an example of paradox of repression

PARADOX OF REPRESSION. This tag is for situations in which the regime or other opponent uses punishment of some kind against the nonviolent campaigners, presumably to deter them from further action, but the punishment produces a growth in the movement. This punishment may be as mild as discharging from her or his job the leader of the campaigners (for example a cabinet post occupied by a labor leader whose union begins a strike against the government), or the expulsion of a student from the college. Or it could be more clearly violent like arrests (arrests are done with the back-up of guns and therefore "the threat of injurious force"). Or the really obvious actions like beatings, tear gas, shooting, and so on. What makes such repression a paradox is when the campaign, instead of shrinking or giving up, grows and/or gains allies afterward. Evidence for such growth needs to be given by the researcher, however, and that may be done in the database fields, for example Joining/Exiting order of Groups, or in the narrative, or both. Simple statement of, for example, shooting into an unarmed crowd, is not "paradox of repression" – it is the growth that follows the shooting that earns the case this tag.

Earth First! protests the destruction of Redwood Forests (Redwood Summer), United States, 1990


In 1990, Earth First! activists began organizing a radical non-violent campaign called the “Redwood Summer” in response to Louisiana Pacific Lumber Mill’s decision to double the rate of logging. Earth First! hoped to expose the logging of old growth forests by Louisian Pacific and Maxxam, Inc., which had depleted 95% of Northern California’s forests. Earth First!, an organization of activists working against logging was led by Judi Bari and her colleagues. They began work in the spring, when they drove to various college campuses to raise awareness.

Black South Africans resist pass laws and mount general strike (Sharpeville Massacre), 1960


In 1960 South Africa was under the rule of the National Party, which was imposing harsh, demeaning laws on black South Africans. The party was made up entirely of white people, mostly the descendants of Dutch immigrants. The party was devoted to apartheid and white supremacy, maintained through a collection of policies, including the pass laws.

Belarusian citizens protest presidential election, 2006

Colour Revolutions (2000s)

On 19 March 2006, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko won his third term in office. The citizens of Belarus, however, did not meet the announcement of Lukashenko’s 82.6% majority win with cheers. Rather, immediately after the Sunday election, oppositional forces organized by presidential candidates Alaksandar Kozulin and Alaksandar Milinkievič claimed that the Belarusian government had rigged the vote. Citizens came to a mass rally in October Square in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

Pakistani students, workers, and peasants bring down a dictator, 1968-1969


During the fall of 1968, Ayub Khan celebrated his tenth year as president of Pakistan. In honor of this anniversary, he declared his reign as the “Decade of Development,” an action that sparked an outbreak of protests against the state.

Much of Pakistan was already discontent with the Ayub regime. Following the 1965 war with India, Pakistan experienced a huge economic gap. The working classes faced the burden of this disparity.

Ecuadorian indigenous workers strike for higher wages in Cayambe, 1930-1931


Rural Ecuador had functioned under the huasipungo land-tenure system since the 16th century. The tenant farmers, called huasipungueros, were mainly of indigenous descent and worked 3 to 6 days a week on hacienda estates in the highlands, owned by absentee elite white families. In exchange for their labor, the laborers received a small plot of land for subsistence, access to pasture land for cattle, and a small cash wage. The indigenous farmers were highly attached to their land although their plots were still owned by the hacienda.

Ecuadorians oust President Gutiérrez (Rebellion of the Forajidos), 2005


Retired Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez won the 2002 presidential elections in Ecuador after emerging as a popular ally of the poor during the years following a 2000 coup d’etat. A series of decisions followed his becoming president that increased the country’s International Monetary Fund debt and approved exploitation of oil on indigenous land.

Maoris in New Zealand regain Bastion Point by occupying their land, 1977-1978


In Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand, there is a coastal piece of land that overlooks Waitemata Harbour called Takaparawhau in Māori and Bastion Point in English. Before the colonization of the land by the British Crown, it provided shelter, rich fishing and farming areas for the Ngāti Whātua people, a Māori iwi (tribe).

Yugoslav students occupy University of Belgrade for democracy and human rights, 1968


The League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) wanted to situate Yugoslavia in a balance between the Soviet dominated Eastern Europe and US dominated West. In order to ensure this global placement, Yugoslavians exercised an economic reform program during 1964-65. LCY utilized market mechanisms to overcome stagnation and stimulate economic growth, but employment and a growth in wage disparity ensued instead. Members of the Yugoslavian Student League as well as professors and editors of dissonant magazines established spaces for critique and set the stage for nonviolent

Kenyan Kamba tribe successfully resists colonial livestock control by the British, 1938


In the early 1900s livestock, often the currency of exchange, formed the foundation of the Kenyan Kamba tribe’s economy. A family’s herd size determined its wealth. As Britain colonized Kenya, this localized provisioning enabled the Kamba to remain relatively self-sufficient.

Chilean high school students strike, win education reform, "Penguin Revolution," 2006


In April of 2006 Chilean high school students had many complaints against the government and the way it ran the public school system. Chief among their concerns included bus fares and university exam fees. Over the previous few years, there had been isolated protests throughout the city, but none had gathered very much momentum. In 2006, however, in the first major social movement since “Chileans overthrow Pinochet regime,” the students took the general public by surprise.

Syndicate content