Nonviolent conflict is a way for people to fight for rights, freedom, justice, self-determination, and accountable government, through the use of civil resistance - including tactics such as strikes, boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience. Learn more...
Amanda Taub, Vox, July 8, 2015
To President Putin, ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s fate is a reminder of the danger protests could pose to his own regime, i.e. he could be ousted from power via "Maidan technology." Although Putin tends to couch those fears in warnings of "foreign coups" or "CIA plots", his concern is that a mass protest movement could force him into an impossible choice between popular support, political control, and the loyalty of Russia’s elite. The elite “would never make the first move, but they will join the winning side," said Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian lawmaker who now lives in exile. For all of Putin’s apparent strength in crushing political dissent, this reveals weakness against his own elites.
Samson Yuen and Edmund Cheng, ChinaFile, July 1, 2015
Those in power, whether they sit in Beijing or in Hong Kong, now face a society that will be increasingly difficult to govern in the same old way. Members of Hong Kong’s younger generations are now asking for what they believe they deserve—not a promising course of socio-economic development, but the right to determine the future for themselves. For now, the city might have returned to normal. But if the government thought that all it took to return everything to normal was a clearing of the streets, history will prove them wrong. A few hours before the police cleared the streets of the last protestors, a large yellow banner bearing the image of an umbrella still hung saying, “It’s just the beginning.”
Erica Chenoweth, Political Violence at a Glance, July 7, 2015
Authoritarian regimes are now pushing back against civil society, activists, and oppositionists, seeing them as a direct threat to the established order. Maria J. Stephan, an expert on nonviolent movements, notes that "regimes have figured out that ‘people power’ endangers their grip on power and they are cracking down. There’s no better evidence of the effectiveness of civil resistance than the measures that governments take to suppress it." She recommends “that external actors increasingly embrace a movement mindset and develop flexible means to support non-traditional civil society actors who are in the best position to mobilize people around shared democratic goals.”
Jessica Evans, Al Jazeera, July 8, 2015
People who suffer harm because of development projects financed by the World Bank Group take grave risks to speak out and often face severe consequences. Yet the Bank has taken few concrete steps to protect community members from harassment and ensure that people can speak freely. In Cambodia security forces have jailed Nget Khun, a 75-year-old community activist on several occasions for protesting evictions stemming from projects financed by the World Bank. The bank has strongly opposed the government’s plan to evict people from their homes, but it has been silent about the attacks on outspoken community members. Deterring such reprisals entails publicly establishing the bank’s support for the rights and safety of community members and activists.
Van Langendonck, McClatchy, July 8, 2015
A group of nonviolent activists called “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” was formed in April of last year, at a time when the Islamic State did not dominate world news, hence the “silently” in its name. One of the group’s tactics is to post anti-Islamic State pamphlets overnight on walls in Raqqa and elsewhere, while filming the act and posting the result online. “Of course, nobody wants to die for a poster,” says one member, “but it is one of the few weapons we have, and it annoys the hell out of Daash (“Dulat al-Islam fi al-Iraq wal-Sham” – “the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria”). Humor is another method. “Daash rules through fear,” says one activist. “If we can make people laugh at them we break through the fear barrier.”
2015 ICNC Monographs
The Tibetan Nonviolent Struggle: A Strategic and Historical Analysis
Series editor: Maciej Bartkowski
Volume editors: Hardy Merriman, Amber French, Cassandra Balfour
Date of publication: September 21, 2015
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