Ripples of Hope: How Ordinary People Resist Repression Without Violence

Ripples of Hope: How Ordinary People Resist Repression Without Violence

By Robert M. Press
Book Description

In Ripples of Hope, Robert M. Press tells the stories of mothers, students, teachers, journalists, attorneys, and manyothers who courageously stood up for freedom and human rights against repressive rulers — and who helped bring about change through primarily nonviolent means. Global in application and focusing on Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone, this tribute to the strength of the human spirit also breaks new ground in social movement theories, showing how people on their own or in small groups can make a difference.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Contents
    • Introduction
      • Case Studies and Organization of the Book
        • Part one: Sierra Leone
          • Part two: Liberia
          • Part three: Kenya
    • 1 Resisting Repression without Violence
      • Individual Activism
      • Resistance in Abeyance: Organization without Organizations
      • From Abeyance to Formally Organized Resistance
      • Resistance without “Opportunity”
      • Broader, More Fluid Participation in Resistance
      • Establishing a Culture of Resistance
      • New Universal Model for Social Movements
      • Theoretical Implications
        • Structure and Resistance
        • Motives of Activists
    • Part one – Sierra Leone
      • 2 Students Shake the Pillars of Power
        • Roots of Resistance
        • Rebirth of Resistance
        • “Opportunity?”
        • Phase I: Student Resistance
          • The Power of Small Groups
          • Regime Repression Stimulates more Resistance
          • Resistance Impact
          • Civil Society Fails to Support Protesting Students
        • Phase II: Political Shape Shift: A “War” of Words
          • The Cost of Resisting Repression with Words
          • Refusing to Flee
          • Independent Journalist Escapes Arrest by Jumping out a Window; Press Dynamited
        • Phase III: Radical Activism: From Seeking Regime Reform to Regime Change
          • Training for Revolution
          • Implications of an Informal Resistance
      • 3 Women Help Restore Democracy
        • A Modern David Uses Words, not Stones
        • Tracking Resistance via Energy and Ideas, not just Social Movement Organizations
        • Motives of Activists
        • Deepening a Culture of Resistance: Civil Society Re-emerges
        • Military Abuses
        • Birth of a Social Movement: Women Lead the Charge for Regime Change
        • Growing Civil Society Opposition to Military Rule
        • National Conferences: “The Military Realized Late We Were Serious”
        • Market Women v. the Military: The story of two Maries
        • Implications of a Successful Nonviolent Resistance to a Military Junta
      • 4 Mass Noncooperation Helps Defeat a Violent Junta
        • Nonviolent Social Movement
        • Democracy on Hold
        • A Brutal Regime: “The Whole Nation Was Crying”
        • A Critique of Theories of Nonviolence
        • Violent Resistance
        • Civil Society’s Nonviolent Resistance: Junta “Not Wanted”
          • Individual Noncooperation
        • A Minor Theory: the Overlooked Role of Minor Actors in Helping Major Activists
        • Individual Resistance: Part of a Larger Social Movement
        • Resisting and Surviving: “We All Thought We Were Going To Die”
        • Organizational Nonviolent Resistance: Lessons from Gandhi and King
          • Teachers and Labor Strike
          • Journalists Wage Nonviolent “War” against the Military Junta
        • Drawn to activism by their profession
          • Underground Resistance by Journalists
          • A Journalist with a “Revolutionary Fervor” for Democracy
        • Radio Democracy: Psychological Warfare against the “Foot” of State
          • A “Ray of Hope”
        • Invisible Networks Supporting Social Movements in Repressive Settings
        • A Nonviolent Woman “Warrior”
        • Dangerous Marches
        • Marching on the Rebel Leader’s Home: “We Shall Overcome”
        • Final Orgy of Violence: “We Thought We Would All Be Dead”
        • International Interventions: A Nigerian Dictator Helps Restore Democracy
        • Implications of the Noncooperation with a Military Junta
    • Part two – Liberia
      • 5 Nonviolent Resistance in Abeyance
        • A History of Authoritarianism and Resistance
        • Cultural Restraints on Resistance?
        • Emergence of Civic Resistance
        • Rice Riots (1979): Opening the Door for the 1980 Coup
        • Short-Lived Hopes for Human Rights and Democracy
