"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Arab Spring Moves South

Regarding the importance of personal networking and coalition building  -- without a solid infrastructure in sustained movement can happen. (my highlighted text below)

From an article in Waging Nonviolence

Between July 26 and 30, in Johannesburg, South Africa, peacemakers from 12 countries throughout Africa met to share experiences and birthed a new, continent-wide African Nonviolence and Peacebuilding Network (ANPN). . . . The delegates from more than a dozen organizations heard from Sherif Joseph Rizk, a participant in the 2011 Tahrir Square protests. . .

As part of the New Republic Group, Rizk is amongst those working for continued de-militarization and democracy in his country. “We got rid of the dictator,” he said, “but we have not yet gotten rid of dictatorship.” The New Republic Group is looking to develop a road map to help strategically guide the grassroots democracy movement. Rizk’s participation in the exchange and the new network grows out of a hope that activists from the north to the south of the continent can learn from one another and continue an ongoing sharing of resources.

. . . . Former South African parliamentarian and Deputy Minister of Defense and Health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was selected as one of the co-facilitators of ANPN. “The creation of the ANPN,” she noted,

is a significant moment in that we now have the opportunity to build on the on-the-ground work happening all across the continent, to break the isolation which so many feel. I like to think about it going beyond training to peacebuilding, going to the root causes of violence. We must spotlight issues of minorities so that all can enjoy their freedom, human rights and security.
. . . .South Sudanese trainer Moses Monday concluded:
I always think that the world in which we live today is in competition between those engaged in violence and those committed to nonviolence. In such kind of a race, it is important when we meet together to engage and inspire ourselves. That is why this network is important. We inspire and encourage one another to work together, no matter where we live. These networks are not the end in itself but a means to a nonviolent, peaceful and democratic society.

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