Excerpt from “The Factors that Determine What Makes a Revolution Violent or Nonviolent”

Excerpt from “The Factors that Determine What Makes a Revolution Violent or Nonviolent”

What is a Revolution?

A revolution is described as a distinct form of change, whether it be social or political and takes place within a brief time span. Many elements are involved in defining a revolution and are debated by many theorists. For the purpose of this paper, a revolution is defined as a fundamental change in the social and political structure of a current government and/or society that takes immediate effect within political, societal and economic structures. A mere exchanging of politicians or political parties is not sufficient to be considered a revolution, but rather a complete overhaul of politicians, laws, regulations, economic rationalization and societal stipulations must take place. A revolution must affect all parts of society inclusively, including the youth, children, adults, elderly, men and women. It must not exclude race, sexuality, religion or any other minority part of society.

There are many methodologies that explore how revolutions begin, are executed and structured.  There are micro and macro revolutions, as well as political, societal and socioeconomic revolutions, as well. Also taken into consideration is whether a revolution is sparked by internal or external sources.

Social Movements
“A social movement can be defined as a persistent and organized effort on the part of a relatively large number of people either to bring about or resist to social change.”  Although few social movements fit into the categories of being either a “change-resistant conservative revolution” or a “change-oriented liberal revolution,” benefits arise in understanding the goals and motives of such movements. Furthermore, reducing a category to being either revolutionary based or reform based. A reform movement is oriented around changing existing policies, whereas revolutionaries seek the complete upheaval and replacement of the system at hand. Within the scope of revolutionaries, there are further categories of Rightest revolutionaries and Leftist revolutionaries. Rightist revolutionaries seek a return to “traditional” values and institutions, preferring to put aside social equality in favour for social order “through institutional change,” whereas, the Leftist revolutionaries’ goal is to:

…change major social and political institutions in order to alter the dominant economic, social, or political relationships within a society. Usually involved is a redistribution of valuable resources between the rich and the poor, with more equal access to educational opportunities, medical services, higher wage levels, or in the case of a predominantly agricultural society, land, a stated goal.

Although sociologists attempt to categorize social movements, social movements have the ability to be rooted in a combination of conservative and liberal change, just as revolutions can be not completely liberal or completely conservative, but have a mixture of characteristics.

What Causes Revolutions?

Revolutionary movements develop for a number of reasons, differing from country-to-country and society-to-society. Below is a list of elements in no specific order of essential factors in the development of revolutions:

  1. Mass frustration resulting in popular uprisings among urban or rural populations: A large proportion of a society’s population becomes extremely discontented, which leads to mass-participation protests and rebellions against state authority. In technologically limited agricultural societies, the occurrence of rural (peasant) rebellion or at least rural support for revolution has often been essential (Foran 2005, 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  2. Dissident elite political movements: Divisions among elites (groups that have access to wealth or power of various types or are highly educated and possess important technical or managerial skills) pit some elite members against the existing government (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  3. Unifying motivations: The existence of powerful motivations for revolution that cut across major classes and unify the majority of a society’s population behind the goal of a revolution (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldstone 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  4. A severe political crisis paralyzing the administrative and coercive capabilities of the state: A state crisis occurs in the nation experiencing or about to experience development of a revolutionary movement. The crisis, which may be caused by a catastrophic defeat in war, a natural disaster, an economic depression or the withdrawal of critical economic or military support from other nations, or by any combination of these factors, may deplete the state of loyal personnel, legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and other resources. The state then becomes incapable of carrying out its normal functions and cannot cope effectively with an opposition revolutionary movement (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  5. A permissive or tolerant world context: The governments of other nations do not intervene effectively to prevent a revolutionary movement from developing and succeeding in a given nation (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 2001a).

                  Milestones of a Revolution

Once these factors are in place, a revolution has the ability to blossom and take place. Although in the event, a revolution lacks any of these factors, a revolution is more prone to failure.  A revolution’s success is not only measured in the overthrowing of a power, but also in the construction of a new social/political/economic order.

Once a revolution begins to take place evident progress occurs in a series:

  1. A society’s intellectuals, most of whom in the past normally supported the existing regime, turn against it;
  2. The old regime tries to save itself from revolution by attempting reforms that ultimately fail to protect the old order;
  3. The revolutionary alliance that eventually takes power from the old government is soon characterized by internal conflicts;
  4. At first, the post-revolutionary government is moderate;
  5. Disappointment with the failure of moderate revolutionaries to fulfil expectations leads to more radical revolutionaries gaining control;
  6. The radicals take more extreme actions to fulfil revolutionary aims, including the use of coercive methods against those whom they perceive resist or threaten the fulfilment of revolutionary goals;
  7. Eventually, more pragmatic moderate revolutionaries replace the radicals.

Revolutions have the ability to divide a group of people in two- the first being those who oppose the old order and those who prefer to side with the old order; something being experienced in Libya today and to a much less degree in Egypt. “Needless to say, if the structural change is a slow one, an evolution, then there will be sufficient time to adjust and absorb so that the changes will become less threatening.”

