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This article, drawing on material from the online socialist publication Notes from Below, focuses on the increasing reliance of capitalism today, with the growth of internet retail and the 'gig' economy, on transnational supply chains, and migrant workers. It starts by noting the disruptive effects of the French 'Yellow Vests' demonstrations blocking roundabouts on such chains. It also comments on how Italian grass roots unions Si Cobas and ADL have since 2008 used strikes and blockades to target the chain of distribution centres., leading to the arrest of the national coordinator of Si Cobas in 2017, and how workers in Amazon distribution centres in Italy, Spain and Germany have coordinated strike action. Concludes by noting how Uber drivers, mostly migrants, communicating via mobile phones have coordinated resistance. (See 'The wave of worker resistance in European food platforms 2016-7', Notes from Below, Jan 2018, nin.tl/FoodPlatforms)
The EU Commission presented its plan for updating its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in December 2019. The goal of net zero emissions by 2050 was to be given legal force by a climate law in 2020, and its target for 2030 was a 50-55" cut (lifting its previous 40" target). The plan links these targets to a call for a new growth strategy, decoupled from resource use, and sets out a time line and more detailed aims.
See also: Simon, Frederic, 'The EU releases its Green Deal. Here are the key points' 12 Dec. 2019: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/12/12/eu-releases-green-deal-key-...
Reports that after years of resistance by German green activists against open cast coal mining, which had already destroyed much of the Hambach forest, the rest of the forest seemed to be safe. A government-appointed 'coal exit commission' recommended in January 2019 that Germany should stop using coal-fired energy by 2038 and that it was 'desirable' to preserve the Hambach forest. A court order requested by the German Friends of the Earth (BUND) had already temporarily halted expansion of the mine, after major protests by the campaign Ende Gelaende, which included occupying coal train tracks
See also: Polden, David, '4,000 Activists Block German Coal Trains for 24 Hours', Peace News, 2624-2625, Dec.2018-Jan.2019, p.5.
Very brief report on Ende Gelaende direct action.
Arendt is one of the most eminent political philosophers often cited by theorists of nonviolent resistance, especially in relation to her 1963 book On Revolution, and also a major theorist of totalitarianism. This book contrasts Arendt's concept of total domination under totalitarianism with the testimonies of both well known and lesser known intellectuals and writers who survived the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, as well as those of unknown survivors of the holocaust. Aharony argues that Nazi domination was less total than Arendt posited (in her 1951 book On Totalitarianism), and that morality and individual choice exist even in the most extreme conditions.
Report on a workshop organized by Global Justice Now, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Brussels Office and the Transnational Institute to develop the concept of 'energy democracy' agreed by the German climate justice movement at the 2012 Climate Camp in Lausitz. The aim is to ensure access for all to non-polluting energy, entailing an end to fossil fuel us e, democratizing the means of production and rethinking energy consumption. The workshop noted that since 2012 many communal, municipal, worker and movement initiatives were making the concept a reality: for example in Bristol in S.W. England, with a co-operatively owned solar generation project and a new publicly owned municipal supply company
See also: 'Just Transition and Energy Democracy: a civil service trade union perspective, PCS pamphlet, adopted at PCS conference May 2017. (It was also being promoted in translation by the Portuguese Climate Jobs campaign.)
Argues for public ownership and democratic control of energy supplies, and for the creation of a National Climate Service (proposed by the One Million Climate Jobs campaign, launched by the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group (CACCTU).
Greener Jobs Alliance: www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk;
Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) a global trade union community for energy democracy coordinated in New York in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York office.
The authors observe that Germany in 2017 finally ratified the 2011 Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women, and also amended the law on rape to emphasise consent, not the physical violence of the rapist. But these changes were not due to decades of feminist pressure, but to the highly publicised harassment of women in Cologne on New Year's Eve 2015 by immigrants. This led to sensational media coverage invoking anti-Muslim fears, and pressure from the far right AFD party (Alternative for Germany) and extremist Pegida movement. Cologne encouraged demands for quicker deportations and restrictions on refugee numbers across the political spectrum, and there was a rise of up to three a week in arson attacks on refugee centres. The article notes the response of anti-racist feminists, for example in the internet initiative #ausnahmlos (without exception), challenging the racialisation of sexual harassment and the racial undertones of public debate. But they were in turn attacked for fuelling right wing extremism, and were compared to Holocaust deniers.
