Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Steve Chase

Steve Chase is a long-time activist, educator, and writer. He was an editor at South End Press for many years, the founding director of Antioch University’s master’s level activist training program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability, and is currently the Manager of Academic Initiatives for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict in Washington, D.C. A faith-inspired activist, he is the author of Revelation and Revolution: Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions? A Quaker Zionist Rethinks Palestinian Rights.

Writings from Steve Chase

Articles

Ideas & Trends

Deepening Activist Learning for More Effective Civil Resistance Movements

One of the reasons civil resistance movements and campaigns have achieved a relatively high success rate in spite of challenges is that many activists learn by doing in the midst of organizing campaigns. How can activist learning be deepened to further improve movement effectiveness? […]

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Interviews & People

Criminalizing Boycotts: Reflections on the BDS Movement (Video Interview)

Since 2013, advocating boycotts on behalf of Palestinian rights has been illegal under Israeli law. Supporters and lobbyists for the Natanyahu government have also been working hard to pass similar laws in the United States. ICNC recently spoke about this criminalization of boycotts with Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh […]

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Interviews & People

Martin Luther King’s Little-Known Journey to Civil Resistance

King had never imagined himself as a prominent civil resistance leader in Montgomery, let alone the U.S. Yes, he had experienced racism, and hated it, but all black folks in the country had experienced racism and hated it. He had also read a bit of Gandhi and Marx at Boston University and written several thoughtful papers about social gospel movement theologians who challenged the Church to take up the fight for social justice. Yet, in December 1955, all these ideas were mostly academic concerns for King. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Let’s Get Ethical! Nonviolent Resistance and Morality

In my June 2017 “Let’s Get Strategic” post, I explained my disagreement with the conclusion of Ben Case’s “Beyond Violence and Nonviolence” article, in which he promotes the idea that violence can be strategically effective for grassroots movements. There’s a further claim in Case’s article, which I did not address previously, but which merits an additional response. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Another Inconvenient Truth: Normal Channels Are Not Enough

A few weeks back, I sat in a movie theater watching Al Gore’s new movie about his efforts to avert climate chaos through citizen education, lobbying, and high level negotiations. The film is funny, heartbreaking, insightful, scary, and, even hopeful at times. Yet, I’m not sure that Gore fully understands what is involved […]

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Ideas & Trends

Marketing Violence: A Closer Look at the “Diversity of Tactics” Slogan

After my July 18 article on agents provocateurs was posted, I heard from a young activist who wrote, “Loved your article. It has surprised me how many people in my social media bubble support black bloc/antifa stuff.” She is not alone. The blackbloc/antifa folks have found a positive and strategic sounding way to market their negative […]

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Ideas & Trends

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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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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