Revolutions can be sub-categorized into internal revolutions and external revolutions:

The external revolution may be successful or not, accompanied by a regular war or not, but the goal is usually clear: autonomy in decision-making. Precisely because that goal is so clear, such a national revolution is often not accompanied by any social revolution. Instead, it becomes an achievement in its own right.

The internal revolution is a social revolution and a much more complex phenomenon involving a change not only in the structure relating the country to the outside but also in the internal structure. It is difficult to see how this can be brought about without some positively formulated goal, some relatively clear-cut idea of the alternative to domination is freedom from domination; for the internal revolution the matter is more open-ended and more complex. Since it is more complex it is often simplified, and one mechanism of simplification is to see an automatic link between the two types: if only the external revolution can be achieved the internal revolution will come almost by itself.

Armed Conflict

“Between 1900 and 1999, the world produced about 250 new wars, internal or civil, in which battle deaths averaged at least two-thousand per year… Those wars caused about a million deaths per year.”  Here, Tilly indicates the great influence of armed conflict on battle deaths, but what is an armed conflict or an internal war?

“Conflict” can be defined as the state of relations experienced when two or more parties have mutually exclusive goals… Internal wars involve violent conflict, but they may fall short of the levels of violence that we typically associate with wars. Included in this category are the following: coups d’etat, whereby one elite seeks to replace another elite element in the government; revolutions, which are mass movements aimed at removing the government;  and insurrections.”

Although there is no clear and universal definition of the criteria of what constitutes a war, Keith Krause, an expert in Human Security in World Politics describes the main characteristic differentiating a war from an armed conflict is that wars occur between nations and armed conflicts occur within nations.

In similar fashion, the definition of nonviolence is also debated, but in contrast, Kurt Schock describes eighteen misconceptions of nonviolence in attempt to define what violence is.

  1. Nonviolent action is not inaction (although it may involve the refusal to carry out an action that is expected, that is, an act of omission), it is not submissiveness, it is not the avoidance of conflict, and it is not passive resistance… The term passive resistance is a misnomer when used to describe a non-violent action. There is nothing passive or evasive about nonviolent resistance, as it is an active and overt means for prosecuting conflicts with opponents…
  2. Not everything that is not violent is considered nonviolent action. Nonviolent action refers to specific actions that involve risk and invoke non-violent pressure or nonviolent coercion in contentious interactions between opposing groups.
  3. Nonviolent action is not limited to state-sanctioned political activities. Nonviolent action may be legal or illegal. Civil disobedience, that is, the open and deliberate violation of the law for a collective social or political purpose, is a fundamental type of nonviolent action.
  4. Nonviolent action is not composed of regular or institutionalized techniques of political action such as litigation, letter writing, lobbying, voting, or the passage of laws… nonviolent action is context specific. Displaying anti-regime posters in democracies would be considered a low-risk and regular form of political action, whereas the same activity in nondemocracies would be considered irregular, would involve a substantial amount of risk, and would, therefore, be considered a method of nonviolent action…
  5. Nonviolent action is not a form of negotiation or compromise… and should be distinguished from means of conflict resolution.
  6. Nonviolent action does not depend on moral authority, the “mobilization of shame,” or the coercion of the views of the opponent in order to promote political change…
  7. Those who implement nonviolent action do not assume that the state will not react with violence…
  8. The view that suffering is central to nonviolent resistance is based on the misguided assumption that nonviolent action is passive resistance and that nonviolent action is intended to produce change through the conversion of the oppressor’s views (Martin 1997)…
  9. Nonviolent action is not a method of contention that is used only as a last resort when the means of violence are unavailable…
  10. Nonviolent action is not a method of the “middle class” or a “bourgeois” approach to political contention. Nonviolent action can be and has been implemented by groups from any and all classes and castes, from slaves to members of the upper class (McCarthy and Kruefler 1993)…
  11. The use of nonviolent action is not limited to the pursuit of “moderate” or “reformist” goals. It may also be implemented in the pursuit of “radical” goals.
  12. While nonviolent action by its very nature requires patience, it is not inherently slow in producing political change compared to violent action (Shepard 2002)…
  13. The occurrence of nonviolent action is not structurally determined. While there are empirical relationships in geographically and temporally bound places and time periods between the political context and the use of a given strategy for responding to grievances.
  14. The effectiveness of nonviolent action is not a function of the ideology of the oppressors…
  15. Similarly, the effectiveness of nonviolent action is not a function of the repressiveness of the oppressors…
  16. The mass mobilization of people into campaigns of nonviolent action in nondemocracies does not depend on coercion.
  17. Participation in campaigns of nonviolent action does not require that activists hold any sort of ideological, religious, or metaphorical beliefs…
  18. Similarly, those who implement nonviolent action do not have to be aware that they are implementing a particular class of methods…

