Al Jazeera: Indigenous groups launch protests to resist Canada Day
by Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath

Read the whole article here. By Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath for Al Jazeera. Photo credits: Reuters. Indigenous people across Canada are holding ceremonies, events and protests, saying there is nothing to celebrate as the country marks its 150th anniversary. On Parliament Hill in the capital Ottawa, where thousands are gathering to celebrate Canada Day on Saturday, groups of indigenous people and their supporters are “reoccupying” what they say is their land and drawing attention to the history and oppression of the aboriginal people. “The goal of the reoccupation is to express our indigenous sovereignty in the face of these toxic national celebrations,” Freddy Stoneypoint, organiser of the demonstrations, told Al Jazeera. “As an indigenous person, this is an opportune moment to make our community, which has been rendered invisible by the colonial occupation, known,” said Stoneypoint, a member of the Ojibwe...

Students Win Major Victory Against Segregation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

After a year-long student campaign against ethnic segregation, government officials in the central Bosnian town of Jajce agreed to halt the opening of a separate high school for Bosnian Muslim, or Bosniak, students. “They wanted to divide us, to make us believe we are not the same, but we are more clever than them,” said 15-year-old Refik Heganovi? after the announcement. Read more: https://wagingnonviolence.org/2017/06/students-bosnia-herzegovina-victory-segregation/  ...

Digital Tonto: Why Some Movements Succeed And Others Fail
By Greg Satell

Read the whole article here. By Greg Satell for Digital Tonto. On September 17, 2011, Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park, in the heart of the financial district in Lower Manhattan. Declaring, “We are the 99%,” they captured the attention of the nation. Within a few months, however, the park was cleared and the protesters went home, achieving little, if anything. In 1998, a similar movement, Otpor, began in Serbia. Yet where Occupy failed, Otpor succeeded marvelously. In just two years they overthrew the reviled Miloševic government. Soon after came the Color Revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Arab Spring in the Middle East. While Occupy certainly did not lack passion or appeal—indeed its core message about inequality continues to resonate—it was unable to translate that fervor into effective action. Otpor, on the other hand, created a movement of enormous impact. The contrast is sharp and it is no accident. Successful movements do things that failed ones don’t. Clarity of Purpose For Otpor, there was never any question about what they were setting out to achieve—the nonviolent overthrow of Slobodan Miloševi?—and everything they did was focused on that mission.The group also focused on specific pillars upon which the regime’s power rested —such as the media, bureaucracy, police, and military— to target their efforts. This clarity of purpose led directly to action. For example, rather than focusing on staging large scale demonstrations, in the early stages, Otpor focused on street theatre and pranks to embarrass the regime. When they were arrested, they made a point to be respectful of the police, but also made sure their lawyers and the press...

The Guardian: Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it
By Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder

Read the whole piece here. By Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder, for The Guardian. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images. After the spread of democracy at the end of the 20th century, authoritarianism is now rolling back democracy around the globe. In the US, supporters of democracy disarmed themselves by imagining an “end of history” in which nothing but their own ideas were possible. Authoritarians, meanwhile, keep practicing their old tactics and devising new ones. It is time for those who support democracy to remember what activists from around the world have paid a price to learn: how to win. Modern authoritarians rely on repression, intimidation, corruption and co-optation to consolidate their power. The dictator’s handbook mastered by Orban in Hungary, Erdogan in Turkey, Maduro in Venezuela, Zuma in South Africa, Duterte in the Philippines and Trump here provides the traditional tactics: attack journalists, blame dissent on foreigners and “paid protestors,” scapegoat minorities and vulnerable groups, weaken checks on power, reward loyalists, use paramilitaries, and generally try to reduce politics to a question of friends and enemies, us and them. Yet tyrants’ tactics require the consent of large numbers of people. The first lesson, then, is not to obey in advance. If individuals make the basic effort to consider their own sense of values and patriotism rather than subconsciously adjusting to the new reality, aspiring authoritarians have a major problem. Good citizens will then ask: but what should we do? History provides an answer: civil resistance. Unarmed civilians using petitions, boycotts, strikes, and other nonviolent methods have been able to slow, disrupt and even halt authoritarianism. Civil resistance has been twice...

Democracy Now: Is South Sudan Government Engaged in Ethnic Cleansing, Triggering Africa’s Biggest Refugee Crisis?

Read the article here on Democracy Now. Photo: AFP Photo / Tony Karumba “An ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the South Sudanese government has triggered one of the biggest refugee crises in Africa. The United Nations has accused the government’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army, known as the SPLA, of committing atrocities including mass rape and torture, as well as burning down entire villages. A U.N. report published in May says the abuses may amount to war crimes. We speak with journalist Nick Turse, a reporter with The Investigative Fund. He spent six weeks in South Sudan and refugee camps in neighboring...

HuffPost: The One Thing Every Activist Should Know
By Ariel Nessel

Read the whole article here. By Ariel Nessel, Contributor. A major catalyst for positive change involves understanding an issue and those whom the issue affects. Through deep understanding and dialogue we can dismantle the beliefs that created the problem to relearn new solutions. Since there is no better person to understand a problem than those affected by that problem, the most impactful and sustainable solutions involve community-driven grassroots action. Great activists know that communities need to drive the conversation for change, not just be a part of it. Activists rooted in the community they are helping are the most effective people to drive the conversations that address taboo issues. The Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi in 2012, which shed light on women’s struggles to end the rape culture in India and the denial of its existence, inspired Purvi Yadav into action. She became dedicated to ending gender-based violence in India and decided to tackle it at the root. She knew that puberty, menstruation and sexual health are not topics regularly discussed in India, and that these taboos harbor sexual abuse, sexism, gender-based violence and shame. Purvi, along with Mona Yadav, co-founded the initiative Sahas, which provides adolescents with information they need to understand the shifts their bodies are going through as they become adults. Mona and Purvi believe that youth who are aware and well informed about their bodily changes and functions become adults who are sufficiently empowered to challenge injustice and the corresponding shame many victims endure....