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Arab Uprisings, from Serbia

By Jose Neves     Mar 8, 2011 in World
The April 6 Youth Movement, the Facebook group that caused so many major events against the regime of Hosni Mubarak lead the Egyptian revolution. It was formed in part from the Otpor! movement that caused the collapse of the Yugoslav 2000 regime in 2000.
Otpor! trained activists and resistance fighters in most dictatorial regimes in the world. Their methods were used as "weapons" everywhere, from the Rose Revolution in Georgia [in 2003] to the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan [in 2005] and lately in the Arab uprisings.
Srdja Popovic, head of the CANVAS (Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, Centre for strategies and nonviolent action applied) to Belgrade, whose executives are seasoned veterans of the civil resistance movement Otpor.
We didn’t land there with the revolution in our suitcases. It is their
revolution. […] They risked their lives for their freedom and it’s 100%
their victory. That's it!
Srdja Popovic is a longtime specialist in civil disobedience and peaceful resistance. In 1998, at 25, he founded Otpor! with a dozen of his biology classmates. Milosevic had been in power for nearly ten years and was preparing to go into war with the Kosovo. In a restaurant in Belgrade university, They developed the rules of a new resistance movement , inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and the struggle against apartheid. But they give their movement a trendy image, attracting young people, even the apolitical ones.
Challenging and mocking the regime through whimsical actions and getting an increased attention from the media became their trademark. They confronted soldiers and policemen with flowers. Otpor! understood that Milosevic would fall by losing the blind support of the police and the army. These are the methods and the message that we now teach activists from other countries. […] In our classes, they are asked to identify the pillars of their regime. Then they are told, "Do not attack them, it would only lead to violence, rather try to put them on your side"; said Srdja Popovic.
From the beginning of the Egyptian uprising against Hosni Mubarak, members of the April 6 Movement were seen in the streets of Cairo and Tahrir Square brandishing the Otpor! Emblem, white fist on black.
Srdja Popovic said that it is the "people power" that is decisive. No revolution is unlike any other, but there is an arsenal of instruments that may be applied everywhere. "Each regime, including the most repressive can be overthrown by peaceful means, he ensures.
More about Arab, Regime change, arab uprisings, Otpor, non violence
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