Browse Cases

Showing 1-25 of 29 results

British Ramblers campaign for greater access to right of ways and the right to roam (1985-2000)

Country
United Kingdom
Time period
Fall, 1985 to 30 November, 2000
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
Democracy
Environment
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Zach Lytle, 16/05/19

The enclosure system involved fencing off plots of arable land. The land would then be deeded to an individual or group of owners who could use it as they saw fit. Despite slowly losing access to the commons, commoners preserved their access to rights of ways (the right to pass through someone else’s or public property on a specific path), even those now enclosed on private land, through the countryside. Foot paths, roads, carriageways, and trails were considered highways to which all individuals had the right of way.

Atlanta unions campaign to unionize Atlanta Olympics, 1991-1993

Country
United States
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Shakina Kirton 03/03/2019

On 19 September 1990, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the city of Atlanta the contract to host the 1996 Summer Olympics. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) believed that by hosting the Olympics, Atlanta would be able to reinvent itself as an international city, and investment in the Games would help fuel urban development. The Committee leaned on the city of Atlanta’s strong civil rights history to secure the bid.

Oromo People protest for against the expansion of the capital, 2015-2016

Country
Ethiopia
Time period
November, 2015 to December, 2016
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
National/Ethnic Identity
Human Rights
Democracy
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Madison Shoraka 22/03/2017

In Ethiopia, nine ethnic groups each inhabit their own land. The Oromo people are one of the largest groups and inhabit Oromia which is located on the border between South Sudan and Kenya and spreads into the center of Ethiopia. Populations of the Oromo people also live within the borders of South Sudan and Kenya, but the population is most concentrated within Ethiopia. The Oromo people of Ethiopia began conducting small scale street protests including marches and pickets in April, 2014 in response to their persecution and marginalization by the Ethiopian government.

Rio de Janeiro residents protest World Cup and Olympics 2011-2016

Country
Brazil
Time period
March, 2011 to August, 2016
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Environment
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Peace
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Shayla Smith 08/02/2017

The city of Rio de Janeiro is home to 6 million people with approximately 1.5 million residents living in favelas. These residential communities, named after the favela trees native to the region, are commonly misunderstood by outsiders. Although 32% of favela residents belong to the lower-class, a 2013 study found that 85% of people residing in favelas like where they live. Some favelas have high crime rates, but many are high-functioning, self-governing communities.

Harvard University Dining Services workers strike and win higher salary, 2016

Country
United States
Time period
5 October, 2016 to 26 October, 2016
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Ploy Promrat 08/02/2017

In 2016, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts was one of the most elite universities in the United States. It had the largest endowment of any university in the country at $35.7 billion. However, despite the wealth of the university, its treatment of its employees, specifically dining services employees, came into question in 2016. Starting in early June 2016, the dining services workers of Harvard began a series of negotiations with the university in order to demand a higher yearly salary.

Starr County, Texas Farm Workers Strike for Higher Pay - 1966

Country
United States
Time period
1 June, 1966 to Late September, 1967
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Beatriz Grace Baker 29/03/2015

On 1 June 1966, growing disputes between farmworkers and the owners of
melon farms in the Rio Grande valley in South Texas culminated in a
strike. Four hundred farm workers had voted in favor of a strike against
their employers at La Casita melon farm. It was the height of melon
season. Eugene Nelson, who had worked as a farm worker and author as
well as an organizer with the National Farm Workers’ Association, led
these workers to strike and organized them into the Independent Workers’
Association. Their organization, based in Rio Grande City in Starr

NYU Graduate students unionize and win improved healthcare and wages, 2013-15

Country
United States
Time period
4 October, 2014 to 11 March, 2015
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Stephen O'Hanlon, 29/03/2015

After 8 years of negotiation and organizing, the New York University (NYU) Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) won voluntary recognition from NYU on 26 November 2013, partially in response to a letter signed by 1300 graduate student employees in support of unionization. The NYU administration withheld formal recognition until after 98.4 percent of graduate students voted in favor of the union on 11 December. This made NYU the first private university in the United States to recognize a graduate student union. 

