Question: what do the so-called “colour” revolutions – Georgia (2003) and Ukraine (2004), and
the rest – have in common with the uprising that drove Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak from power? Answer: the great majority of the people involved avoided committing acts of violence; and the organisers took advice from a young Serbianrevolutionary called Srdja Popovic and his colleagues.
For many of us, the way that one deeply embedded Middle Eastern dictatorship after another has collapsed this year is a baffling mystery. But for Popovic, tall, lean and brimming with vitality, it was no great surprise. “How do we see political power?” he asks. “Mainly we see power as the state wants us to, as a monolith. So we believe power is fixed; and nothing can change except the people at the top.” But at an age when he was still tender enough to do something with the information, Popovic (pictured right) discovered that power is not like that. “The true nature of power is very different. In a society, power can change very swiftly. It can become fragile and can be redistributed, especially in non-democratic regimes… Ultimately, power in society comes from the obedience of the people. And those people – each of whom is individually a small source of power – can change their minds, and refuse to follow commands.” Read more…
Foreign Policy, the most highest American magazine about geopolitics and foreign policy, published its yearly Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2011.
For the second year in a row, Dr. Mohamed El Baradei is featured on the list (as if suddenly they discovered how brilliant el Baradei is) but this year he shares the 1st position with a list of 14 persons, whom FP calls “The Arab Revolutionaries”, the list includes:
Other dignitaries among the other”Top” 100 thinkers on the FP list include:
Barack Obama (11)
Dick Cheney (12)
Condoleezza Rice (12)
Mark Zuckerberg (17)
Hillary Clinton (20)
Nicolas Sarkozy (21)
Bernard-Henri Lévy (22)
Samantha Power (53)
Jared Cohen (83)
Quite a list! Seems like the list of Top American Imperialism Advancers, not Top Thinkers!
Notable to mention is that until the end of 2008, FP was owned by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in September 29, 2008, The Washington Post Company bought it.
The Centre for Applied Non Violent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS) is a non-profit, non-governmental, educational institution focused on the use of nonviolent conflict to promote human rights and democracy. It was founded in 2004 by Srdja Popovic and Slobodan Djinovic, former members of the Serbian youth resistance movement, Otpor!, which played a key role in the successful overthrow of Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000. Drawing upon the Serbian experience, CANVAS seeks to educate pro-democracy activists around the world in what it regards as the universal principles for success in nonviolent struggle.
Established in Belgrade, CANVAS has worked with pro-democracy activists from over 50 countries, including Iran, Zimbabwe, Burma, Venezuela, Belarus, Palestine, Western Sahara, West Papua, Eritrea, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Tonga and, recently, Tunisia and Egypt. It works only with groups with no history of violence and only in response to requests for assistance.
CANVAS’ training and methodology has reportedly been successfully applied by groups in Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), Lebanon (2005), The Maldives (2008) and Egypt (2011).
The core of CANVAS’s work is rather to spread the word of “people power” to the world than to achieve victories against one dictator or another. Our next big mission should obviously be to explain to the world what a powerful tool nonviolent struggle is when it comes to achieving freedom, democracy and human rights. Read more…
Otpor! (Serbian Cyrillic: Отпор!, English: Resistance!) was a civic youth movement that existed as such from 1998 until 2003 in Serbia, employing nonviolent struggle against the regime of Slobodan Milošević as their course of action. In the course of two-year nonviolent struggle against Milosevic, Otpor spread across Serbia and attracted more than 70,000 supporters. They were credited for their role in the successful overthrow of Slobodan Milošević on 5 October 2000.
Otpor boasted tremendous leverage in the months following Milosevic’s resignation, but failed to focus it into permanent political or social structure in the new transitional and more democratic reality of Serbia. An intensely heterogeneous movement of leftists and conservatives, monarchists and republicans, nationalists and cosmopolitans, after Milosevic’s departure, Otpor had lost the most important glue that bound it together. It was unclear whether the movement should continue as a watch-dog political party or just dissolve after its 2000 triumph. Acting against Milošević earned them wide praise, but when the time came to channel popular support into a clear ideological position, a definite disconnect occurred. In short, it was always clear what Otpor was against, but it was less clear what this movement represented in a new political era.
When three years later Otpor! eventually emerged as a political party, it failed to resonate with voters and received less than 2 percent of the national vote. This was not helped by wide media exposure of broad overt US support for the regime change in Serbia.
Revelation of U.S. involvement
Information started appearing about substantial outside assistance Otpor received leading up to the revolution. Otpor was a recipient of substantial funds from U.S. government-affiliated organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), and US Agency for International Development (USAID).
