Author: Matt Meyer

Panthers, pacifists and the question of self-defense

by Matt Meyer. As we evaluate the successes and errors of past organizations in order to shape more effective movements today, it is vital to be careful and precise about what lessons remain relevant. Certain organizations, such as the Black Panthers, have amassed so much interest and subsequent mythology that it is often particularly difficult […]

The long shadow of 1968: preparing for a year of action

The title of Todd Gitlin’s new essay for The Nation—“Will Occupy Embrace Nonviolence?”—is enough to fill activists both young and old with worry. In addition to the fear that Gitlin may be providing simplistic prescriptions to the complicated contemporary movement, it is also true that Gitlin has some ahistorical blind spots regarding the false dichotomy […]

Africa’s eternal spring

George Lakey’s important article “What About the rest of Africa?” correctly chronicles impressive pro-democracy struggles across the African continent. Lakey spotlights the work of the Global Nonviolent Action Database, a vital resource working to list, describe, and track a comprehensive set of actions and movements. Lakey was right to point out that PRI reporter Lisa […]

Nonviolent Nigeria: the roots and routes of resistance

It is tough now to believe: Chidi Nwosu was murdered just a little over one year ago. He was hardly the first prominent Nigerian human rights leader to be assassinated, nor was he the last before the Occupy Nigeria movement of 2012 began taking to the streets, forming a new, nationwide emphasis on the need […]

Occupied Nigeria: nonviolence against neocolonialism

For too many expatriate Africans living in the West, the phrase Occupied Nigeria raises scary images of U.S. or NATO warships bearing down in AFRICOM-commando fashion, reestablishing Eurocentric hegemony over the worlds’ fifth largest supplier of crude oil. Before these early days of 2012, we had barely heard news of the spreading Occupy hashtag on […]