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By: Omar Lopez
The pandemic this year hasn’t stopped people in Latin America from gathering and pushing for their rights, justice, and democracy agendas. In some cases, government mismanagement or inaction even provoked mass demonstrations, as was the case in Brazil. Yet this is not the only civil resistance trend one may identify in the region this year. Although violence remains an instrument of choice for many non-state groups, by and large, the stereotype of the armed guerrilla fighter as the symbol of a freedom fighter, which has plagued the collective conscience of Latin America for centuries, [...]
By: Victoria Tin-bor Hui
On December 2, high-profile Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow received jail sentences for 13.5 months and 10 months, respectively, for peacefully surrounding the police headquarters in June 2019 against the Beijing-backed Hong Kong government. The next day, Jimmy Lai, publisher of the only pro-democracy newspaper the Apple Daily, was arrested and denied bail for violating the terms of the media’s lease.
Hong Kongers have been protesting to defend freedoms and demand democracy for decades, to no avail. With all forms of open dissent being banned by 2020, Hong Kongers are wondering if and how they will be able to keep the fire burning and not give up.[...]
By: Deborah Mathis
In 2020, civil resisters ripped the cover off long-held grievances and long-running wrongs. They fostered new coalitions from across the demographic spectrum. They changed the old “you say”/”I say” about race and justice into a frank conversation, an exercise in self-reflection and, as importantly, an exercise in listening. There is one other thing this year’s ubiquitous and unrelenting mass demonstrations for social justice accomplished: They produced a maturation in how the news media cover civil resistance, both in the United States and abroad.[...]
By: Janjira Sombatpoonsiri
Thailand’s ongoing democratic revolt is historically unprecedented. Not only does the movement systemically challenge deep-rooted autocracy, but through decentralized organization and a variety of creative tactics, it has been consistently nonviolent. The movement has emerged against all odds, both harsh repression on the one hand and disruptive impact of the pandemic on the other. Whether Thailand’s people power will succeed in pushing back against autocracy sheds light on the future success of nonviolent struggle against the current global wave of autocratization. [...]
By: Svetlana Kabanova
By remaining nonviolent in defiance of a progressively brutal, 26-year-running dictatorship, Belarusians are embracing life over death but also doing so with a shrewd strategy in mind. The official results of the presidential election in Belarus last August indicated that more than 80 percent of votes were for the incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko, landing him his sixth consecutive term. But the majority of the population didn’t trust these numbers, believing that only very few people voted for Lukashenko. [...]