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Yes Magazine: Pop-Up Schools to Train Amateur Activists in U.S.
By Chuck Collins

Read more: http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/how-to-go-the-resistance-distance2014pop-up-schools-for-new-activists20170612. Photo: shaunl / iStock. Article by Chuck Collins. Opened on May 4, 2017, the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership will provide in-person training opportunities in activism in Western Massachusetts. The Truth School is one of a number of new schools emerging to meet the demands of a new wave of activism and resistance that has swept throughout the United States since the Trump election. People have offered free venues for the classes to operate; the Truth School is now popping up in art studios, libraries, and community centers. The school is similar to the Citizenship schools and Freedom schools formed during the Civil Rights movement to fight for voter registration and teach youth about Black history and civic engagement....

Africa News: NGOs denounce human right violation in Morocco

Read more on Africa News and on Anadolu Agency. Photo: Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency. The Moroccan Coalition for Human Rights on Wednesday denounced “abusive” arrests and cases of “torture” in al-Hoceïma. The coalition which comprises 22 organisations, criticized Moroccan authorities for repressing demonstrators of the “Hirak”, a popular protest movement that has been shaking the northern Rif region for months. The focal point of the movement was to call for the development of the Rif region deemed marginalised....

NBC News: Meet a Young Venezuelan Artist Known As the ‘Painter of Protests’

Read the full article here. By ASSOCIATED PRESS. Photo by Ariana Cubillos / AP. Abuse is hurled daily at the art of Oscar Olivares. Rubber bullets and tear gas canisters clatter off protesters’ shields adorned with his works — cartoon-like digital paintings that have made him an instant icon for the demonstrators who have taken to Venezuela’s streets in recent weeks to oppose the socialist government. Olivares received a standing ovation at a recent event by former colleagues of volunteer paramedic Paul Moreno, who died in May after being crushed by a truck while attending to injured protesters. In Olivares’ hands, Moreno is immortalized as 24-year-old clinching his fist high the air while walking through a cloud of tear gas with Venezuela’s colorful flag trailing behindIn this June 2017 photo, a protester carries a homemade shield embellished with an adhesive printout created by artist Oscar Olivares, during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela. Another popular creation, called the “Heroes of Liberty,” depicts the more than 50 victims of this year’s protests – along with victims of previous unrest in 2014 – standing alongside independence hero Simon Bolivar and other national icons smiling widely and staring into a sky full of white doves....

Slate: Why Dictators Don’t Have a Sense of Humor

Originally published on Slate. It was early on in our efforts to take down Slobodan Milosevic, and like all novice activists, we had a moment of reckoning. Looking around the room at one of our meetings, we realized that we were a bunch of Serbian kids, and rather than focus on what we had going for us, we began obsessing about everything we didn’t have. We didn’t have an army. We didn’t have a lot of money. We had no access to media, which was virtually all state-run. The dictator, we realized, had both a vision and the means to make it come true; his means involved instilling fear. We had a much better vision, but we thought on that grim evening, no way of turning it into a reality. It was then that we came up with the smiling barrel. The idea was really very simple. As we chatted, someone kept talking about how Milosevic only won because he made people afraid, and someone else said that the only thing that could trump fear was laughter. It was one of the wisest things I’ve ever heard. As Monty Python skits have always been up there right with Tolkien for me, I knew very well that humor doesn’t just make you chuckle—it makes you think. We started telling jokes. Within an hour, it seemed to us entirely possible that all we really needed to bring down the regime were a few healthy laughs.  And we were eager to start laughing. Milosevic-on-a-barrel, smash his face for just a dinar.Photo courtesy Srdja Popovic We retrieved an old and battered barrel from...

Politico: Harvey Milk’s First Crusade: Dog Poop

Originally published on Politico. As a former leader of the youth movement that overthrew Slobodan Miloševic—and now as somebody who shares his passion about non-violent struggle with everyone from street activists in the Middle East to students at Harvard and NYU—there’s one thing I’ve learned: A big part of a movement’s success will be determined by the battles it chooses to fight, and a lot of that has to do with how well it understands its opponent. Many centuries ago, Sun Tzu reflected on this idea when he told readers of The Art of War how important it is to always put your strong points against your enemy’s weak points. Take Gandhi, who went up against the British army, the most powerful in the world, by attracting 10,000 Indians to march for tax-free salt—a mineral essential for human survival and found in almost every household, no matter how poor. That’s the reason you see so many activists campaigning for better and healthier food: Because no matter what a person’s religion, skin color or political belief may be, there isn’t a single human being out there who doesn’t need to eat. Whether it’s food or some other basic necessity, activists who can identify some everyday thing that speaks to as many people as possible will always have an advantage over those who cling to a much narrower platform. Which brings us to Milk. Harvey Milk, that is. Apologies for the pun, but you may have heard about this pioneering politician who was the first openly gay public official in America. If you haven’t, he is wonderfully portrayed by Sean Penn...

Turbulent London: Book Review: ‘Blueprint for Revolution’

Originally published on Turbulent London. By Hannah Awcock. Srdja Popovic and Matthew Miller. Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanise Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World. London: Scribe, 2015. £9.99 Srdja Popovic is particularly well qualified to give advice on the use of non-violent protest tactics. One of the leaders of Otpor!, the non-violent movement that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, he then decided to use his experience to help others and founded CANVAS, a non-profit organisation that gives advice and training to activists all over the world. Blueprint for Revolution is part how-to guide, part memoir, in which  Popovic uses stories of successful activism to illustrate his advice. Many of the stories come from his own experience as an “ordinary revolutionary” (p vi) and protest guru. There is a false notion that only the elites in our societies matter and that all change, progress, or setbacks emanate magically from within their dark and greedy souls…The world we live in worships and respects the strong and the mighty. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that nobody gives enough credit to the weak and the humble. But, as we have learned, even the smallest creature can change the world.” (p260) Some of Popovic’s advice might look more at home in a business manual than a protest one- branding is crucial, for example, and find out what the people want instead of trying to make them care about the same things you do- but it’s good advice nonetheless. As Popovic explains, Harvey Milk was elected on a promise to crack down on dog poo,...