and grassroots movements. The story was simply too big to ignore and would not go away, requiring journalists to look for new angles and details to keep their reporting fresh and relevant. […]

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Movement Commentary

How a Commonplace Slogan Became a Dilemma Action in Afghanistan

President Biden’s decision to complete US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31 has elicited strong reactions at home and internationally. While opponents of the decision claim that it emboldens the Taliban and gives them a sense of victory, supporters hail the decision as an end to the long US engagement in Afghanistan. Regardless of the merits of either view, the fact remains that violence escalated across Afghanistan just after this announcement. The Taliban have increased their attacks throughout Afghanistan, in a few cities, and particularly in rural areas.

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