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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Theory and passion draw closer when we discuss mass movements of our day.

Turkey: trade unionism on trial

As the Erdogan government in Turkey takes an increasingly authoritarian turn, trade unionists have been in the firing line. But a mass trial in Istanbul, little noticed by the international media, has not gone entirely the government’s way.

Women of Senegal: agents of peace

The physical and moral suffering undergone by the valiant people of Casamance is incalculable and, as usual, it is the women and children who pay the highest price. From their position as victims, women have decided to become committed agents of peace, says Ndeye Marie Thiam.

UKIP on the march in Britain

The success of the UK Independence Party in local elections indicates a lack of trust in mainstream politicians on migration. This leaves the pro-migration lobby with a bigger role than ever, and some challenging questions about how to impact on public opinion

Stavropol — frontline between Russia and the North Caucasus

THE CEELBAS DEBATE// Stavropol is the only one of seven North Caucasus territories with a majority Russian population. Andrew Foxall explores the implications of interethnic conflict on this increasingly fraught political frontline.

Anti-deportation campaigns: ‘What kind of country do you want this to be?’

A new musical, Glasgow Girls, showcases the power of anti-deportation campaigns as both an expression of human solidarity and an essential device for holding states to account. But their key role, argues Jennifer Allsopp, is to build support for an asylum system that upholds the rights of all.

Funding Russian NGOs: opportunity in a crisis?

Russian NGOs have traditionally looked abroad for their funding, and are dismayed at recent legislation setting up new barriers to this practice. Almut Rochowanski argues, however, that this should be seen as a challenge to increase the involvement of the Russian public in the development of civil society.

Seeking asylum, ending destitution

If "destitutes" across the UK can stand up and act together we can make a difference: we are ready to meet the authorities at the negotiating table, says Nancy Bonongwe.

Everyday feminism vs everyday sexism

A debate about the feminist economy cannot be brought to the school gates, but a discussion on sexting, advertising and tuition fees can. That's what everyday feminism is and why it must be truly diverse and accessible, says Aisha Mirza.

Civil resistance and the language of power

“If you want to build a ship, don’t gather your people and ask them to provide wood, prepare tools, assign tasks. Call them together and raise in their minds the longing for the endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The trifecta of civil resistance: unity, planning, discipline

Three attributes can make the difference between success and failure for nonviolent movements around the world: unity, planning, and nonviolent discipline.

Red lenses on a rainbow of revolutions

Given continued strikes in Iran and the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, neither the Burmese nor Iranian struggle for democracy is a story that should be characterized as an example of a failed movement and successful repression. But it is up to us - the global audience - to understand our responsibility in this dynamic.

The Anishinabe and an unsung nonviolent victory in late twentieth-century Wisconsin

In the wake of the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, many Native Americans adopted civil resistance to fight for rights supposedly guaranteed in the 19th century by the government's treaties with their tribes. This true story is how one tribe in Wisconsin, using nonviolent strategies, prevailed in that fight.

Upsurge in repression challenges nonviolent resistance in Western Sahara

Sahrawis have engaged in protests, strikes, cultural celebrations, and other forms of civil resistance focused on such issues as educational policy, human rights, the release of political prisoners, and the right to self-determination. They have also raised the cost of occupation for the Moroccan government and increased the visibility of the Sahrawi cause.

People power and the new global ferment

People power does not lend itself to the geo-strategic interests of empires or warlords, since it is based on collective action and civic unity, as well as the refusal to comply with existing power-holders. Any movement that opts for civil resistance has to encompass and attempt to represent diverse social groups.

The need to connect - a response to Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton is right to bring fox-hunting and gay rights into a common frame of reference, but his political partiality blinds him to the changing character of protest movements in the context of history and global politics.

When is a 'popular protest' popular?

The packaging of ‘new’ protest movements by modern leftist intellectuals reveals a selective focus on favoured causes – feminism, racism, gay rights. This post–1968 template evades concerns, such as fox–hunting, that animate masses of ordinary people. From shallow argument it generates a politics without principle.

Popular protest in the 21st century: living in time

The politics of protest, from the Inuit and Aborigines to England’s Countryside Alliance, cannot be understood through old left–right categories. To explain where a movement is heading, we should ask: is its source of energy in the past, present or future?

Tomorrow the world? The rocky path of social movements

From Stop the War to Save the Whale, from Liberty and Livelihood to Globalise Resistance, popular movements of protest and advocacy are a key feature of the political landscape. Why do they grow or fail? How will the movement for global change respond to the lessons of its early years?Tomorrow the world? The rocky path of social movements

The duty to disobey

The Countryside March across London on 22 September will be a massive demonstration of resistance to unjust power. One marcher explains how a story that starts with love ends in civic outrage.

Mr. Town meets Mr. Country

From BSE to foot & mouth, from hunting to the Countryside Alliance, from Maff to Defra - out of crisis the countryside has moved to the top of the political agenda. But where is the Urban Alliance? Are the cities losing their way? And how can the fractured relationship of the last decade be healed in the next?
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