Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Julius Okoth

Julius Okoth is a social justice crusader based in Nairobi, Kenya, and currently serves as coordinator of the Kenyans for Tax Justice movement. Julius is an alum of ICNC’s Learning Initiatives Network Fellowship (2016), during which he and his team trained communities throughout Kenya on nonviolent resistance for economic and social justice in the lead-up to the August 2017 elections.

Writings from Julius Okoth


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Are Trade Unions Still a Relevant Force for Nonviolent Change?

Trade union membership worldwide has been on the decline for years, and my country, Kenya, is no exception. Does this mean trade unions are no longer relevant actors for social change? Can we no longer expect to see trade unions mobilizing and galvanizing society-wide nonviolent action as we saw in major episodes of nonviolent history like the Polish resistance to Communist rule and Chilean resistance to defeat dictatorship in the 1980s? […]

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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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Movement Commentary

How Can Movements Bounce Back from a Harmful Media Narrative?

Last month, Kenyan media undermined a nonviolent movement against extrajudicial killings by propagating a harmful news story involving an activist. The media attack forced the movement to deal with humiliation, shame, and social polarization, instead of focusing on its struggle for justice. But the movement is now picking up the pieces and finding ways to bounce back from the attack. […]

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