                    Demographics

The Middle East and North Africa region has been the site of early civilizations and empire expansionism for centuries. This, involved migrations of people and as empires fell or new civilizations started, minority populations—those left behind by previous empires remained and became engulfed in their new surrounding societies. We would now categorize these areas as Arab nations. There are many ethnic minority groups in the MENA, some of which had been living in the region before the emergence of Islam.  According to the Islamic Human Rights Council, as of 1990, there were approximately thirty million minorities living in Arab nations out of the 220 million overall populations. As of recent statistics, there are more than 340 million Arabs in the MENA region, this number, however, includes the many ethnic minorities that do exist in the area, including the Kurds, Armenians, Aramaeans, Chaldeans, Turkmens, Cherkess, Turks, Zangians, Nubians, Berbers, Banyans, Haratins, Gnawas, Tauregs, Chechens, Romanis, Ajamis, Moors and Assyrians.

Bahrain being one of the more prominent nations in the news concerning the Arab Spring is home to the Ajamis and Banyans. The Kurdish population is very much concentrated in the regions of Iraq and Syria, whereas the Armenian population extends out into Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. It is estimated that      15-20% of the Iraqi population is Kurdish and 5% are Turkmen, with sizeable populations of Cherkess, Armenians and Chechens. Lebanon and Jordan’s non-Arab population is estimated to be around 5%, respectively. Kuwait’s expatriate community makes up slightly less than half of the total Kuwaiti population, which played a major role in the protests that erupted in Kuwait. Aramaeans and Chaldeans are estimated to account for more than 100,000 citizens of the Arab population. Many Moroccans, Algerians and Libyans are of Berber descent and genetic testing in Morocco further supports the theory made by Berberists that despite the conquest of North Africa by Arab nations and the predominance of the Arabic language, the population remains ethnically Berber.

Sources:

Johan Galtung,  A Structural Theory of Revolutions. (Rotterdam UP, 1974), Introduction.

Galtung, Op. Cit. 19.

James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements. (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2007), 9.

Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003), 55.

Rye Schwartz-Barcott and Carolyn W. Pumphrey, Armed Conflict in Africa. (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003), 4.

Keithe Krause, “Human Security in World Politics. ”Human Security in World Politics Lecture Notes”, (The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland 2011) accessed 20 June 2011.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, “IHRC – Minorities in the Arab World”, Islamic Human Rights Commission [web document] (27 January 2004) <http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=989>, accessed 17 July 2011.

CIA World Factbook, “Bahrain”, CIA World Factbook [web page] (2007) <Cia.gov>, Accessed 17 July 2011.

Human Rights Watch, “Syria”, Human Rights Watch [web page] (1996) <http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1996/Syria.htm&gt;,  Accessed 17 July 2011.

Armenian Diaspora, “Armenian Population in the World”, [web page] News from Armenia, Events in Armenia, Travel and Entertainment. <http://www.armeniadiaspora.com/population.html>, 17 July 2011.

CIA World Factbook, Op. Cit. Iraq.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Jordan.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Lebanon.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Kuwait.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, Loc. Cit.

BBC News, “Africa | Q&A: The Berbers.” BBC News, 12 Mar. 2004, 23, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3509799.stm&gt;, accessed 17 July 2011.

N. Harich, et al., Classical Polymorphisms in Berbers from Moyen Atlas (Morocco): Genetics, Geography, and Historical Evidence in the Mediterranean Peoples. (Annals of Human Biology 29.5, 2002) 473-87.

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How are rights defined?

Those of us who live in the mostly freest of countries get quite uppity when we feel that someone has violated our rights. Of course, very few understand where rights come from. This is true of all political persuasions. And most politicians are more interested in obliterating rights than protecting them.

In too many countries rights are not a problem because the people have very few rights at all. Why do they have so few rights compared to people fortunate enough to have been born in countries that have many rights?

How did one country in history create itself with so many rights? What did the founders of that country know so well that has been almost completely forgotten by their descendents of today?

There are so many kinds of rights that have been defined, so many categories. Are some really more important than others? How can we find an objective basis for rights when there are so many different rights to consider?

The Quest for an Objective Basis for Rights

There are so many claims about rights that confusion and conflict are inevitable. Is there some way to determine an objective basis for rights so that most philosophers can decide which rights truly are important and resolve some of the conflicts all over the world?

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Today is International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

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Human Rights Newsletter

mazin@qumsiyeh.org

Gratitude blog available here where you can leave comments

http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2016/02/grateful.html

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming

gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

I am so grateful for all that is happening in resistance to the incredible

odds and repression practiced by the elites in power. While some may get

activism or compassion “fatigue” , there are literally millions of people

deciding to leave their apathy behind and put their hands with other people

to work.  Our tiny little small part of the world (Palestine now an

apartheid sate called a “Jewish state”) has become a major center of global

activism. This centrality can be due to many factors:

1.Religious centrality to three main religions, one of which was hijacked

for political purposes locally in the past (Christianity –> Crusaderism),

the other hijacked in the past 150 years and is still strongly hijacked

(Judaism –>Zionism) and the other more recently and in nearby areas

beginning to be hijacked (Islam –> Isis and Wahhabism).

