Browse Cases

Showing 1-17 of 17 results

African American auto workers strike for union democracy and better working conditions (DRUM), 1968-1970

Country
United States
Time period
May, 1968 to May, 1970
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
5.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kate Aronoff, 07/11/2011

Detroit, Michigan had long served as a world center for auto manufacturing. A number of U.S. automobile manufacturers centered their operations in the city, including Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. For decades, as well, the city was a center of racial conflict in the country. Following World War II, a number of white soldiers had returned to Detroit to find their manufacturing jobs “taken” by women and, more so, African American men. A number of Black workers were forced out of their jobs, though many remained.

U.S. civil rights activists campaign for federal government action, 1957-63

Country
United States
Time period
May, 1957 to December, 1963
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
George Lakey, 09/10/2012

In 1957 A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin initiated a campaign to pressure the U.S. government to intervene for the civil rights of African Americans.

Randolph, 68, was the acknowledged “elder” among civil rights leaders, with a base in the labor movement.  Rustin, 57, was a veteran civil rights and peace activist who had coached Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott.

Prisoners occupy Attica Correctional Facility for just treatment, 1971

Country
United States
Time period
9 September, 1971 to 13 September, 1971
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
3.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kate Aronoff 27/11/2011

Editor's Note: We recognize that the inclusion of this case in a database of nonviolent action may be controversial because of the campaigner violence at certain points during the campaign. However, we have concluded that the campaigner violence was minimal under the circumstances. We also believe that the inclusion of this largely nonviolent campaign will offer strategic lessons on the use of nonviolence in similar struggles. Many prisoners campaigns in this database have been focused around the method of the hunger strike.

Puerto Ricans expel United States Navy from Culebra Island, 1970-1974

Country
Puerto Rico
United States
Time period
1970 to 1974
Classification
Change
Cluster
National/Ethnic Identity
Human Rights
Peace
Environment
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Nathalie Schils, 06/07/2011

In 1970, Puerto Rico was a non-sovereign territory of the United States. Its residents were U.S. citizens but could not vote in presidential elections, nor did they have political representation in the U.S. Congress, although they could serve and be drafted in the U.S. armed forces. At the beginning of the 20th century, the U.S. Navy eliminated the principal town on the island of Culebra and evicted its residents so that a marine base could be built. In 1941, President Roosevelt claimed exclusive rights to the air space above Culebra as well as a three-mile wide radius around the island.

East Los Angeles students walkout for educational reform (East L.A. Blowouts), 1968

Country
United States
Time period
March 1, 1968 to October, 1968
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
5.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Rebecca Contreras 24/04/2011

In late 1967 East Los Angeles housed a school system entrenched in racism. The Mexican American community had the highest high school dropout rate and lowest college attendance among any ethnic group. The poor facilities and constant underestimation of student capabilities by teachers created an atmosphere hostile to learning. The oppressive conditions coupled with the inability to make changes compelled students, activists, and teachers to meet and discuss the situation.

African Americans campaign for equal accommodations, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 1963

Country
United States
Time period
April 3, 1963 to May 10, 1963
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Aurora Muñoz, 10/10/2009

On April 3, 1963, several black integrationists belonging to the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) entered the Briling Cafeteria in Birmingham and sat at the white’s only lunch counter to request service. When they were refused service, these members staged a sit-in. The ACMHR had struggled to desegregate the lunch counter and bring about equal employment opportunities in all sectors for black citizens in Birmingham for seven long years.

Atlanta students sit-in for U.S. civil rights, 1960-1961

Country
United States
Time period
March, 1960 to March, 1961
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Hannah Jones, 31/01/2010

In the early 1960’s, student-led sit-ins were a prominent scene in the United States Civil Rights Movement. The success of a sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina (see “Greensboro, NC, students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960”) began a wave of action in college campuses throughout the South. One of the many areas inspired by the Greensboro sit-ins was Atlanta, Georgia.

Cambridge, Maryland, activists campaign for desegregation, USA, 1962-1963

Country
United States
Time period
January, 1962 to July, 1963
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Rebecca Contreras, 30/01/2011

Cambridge, a small city in Eastern Shore Maryland, was racially divided in 1960 between African Americans and European Americans. Unemployment rates for African Americans were quadruple those of white people and segregation was pervasive in public and private spaces alike.

American colonials struggle against the British Empire, 1765 - 1775

Country
United States
Time period
1765, 1700 to 1775, 1700
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Jasper Goldberg, 2010.

