Leader of Youth Movement to Oust Serbian Dictator to Speak Monday at UD
Srdja Popovic, a founder of the “Otpor!” Student movement that helped topple Serbian dictator Slobodan Milošević, will speak on how young people can create and run successful non-violent political movements Monday night at the University of Dayton.
Otpor! (“resistance”) grew to 70,000 members, whose non-violent protests were attacked by police and attracted support from the Serbian people. Members were sometimes jailed for wearing t-shirts with the group’s logo (a clenched fist).
Now a visiting scholar at Columbia University, Popovic is the co-founder (with Slobodan Djinovic) of the Centre for Applied Non-Violent Action & Strategies, or CANVAS, which teaches their brand of protest.
According to Popovic’s promotional materials, “for Otpor!, Popovic and his friends drew on their love of Monty Python, using street theater, pranks, and simple yet powerful messages as their chosen (and inspired) form of protest.”
CANVAS, the materials continue, “is an NGO that trains pro-democracy activists in key strategies of unity, planning, and nonviolent discipline, as well as the impact of humor. Popovic and his team travel all over the world to teach, training activists from Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon, among others. Popovic is the author of new book Blueprint for Revolution, a handbook for anyone who wants to effectively (and peacefully) improve your neighborhood, make a difference in your community, or change the world.”
The free 7 pm talk at the Sears Recital Hall is sponsored by the university’s Education on Nonviolence Endowment and the University of Dayton Human Rights Center, and is open to the public. For information call the Human Rights Center at 937-229-3294.
Photo courtesy CANVAS.
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