2. Nowhere else on earth is Western government hypocrisy more evident than

in Palestine. While the western leaders speak of democracy and human

rights, they support an apartheid racist “Jewish state” that engaged and

engages in racism, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing

(so far 7 million of us Palestinians are refugees or displaced people).

Thus, this is the Achilles heel of Western propaganda.

3. The 12 million Palestinians in the world, most refugees and others

squeezed into bantustans have been remarkably peaceful and tolerant and had

a long history of popular resistance for the past 130 years that provided a

stellar example to the world (see my 2012 book “Popular Resistance in

Palestine: A history of hope and empowerment”).

4. Israeli citizens and the global community are increasingly joining hands

with us to demand justice as the only road to peace.

5. More and more people realize that peace in the “Middle East” (Western

Asia) and around the world is dependent on peace for Palestine. Zionism

with its (sometimes dominant, sometimes subservient) twin US imperialism

are and have been most destructive forces in causing global conflict.

But what really gives us optimism daily are the people we interact with.

Students at the universities who see the importance of knowledge (power)

and come to school with enthusiasm even in the face of suppression of their

movement. Farmers that work hard in their fields even as land and water are

being taken from them by the occupiers. Unarmed young demonstrators showing

bravery in challenging the heavily armed Israeli forces (who occasionally

murder them). Thousands of political prisoners and “administrative

detainees” who resist the prisoners (one on hunger strike is close to

death). Activists who sometimes sacrifice comforts to be with us.

Organizers of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities around the

world who refuse to be silenced by illegal measures their governments try

to impose on them to suppress free speech. Volunteers at our activities

from refugee camp youth centers like Al-Rowwad to our Institute of

Biodiversity and Sustainability (http://www.palestinenature.org/about-us/ ).

Sometimes small actions make us retain our sanity and gives joy and meaning

to our lives. Just this past week:

– A small village of Izbet al-Tabib managed to gather 300 demonstrators

protesting the illegal confiscation of land and resources to serve settlers.

-We saved a cattle egret (bird with long legs and beak from the heron

group) which had been shot and with a macerated wing. We did an operation

that saved its life (unfortunately the wing had to be amputated).

-We released a fox that was drowning in a water treatment pool in the

Bethlehem garbage dump site.

– My tourism class did an exercise to help in a local tourism promotion

project.

-We noted several species of butterflies in our botanic garden already and

the flowers of rare orchids and even the Star of Bethlehem

-We had our first class in biodiversity for the new master program in

environmental biology at Birzeit University.

-We received dozens of visitors to our facilities and added to our very

large network of friends (now tens of thousands)

-We submitted two small grant proposals (we hope to start to do major

fundraising soon for our museum, botanical garden, and institute of

biodiversity and sustainability)

-Our aquaponic system is doing great and we expect our first harvest next

week (lettuce)

– We said goodbye to some volunteers and we welcomed others who helped us

build this institution.

We expect to receive more volunteers next week including a professor from

Jordan and an aquaponics researcher from Switzerland and at least 10

students from Bethlehem University doing their community service. We are so

grateful for all the above and we welcome volunteers and supporters with

all backgrounds and skills. We are guided by love and respect (to

ourselves, to others, then to nature). We are strengthened amid all the

suffering (here in Gaza, in Syria, in Yemen etc) by human connections and

by caring for each other.

Israeli soldiers beat detained Palestinian teenaged boys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzw2D5iL0bg

Palestinian Teacher Among World’s Top 10

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/palestinian-teacher-among-worlds-top-10/

Reconstruction Of Gaza: Zero Buildings, Massive Profit

http://www.whoprofits.org/content/reconstruction-gaza-zero-buildings-massive-profit

Should Jews Have To Pay Reparations for Slavery? Richard Kreitner

http://forward.com/culture/213776/should-jews-have-to-pay-reparations-for-slavery/

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have

roses.” Alphonse Karr

Stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Professor and (Volunteer) Director

Palestine Museum of Natural History

Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability

Bethlehem University

Occupied Palestine

http://qumsiyeh.org

http://palestinenature.org

There is nothing casual about civilian casualties

Are you a Daily Mail reader? I won’t lie, I usually read the Daily Mail for a laugh. Some of these stories they come up with… they’re just interesting and chuckle-worthy to say the least. I do, however, know that I should never read an article concerning a serious matter on the Daily Mail website. But alas, I torture myself every time and even worse, I always scroll down to the comments section to read the vile things people feel so confidently typing, but rarely say in person.

Some of the worst things I’ve read include:

Comments about how “Real” refugees shouldn’t have phones- Many refugees are fleeing war. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have possessions. Cell phones are no longer a first world standard. Get over it because I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of refugees don’t have these fancy contracts and money to spend speaking hours on the phone.