See also: 'A Feminist View of Cologne: The current outrage is very hypocritical', Der Spiegel Online, 21 January 2016. https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-feminists-debate-cologne-attacks-a-1072806.html
Debate between two leading feminists (Alice Schwarzer and Anne Wizorek) from different generations of feminists responding to Cologne. They disagree about the urgency of addressing sexism within some immigrant communities, as opposed to stressing the persistence of patriarchal attitudes throughout German society. Both seem to agree that groping and sexual harassment should become a criminal offence, a cause which Wizorek had promoted since 2013.
Charts the evolution of the movement from 1979 to deployment of missiles in Germany at the end of 1983, linking accounts of major protests in West Germany to internal political developments and US/USSR negotiations. The final chapter assesses the impact of the movement and its relation to the INF Treaty.
Numerous protests took place round the world contemporaneously with the global economic crisis, but the left in Europe as a whole failed to organize. This gap should be filled by Blockupy, a European network of activists composed of trade unionists, political parties and different social movements. The article traces the history of this organization and assesses how far Blockupy has the power to create a new left movement in Germany.
There have been frequent examples of civil disobedience in Germany in recent years. Protests in cities and regions such as Heiligendamm, Dresden, Stuttgart, Wendland and Frankfurt represent a kind of renaissance of civil resistance. This book examines the sources of legitimation and points of dispute, and also notes different definitions of civil disobedience and how these are discussed in the literature. Therefore this book draws on the ideas and experience of various authors.
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 140th birthday the authors offer a guide to understanding Gandhi’s personality and life through different chapters in his life, for example the role of his family, his youth and the long period in South Africa.
Discusses role of nonviolence in Green thought (and in original policy of German Greens) and case for nonviolent protest.
Comparative study of successes and failures of four environmental movements since 1970, exploring implications of inclusion and exclusion from political process.
'Power from below through nonviolent action' is the latest contribution from German's best known proponent of civilian defence and nonviolent resistance. Aware that he is 80 years old, Ebert sums up his experiences and elaborates on new ideas for future research
Explores theoretical arguments for and against selective objection, together with case studies from US, Britain, Australia, Germany and Israel.
A collection of essays by and about women COs in USA, Europe, Turkey, Israel, Eritrea, Korea, Paraguay and Colombia.
Deals with the anti-nuclear power movements and government responses to them and their demands in eight West European states – Austria, Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and West Germany.
Flam draws on newly available archives and over 100 interviews with Communist officials, dissidents and ‘bystanders’. (See also Flam, Anger in Repressive Regimes: A Footnote to Domination and the Arts of Resistance by James Scott (A. 1.c. Small Scale, Hidden, Indirect and 'Everyday' Resistance) ).
Covers variety of movements, but three chapters on problems of gay/lesbian groups in Hungary, Poland and the eastern part of Germany.
Examines feminist activism in two East German cities, Erfurt and Rostock, in context of economic and political upheaval in former socialist bloc, and the trends undermining the rights and status of women.
Includes chapters on the often difficult relationship between socialist, anarchist or social democratic movements and homosexuality in countries such as pre-First World War Netherlands, Civil-War Spain, the German Weimar Republic and post-1945 East Germany.
Hannah Arendt presented her ideas about civil disobedience at a symposium of the New York Bar Association in 1970, and posed as the central question whether the law was dead. This article explains Arendt's 'republican' philosophy and distinguishes it from the liberal approaches of Rawls and Habermas, and from democrats like Etienne Balibar, before discussing in some detail Arendt's work On Revolution.
Standard work covering all aspects of the internal German resistance, including various forms of nonviolent protest, though with a major focus on the 1944 Generals’ Plot.
Study of important and rare example of open protest against Gestapo, by German wives demanding release of their German Jewish husbands who had been arrested.
Essays arising out of May 1984 conference at the Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, on peace movements in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, West Germany, France, Italy, Britain and the US. Focus is on the anti-nuclear movements of the 1980s, though some contributors sketch the earlier history of movements in their countries.
Derives propositions about social movements and political change from detailed analyses of the US Civil Rights Movement compared with movements against nuclear power.