Sarasotan Students' school boycott stops neighborhood schools from closing, Florida, United States, 1969

Country
United States
Time period
3 May, 1969 to 9 May, 1969
Classification
Change
Defense
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Erica Janko 29/03/2015

Before Booker Grammar School, Sarasota’s first Black public school, was established in 1925, Black students received their education at home or in churches. The establishment of three other schools for Black students -- Amaryllis Park for first through third graders, Booker Junior High, for seventh and eighth graders, and Booker High School, for ninth through twelfth graders -- followed. These schools, located centrally within Sarasota’s African-American community, Newtown, became deeply rooted institutions within the community.

Columbia University students protest constructed of a segregated gymnasium, 1968-1969

Country
United States
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Peace
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
ShaKea Alston 21/03/2015

In 1959, Columbia University announced plans for a new gymnasium for Columbia College students and residents of the Harlem community. The gym would be segregated, with residents of the Harlem community having to enter through the basement entrance, and having limited access to the facilities. The gym was also not open for use by students from Columbia’s graduate and professional schools, Barnard College, or Teacher’s College.

Chicano Students Walk Out for Racial Equality in Kingsville, Texas 1969

Country
United States
Time period
April 14, 1969 to April 24, 1969
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
2.5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Beatriz Grace Baker 08/02/2015

During the Civil Rights Movement, Mexican-Americans struggled for equal
rights all across the Southwest in America. In Texas, campaigns for
racial equality were led primarily by organizations like La Raza (the
Resistance), MAYO (Mexican-American Youth Organization), PASSO
(Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations), and the Brown
Berets. These organizations struggled for equal rights and privileges
for Mexican-Americans in all facets of society.

Philadelphians prevent deportation of Honduran immigrant through church sanctuary, United States, 2014-15

Country
United States
Time period
November 2014 - January 2015, 2014 to 2015
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Clare Perez, 2/11/2015

The New Sanctuary Movement (NSM) was established  to build a community
that does not discriminate based on faith, ethnicity, class, and to end
injustices against immigrants regardless of their legal or illegal
status. They are a national movement of civil disobedience trying to
pressure President Obama to reform immigration laws.   Their movement
goals include pushing Obama to end all deportations, regardless of
“origin, status, criminal convictions, sexual or gender identity,
socioeconomic status, marital status, or previous deportation order”

Alexandra Commuters Boycott Johannesburg Buses - 1943

Country
South Africa
Time period
August, 1943 to August, 1943
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Beatriz Grace Baker 02/02/15

Black South Africans suffering under restrictive racially-based laws relied heavily on public transportation to commute to their jobs in the urban center of Johannesburg. One community, Alexandra Township of Johannesburg, experienced a fare hike from five cents to six cents in 1943, which put financial strain on local individuals and families, for whom transportation constituted a major household expense.

Chicano students strike for equality of education in Crystal City, Texas, 1969-1970

Country
United States
Time period
Spring, 1969 to 6 January, 1970
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Nick Palazzolo, 16/05/2013

In Crystal City, Texas, 87 percent of high school students in 1968 were Chicano, or Mexican American, and nearly half of these were children of migrant farm workers. But the high school principal, five of the seven school board members, and 75 percent of the teachers were white. During the summers, local government and school officials, all white, selected candidates for the fall elections. In doing so, the minority population maintained a majority white school board with just one or two Chicanos they believed to align with their views.

Landless workers win land rights in Nova Ronda Alta, Brazil, 1982-1984

Country
Brazil
Time period
12 March, 1982 to January, 1984
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Elizabeth Reilly, 06/04/2012

Brazil is the largest country in South America with resources comparable to the continental United States as well as vast amounts of land for agricultural development. At the time of this campaign, two-thirds of the population went hungry and were without work. 48% of the arable land was controlled by 1% of the population for large-scale agricultural enterprises. In 1964, there was a military coup that resulted in a twenty-one year military dictatorship and small farmers were pushed off their land, which was taken by the government.

Mapuche prisoners hunger strike for law reform, Chile, 2010

Country
Chile
Time period
12 July, 2010 to 1 October, 2010
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
5 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Carmen Smith-Estrada, 30/10/2011

With a population of 1.3 million people, the Mapuche are currently the largest indigenous group in Chile. Before 1881, the group functioned as an independent nation, but their political and territorial sovereignty was revoked after Chileans declared their independence from Spain. Since then, the government has forced the Mapuche to live on small “reducciones” (reserves) and allowed private lumber firms to expropriate their land.

