From anti-corruption protests in Lebanon and Iraq to pro-democracy struggles in Sudan and Algeria to the climate-striking youths around the world, 2019 has been a big year for movements. It might even be the largest wave of nonviolent protest in history.
Naturally, this unprecedented level of action has led to increased movement coverage across the entire media landscape. While that is, of course, a good thing, movements also deserve coverage even when they aren’t generating headlines — and that is one of the primary roles Waging Nonviolence aims to fulfill.
We believe that every stage of a movement is important and offers lessons that help us understand how to build power and effect change.
The following lists of our most-read and favorite stories of the past year really show this principle at work. Featuring movements both big and small, past and present, local and international, we see that our readers are interested in a wide-range of movement-related topics.
If you want to see more stories like the ones below please send us a one-time donation or become a sustaining member. We are just $5,000 short of where we need to be to ensure consistent coverage throughout 2020. So please show your support!
1. Why Bernie Sanders’ plan to recruit 1 million volunteers is a winning movement strategy
By Nicole Carty
Bernie Sanders’s plan to recruit a million volunteers shows that he’s not really building a campaign, but a movement. And movements are what win elections.
2. Nuclear weapons ruined my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way
By Frida Berrigan
As someone deeply embedded in a life of anti-nuclear resistance, I know the only way to get rid of these weapons is to never stop thinking about them.
3. Right-wing media is creating the ‘antifa shooter’ narrative out of thin air
By Shane Burley
The right is using the Dayton shooter’s Twitter account to make spurious connections between antiracist ideas and mass murder.
4. How South Africa forced Gandhi to reckon with racism and imperialism
By Mary Elizabeth King
Born 150 years ago, Gandhi’s perceptions about human sensibilities, social power and political truths began their transformation not in India, but South Africa.
5. Street vending is legal in Los Angeles after a decade of organizing
By Adolf Alzuphar and Ivy Beach
Street vending was legalized in Los Angeles on New Year’s Day, after a hard-fought campaign led by vendors and their allies that began over 10 years ago.
Why desperation could be the key to tackling climate change
By Cam Fenton
Extinction Rebellion, student strikes and the Green New Deal show that desperation is starting to define climate politics. If handled well, this approach could be a game changer.
Washington DC natives fight displacement and cultural erasure to the beat of go-go music
By Sarah Freeman-Woolpert
A go-go music revival is celebrating Washington D.C.’s historic black culture and helping to fuel a movement for racial and economic justice.
How the spirit of the indigenous occupation of Alcatraz lives on, 50 years later
By Loretta Gracefo
In 1969, indigenous activists occupied Alcatraz Island, demanding that their treaties be honored. Fifty years later, they’re still fighting.
#FreeBlackMamas bails black mothers from jail for Mother’s Day
By Victoria Law
A growing campaign to bring black mothers home from jail is putting the need to eliminate cash bail into criminal justice conversations.
Prospects for revolution in Africa’s 55 countries
By Phil Wilmot
An overview of the current political situation in 55 African countries shows that many movements are making gains in the struggle against authoritarianism.
By escalating from symbolic actions to obstruction, the #NoCoalNoGas campaign is mounting a serious challenge to the fossil fuel industry with a growing network of climate activists.
In response to repression by Chilean police, decentralized performances — sparked by small artist collectives — are replacing traditional barricades.
Nonviolence is not simply the absence of violence, but about taking a proactive stand against violence and injustice, and working to repair the harm.