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Articles from the Peace News log: People Power

Articles from the Peace News log.
For articles in this category from the whole site, look here

'Counterpower: Making Change Happen' author Tim Gee reflects on his UK tour and Gandhi's social movement maxim.

I haven’t seen a lot of my house recently. For most of the last four months I’ve been on the road (or rather the rails) visiting different towns and cities to run workshops and seminars looking at the methods adopted by movements for change. I tend to begin by asking people to shout out the tactics they see as central to why the movement succeeded in ousting Mubarak in Egypt.

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This is a round up of available information on the Occupy movement in the UK and some of Ireland as of 20 November 2011

OCCUPY MOVEMENT (United Kingdom) 
Categories covered: City; County; Location in City; Date started ; Population; Website(s); Phone Contact; Email Contact; Twitter; Other notes

London Greater London Location in City: WEB
http://theoccupytimes.co.uk; email contact: olsx.indymedia@gmail.com; twitter .@occupytimes

Britain http://occupybritain.co.uk

Bath, Somerset, Queen Square. Date started: 30-Oct-11, Population: 11 Tents, about 30 people (1/11) http://occupybath.blogspot.com twitter .@occupyBath http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Bath-Info/125112970929410, still active weekend of 20 Nov

Belfast, Northern Ireland, St. Anne’s Cathedral. Date started:2-Oct-11; 17 tents http://occupybelfast.blogspot.com twitter .@OpOccupyBelfast. Still active and tweeting 20 Nov, not planning to go anywhere.

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“On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx … alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim” – secret cable from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington [1]

“Nonviolent action is not just about non-violence, but also about joy and happiness … [People] saw in Tahrir what Egypt could possibly be in the future and they wanted to be part of this new Egypt” – Wael Adel, Academy for Change [2]

In the popular imagination, mass nonviolent action (“people power”) is often portrayed as a largely improvised and unplanned affair. The reality is usually very different.

Thus, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger and the ensuing Montgomery bus boycott are respectively (mis)remembered as the action of an ordinary woman who was simply “too tired to move”, and a spontaneous public reaction to her subsequent arrest and prosecution.

In reality, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and had recently attended the legendary Highlander Folk School – a crucial training center for civil rights and labour activists. Moreover the local Women’s Political Council had decided to call a boycott at least nine months before Parks’ refusal, and were just waiting for the right person to get arrested. [3]

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