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May 7, 2013

ACNIS Considers the Role of History-making Democratization and Civilian Resistance Movements: Polish Experience

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today, 7 May 2013, held a roundtable discussion focused on the analysis of history-making nonviolent struggles that enabled ordinary people to defy oppressive rulers through nonviolent power rather than by force of arms. The ideas lying at the root of the civilian-based nonviolent movements and the companion documentary film series illustrating the Polish experience on how nonviolent actions can be the cutting edge of a strategy to undermine and replace a seemingly intractable dictatorial regime were the overriding themes of the discussion.

ACNIS director of research Manvel Sargsian welcomed the audience with opening remarks and underscored the important role of civilian resistance movements in bringing about the desired changes the world over.“ In 1980, the Solidarity Movement in Poland used industrial strikes to make the Communist regime permit a free trade union. It became the agency by which conservative Catholics, left-wing intellectuals, workers, and merchants in Poland coalesced into a civilian force that put continuing pressure on the Communist regime to step down,” concluded Manvel Sargsyan.

The presentation featured a dynamic exchange of viewpoints among the participant youth activists who analyzed the political and social circumstances conducive to a resistance movement that succeeded in mobilizing the support from pro-democratic groups and a unified political opposition tailored toward the establishment of an open, democratic society. None of these circumstances would have mattered, the participants summed up the discussion, had there not been the unity encompassing the full spectrum of groups and activists working from the same page.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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