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.

Haitians strike and overthrow a dictator, 1956


General Paul Eugène Magloire was elected President of Haiti in 1950 with ninety-nine percent of the vote in an army-monitored election and the official support of the army, church, elite, and American embassy behind him. He implemented a successful economic program and oversaw a period of the best economic growth in Haiti in a century, reforming the banking system, attracting foreign investment, fostering tourism, and instituting a Five Year Plan in 1951 to boost agricultural expenditures.

South Korean students force dictator to resign, new elections, 1960


In South Korea, President Rhee Syngman of the Liberal Party won the March 1960 election with 88.7% of the votes. This implausible result was the result of election fraud: the day of the election the Liberal Party had stuffed ballots, switched ballots, and removed opposition ballots. On the eve of balloting, the police had also fired upon a group of Democratic Party supporters, killing eight. South Koreans in the city of Masan protested against the fraudulent election.

Sunagawa farmers prevent expansion of Tachikawa Air Force Base, 1956-57


The Tachikawa Air Force Base (AFB) was a US airfield in western Tokyo. The US military and the Japanese government planned to use this airfield for transporting nuclear weapons. In order to accommodate for the larger aircraft needed to transport these weapons, the Tachikawa AFB needed to expand and lengthen the runway for longer landing and takeoff distances. However, that meant that the government would need to use the surrounding farmland for the expansion. The US military announced the plans for expansion in 1955.

Yemenis oust Saleh regime (Yemen Revolution), 2011-2012

Arab Awakening (2011)

In January 2011, in the wake of the Tunisian revolution and in the midst of the Egyptian revolution, Yemeni students and youth began a yearlong revolution to oust the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for the past thirty years. This revolution did not come without great cost. More than 2,000 people were killed (including protesters, military defectors and children) and more than 22,000 people were wounded.

Nepalese force king to accept democratic reform, 'Jana Andolan' (People's Movement), 1990

Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s)

Nepal is a small Himalayan country that borders China and India with a population of about 20 million and with a famous ethnic and religious diversity. Established as a monarchy in the mid-18th century, its form of government was hotly contested in 1972 with the death of King Mahendra and the accession of his son, Birenda. The king maintained power but promised a national referendum on the panchayat system of councils, which then allowed the king almost total autocratic control.

Peace Camps in Quebec and Manitoba to support the Mohawks in the “Oka Crisis”, Canada, 1990


In the summer of 1990, Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Canadians gathered at a “Peace Camp” in Oka, Quebec, Canada and a “Peace Village” in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada. Their goal was four-fold:

  1. To support the Mohawks of Kanehsatake and Kahnawake Quebec who were in a stand-off with the Canadian government and military

  2. To bring attention to issues of injustice towards Aboriginal people in Canada

Mexican students defend public education at UNAM, 1999


The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is the largest university in Latin America, with over 270,000 enrolled students. It is credited with educating a number of Mexican presidents as well as prominent Latin American academics. In 1999, students attending UNAM paid approximately $0.02 for semester tuition.

Operation Rescue activists resist abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas (Summer of Mercy), 1991


There are few issues in the United States as divisive and bitterly fought over as the issue of abortion. In 1973 United States Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade that the issue of abortion was one of privacy, a right covered by the Constitutional right to privacy. After the ruling was handed down there was a firestorm of anti-abortion furor, with numerous death threats issued against Justice Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion piece.

U.S. officials nonviolently intervene in South Korea to protect leading dissident Kim Dae Jung, 1985

Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s)

South Korea experienced political turmoil in the decades following the Korean War under the rule of several autocratic leaders who severely limited political freedom in society. As S. Korea was a crucial ally against the expansion of communism, the U.S. government was wary of being openly critical of the corrupt S. Korean government. However, the U.S. no longer could ignore the violation of human rights in South Korea when Kim Dae Jung, a leading pro-democracy dissident, sought U.S. assistance in his return from exile to Korea in 1985.

Freedom Summer campaign for African American voting rights in Mississippi, 1964

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

By 1964, a handful of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) field workers had endured three years of continued repression as they challenged Mississippi’s racial discrimination. Only 6.7% of black Mississippians were registered to vote in 1962, the lowest percent in the country. In 1963 SNCC’s Mississippi operation was facing a stalemate. Since arriving in 1961 they had few concrete victories to show for their hard and dangerous work in the state. They had gotten few people to attempt to register, and even fewer were successful.

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