an example of regime change

REGIME CHANGE. The GNAD doesn't tag as "regime change" a situation where the president/ruler steps aside but continues to rule from behind the scenes, sometimes through the new head of state. It does, however, tag as regime change a situation where the ruler loses both the office and commanding power, even though the oligarchy that supported the ruler remains intact. People power brought down the dictators of El Salvador and Guatemala in 1944; in Guatemala a sufficient power shift occurred to open the way for democratic elections, while in El Salvador oligarchical influence entered the temporary power vacuum and set up a new dictator. Both, in the GNAD, are tagged as "regime change," the better to call attention to such comparisons for study and strategy.

South Koreans win mass campaign for democracy, 1986-87

Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s)

The massive South Korean nonviolent campaign against the tradition of authoritarian regimes happened only seven years after the notorious Kwangju Massacre of 1980—governmental mass violence that was intended to shut down completely the movements for social justice.

From 1980 to 1983 the government tried to “cleanse” the society of activists, purging or arresting thousands of public officials, politicians, professors, teachers, pastors, journalists, and students. Activists not arrested went quiet or continued their activities in low profile or secretive ways.

Sierra Leone citizens defend democracy, 1997-1998


Sierra Leone is a West African country of 6 million people. Now a constitutional democracy, dictators and one-party governments ruled for decades and the people endured periods of civil war.

In 1996 the country had its first multiparty elections and freely elected its first civilian government in 34 years. Hope soared. The following year, on May 25, a group of young military officers led a coup that overthrew the government. The new government called itself the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

Nepalese general strike to protest monarchic rule, 2006


The 2006 general strike in Nepal was part of a larger democracy movement in the country. Nepal has had a historically monarchal government dating back to the mid-eighteenth century. In the 1940’s, political opposition rose, critical of the enduring, often unstable, autocratic rule and calling for democratic reforms. In 1951, Nepal instated the Nepali Congress Party, dissolving some of the monarchic hegemony.

Kyrgyz citizens overthrow President Ayakev (Tulip Revolution), 2005

Colour Revolutions (2000s)

By 2005 President Askar Ayakev had ruled Kyrgyzstan for 15 years. In his first 10 years as president he had been generally popular and well liked; but due to concerns about increasing corruption within his government and his family, Ayakev’s popularity began to fall. Parliamentary elections in February and March 2005 secured a majority of seats for the pro-government politicians that supported Ayakev. During the first round of voting on February 27, many opposition politicians had been removed from the ballot or disqualified in some way. During the second round

Liberian women act to end civil war, 2003


In 2000, Liberia’s second civil war broke out. Liberian President Charles Taylor and his military forces, who had taken over Liberia in 1989 during the first civil war, experienced attacks from the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). LURD consisted of various anti-Taylor militant groups led by warlords who were not given a role in Taylor's government.

Indonesians overthrow President Suharto, 1998


“I have decided to quit as president.”- Indonesian President Suharto, 21st May 1998

These words echoed across Indonesia, as students who had been occupying parliament for the past three days fell to their knees; while others cheered around television sets watching their president, in power for the past thirty years, resign.

Grenadians seek greater political participation (The New Jewel Movement), 1973-1979


Grenada under the dictatorship of Eric Gairy suffered from economic deterioration and widespread corruption. In the face of domestic repression, support for the Left built strength during events leading up to the creation of the New Jewel Movement (NJM). In November 1970, 30 nurses staged a non-violent protest demonstration against poor working conditions at St. George’s General Hospital, their place of work. They were joined by youth groups, trade unions, and school children. Police responded by teargasing demonstrators and arresting 22 nurses.

Egyptians bring down dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, 2011

Arab Awakening (2011)

Beginning in 1981, Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt for over twenty-nine years. Though he ran for
presidential reelection several times, elections were marked by widespread
fraud, and opposing politicians were legally prohibited from running against
Mubarak until 2005. Virtually all key officials in government were from
Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP). Mubarak constructed a vast security
apparatus to control public dissent; in the 1990s, citizens would only whisper
his name for fear of reprisal. For his entire tenure as president, Egypt was in

Madagascar general strike in support of Marc Ravolomanana, 2002


Madagascar was officially proclaimed a colony of France in 1896, and gained independence in June 1960. For the first couple decades following independence, one-party rule and political turmoil, including violent and nonviolent struggle, characterized the country.

Acehnese struggle for self-determination, 1998-2001


For a half-century prior to the Acehnese campaign, the Indonesian government had ruled Aceh, located at the northwestern end of the island of Sumatra. The Acehnese suffered a high level of human rights abuses at the hands of the Indonesian government. From the 1950s until 1998, an Acehnese group resisted using violence. But in the late 1990’s, their resistance, led by student activists, took the form of nonviolence in a series of rallies, boycotts and strikes.

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