        • Resistance in Abeyance: Courage, Commitment, Danger
          • Shooting Books
        • Professional Duty: Pathway to Resistance
        • American Ambivalence over Repression in Liberia
        • Civil War Stirs More Regime Repression – and Resistance
        • Implications of Peaceful Resistance in Abeyance
      • 6 Peaceful Resistance during a Civil War
        • One Country, Two Presidents
        • Resisting a Tyrant, Peacefully
        • Moral Basis for Resistance
        • Human Rights Activism – “Delivering Body Blows to Taylor”
        • International Support for Advocacy
        • Ripples of Hope: Activists Inspire Others
        • Array of Tactics in the Resistance
        • Courage and Commitment: Intangible “Resources” in the Struggle for Human Rights
        • Women’s Peace Movements
          • “When Mother Calls”
          • Women Seize Peace Talks Hall
        • Implications of Nonviolent Resistance during a Civil War
    • Part three – Kenya
      • 7 Individual Resistance against Repression
        • Professionalism: an Overlooked Entry Path to Activism
        • Resistance despite Repression, Few “Opportunities,” Limited Material Resources
        • Early Resistance
        • Hiding in a Charcoal Truck to Run for Parliament
        • Growing Resistance
        • Freedom Corner: Early Cracks in the Wall of Fear
        • Individual Activism (1): Urban Legal “Guerrillas”
        • Organization without Organizations
        • Unpredictability of Social Movements: Minor Actors; Chains of Events
        • Chess Game of Tactics
        • Individual Activism (2): Resistance by Writers, Clergy and Others
          • Weapons of Words
        • “God’s Kingdom Grows with Opposition”
        • Implications of Individual Activism
      • 8 Establishing a Culture of Resistance
        • Mothers’ Strike
        • Small Group Strategic Choices and Tactics: “Exciting the Masses”
        • Breaking the “Wall of Fear:” Saba Saba Rally 1990
        • Widening the Resistance: Kamkunji Rally 1991
        • What Quantitative Studies Miss
        • Organizational Resistance
          • Ethnic Divisions
          • Cycles of Activism
          • New Tactic: National Citizen’s Convention
          • “Foot Soldiers” for Freedom
        • Growing Support for Mass Public Demonstrations
        • Counter Tactics by the Regime: the Chess Game Continues
        • Further Growth of a Culture of Resistance: A “Psychological Revolution”
        • International Resistance against Kenya
        • A “Rogue” US Ambassador Supports Kenyan Human Rights
        • From Regime Reform to Regime Change: Who gets the Credit?
        • Implications of a Culture of Resistance
      • Conclusion
        • Activism and Structural Conditions
        • Uncertainties
        • Arguments Supported
    • Appendix
    • Acknowledgments
    • About the Author
    • Bibliography
    • Index
    • List of Figures
      • Figure 1 Sierra Leone secondary student at a human rights workshop in Bo, Sierra Leone, 2009
      • Figure 2 A street scene in central Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2008
      • Figure 3 Secondary school students and instructor at a human rights workshop in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, 2009
      • Figure 4 The author, political, police and military officials (from left to right) at a human rights workshop in Bo, Sierra Leone, 2009
      • Figure 5 Saxophone player in a public event in Monrovia, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 6 Coffee house in the northern city of Ganta, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 7 Kofi Woods, human rights activist, Monrovia, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 8 Elizabeth Sele Mulbah, peace activist, Monrovia, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 9 Young street salesman, Monrovia, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 10 Village home, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 11 Human rights activist Rumba Kinuthia, Nairobi, Kenya, 2002
      • Figure 12 Slum and downtown skyline, Nairobi, Kenya, 2006
      • Figure 13 Police attack mothers and supporters protesting for release of political prisoners, Nairobi, Kenya, 1992
      • Figure 14 Family in their street sales stall, Nairobi, Kenya, 1991
      • Figure 15 Hope for the future: sign board with image of Africa’s first elected female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Monrovia, Liberia, 2006
      • Figure 16 Looking to the future: young couple in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2009
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