Small Acts of Resistance: Popular Movements and Democratic Change
An expert panel featuring author Steve Crawshaw
8pm Tuesday March 22, 2011
Non-members: 300 baht
As a groundswell of popular uprisings spreads across the Middle East, toppling dictatorial regimes and forcing autocratic rulers to reform in manner that the world has not been seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc in 1989, the idea that repressed citizens can uproot and dislodge the powers that be has been rekindled with enthusiastic fervour.
Many such movements start with small but symbolic actions. Some are game changing events, such as Mohamed Bouazizi’s immolation in Tunisia on December 17, 2010 which sparked protests that would eventually force President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to relinquish his 23-year rule of Africa’s northernmost state a month later. Others catalyse potent demonstrations of people power in the face of repression, as in September 2007 when Buddhist monks protesting the removal of fuel subsidies culminated in the so-called “Saffron Revolution”. More often, they play a smaller but incremental role in extending the power of civil society, such as in Sudan in 2009 when Lubna Hussein, a female journalist, sent the global media invitations to her public flogging, the sentence for being found guilty of indecent exposure for wearing trousers constituted. The resulting pressure resulted in the Sudanese government revoking the punishment.
Panellists will engage in a lively debate on the above issues and questions such as: What happens in the aftermath of such dramatic regime-changing events? At what stage can violence and armed force be justified? And how should one view more complex events such as the political situation Thailand?
- Steve Crawshaw
, former British journalist, co-author of Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World
and current international advocacy director for Amnesty International.
- Voranai Vanijaka
is a Bangkok Post columnist, Morning Focus pundit and political commentator who frequently tackles issues relating to Thailand's political turmoil and the need for younger generations to be a force for positive democratic change.
- other panellists to be confirmed
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Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
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