Nonviolent protests are working. Why? Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan look at the growth of nonviolent action and dive headlong into why it works despite (or perhaps due to) the powerful armed regimes movements often go up against. Spoiler alert: nonviolent movements can make it easier for opponents to change their minds and switch alliances.
But growing protests signal dire differences in power. The World Economic Forum released a "World Protest Intensity" report at last month's Swiss summit. The report finds that popular protest and mobilisation is at its highest levels in decades, writes Gillian Tett in the Financial Times. Rising inequality butts heads with the a sense of empowerment delivered by Internet and smartphone enabled action. But protests that do little to change the prospects of the disempowered only foster greater division, writes Tett, in a gloomy forecast that, to our minds, highlights why campaigners build networks to grow power.
Romania's networked people power wins against all odds. Activists used social media to build a vast coalition across the country dedicated to protecting Rosia Montana, a picturesque part of the Romanian countryside, from international mining interests and industry supporters in government.
American voters are feeling a digital Bern. As America's Presidential election ramps up, a New Hampshire Public Radio story tracks the impact of Bernie Sanders's digital campaigning, an effort that has helped raise millions from small donors - and raise the bar for what's possible in online political engagement.
Are Russian truckers driving a movement? Truckers "tapped into the anger of a bread-and-butter constituency" while leading protests against a new road tax and Russian lawmakers responded with a law banning trucker convoys. The situation, writes Anna Aruntunyan in a European Council on Foreign Relations commentary this week, epitomizes the missing agency and social capital that even organized Russian popular protest campaigns lack in the the face of a powerful regime that's putting opponents off balance.
New Zealand's trade protest planners opened up their planning process, thousands turned out to an action in Auckland, and the events spiked national attention to the TPPA writes Peter W, a New Zealand activist, in a story demonstrating the smart use of Google Trends data.
Global climate activists have their work cut out for them in 2016. In a recent story for Mashable, our colleage Tom Liacas interviews leaders at Avaaz, 350.org, Greenpeace International and NextGen Climate to learn how the global climate movement is planning to accelerate and scale its actions in coming months.
Powerful videos shares women's family planning stories at the International Family Planning Conference in Indonesia. Activist videos told of women's greatest challenges in their home countries. Global Voices shares some of them and explains the powerful role of YouTube in distributing their message.
Women in Kentucky are using hashtags to share their anger about the American state's new anti-abortion law. In #askbevinaboutmyvag hashtagged tweets, women are sending female reproductive system questions to the governor. And a legislator introduced a bill requiring men to get spousal approval for Viagra prescriptions.
Meanwhile, Iran's morality police are being mapped. An anonymous group of developers created Gershad, a mobile app that gives users - mostly youth - a chance to report (and receive warnings about) the location of Ershad checkpoints, notorious mobile police that enforce public conduct and morality rules.