During the protests in San Cristobal, Tachira between February and June 2014, one protester held a performance as the “Hulk” character, making creative use of the right to demonstration, rejecting abuse by the police and military, and denying that all demonstrations in the city were violent in character.
Photographers in Venezuela struggled against the constant abuse by the authorities to report on what was happening in Venezuela in April 2014.
Democracia #19M / Democracy #19
Juan Auz-Quito, Ecuador
On March 19, 2015, tens of thousands of people with different ideologies and backgrounds marched together in Quito against the economic and political agenda of the Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa. This peaceful protest, initially organized by unions and indigenous organizations, was also supported by groups of citizens not affiliated with any political organizations. All of the protesters gathered at “Plaza de San Francisco,” a historical location for civic demonstrations.
At the end of the Global Forum, we asked participants to break into groups and come up with “Ideas for Action” for future efforts to strengthen and shape civic space. The groups developed over 30 ideas that were framed overall by the three key themes of connection, engagement and regional impact. Some of these ideas are highlighted below.
Connect civil society actors in the Community of Democracies, the Open Government Partnership and the Civic Space Initiative in order to improve joint action in defense of civic space.
Share advocacy strategies to promote reform globally.
Create an international platform for those working to shape civic space to share experiences and maintain connections.
Engage representatives from progressive governments in the Global South in order to benefit from their input on shaping civic space.
Educate government representatives on civil society and establish a CSO liaison person or unit within the government.
Conduct a study on the “Business Case for Civil Society” and examine factors such as civil society’s contribution to GDP, employment, and good governance.
Hold workshops in Eurasia on CSO sustainability and best practices.
Create a task team in South Asia to provide organizational support to civil society.
Conduct a study in the MENA region to document the impact and feasibility of CSOs.
Below are a number of interesting and innovative examples of activities undertaken by the Participants as a direct result of their involvement in the Global Forum.
Doaa Far, Jordan: Designing an online webinar open to CSOs and activists.
Taulant Hoxha, Kosovo: Working on an assessment for implementation of the Law on Freedom of Association. Supporting the Parliamentary Committee on Administration, Local Governance and Media in developing methodology for monitoring implementation of the law.
Uttam Uprety, Nepal: Gave two presentations on ‘Open Government Partnership’ to the Governance Facility initiative and to graduate and doctoral students at Kathmandu University’s School of Education.
Dana Sofi, Iraq: Trained 20 NGOs from minority groups on how to participate in decision-making processes, on partnerships between CSOs and public authorities, and on opportunities to impact the legislation process.
Nwezin Win, Myanmar: Conducted multiple workshops on the freedom of association and the newly enacted Association Registration Law in Myanmar. Helped plan and conduct a meeting with Myanmar parliamentarians and CSOs on the implementing rules for the Association Registration Law. This meeting was instrumental in leading to certain positive changes to the implementing rules.
Jiangang Zhu, China: Finished an assessment report of the influence of the Foreign NGO Management Law in China and presented this report at a conference in Hong Kong.
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