Comments about how “real” refugees shouldn’t be allowed to wear makeup- First of all, I saw the video this ignoramus was commenting on and the woman did not have makeup up. She was and is naturally gorgeous. Perfect contours, skin and thick eyebrows. She’s prettier than all of us put together. That comment was pure jealousy. Plus, considering everything these refugees have been through, so what if she gets to put on a tiny bit of makeup. She deserves to feel beautiful and like her normal self after the torment of fleeing her country and home.

Comments about how refugees are only in it for the benefits- You know what benefit they really want. The benefit of life!!! I can’t entertain that nonsense.

Comments about how Syrians should fight for their country- This is the silliest comment of all. Syrians have been fighting for their country for years. They’re not only fighting against ISIS, you know. They’re fighting against the Assad regime and the US and Russia and the whole list of countries that have been striking Syria. What weapons do these innocent civilians have that they can use against a whole world? The numbers don’t add up. The worst part is so many refugees are children. Do we really expect children to fight? Because if we allowed that the Daily Mail commenters would comment about how child soldiers are wrong.

Comments about how refugees desire to continue their education makes them economic migrants and not refugees- You realize that these people have had their entire lives come to a complete halt. They’ve literally been sitting around starving and waiting to die. A whole generation of young Syrians is growing up illiterate and unable to do basic math or know much about anything other than war. These refugees aren’t coming over just so they can take advantage of university education. No, if they could have stayed in Syria and continued their education they would have. But there are no teachers left in schools in Syria because there are no schools left. The schools that are left get used as shelters and makeshift community centers.

Comments about how “we” should bomb “them all”- That is an incitement of terror and makes you complicit in murder. Just putting that out there, you horrible human being. I have no problem with seeing ISIS and Assad terrorist thugs get blasted off this earth, however the legal thing to do would be to capture them and try them in a court of international law, in which they would be found guilty and live a long and tortuous life in maximum security prisons. But there is nothing casual about bombing an entire city, killing innocent civilians and calling them casualties.

Comments about how everyone in Raqaa is an ISIS terrorist and that if they weren’t they would have left- Yes, Raqaa is an ISIS headquarter. Yes, ISIS controls the city, but is everyone there a supporter of ISIS, no? But to openly oppose it would leave you dead or tortured. Why don’t people leave? They don’t have the money. Sure smugglers could get you out, but where would you go? The smugglers will take all your money, risk your life and leave you penniless on a raft in the Mediterranean or in the desert on the way to a desolate refugee camp or in some other destroyed part of Syria.

Comments judging refugees for being separated from their families- Seriously? Is this the Olympic category for most vile comment made? Because if it is, you win. People get separated from their families in all sorts of ways that most people would find inconceivable. But it happens all the time. Talk to anyone whose family has been through a war or some sort of catastrophe: I can guarantee you that a majority of people will tell you they have at least one family member that ended up alone or separated from the rest.

Comments about how refugees have “such nice tents”- This dude commented on how her tent was so nice that she couldn’t possibly be a “real” refugee and that she probably has all this money stashed away. How deep in the dirt is your head exactly? Much of this type of supplies has been provided by aid workers, charity organizations and normal human people with hearts that donated much needed goods, such as tents. Do you want to live on a tent on a street corner when it’s raining and cold? No, especially since winter is nearing. You’re just a horrible person for thinking this

Comments stating the run of the mill stereotypes- The long list of racial slurs, insults, and stereotypes that I won’t humor by listing. You know the type orientalist rubbish that is slanderous, libel, disgusting and horrible filth, but Facebook won’t take it down because they’re too worked up taking pictures down of women’s bodies.

 

My conclusions: Firstly, humans are awful. I don’t know how people can be awful. I doubt most of these hateful commenters could handle  day in the life of a refugee. If you really think “we don’t owe them anything,” then you clearly have no idea how complicit our governments are in making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world, the situation that they are in today.

Secondly, we haven’t learned from history one bit. These comments– ugh just look at some of the things people said during WWII about refugees. Please and compare those comments to now.

And lastly, I can’t be the only one who sees comparison in 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq with the Paris Attacks and the subsequent bombing of Raqaa.

Civilians, particularly children are innocent and pay the highest toll in wartime situations. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know what the answers to terrorism, racism, discrimination and bigotry are. Offhand I would say education, but we all know the world isn’t that simple.

All I want is for people to think for 30 seconds before they type these horrible comments. I pray your ignorant minds become enlightened with knowledge, wisdom and empathy.

 

Donate a Rescue Package to Victims of Sex Trafficking

You can donate a $40 rescue package at http://www.savinginnocence.org/product-category/rescue-packages/

Get Involved

Saving Innocence is comprised of volunteers and staff across the nation who work day and night to bring restoration and freedom to children caught in sex trafficking. Here are some ways that you can join the fight: Donate items, volunteer, throw a fundraising or awareness party, or become a financial partner in our work.

