Everyday Rebellion launches Advent Calendar

    An exciting new cross-media project called Everyday Rebellion has launched its Advent Calender of Nonviolent Struggle, in which Srdja Popovic will offer a short tip for activists every day until Christmas.

    The video above is about the role of humor in nonviolent action. Others address the importance of having numbers and an appealing vision for the future to success in nonviolent struggle, among many other topics. (To watch and share these tips as they are posted, follow the project’s YouTube channel.)

    As we’ve mentioned many times before, Popovic was one of the leaders of Otpor, the nonviolent movement that brought down Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, and now runs the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in Belgrade.

    To my surprise and delight, this month he was also named, along with several other important players in the Arab Spring, at the top (#1) of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list—beating out President Obama, who came in at #11. This would have been unthinkable last year and shows that nonviolence is finally starting to get its due among more mainstream foreign policy analysts and political scientists, although we still have a long way to go.

    A couple weeks ago I met with Arash and Arman Riahi, the filmmakers behind Everyday Rebellion. They filmed a long conversation between Popovic, Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men and myself about the Occupy movement and activism more generally.

    The following day, the film crew came over to our apartment and interviewed Bryan Farrell and I about this site for the documentary Everyday Rebellion, which is only one aspect of their ambitious project, and filmed a series of tips for activists that will debut in 2012. In an email interview, Arman Riahi described the project as a:

    cinema and television documentary and a web platform about non-violent forms of protest and civil disobedience during the 21st century… seen not only through the current Arab and Iranian uprisings, but also through former successful and less successful revolts and new movements like Occupy Wall Street.

    In addition to the documentary, Arman told me that Everyday Rebellion plans on developing an extensive website that will include, among many other things, personal stories about nonviolent resistance:

    artistic works that have been or are banned… and interactive tools like an app with tips and tricks for the daily fight or educational games for younger audiences to learn in a playful way about different nonviolent methods.

    For the Riahi brothers this is more than just another project. They were born in Iran and their family fled the country for Austria after the Islamic Revolution. “We feel it’s a necessity for us to use our craft to bring this project to life in order to support suppressed people,” Arman explains.

    From our conversations with them, Everyday Rebellion looks to be an important resource for all of us, and we will continue to blog about the project as it develops over the coming months.

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