Civil Resistance: The Power of the People

America Abroad
Students and teachers shout during a rally at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Monday, the start of a planned week-long class boycott for more democratic freedoms.

The 20th century was dominated by the rise of totalitarian regimes and new levels of destructive warfare and violence. At the same time, from Gandhi, to the American South, to the Solidarity movement in Poland, a different force also gathered steam, the power of the people to resist tyranny and authoritarianism through civil resistance.

In this episode of America Abroad, we explore the strategies and techniques behind successful nonviolent campaigns, from India’s fight for independence through the American civil rights movement to some of today’s struggles for freedom and against dictators, oppression, and corruption.  We go on the ground to explore movements in Colombia, India and Zimbabwe, and talk to experts and activists about why nonviolent movements are twice as likely to succeed than violent campaigns.  We also learn how authoritarian governments are adjusting their tactics as they  seek to suppress the power of the people.

Guests Include:

Walter Conser: History professor, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Erica Chenoweth: Professor, University of Denver’s School International Studies

Jesús Emilio Tuberquia: Leader of the San José de Apartadó Peace Community in Colombia

Mary King: Political scientist and the author of the Freedom Song: A Personal Story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement

Rev. James Lawson: Leader in the American civil rights movement and former pastor of Holman United Methodist Church

Hardy Merriman: President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Jenni Williams: Co-founder of Woman of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

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