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Join the Team

You can be a valuable part of our rescue initiative! When we receive a call that a girl has been brought in, she is often scantily clad and shivering in the air-conditioned interview rooms of the police station. We have found that if we can help her feel physically comfortable and safe, not only will we be providing her with the treatment she deserves, but she will also be more open and willing to share information with the police. This simple act of making the victim as comfortable as possible has lead to the police getting valuable information from the victim against her pimp and traffickers. To make this possible, we are always in need of donations of the following items: NEW Sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, blankets, underwear, bras, and hygiene supplies (tampons, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, hair brush, and hair ties). Please send donated items to PO Box 93037, Los Angeles, CA 90093 or contact volunteer@savinginnocence.org for more information.

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Internship and Volunteer opportunities for current students, recent graduates and seasoned professionals are available at Saving Innocence year-round. If you are interested in becoming an SI Intern, please email amber@savinginnocence.org. If you are interested in volunteering with SI please email amber@savinginnocence.org. We are currently looking for interns and volunteers with the following skills:

Graphic Designer Works on print and web graphics, logos, and every other project we throw their way.
Web Designer Keeps our website looking good and up to date. Also able to create additional web pages when necessary for events, ticket sales, etc.
Creative Arts Assistant Keeps the weekly Creative Arts program running smoothly by assisting our Creative Arts Coordinator. Runs program multiple Saturdays per month and helps assemble and manage Creative Arts volunteers.
Relationship Strategist Develops and helps maintain relationships with various local businesses and organizations.
Film Has the ability to create and edit videos.
Public Relations Responsible for anything from media relations, press releases, special event coordination and strategic counsel (brand message development, etc).
Brand Ambassador Makes sure that our work, campaigns, etc, embodies the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics of Saving Innocence.
Grant Writers Professional grant writers who are willing to work pro-bono.
Awareness and Fundraising Team Helps develop financial partnerships within various communities and businesses.
Student Ambassador’s Starts groups on their campus that represent the work of Saving Innocence. Hosts fundraising and awareness events at their school and gets student body as well as professors involved with the anti-trafficking movement.

Content has been copy and pasted from the Saving Innocence Website. No copywrite/plagiarism intended. The entire purpose of this post was to bring awareness to the cause at hand. Full rights of this content goes to and can be further researched at: http://www.savinginnocence.org/take-action/get-involved/

Conflict Analyst Job posted by: International Rescue Committee Posted on: August 18, 2015

Job description

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, IRC offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in more than 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted by conflict or disaster. IRC leads the way from harm to home.

CONTEXTUAL BACKGROUND

The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.

IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. With an annual budget in excess of $140 million and a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1,250 staff in the region, IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, NFI and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.

POSITION SUMMARY

Based in Amman as a member of the Public Affairs team, the Conflict Analyst will provide comprehensive analytical support and advice to IRC in the Syria Response Region (SRR). Reporting to the Director of Public Affairs, the role will examine the impact of political, security and military developments on Syria’s displaced and conflict-affected populations and on programmatic, operational and strategic decision-making by IRC. By producing analysis, briefing notes, policy options and presentations to decision-makers within IRC, this position will enhance the effectiveness of IRC’s programs, advocacy and operations undertaken to assist Syrians affected by the conflict in their country.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Monitor and assess prevailing trends in the political, security and socio-economic situation in Syria and surrounding region, identify and evaluate implications for IRC’s programs, operational posture and risk management strategies, and produce actionable policy briefs for IRC leadership.
  • Integrate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to produce comprehensive analyses to guide IRC decision-making.
  • Coordinate with the Regional Director, Syria Response Director, SRR Country Directors and Whole of Syria Health Co-Lead to ensure analysis is guided by programmatic demands and therefore value-added and impactful.
  • Prepare briefing notes and customized presentations to inform and advise IRC decision-makers in navigating the complex environments within which they work.
  • Assist country programs to map and understand shifting operating contexts for the purpose of adapting programs to keep them optimally responsive.
  • Contribute to new initiatives, including expanding regional programs and exploring regional fundraising avenues, devised to enhance IRC’s strategy, position and effectiveness in the region.
  • Identify, consolidate and maintain a network of contacts from other INGOs, INSO, ICRC and Red Cross/Crescent movement, UN agencies (including WoS coordination mechanisms, OCHA’s Information Management unit, Needs, Response and Gaps (NRG) and other coordination infrastructure), think-tanks, analytical networks inside and outside the Middle East, as well as Syrian analysts and community-based organizations.
  • Gather and collate existing “4Ws” data on the broad range of humanitarian actors in Syria, including those listed above.
  • Cross-check, update and expand IRC’s context knowledge base through key informant interviews and participant observation (e.g. in coordination meetings). Track and analyze instances of program contraction, relocation, withdrawal, or expansion, depending on security changes or other external access factors, and identify trends and anticipate triggers of follow-on events.
  • Gather information and perspectives on humanitarian presence, coverage and effectiveness from recently-arrived refugees, representatives of diaspora organizations, and remote interviews with people inside Syria.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: None.

