Tag Archives: egypt

Music Plays Crucial Role in Nonviolent Civic Movements

This is another post about the Music of Nonviolent Action event that I helped organize and facilitate back in June of this year.

This post was written by Viola Granger and originally appeared on the United States Institute of Peace’s Olive Branch blog.

In Libya’s 2011 uprising, protesters pumped loud music from radios or CD players in the streets in front of government buildings, then fled from the inevitable rush of security forces. The nonviolent early days of Egypt’s revolution that same year spawned a raft of new independent music groups. In Turkey, the “Song of Pots and Pans” exhorts political leaders to stop their lies and repressive tactics.

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Rhythms at the Intersection of Peace and Conflict: The Music of Nonviolent Action

This past Tuesday, USIP and the Conflict Prevention & Resolution Forum co-hosted and event at USIP presenting an exciting new movie followed by a panel discussion on the intersection between music and nonviolent civic action.

My USIP colleague, Maria Stephan, and my Freedom Beat partner, Timothy O’Keefe envisioned  this event and over the course of several weeks we worked with our friends and USIP and with the CPRF to organize a great event that brought in over 75 people to USIP to explore an exciting topic in a creative way.

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American University Skills Institute on Civil Resistance

This past weekend my colleague, Maciej and I co-faciliated a skills institute at American University titled, “People Power: How and Why Civil Resistance Works.”  We had 15 participants from a variety of backgrounds and covered a range of topics: history of civil resistance, conceptions of power, the role of media in civil resistance, frameworks for deciding how one considers what is violent vs. nonviolent,  tactical innovation, backfire, and dilemma actions.

Click here to download the full course syllabus.

How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less

On July 13th, I attended an event at the New America Foundation: How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less, which looked at the promise and limitations of technology in spreading democracy. July 13th also happened to be my birthday, and one of the most special messages I received that day came in the form of a tweet from Ghada Shahbender (@ghadasha), an Egyptian human rights activist and one of this year’s winners of the James Lawson Award.

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2011 Personal Democracy Forum

What do you get when you bring together some of the leading thinkers, activists, scholars, hackers, writers, and designers in the fields of social media, open-source and digital technology?  You get the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum.  Luckily, this year I was one of 1,000 attendees to participate in this yearly gathering to learn from and network with these brilliant minds and innovative creators.  I also had the pleasure of enjoying this conference with two of my ICNC colleagues, Nicola Barrach and Althea Middleton-Detzner.  While we were there we also got to meet up and hang out with our friends Eric Stoner, Bryan Farrell and Nathan Schneider from Waging Nonviolence, Katie Halper from Living Liberally, Matthew Slutsky from Change.org, and our friends Emily Jacobi, Mark Belinsky, and Biz Ghormley from Digital Democracy.   In addition to getting see our friends, we also saw some great presentations.  Click through to learn and see more about some of my favorite presentation from the conference.

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School of Authentic Journalism

From May 11-21 I was one of 79 journalists, organizers, and educators who gathered in the State of Morelos in Mexico to attend the 2011 School of Authentic Journalism.  The school takes a unique approach – both with content and structure – in exploring the field of journalism, particularly in its role covering social movements across the globe.  The school was founded and is organized by Al Giordano, the editor of Narco News and a man who started organizing at a young age as part of the anti-nuclear power movement in the United States.  Check out this interview I conducted with him in 2009.  The school consisted of a mixture of plenary sessions where we got to hear seasoned journalists from a variety of mediums (video, photo, and print), contemporary organizers and veterans from nonviolent movements, and scholars of civil resistance.  Below I outline an extensive overview, going through each day, of what I experienced at the school along with links to others’ reflections and articles about the participants and the school.

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Capital Area Association for Peace Studies (CAAPS) Keynote Address



This weekend I had the privilege of giving the keynote address at the 24th annual Capital Area Association for Peace Studies student conference.  It was such a pleasure speaking with all the students and then attending several of their project and paper presentations.  I also enjoyed putting together my remarks because it gave me an opportunity to (1) explain how the work of peace scholars is transforming the world and why that is important and (2) how my work in the field of nonviolent conflict and civil resistance in increasingly influencing the interest in peace studies.  Click above to listen or click read more below to read my remarks.

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