The 13 English colonies in North America were established and grew during the 17th and 18th centuries. During most of this time, the colonists lived under what historians have termed “salutary neglect,” meaning that the English government mostly left them alone and the colonies prospered under these conditions.

University of California Berkeley students win divestment against apartheid South Africa, 1985

Country
United States
Time period
10 April, 1985 to 23 May, 1985
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Arielle Bernhardt, 05/02/2010

In the spring of 1985, campaigns against apartheid in South Africa mobilized on campuses across the United States. Students at University of California Berkeley became aware of these campaigns and were moved to act. On April 10, two student groups—the UC Divestment Committee and the Campaign Against Apartheid—began organizing daily rallies at Sproul Plaza, a main gathering place on campus. Nancy Skinner led the Divestment Committee and William Nessen headed up the Campaign Against Apartheid, but the student coalition made decisions through the consensus of all members.

Students protest segregation in Columbia, South Carolina, 1960-1961

Country
United States
Time period
February, 1960 to April, 1961
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
4.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Elowyn Corby, 30/01/2011

By the beginning of the 1960s the Civil Rights Movement had taken hold of the United States, where black Americans had been treated unjustly since they first arrived in the nation.  During the Civil Rights Movement, black communities all throughout the US South rose up in protest against the segregationist policies that kept them in systematically separate and insufficient living arrangements, a world away from the “separate but equal” treatment promised them by the 14 amendment and its interpretation in the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson.

African American citizens campaign for integration in Durham, N.C., 1963

Country
United States
Time period
18 May, 1963 to 21 May, 1963
Classification
Change
Cluster
Economic Justice
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Meghan Auker Becker, 14/03/2010

The mass demonstrations of 1963 in Durham were the culmination of a local black freedom movement that had slowly gained momentum over the preceding years. Durham had been the site of a thwarted sit-in at the Royal Ice Cream Parlor in 1957, limited desegregation of schools, and the long-standing lunch-counter sit-ins in 1960 (see “Durham students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960”). Throughout the next few years, civil rights activists continued to attack segregation in theaters, schools, motels, and restaurants as well as demand increased employment opportunities for blacks.

U.S. activists and politicians campaign at South African Embassy for end to apartheid, 1984-1985

Country
United States
Time period
21 November, 1984 to November/December, 1985
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Zein Nakhoda, 14/02/2010

In 1984, South Africa was ruled by an increasingly brutal and repressive regime under Prime Minister Pieter Botha, a strong supporter of apartheid, a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by whites was maintained. In response to increased anti-apartheid protest in 1984, the Botha regime repressed political dissent with increasing brutality. In November of that year, Ronald Reagan had been reelected as President of the United States.

Nashville students sit-in for U.S. civil rights, 1960

Country
United States
Time period
13 February, 1960 to May, 1960
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Aly Passanante, 30/01/2011

Starting in February of 1960, students began sit-ins in various stores in Nashville, Tennessee, with the goal of desegregation at lunch counters.  Students from Fisk University, Baptist Theological Seminary, and Tennessee State University, mainly led by Diane Nash and John Lewis, began the campaign that became a successful component of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and was influential in later campaigns.

Montgomery, Alabama students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960

Country
United States
Time period
February, 1960 to Fall, 1960
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
1 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Matthew Turner, 11/09/2011

The Montgomery, Alabama sit-ins took place during the era of Jim Crow laws in the southern United States. The first of the Supreme Court rulings against these laws – which are symbolized by the phrase “Separate but Equal” – took place in 1954, in the form of Brown v. Board of Education; in this ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that separate education facilities based on race were inherently discriminatory, putting minorities at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.

Fayette County, TN, African Americans form tent city for U.S. voting rights, 1960-1962

Country
United States
Time period
June, 1959 to July, 1962
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Economic Justice
Democracy
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Kate Aronoff, 11/09/2011

While the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled against denying citizens from participation in elections, de facto racism in the country’s South kept countless African Americans from casting votes well into the 20th century. Despite the fact that African Americans represented roughly 70% of Fayette County, Tennessee’s population in 1960, before 1959 fewer than a dozen had voted. In contrast to other southern states, Tennessee had none of the poll taxes or literacy tests that would formally restrict voting. James F.

Orangeburg County, South Carolina, citizens and students boycott for U.S. Civil Rights, 1955-1956

Country
United States
Time period
August, 1955 to May, 1956
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Elliana Bisgaard-Church, 11/09/2011

After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, groups of whites advocating for continued segregation formed across the southern United States.  The strongest and most notable were white citizens councils (WCCs), which began in Mississippi and erupted shortly thereafter in every southern state.