As witnessed across Latin America, the MENA region, Asia, Africa and Europe during the last decade, there is a global resurgence of nonviolent movements taking to the streets to protest against autocratic or unaccountable governments, often aspiring for regime change, state reform or the reallocation of political power. However, protest movements often fail to meet their ambitious aspirations and to keep a nonviolent discipline when faced with brutal state repression and international inaction. The reasons why some peaceful movements are able to maintain their campaigns nonviolent while others are not, are manifold, and a phenomenon that has only been partly understood and analyzed. Similarly, what the international community can do to support peaceful protest movements is still a conundrum. Often, they stood by while protesters pleaded for support and peaceful protests turned violent as a last resort.
This event seeks to find answers to how peacebuilding actors can assist peaceful movements in maintaining a nonviolent discipline while mobilising against structural, cultural and physical violence. It will discuss and explore what types of external interventions enhance or hinder the objectives and the security of the peaceful movements, when and how should the peacebuilding community engage with peaceful protest movements and, in doing so, more effectively support nonviolence.