Each week, ICNC features 5-10 news stories from around the world related to nonviolent conflict. These stories are shared with you via our website, our News Digest, Facebook, and/or Twitter. Featured news stories are ones that can stimulate conversation about the phenomena of nonviolent conflict and civil resistance. ICNC does not necessarily endorse any of the views expressed in these articles or any comments left by visitors to our site. Featured articles remain posted for 30 days, after which time they can be found by searching our nonviolent conflict news database.
Julian Sayarer, openDemocracy, July 2, 2015
The elections of 2015 should be seen as the final act of the Gezi protests. They are testament to the triumph Turkish protesters won. In conversations, the clauses “before Gezi” and “since Gezi” have become commonplace, lingual evidence for the watershed then reached. The recent elections are evidence that grassroots movements can be converted into actions that will force their relevance upon established political structures. Given the high-handed, condescending tone that politicians often take towards these movements, the Turkish elections are of profound significance.
Wolfgang Ischinger, Today's Zaman, July 3, 2015
Addressing the challenges facing Ukraine requires policymakers inside and outside the country to help stabilize its economy, protect its territory, and create space for reforms. The power of European values should not be underestimated. The young Ukrainians who protested in the Maidan square -- not against Russia but against a corrupt elite that was robbing their country -- must be supported. The EU has the opportunity to have a large impact by providing a visa-free travel program, creating more grants for Ukrainian students, and increasing support for NGOs.
Latin America: Socialist governments challenged by new pluralism
Jorge Leon, openDemocracy, July 2, 2015
In Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, discontent is currently surfacing via street protests, and so we are witnessing a comeback of a more pluralist dynamic in these weak democracies, where both societal and party opposition have been so far under-represented in the institutions. Opposition forces are better than the government at renewing themselves through fresh groupings, both at the national and local level. The surge of this new pluralism is setting a limit to the authoritarian temptations of those who believe that their idea of government allows them to get away with almost anything.
Edward Wong, NY Times, July 1, 2015
The Chinese government has announced that it had enacted a new law that requires supporting Chinese national security in culture, cyberspace, at the North and South Poles, and in outer space. It also amounts to a sweeping command from President Xi Jinping to maintain the primacy of Communist party rule across all aspects of society. “It is as much to do with protecting the Communist party and punishing those that criticize the leadership as addressing national security,” said a researcher at Amnesty International.
Anna Nemtsova, The Daily Beast, June 28, 2015
Yulia Marushevska, 25, became famous after she did a passionate video in English during the Maidan uprising. ”I want you to know why thousands of people all over my country are on the streets,” she said to a global audience. “There is only one reason: They want to be free from a dictatorship." The video has been seen by more than 8.3 million people. Her self-appointed mission reaching out to the world continued through last year. She became La Pasionaria of Ukraine’s Maidan uprising, taking its message to the US Congress and the EU Parliament, reaching out to dozens of politicians from over 100 countries.
Oiwan Lam, Global Voices, July 1, 2015
Tens of thousands of residents from the Jinshan district of Shanghai city took to the streets over the course of a week, beginning June 22, to protest the government's plan to relocate a paraxylene (PX) plant to their neighborhood. Armed police broke up the crowds this past weekend and forced the arrested to sign a “guarantee” not to rally against PX again. Chinese authorities also restricted Internet access and scrubbed social media of information about the protests. In the past, a number of protests in major cities such as Dalian, Kunming and Xiamen have challenged construction of PX plants. One blogger said, “Shanghai residents will definitely choose the environment over job opportunities.”
Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, June 30, 2015
Work on the Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain Mauna Kea has been disrupted since workers broke ground last fall. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the visitors center and summit in April in an effort to blockade work crews. More than 30 were arrested, triggering more demonstrations across the state and pushing the governor to postpone construction. When work resumed last week, hundreds crowded the road to the summit, waving flags and singing songs. Activists believe that the telescope, which will be 18 stories tall and larger than anything else on the mountain will mar its beauty and spiritual power and threaten its fragile ecosystems.
Nataliya Vasilyeva, AP, July 1, 2015
Russians seem to be so fixated on Ukraine that their own problems are getting pushed to the back burner. "You can see that the government has succeeded in imposing its own agenda. It's all about Ukraine, America," says opposition leader Alexei Navalny. He and others are trying to persuade Russians to take part in regional elections. The showing for the his coalition will depend on whether local authorities feel confident enough to allow opposition candidates to run and have room to campaign. "He knows what the voters need and he knows how to work with them,” says an analyst, “and that's why [the authorities] are afraid of him."
Aliya Iftikhar, VICE, June 26, 2015
Riot police have been deployed to the site of demonstrations in Armenia's capital Yerevan, as protests continued following the government's refusal to back down from hiking electricity prices. At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Abrahamyan said demonstrators were violating the country's constitution. But “we won't get tired, we will go until the end," said one protester. "This is something which just affects every family, so I think that's what makes it so grassroots," said Barlow Der Mugrdechian, the director of the Armenian Studies Program at California State University-Fresno.
Verna Yu, South China Morning Post, June 27, 2015
Although China has laws banning torture in custody and ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 1988, former detainees, lawyers and rights groups claim the use of torture is still widespread in police custody and in arbitrary detention outside the legal system. They say the long established use of torture in China, unchecked police power and the over-arching importance of “stability maintenance” are to blame. Lawyer Tang Jitian, who has defended many torture victims and experienced it himself, said that it remains difficult to eradicate because the protection of human rights was less of a priority than the protection of the political regime in China.