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Just two initial comments on Javier's piece.

First, I don't know how many groups and in which countries ICNC and CANVAS are currently working, but I do know that they have been a very valuable resource for various groups in Zimbabwe. And by that, I don't mean the opposition electoral coalition the Movement for a Democratic Change (MDC) but groups with a fuller of the kind of social change they want and also with a stronger commitment to nonviolence.

Second, all social movements -- including nonviolent movements -- are not in control of what they achieve. Gandhi did not want the partition of India, did not want India to evolve into a highly technological state with a strong military, etc etc. When we look at nonviolent 'victories', we're liable to be disappointed with the achievements. Solidarnosc was a miracle opposition movement -- not such a great governing party! This is one of the reasons why WRI's discussions on nonviolence so often focus on the process of empowerment, rather than the goals such as regime change.

However, we also need to think about how to build united movements to achieve goals that are seen as essential not just by diehard advocates of nonviolence or absolute anti-militarists but by much wider social forces.

all the best

Howard

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