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...
Natalie Nougayrede, The Guardian, December 16, 2014
It has been a year where the question of people power versus state hard power became more prominent. From Russia’s actions in Ukraine to Burkina Faso’s overthrow of a president whose rule had lasted 27 years, from Hong Kong’s upheavals to Mexico’s demonstrations, the story has been about civic aspirations and the reactions they foster. People power has been met with hard power, but over time this comes with a cost for those who resort to the clampdown. The fundamental values enshrined in the UN declaration of human rights of 1948 have preserved their strength despite all the talk about “cultural relativism,” whereby Chinese or North Koreans or Russians or Arabs are supposedly condemned to lower standards in the realm of individual rights.
Penny Green, openDemocracy, December 15, 2014
Mohamed Bouazizi’s public act of self-immolation in December 2010 ignited insurrection precisely because it took place in the context of a deeper level of popular civil opposition. This was often conducted clandestinely. In 2008-09, however, the country witnessed more open opposition in the traditionally militant phosphate mining region of Gafsa, where widows embarked on a sit-in to challenge corruption in hiring and to demand jobs for their children. The initial concerns of the protesters soon gave way to more generalized critiques of Tunisian state criminality and demands for justice. The Gafsa mining basin protests of 2008-09 arguably paved the way for the revolution in 2011.
Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books, December 4, 2014
The Chinese publication Remembrance is part of the rise of unofficial memory in China, a trend that resembles the appearance in the Soviet Union during the 1980s of groups like Memorial, a historical research society that helped undermine the regime by uncovering its troubled past. The government still controls official history through textbooks, museums, and the media. But memory is private, and setting it down on paper can be presented as a personal enterprise, even when the outcome is highly political. “Remembrance is ordinary people looking at history, not the government,” says Dai Weiwei, one of Remembrance’s editors and contributors.
Priyanka Borpujari, Waging Nonviolence, December 13, 2014
Stellan Vinthagen has been an educator in conflict transformation and civil disobedience since 1986, and has authored or co-authored seven books. This fall, Vinthagen was appointed to serve as the Inaugural Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The creation of the position signals that nonviolent action and its knowledge is being more widely recognized today, as well as being used across different fields to understand why popular movements that apply unarmed means are so powerful and effective.
Today's Zaman, December 15, 2014
The government-orchestrated crackdown on independent critical media outlets in Turkey took a turn for the worse on Sunday with dawn raids on Turkey's largest newspaper Zaman and popular national TV network Samanyolu TV. A total of 31 people -- mostly high ranked media personnel, directors and producers of popular television serials, and police officers -- were taken into custody by the police. The operation came shortly after Parliament passed a law on that enabled prosecutors to detain people based on reasonable suspicion. The prosecutor stated that suspects were detained on charges of being members of "a terrorist organization."
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WEBINAR - Dynamics and Factors of Transition from Violence to Nonviolent Resistance
Véronique Dudouet, Senior Researcher and Program Director, the Berghof Foundation
Based on a newly-published edited book Civil Resistance and Conflict Transformation. Transitions from Armed to Nonviolent Struggles, this webinar will provide some insights on the interplay between civil resistance, armed insurgency and conflict transformation. Particular focus will be placed on the phenomenon of armed groups shifting their conflict-waging strategies from violent to nonviolent means, especially in contexts which cannot be resolved by force but are also 'unripe' for conventional de-escalation methods such as negotiation and political integration. Relying on evidence from such various settings as South Africa, Palestine, Western Sahara, West Papua, Mexico, Colombia, Nepal and Egypt, the webinar talk will review the dynamics of organizational and strategic shifts from armed to unarmed conflict.
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