Monday, 21 February 2011

The author of protest.

Found this pretty interesting on the BBC today, an article about Gene Sharp, an author whose book 'From Dictatorship to Democracy' seems to kindle for the fires of revolution that we are seeing in the Middle East at the moment, as well as in previous revolutions in Serbia and Ukraine.

It's a pretty interesting read, stressing that by protest turning violent it plays into the strongest hand of the oppressors, and has several key factors for revolutions.

  • Develop a strategy for winning freedom and a vision of the society you want 
  • Overcome fear by small acts of resistance 
  • Use colours and symbols to demonstrate unity of resistance 
  • Learn from historical examples of the successes of non-violent movements 
  • Use non-violent "weapons" 
  • Identify the dictatorship's pillars of support and develop a strategy for undermining each 
  • Use oppressive or brutal acts by the regime as a recruiting tool for your movement 
  • Isolate or remove from the movement people who use or advocate violence

But, of course, it would be wrong to attribute all or even most credit to this one man for successful protests. The major strength of what is happening at the moment is the strength of belief and character of those on the streets, and that is something no book can teach you.

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