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS

IRC and IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Graduate degree in Government, Political Science, International Relations, Strategic Studies, or related discipline.
  • At least 5 years of directly relevant professional experience, at least two of which overseas.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a diverse range of colleagues in IRC and externally to build trust that sensitive information will be handled with discretion.
  • Superb English-language oral and written reporting skills. Demonstrated ability to write and edit documents on deadline and of highest quality.
  • A demonstrated keen understanding of political complexities in the Middle East.
  • Excellent networking, interpersonal, communication, relationship-building and negotiation skills.
  • Proven ability to persuade and influence colleagues not under supervisory authority.
  • Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, delivering high-quality products.
  • Culturally sensitive – able and interested in working with a multi-ethnic team.
  • Strong commitment to the IRC’s mission, purpose and values.
  • Fluency in English is essential; Arabic language preferred.
  • Must be willing and able to travel frequently within the region.

Other Information: Amman is currently not assessed as a high-risk environment and remains generally a safe city as long as IRC security protocols are observed. The post is fully accompanied and housing will be provided according to IRC housing policy. Travel at approximately 30% is anticipated.

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How to apply

Please follow this link to apply: Click Here

Location

Amman, Muḩāfaz̧at `Ammān, Jordan

Details

Start date
August 18, 2015
Application deadline
October 17, 2015
Education requirements
Languages needed
Employment type
Full time
Professional level
Professional
Salary details
Negotiable
Job function
Owner’s areas of focus

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Syrian Crisis

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release

 FACT SHEET

March 31, 2015

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Syrian Crisis

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced today at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait that the United States will provide nearly $508 million in additional life-saving assistance to benefit those affected by the war in Syria. This is the largest announcement of funding the United States has made for this humanitarian crisis, which demonstrates the unprecedented magnitude of suffering and urgent needs.

This new funding brings the total U.S. contribution to assist those affected by the conflict in Syria since its start in 2011 to nearly $3.7 billion. The funding will support the activities of both international and non-governmental organizations, including United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Program (WFP), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It will provide food, water, medical care, shelter, protection, and other necessities to millions of civilians suffering inside Syria and nearly 4 million refugees from Syria in the region. It will also provide assistance to host governments and communities throughout the region that are struggling to cope with the strain of supporting them. The announcement comes after the United States provided more than $1.5 billion to those affected by the conflict in fiscal year 2014, the largest amount of assistance the United States has ever provided to a single crisis in one year.

The new funding comes in response to the $8.4 billion United Nations 2015 appeals for Syria and the region, its largest set of appeals to date.  Behind the numbing statistics are humans whose lives are at stake: the refugee boy who is forced to leave school to support his family by begging on the streets, the widow in a besieged Damascus suburb who struggles to feed her children, and the father seeking urgent medical care for an injured child in a city where few doctors remain.

The United States recognizes that along with our emergency relief response, we must look at the longer-term development needs of Syria’s neighbors – boosting their health care and education systems, and supporting their economies amid the strain of hosting millions of refugees.  In addition to providing humanitarian aid to refugees, this funding will be programmed in a manner that is mindful of the development needs of host countries and host communities in those countries.

Though nearly all of Syria’s population is affected by the conflict, Syria’s youth continue to pay the heaviest toll.  With U.S. support, the UN and its NGO partners helped over 360,000 Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries enroll in school in 2014, triple the number enrolled in 2013.  Despite this progress, the UN estimates that two million children inside Syria are out of school and one in five schools have been damaged or destroyed.  In the region, the UN estimates that half of Syrian refugee children are not in school. 

The onslaught against civilians and aid organizations by the Syrian regime and extremist groups we are seeing shows that the principles of humanitarianism that founded the United Nations remain under attack from multiple sides in Syria.  We cannot allow this kind of regressive brutality to go unchallenged. Impartial and neutral humanitarian organizations must be allowed to do their jobs; civilians must be protected.

The United States remains committed to assisting those affected by this terrible war, and strongly urges all donors, organizations, and individuals concerned about the situation to contribute to the 2015 UN appeals.

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for the Syria Crisis, By Country

INSIDE SYRIA: Nearly $270 million. Total to date: $1.82 billion

There are now 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, and U.S. humanitarian assistance reaches 5 million people across all of Syria’s 14 governorates.  This new assistance will support life-saving food, emergency medical care, funding for shelter and critical water, and sanitation and hygiene projects to help those affected by the crisis.  It will also provide critical relief supplies and much-needed counseling and protection programs to help the most vulnerable, including women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

Of special concern are Syria’s children who have been traumatized by war and many of whom have been out of school for more than two years.  The new funding will support children’s needs in education, nutrition, health, and psychosocial care, while also providing additional safe and nurturing spaces for Syria’s children to learn, play, and deal with the stresses of conflict.