Analyzes range of social movements and over 3,000 ‘protest events’ between 1965-1989 in the context of West German institutional arrangements, drawing comparisons with the Netherlands and Switzerland.
This is the second volume of the history of the direct action movement launched by radical Catholics in the USA, whose tactics were taken up by Protestants and committed advocates of disarmament in both the US and Europe. Protests have over the years been directed at a range of ICBMs designed to carry nuclear warheads, Trident submarines, and nuclear weapons plants. This volume, which includes individual accounts and information on trials of protesters, covers actions not only in the US, but in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.
Section 1 suggests ‘the secularization of conscience and modern individ-ualism have been the driving force’ in the rise of conscientious objection. Section 2 looks at the historical record in the USA. Section 3 has articles on France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the former Communist states in Eastern Europe, Israel and South Africa.
The officially organized German resistance to the French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 is an especially relevant case study for proponents of civilian-based defence.
This working paper is the product of a joint workshop on ‘The Timeliness of Civilian-based Defence’ held by the Union for Civilian Defence. It discusses the role of nonviolent resistance in successful conflict management today in the context of the current direction of world politics.
Blockupy in Germany is one of the broadest ranging attempts to politicize the austerity measures, which have been introduced throughout Europe since 2010. Blockupy was enabled to emerge through the combination of embedding protest in the 'Global City' of Frankfurt with the practice of civil disobedience. Drawing on the theories of Lefebvre, Laclau/Mouffe and also Ranciere, the author highlights the links between dissident production of space, the historical formation of the crisis and the focus on Frankfurt as the stage for the protests.
Discusses cultural and social bases of protest against nuclear weapons, role of nationalism in the movements, and importance of British types of activism for German protest in light of experience in World War Two and the cold war. See also: , Demonstrating for “Peace” in the Cold War: The British and West German Easter Marches 1958-64 In Reiss, Matthias , The Street as Stage: Protest Marches and Public Rallies since the Nineteenth Century Oxford, Oxford University Press, , 2007 , chap. 15; Nehring, Holger , National Internationalists: British and West German Protests Against Nuclear Weapons, the Politics of Transnational Communication and the Social Hisotry of the Cold War 1957-1964 Contemporary European History, 2005, pp. 559-582 .
This book examines the development and evolution of the Plowshares movement from a social science perspective, looking at issues such as ‘tactical legitimation’ and sustainability in relation to the US movement, and also analyzing ‘intermittent resistance’ in the German, Dutch and Australian movements, and ‘internal implosion’ in the Swedish movement. It also assesses the UK movement.
Examines the political contexts, nature of the movements against nuclear power and their tactics, and government responses.
Uses experiences of West Germany anti-nuclear energy movement to discuss how repression impacts on protest.
The author draws on existing literature to summarise a wide range of hidden, semi-open and overt nonviolent forms of resistance to Nazism inside Germany itself and in German-occupied Europe. Examples range from hiding and rescuing Jews (on an individual basis inside Germany and elsewhere, but also rescuing almost all the Jewish population in Denmark), graffiti, leaflet distribution, underground newspapers, boycotts, and the demonstration by non-Jewish wives of Jews against the deportation of their husbands. Not a scholarly treatise, but a source for important examples of courageous resistance (though their effectiveness is sometimes debatable). Paxton argues success would have been most likely if resistance tactics had been adopted at an early stage in the rise of Nazism.
This article presents a comprehensive account of Mahatma Gandhi’s life, work and thought and explores his continuing significance.
This is an acadmeic contribution to memory studies, but shows how preserving knowledge and stories of past movements affects present politics, and how nonviolent activists can learn from past campaigns. Examples examined include the suffragettes, Greenham Common, Polish Solidarity, US struggles against racism and Australian aboriginal campaigns. The authors also illustrate how one movement can influence others and stress the need to make archival and other sources (films, music, etc.) available.
[Previously The Strategy of Civilian Defence]
Discusses campaigns of national unarmed resistance to military occupation (e.g. the Ruhr in 1923) and to both Nazi and Communist regimes. Basil Liddell Hart (pp. 228-46) compares guerrilla and nonviolent resistance to occupation. The 1969 edition analyses Czechoslovak resistance to Soviet occupation.
