Every day, it seems a new brush stroke is added to the dystopian picture we call 2020. The coronavirus pandemic environment has and is disrupting civil society globally. Lockdowns and physical distancing measures are conectning people to their homes and upending their ability to meet, organize, and advocate. Social distancing measures effectively disabled some of the most popular forms of protests (rallies, marches, etc), and wherever you speak to human rights and democracy defenders you will hear that “it is so difficult to engage people or event talk about democracy and human rights as everybody talks only about the pandemic and economic disaster.”
But, despite depressing conditions there are growing signs that movements are increasingly adapting to new circumstances. From Hong Kong to Bolivia, from Philippines to Uganda, activists and peacebuilders are confronting the need to innovate tactically and adapt their strategies amid national lockdown orders, social distancing, and other measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.