LEBANON: More than $118 million.  Total to date: $792 million*

The UN estimates that Lebanon is the highest per capita refugee hosting country in the world.  Today’s announcement increases support to both refugees and host communities.  With the additional funding, UN and international organization partners can continue to deliver immediate cash assistance for food, rent assistance, education, healthcare, shelter assistance, and basic relief items like blankets, heaters, and hygiene kits.  The UN is also using efficient electronic cards to distribute aid and reach more people in need.

The additional U.S. funding will also support Lebanese refugee-hosting communities through improvements in municipal water and sanitation systems, support to local community centers and clinics, and improving school facilities.  The WFP program has had a direct impact on the local economy, creating over 1,300 jobs and enabling participating stores to double their revenue.  

The number of refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon includes approximately 45,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria.  Approximately half live in Palestinian refugee camps that were overcrowded even before the influx from Syria, with few resources and limited opportunities to improve their situation.  Additional U.S. support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon provides needed aid, including cash, relief supplies, education, and medical care, to Palestinian refugees from Syria in camps and other communities.

JORDAN: Nearly $67 million.  Total to date: $556 million*

In Jordan, 85 percent of Syrian refugees live outside of refugee camps, in Jordanian towns and cities.  Our additional funding will benefit both refugees and Jordanian host communities. 

Our additional support to Syrians in Jordan aims to alleviate the need for children to work instead of going to school by funding continued cash assistance to cover refugees’ basic needs and shelter costs.  This funding also goes toward improving school facilities, so that all children, including those with disabilities, can access the education they need and deserve.

The WFP electronic food voucher program has led to $2.5 million investment in physical infrastructure by the participating retailers; created over 350 jobs in the food retail sector; and generated $6 million in additional tax receipts for the Jordanian government.

U.S. funding also includes support to UNRWA for the needs of some 15,000 Palestinian refugees in Jordan who have fled the conflict in Syria, helping vulnerable refugees access health care, educational services, and cash assistance for essential needs.

TURKEY: Nearly $28 million.  Total to date: $259 million*

U.S. funding assists Turkey in addressing the humanitarian and protection needs of Syrian refugees in Turkish camps, urban areas, and host communities.  This funding will be used to increase the number of social workers, child development specialists, psychologists and interpreters in refugee camps, as well as in 11 provinces hosting Syrian refugees.  Funding to UNHCR will provide tents, blankets, kitchen sets, targeted support to particularly vulnerable refugees, and technical support to government authorities. Funding for UNICEF helps provide programming for children emphasizing life skills, as well as awareness-raising on landmines.  WFP provides refugees with electronic food cards that allow families living in camps to purchase nutritious food items to meet their daily needs, and the World Health Organization coordinates the regional emergency health response to communicable diseases and will strengthen primary health care and disease surveillance, prevention, and response.

IRAQ: More than $17 million.  Total to date: $165 million*

In Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government hosts 96 percent of Syrian refugees in the country, and has provided more than 2,000 square miles of land for the establishment of 11 camp and transit sites.  This new funding will be used to repair health centers, expand schools, and improve water sanitation systems in the community.  Other funding will go toward initiatives targeting women and girls, to provide vocational and language training, general literacy training and reproductive health.

EGYPT: Nearly $9 million.  Total to date: $78 million*

The increased funding will provide assistance to Syrian refugees who continue to face significant challenges as urban refugees in Egypt.  The U.S. contribution will assist humanitarian partners in expanding assistance in major refugee-hosting cities such as Cairo and Alexandria with community-focused projects for refugees and host families in an effort to address the deteriorating protection environment.  Assistance will also target prevention of and responsiveness to gender-based violence, protection and education for children, increased self-reliance and livelihood opportunities, distribution of food vouchers, and improved access to health care services.

*Figures are rounded to the nearest million.

Funding Numbers by Country

Country

Kuwait Announcement

Total – Since FY 2012

Inside Syria

$270 million

$1.82 billion

Lebanon

$118 million

$792 million

Jordan

$67 million

$556 million

Turkey

$28 million

$259 million

Iraq

$17 million

$165 million

Egypt

$9 million

$78 million

TOTAL

$508 million

$3.69 billion

*Figures are rounded to the nearest million and may not sum to total due to rounding

Funding Numbers by Organization

Organization

Kuwait Announcement

Total – Since FY 2012

UNHCR

  $144 million

$914 million

WFP

  $100 million

$1.168 billion

NGOs

  $108 million

$834 million

UNRWA

  $57 million

$241 million

UNICEF

  $61 million

$300 million

Other (admin)

  $1 million

$7 million

ICRC

  $23 million

$103 million

IOM

  $2 million

$26 million

WHO

  $0.4 million

$30 million

UNFPA

  $8 million

$26 million

UNFAO

 $2 million

$3 million

UNDP

  $1 million

$12 million

Other Organizations

– – – – –

$15 million

TOTAL

$508 million

$3.69 billion

 

*Figures are rounded to the nearest million and may not sum to total due to rounding

For more detailed information on the U.S. government’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/crisis/syria.

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