Discusses resistance to Kapp Putsch in Germany 1920 and attempted coup in France by generals based in Algeria in 1961.
Wide-ranging analysis of West European anti-missile/nuclear disarmament campaigns 1979-1986, incorporating discussion of social movement theory and the wider political context. Focuses particularly on Britain, the Netherlands, West Germany and France. It includes great deal of information on organizations, campaigns and types of action, as well as many useful sources and references.
Study of the reformist groups which were active in Scandinavia, West Germany, France, the UK, Canada and USA, primarily in the 1950s and 1960s, which joined in the International Committee for Sexual Equality (1951-1963) founded by the Dutch COC (the first ‘homophile’ group).
Highly-praised analysis challenging the inevitability of German reunification and the spread of NATO. Discusses role of political leaders and dissidents in 1989, drawing on documents and interviews, and assesses the views from various world capitals.
Sharkey, Professor of AI and robotics at Sheffield University, Chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control and also spokesperson for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, sketches in the historical background to the evolution of Autonomous Weapons Systems, and dispels 'five myths about AWS'. He also briefly explains the evolution of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and how it had been keeping the issue 'on the table' at the UN since 2014.
See also: Chan, Melissa, 'Death to the Killer Robots', Guardian Weekly, 19 April 2019, pp. 30-31.
Report on role of Jody Williams and Mary Wareham, two leading activists in the Campaign to Ban Landmines, in promoting the new movement, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which they recognize to be a much harder goal to achieve. Chan notes that Israel is already using advanced autonomous technology, for example to patrol the Gaza border. the US is testing advances in the technology, and Russia wants to create a battalion of killer robots. The campaigners were in Berlin because the German government had indicated concern about the issue, but had not been consistent, so their aim was to put pressure on Germany to act.
Summary analysis of potential for popular nonviolent resistance to defeat coup attempts, recommendations for organised strategy and advance preparations to prevents coups, and with very brief description of resistance to Kapp Putsch in 1920, the Algerian Generals in 1961 and to attempt to overthrow Gorbachev in 1991.
Case studies from most of Europe (excluding eastern Europe and Greece) covering direct action to create social housing and other community services over 30 year period.
Noting that nonviolent actions, like the resistance to 'Stuttgart 21', seem to become the focus of public attention, the authors (who have participated in many such protests in recent years) analyze the theory, practice, history, and current situation of nonviolent resistance in its international context.
In February 1943, Nazis rounded up 2,000 Jews married to Aryans and held them in Rosenstrasse, Berlin, pending deportation to Auschwitz. This sparked an initially successful campaign of public protest for their release. (A summary account appears in Thalhammer; O’Loughlin; Glazer; Glazer; McFarland; Shepela; Stoltzfus, Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People (A. 1.c. Small Scale, Hidden, Indirect and 'Everyday' Resistance) )
Examines the main traits of Nazi occupation of Europe, the complexities of non-cooperation, and the role of social cohesion and public opinion in mounting effective opposition. Chapter on civilian resistance to genocide considers why the Final Solution was hampered, or even prevented, in certain countries.
Report by French activist on plans to protest at the biannual Eurosatory arms exhibition in Paris 17-20 June, along similar lines to earlier protests in 1998 and 2000. Plans included a 'witness bearing peace vigil' and more noisy and colourful protests by Collectif Fermons Eurosatory, including nonviolent direct action. British arms trade activists had promised to join in, as they had since 1998. Britain and France, the two main arms exporters in Europe, each hosted regular trade fairs.
See also: Poulden, David, 'Paris Arms Fair: 50 arrests', Peace News, 2632-3633, Aug.-Sept. 2019, p. 7.
Brief report on die-ins and other nonviolent direct action at Le Bourget airport by the Collectif des Desobeissants to highlight French arms used in the Yemen war.
Looks at prejudice and role of police, the homophile movement, the gay scene and the rejection of Paragraph 175 of the Constitutional Code.
A Guide to Civil Resistance
The online version of Vol. 1 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). ICNC is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide.
For more information about ICNC, please see their website.
The online version of Vol. 2 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of The Network for Social Change. The Network for Social Change is a group of individuals providing funding for progressive social change, particularly in the areas of justice, peace and the environment.
For more information about The Network for Social Change, please visit their website.