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.

Oklahoma City African Americans sit-in for integration, 1958-64

Country
United States
Time period
19 August, 1958 to 4 July, 1964
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Carmen Smith-Estrada, 12/09/2011

In 1955, just one year after the Supreme Court issued its pivotal Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the country was again shaken by the Montgomery Bus Boycotts (see “African Americans boycott buses for integration in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., 1955-1956”). The campaign, which targeted the city’s practice of segregation on public transportation, brought leaders such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., into the national spotlight.

Vorkuta prisoners strike for improved conditions, Russia, 1953

Country
Russia
Time period
Late July, 1953 to Early August, 1953
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Adriana Popa, 03/12/2010

Prison camps were set up in Russia by the Bolsheviks soon after the October 1917 revolution and the scale of imprisonment expanded enormously beginning in the late 1920s, with most prisoners forced to labor, especially in mining, logging, and construction. From the 1930s through the mid 1950s, camps around the country contained millions of prisoners (from common criminals to political prisoners such as dissidents and opponents of the regime) working in inhumane conditions. Many died due to overwork, extreme climate, disease and malnutrition.

Community members campaign for integration of Girard College in Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1965-68

Country
United States
Time period
January, 1965 to September, 1968
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Carl E. Sigmond, 16/6/2011

Stephen Girard (1750 – 1831), the well known Philadelphia merchant and banker, bequeathed a large sum of money to be used in the founding of Girard College, a boarding school for orphaned youth between the ages of six and ten. The school was established in 1848 on forty acres of farmland north of Philadelphia. Stephen Girard stipulated in his will that the school would only be open to “fatherless” white boys.

Chicago activists challenge segregation (Chicago Freedom Movement), USA, 1965-1967

Country
United States
Time period
September, 1965 to May, 1967
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Economic Justice
Human Rights
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Pauline Blount, 02/10/2011

In 1962, in response to growing recognition of de facto segregation of public schools and housing availability, the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) was founded in Chicago.  This council included the Chicago Urban League, the Chicago NAACP, and the Woodlawn Organization.  CCCO elected Albert (Al) Raby, a local teacher, to organize and convene the group.  In 1965, Mr. Raby invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to tour Chicago and witness the spatial segregation of this northern city. 

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.

Plebeians campaign at Sacred Mount for economic and political rights, Ancient Rome, 494 BCE

Country
Italy
Time period
(495 BCE), -1 to (494 BCE), -1
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Max Rennebohm 12/12/2009

The plebeians made up the majority of the citizen population of Ancient Rome and occupied the economic range anywhere below the ruling Patrician class and above the slave class.  A Senate made up of 100 men from traditional patrician families and 200 conscripti, selected from other wealthy families, ruled the Roman Republic, which began in 509 BCE.  The Senate elected two Consuls with executive authority to oversee the city’s day-to-day governance for a one-year period.  

Baton Rouge students sit-in for U.S. civil rights (Southern University 16), 1960

Country
United States
Time period
March 28, 1960 to April, 1960
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
3 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Arielle Bernhardt, 28/01/2010

Throughout most of the U.S. civil rights campaigns of the 1950s, Baton Rouge, Louisiana remained quiet. The city of “broad avenues and tree-lined streets” (Sinclair 1998) remained fully segregated despite movements towards desegregation in neighboring states. However, at the beginning of 1960, when university students staged sit-ins at lunch counters across the south, students at Baton Rouge’s Southern University took notice. Southern University, a black university on the edge of the city, became home to the main civil rights campaign in Baton Rouge.

University of California at Berkeley students campaign for freedom of speech, United States, 1964

Country
United States
Time period
September 10, 1964 to January 4, 1965
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Aly Passanante, 10/04/2011

In the fall of 1964, student activists at the University of California at Berkeley set up information tables on campus and solicited donations for civil rights causes.  However, according to existing rules at that time, fundraising for political parties was limited exclusively to the Democratic and Republican school clubs.  On September 16, 1964, Dean of Students Katherine A.

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.