In a November 2000 article from the New York Times Magazine, Times journalist Roger Cohen talked to various officials from US based organizations about the extent of American assistance received by Otpor. Paul B. McCarthy from the Washington-based NED stated that Otpor received the majority of US$3 million spent by NED in Serbia from September 1998 until October 2000. At the same time, McCarthy himself held a series of meetings with Otpor’s leaders in Podgorica, as well as Szeged and Budapest. Read more…
Serbian activist takes Yugoslav revolution lessons abroad:
Unity, strategy and non-violent action key to success
Training for activists in Middle Easter, Zimbabwe
LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – Eleven years ago, Srdja Popovic (Otpor!) was at the heart of the uprising to oust Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Now, he travels the globe helping other protest groups to plot the overthrow of autocrats.
As executive director for the Belgrade-based Centre for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), he and his colleagues have worked to train activists in 46 countries in the face of repression and sometimes brutality.
His organisation began working with some Egyptian and Tunisian protesters in 2009, teaching skills that helped bring down their presidents and spark regional revolt.
“I don’t want to overstate what we do,” he says, adding that the success of uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia was “100 percent down to brave Arabs”. Read more…
We Just acquired The Arabic version of “The Struggle” booklet, published by CANVAS and USIP (United States Institute of Peace) in 2006, via one of our facebook page members.
The Booklet is written by Serbian Otpor’s Leaders Srdja Popovic & Slobodan Djinovic and is possibly one of the documents used in the training of April 6 Youth.
كتيب “الكفاح السلمي” المنشور في 2006 بواسطة كانفس، ألفه ثلاثة من مؤسسي حركة أتبور الصربية و هم: سيردجا بوبافيتش، و أندريج مولافجتش، و سلوبودان دينوجونفيتش، و من المرجح أنه أستخدم في تدريب شباب 6 أبريل على كيفية قلب الأنظمة.
Under the title “A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History” the New York Times ran a report about links between the Tunisian revolt, the Egyptian Revolution, Otpor, April 6 & Wael Ghonim.
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: February 13, 2011
The Egyptian revolt was years in the making. Ahmed Maher, a 30-year-old civil engineer and a leading organizer of the April 6 Youth Movement, first became engaged in a political movement known as Kefaya, or Enough, in about 2005. Mr. Maher and others organized their own brigade, Youth for Change. But they could not muster enough followers; arrests decimated their leadership ranks, and many of those left became mired in the timid, legally recognized opposition parties. “What destroyed the movement was the old parties,” said Mr. Maher, who has since been arrested four times.
By 2008, many of the young organizers had retreated to their computer keyboards and turned into bloggers, attempting to raise support for a wave of isolated labor strikes set off by government privatizations and runaway inflation.
After a strike that March in the city of Mahalla, Egypt, Mr. Maher and his friends called for a nationwide general strike for April 6. To promote it, they set up a Facebook group that became the nexus of their movement, which they were determined to keep independent from any of the established political groups. Bad weather turned the strike into a nonevent in most places, but in Mahalla a demonstration by the workers’ families led to a violent police crackdown — the first major labor confrontation in years. Read more…
Under the title “Revolution U: What Egypt learned from the students who overthrew Milosevic”, Foreign Policy published an 8 pages investigation about the History of CANVAS, Otpor & their relation to April 6 Movement in Egypt, written by Tina Rosenberg in February 16, 2011.
The pages referring to Otpor’s relation with April 6 Movement and Mohamed Adel are Pages 1, 2 & 8.
Early in 2008, workers at a government-owned textile factory in the Egyptian mill town of El-Mahalla el-Kubra announced that they were going on strike on the first Sunday in April to protest high food prices and low wages. They caught the attention of a group of tech-savvy young people an hour’s drive to the south in the capital city of Cairo, who started a Facebook group to organize protests and strikes on April 6 throughout Egypt in solidarity with the mill workers. To their shock, the page quickly acquired some 70,000 followers. Read more…
George Soros at a Glance:
Source: hedge funds, self-made
Residence: Katonah, NY
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, London School of Economics
Marital Status: Divorced
Net Worth $22 Bln as of September 2011
#7 Forbes 400
#46 Forbes Billionaires
#20 in United States
George Soros; born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz, George Soros is a notorious Hungarian-American financier, businessman and “philanthropist” focused on supporting liberal ideals and spreading “Democracy”.
He became known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” after he made $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises.
Soros is the founder & Chairman of the Soros Foundation and the Open Society Institute, he is also one of 8 members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group and a former member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.
He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89) and provided Europe’s largest-ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest. Later, the Open Society Institute’s programs in Georgia were considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial in the success of the Rose Revolution.
The Open Society Institute has active programs in more than 60 countries around the world with total expenditures currently averaging approximately $600 million a year. Read more…