World cafe = 8 tables with 8 different discussion questions that have come up during the previous days sessions. Here are some outtakes from these intense discussions: (Thank you to those who have contributed to this list).
Women in civil resistance
“Great discussion today about women and civil resistance at the #FSI2013 World Cafe. Conclusion: women need to stop obeying and complying with oppressors. How? Using non-violent action of course! Also discussed impostor syndrome, mansplaining and how women can be discriminated against, used and abused within movements”
The impostor syndrome describes a situation where someone feels like an imposter or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is being needlessly insecure. Often affects women in particular.
Strategies to persist in NV conflict under extreme repression
• Preparing for action
o Go through a consciencization process that breaks down fear
o Smuggled copies of materials (e.g. Community Radio, etc.)
o Engage in education, discipline, or training
o Learn defensive tactics (e.g. linking elbows, getting ideas form the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns from WRI)
o Play the long game: educate and build young peoples’ mindsets to not celebrate violence. Build counter-narratives.
• Important to have lower-risk methods, like dispersion and noncooperation methods.
o Use of humor (barrel of laughs, dilemma actions)
o Pull back and create alternative institutions in relatively nonviolent areas
o Use subversive actions like street theater
• Solicit assistance from third parties
o Make use of social taboos (i.e. violence prohibited against women, elderly, etc)
o Solicit legal assistance from rights-minded lawyers
o Have people to provide onsite medical care.
o Use unarmed bodyguards
o Independent media
o International actors
o Diaspora groups
• Use markings for solidarity
• Find ways to manage security forces
o Find common ground with security forces
o Remove the threat to soldiers; use third parties to validate the nonviolent, unarmed element of the movement
o Make repressive parties feel guilt or shame
• Always map out a clear channel for information dissemination. Must keep the grassroots up to date.
o Keep a few phone numbers with you.
o Always have witnesses and have people documenting the incident.
o Use social media; get it into the news to give deep knowledge to people and keep it on their radars
• Creativity is crucial.
Tip from experience in Russia: provide activists with a 6-part plan to deal with a violent episode
• Call independent media
• Call a woman who will prepare and distribute a press release to the network to activate solidarity networks
• Call the police
• Switch on cameras so you can prepare a video of the police not interfering
• Provide a first-aid kit/medical kit
• Yell very loud.
Tip from Cuba
• Use mobile phones to use Twitter
Tip from Tibet
• Use songs, cultural resistance to bring the culture alive
• Take one day a week to wear clothing, sings songs, and only buy at stores owned by Tibetans
• Disguised messages
• Practice everyday forms of resistance
Tip from Pakistan
• Refuse to bury the dead (left corpses on police station terraces until the police would investigate their deaths)