At every moment, and in all parts of the world, nonviolent actions in the service of social, economic, political and legal causes are arising. Following are snapshots of five collective, nonviolent actions that occurred over the world in the past week. In places as diverse as Syria and Scotland, and as unexpected as Saudi Arabia, individuals are coming together to explore and realise the potential power of collective, nonviolent action. Some examples are ingenious, all are inspiring.

Saudi women stage a rare university demonstration

On Sunday August 2nd hundreds of Saudi women students held a rare protest at a Riyadh university over alleged corrupt admission policies. The protest occurred after students were turned away on admissions day at Ta’if University, south of the holy city of Mecca. Female security guards clashed with the students and female guardians as they staged a sit-in and blocked streets and the entrance to the university. Further details are available at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2009/August/middleeast_August68.xml&section=middleeast&col

Sit-in protest by physically disabled people in New Delhi

On Monday August 3rd hundreds of physically disabled people staged a sit-in protest in New Delhi over the non-inclusion of people with disabilities in the Right to Education bill, which was presented in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Activists of the NGO ‘Disabled Rights Group’ said that the bill excludes more than 20 million children who are specially-abled. They added that the government, when talking about the right to education, cannot forget that these children need special provisions and infrastructure. A short video of the demonstration can be viewed at:

http://videosfromindia.smashits.com/view/8876/right-to-education-bill-evokes-protest-in-new-delhi

In Jerusalem, evicted Palestinians stage sit-in

Two Palestinian families who have been forced to leave their homes in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) have staged a sit-in protest. Israeli troops evicted the families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and moved Jewish settlers to their buildings on Sunday. The move drew condemnation from the US, the UN and rights groups. The two families are sitting in front of their homes in the neighborhood in protest at the evictions. For further details:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=102447&sectionid=351020202

Cyber-activism spreads in Syria

Increasing internet use in Syria has allowed young people to circumvent restrictions on forming pressure groups, despite official action to rein them in. The country’s private mobile phone operators, Syriatel and MTN, have been one recent target. Three months ago, Hassan al-Zarki and four of his friends launched a campaign to press for cheaper calls. The group quickly managed to gather 5,630 electronic signatures for a petition about the cost of calls – between 9 and 13 US cents per minute. To back the crusade, they urged supporters not to use their phones for two hours on the first day of each month. For more information on this fascinating development:

http://www.iwpr.net/?p=syr&s=f&o=354980&apc_state=henh

Climate activists set up week long protest in central Scotland

Environmental campaigners are set to stage a number of protests across central Scotland, which could cause disruption to the coal industry. Hundreds of campaigners were sent a text message last night calling on them to gather at Mainshill Wood, near Douglas in South Lanarkshire, from today (3 August) until 10 August. They will be joining a number of local activists, who have created the Mainshill Solidarity Camp in protest against Scottish Coal’s plans for an open-cast mine in the area. Organised under the name Camp for Climate Action Scotland (CCAS), the campaigners intend to use the week to stage a number of acts of civil disobedience. For further details:

http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Climate-activists-set-up-weeklong.5516655.jp

Whilst this newsletter will be dedicated to delivering thought-provoking and up-to-date information on exciting developments in nonviolent resistance throughout the globe, interested readers should also consider bookmarking http://wagingnonviolence.org (the source of a few of the stories listed above) as an excellent source of current information.

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