Saturday, August 31, 2013

ICNC - July 2013 posts

By: Alice Driver, School of Authentic Journalism, May 15, 2013
The important role Mary King played in helping to advance the struggle for women's rights is a lesser known story of how the success of one social movement, the U.S. civil rights struggle, helped to expand the space for another movement. King spoke recently about how her consciousness of women's rights was shaped by her organizing and media work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement, while attending the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism - an intensive workshop focused on journalism and social movements held in Mexico in April

By: Theory Talks, June 5, 2013  
Nonviolent resistance remains by and large a marginal topic to international relations. Yet it constitutes an influential idea among social movements and non-Western populations alike, one that has moved to the center stage in recent events in the Middle East. In this talk, Mary King-who has spent over 40 years promoting nonviolence-elaborates on, amongst others, the women's movement, nonviolence, and civil action more broadly.

By: Narco News TV, May 15, 2013 
In 1985, Mkhuseli "Khusta" Jack organized a consumer boycott in the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, which helped end racial apartheid. In 2000, Oscar Olivera was the spokesperson for a popular resistance that stopped the privatization of water in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 2013, they met face to face and shared their stories of strategic organizing with the scholars and professors of the School of Authentic Journalism.

By: Carole Reckinger, Erenlai Magazine, April 23, 2013
Since 2007, a small village in the island of Jeju, South Korea, has led a nonviolent resistance against the construction of a naval base next door to a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The military base had been planned to enable better policing of the sea-lanes and faster response to any acts of aggression by North Korea. The Jeju anti-naval base protests and their persistence and endurance in the face of mainstream media demonization, raising fines and government pressure, is a sign of a civil society awakening in South Korea.

By: Peter Ackerman, Deutsche Welle, May 28, 2013
With tactics such as strikes, boycotts, and mass demonstrations, civil resistance spurs defections among supporters of oppressive regimes. This strategy of dissolving their capacity to use power is more likely to be effective than violent uprisings. The international community must stop being mesmerized by the false choice of accommodating or attacking tyrants and should pay attention to history's verdict: The very people who are oppressed, if they know how to use civil resistance, can win their rights through their own initiative. 

By: Kevin O'Connor, Times Argus, May 26, 2013
Think bombs are more powerful than sit-ins, strikes or boycotts? Vermont native Maria J. Stephan has proof war is no match for nonviolent opposition. Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth teamed up to write the book "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict," a statistical analysis of more than 300 global campaigns over the past century that is the first definitive study of its kind. "The most striking finding," the authors conclude, "is that between 1900 and 2006, nonviolent resistance campaigns were nearly twice as likely to achieve full or partial success as their violent counterparts."

By: Andrew Stelzer, NPR, May 25, 2013
What does it mean to be an ally in a political movement? From white Americans in the civil rights era, to Israelis in Palestine, to Latino-Americans working with the does one work to support another's struggle?  From Mississippi to Zimbabwe, a roundtable discussion on the do's and don'ts of how to be an effective ally.
By: Juan Cole, Informed Comment, May 26, 2013 
After a subway official chastised a young couple in Ankara for kissing in public, internet activists organized a small flash mob at the Kurtulus metro station in the Turkish capital, where lots of couples engaged in a public display of affection. They attracted the ire of a group of religious men, but were protected by the police.

By: Katharina Pfannkuch, Your Middle East, May 24, 2013
Two years after the revolution, the streets of Tunisia are more and more in the hands of the Islamists. The Danseurs Citoyens use art as a weapon of resistance against the new self-appointed moral guardians in the country: The idea to re-conquer the streets of Tunis was born immediately after an attack by Islamists on a group of dancers in the capital.

By: Andres Jimenez, Peace and Conflict Monitor, June 12, 2013
This article discusses the shortcomings of violent social struggles - their relative exclusivity, vulnerability to foreign manipulation for geostrategic goals, and their likelihood (if successful) to establish similarly repressive and violent regimes to the ones they seek to overthrow. These are then juxtaposed with the relative merits of nonviolent struggles - their inclusivity, self-sufficiency, and compatibility with democratic structures of governance
By: Loveday Morris, Washington Post, July 7, 2013
In a Muslim-majority region where women are often marginalized from politics, women have taken an unusually prominent role in Western Sahara's independence movement against Moroccan rule. Female activists attribute the phenomenon to a combination of the indigenous Sahrawi population's moderate interpretation of Islam and the freedom they derive from their nomadic roots - but also, perhaps counterintuitively, to the prevalence of traditional gender roles, which they say give women the time to demonstrate.

By: Sebnem Arsu, NY Times, July 7, 2013
The recent antigovernment riots, which began with a sit-in at an Istanbul park scheduled for demolition and grew to encompass the grievances of millions of Turks disillusioned with their government, have largely faded after an intense crackdown about three weeks ago. Now, Turkey's parks have become safe places to gather and speak freely, with people arriving each evening in dozens of parks nationwide to discuss what happens next. The forums, an unprecedented exercise in grassroots democracy in a country with no tradition of public assembly, are not affiliated with any political party.
By: Terry Messman, Street Spirit, June 7, 2013
Terry Messman interviews Erica Chenoweth about her recent research on the effectiveness of civil resistance. In "Why Civil Resistance Works," the book based on this research, Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan analyze 323 campaigns seeking to change society, both violently and nonviolently, in one of the most comprehensive studies of social change movements that exists. Chenoweth speaks about the results of her research, what led her to undertake the project, and lessons she has learned that might help illuminate the road ahead for social-change movements.
By: Christiane Gruber, Jadaliyya, July 7, 2013
Early on in the Gezi protests, Erdogan dismissed the protesters as "marginal groups" and misbehaving "çapulcus," a term meaning marauder, riffraff, or bum. Both the terms "marginal" and "bum" went through the movement's satirical machinery, and the title of "çapulcu" became the highest badge of merit for any of the demonstrators.

By: Mohamed El-Sayed Abdel Gawad, Egypt Independent, July 8, 2013
Tamarod, since its founding, adopted peaceful methods, enabling it to gain a favorable view among a wide spectrum of society. Tamarod has taught us that peaceful popular action will be a tool of change in the future. Traditional political movements, on the other hand, often result in bloody revolts, military coups, or foreign intervention. To conclude, the success of Tamarod and earlier youth movements has proved that changes in the Egyptian political arena are no longer brought about by the traditional elite, but rather by new political forces that operate outside of partisan boundaries and engage more effectively with the masses

By: Ariam Frezghi, IPS News, July 13, 2013

Among the issues bringing protesters to Gezi Park, the now-iconic site of struggle in Istanbul's Taksim Square, is the demand for women's liberation. Coming from many walks of life and expressing a myriad of ideals and values, the women of the Occupy Gezi Movement have voiced a collective desire: to fight the undercurrent of deeply entrenched patriarchal values and reclaim autonomy over their own bodies and lifestyles. These demands are now coalescing around proposed legislation from the country's Health Ministry to limit the sale of oral contraception. 

By: Dana Alexandra Scherle, DW, July 25, 2013
What is it that connects the protesters? "What ties them together is the desire to live in truth. To use the words of Vaclav Havel [in reference to life under communism during the Cold War], 'they can no longer stand to live a lie, in a criminal system, in shadows'."  
Do you see parallels with the protests in Turkey? "Yes, there are parallels: members of different levels of society have joined together and reacted as one political subject. And the political subject says: 'This can't go on'."

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