Civil rights movement

Civil rights movement

Overview
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

 for equality before the law
Equality before the law
Equality before the law or equality under the law or legal egalitarianism is the principle under which each individual is subject to the same laws....

 occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance
Civil resistance
The term civil resistance, alongside the term nonviolent resistance, is used to describe political action that relies on the use of non-violent methods by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and...

 aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance
Nonviolent resistance
Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. It is largely synonymous with civil resistance...

. In some situations it was accompanied, or followed, by civil unrest and armed rebellion. The process was long and tenuous in many countries, and many of these movements did not fully achieve their goals although, the efforts of these movements did lead to improvements in the legal rights of previously oppressed groups of people.


Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 is a province of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 which has witnessed violence over many decades, mainly because of sectarian tensions between the Catholic and Protestant community, known as the Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

.
The civil rights struggle in Northern Ireland can be traced to Catholics in Dungannon who were fighting for equal access to public housing for the members of the Catholic community, led by Austin Currie
Austin Currie
Austin Currie is a former politician who was elected to the parliaments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland....

.
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Encyclopedia
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

 for equality before the law
Equality before the law
Equality before the law or equality under the law or legal egalitarianism is the principle under which each individual is subject to the same laws....

 occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance
Civil resistance
The term civil resistance, alongside the term nonviolent resistance, is used to describe political action that relies on the use of non-violent methods by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and...

 aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance
Nonviolent resistance
Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. It is largely synonymous with civil resistance...

. In some situations it was accompanied, or followed, by civil unrest and armed rebellion. The process was long and tenuous in many countries, and many of these movements did not fully achieve their goals although, the efforts of these movements did lead to improvements in the legal rights of previously oppressed groups of people.

Civil rights movement in Northern Ireland



Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 is a province of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 which has witnessed violence over many decades, mainly because of sectarian tensions between the Catholic and Protestant community, known as the Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

.
The civil rights struggle in Northern Ireland can be traced to Catholics in Dungannon who were fighting for equal access to public housing for the members of the Catholic community, led by Austin Currie
Austin Currie
Austin Currie is a former politician who was elected to the parliaments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland....

. This domestic issue would not have led to a fight for civil rights were it not for the fact that being a registered householder was a qualification for local government franchise
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 in Northern Ireland. This substantial contribution made by women is often erased from the general history of Northern Ireland, primarily because the country still has a Protestant majority and a conservative culture where people often overlook the role of women in the political sphere.

On a broader and more organized front, in January 1964, the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) was officially launched in Belfast. This organization took over women's struggle for better housing and committed itself to end discrimination in employment. The CSJ promised the Catholic community that their cries would be heard. They challenged the government and promised that they would take their case to the Commission for Human Rights in Strasbourg and to the United Nations.

Having started with basic domestic issues, the civil rights struggle in Northern Ireland escalated to a full scale movement that found its embodiment in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association
The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was an organisation which campaigned for equal civil rights for the all the people in Northern Ireland during the late 1960s and early 1970s...

. The NICRA campaigned in the late sixties and early seventies, consciously modelling itself on the American civil rights movement and using similar methods of civil resistance
Civil resistance
The term civil resistance, alongside the term nonviolent resistance, is used to describe political action that relies on the use of non-violent methods by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and...

. Empowered by what African Americans were doing, the movement organized marches and protests to demand better conditions for the minority of Catholics who lived in the Protestant state.

NICRA originally had five main demands:
  • one man, one vote
  • an end to discrimination in housing
  • an end to discrimination in local government
  • an end to the gerrymandering
    Gerrymandering
    In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts...

     of district boundaries, which limited the effect of Catholic voting
  • the disbandment of the B-Specials, an entirely Protestant Police reserve, perceived as sectarian.


All of these specific demands were aimed at an ultimate goal that had been the one of women at the very beginning: the end of discrimination.

Civil rights activists all over Northern Ireland soon launched a campaign of civil resistance
Civil resistance
The term civil resistance, alongside the term nonviolent resistance, is used to describe political action that relies on the use of non-violent methods by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and...

. There was opposition from Loyalists, who were aided by the Royal Ulster Constabulary
Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was the name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, it was subsequently known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary...

 (RUC), Northern Ireland's Police Force. At this point, the RUC was over 90% Protestant. Violence escalated, resulting in the rise of the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 (IRA) from the Catholic community, a group reminiscent of those from the War of Independence and the Civil War that occurred in the 1920s that had launched a campaign of violence to end British rule in Northern Ireland. Loyalist paramilitaries countered this with a defensive campaign of violence and the British government responded with a policy of internment
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 without trial of suspected IRA members. For more than three hundred people, the internment lasted several years. The huge majority of those interned by the British forces were Catholic. In 1978, in a case brought by the government of the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 against the government of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 ruled that the interrogation
Interrogation
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...

 techniques approved for use by the British army on internees in 1971 amounted to "inhuman and degrading" treatment.

Although it is common knowledge that, for a time, the aims of the Republicans was for their military division, the IRA, and the NICRA to converge, the two bodies never did so. The IRA told the Republicans to join in the civil rights movement but it never controlled the NICRA. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association fought for the end of discrimination toward Catholics and was happy to do so within the British state. Republican leader Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams is an Irish republican politician and Teachta Dála for the constituency of Louth. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for Belfast West. He is the president of Sinn Féin, the second largest political party in Northern...

 explained subsequently that Catholics saw that it was possible for them to have their demands heard. He wrote that "we were able to see an example of the fact that you didn't just have to take it, you could fight back". For an account and critique of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, reflecting on the ambiguous link between the causes of civil rights and opposition to the union with the United Kingdom, see the work of Richard English.

One of the most important events in the era of civil rights in Northern Ireland took place in Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

, which escalated the conflict from peaceful civil disobedience to armed conflict. The Battle of the Bogside
Battle of the Bogside
The Battle of the Bogside was a very large communal riot that took place during 12–14 August 1969 in Derry, Northern Ireland. The fighting was between residents of the Bogside area and the Royal Ulster Constabulary .The rioting erupted after the RUC attempted to disperse Irish nationalists who...

 started on 12 August when an Apprentice Boys, a Protestant order, parade passed through Waterloo Place, where a large crowd was gathered at the mouth of William Street, on the edge of the Bogside. Different accounts describe the first outbreak of violence, with reports stating that it was either an attack by youth from the Bogside
Bogside
The Bogside is a neighbourhood outside the city walls of Derry, Northern Ireland. The area has been a focus point for many of the events of The Troubles, from the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday in the 1960s and 1970s...

 on the RUC, or fighting broke out between Protestants and Catholics. The violence escalated and barricades were erected. Proclaiming this district to be the Free Derry
Free Derry
Free Derry was a self-declared autonomous nationalist area of Derry, Northern Ireland, between 1969 and 1972. Its name was taken from a sign painted on a gable wall in the Bogside in January 1969 which read, “You are now entering Free Derry"...

, Bogsiders carried on fights with the RUC for days using stones and petrol bombs. The government finally withdrew the RUC and replaced it with the army, which disbanded the crowds of Catholics who were barricaded in the Bogside.

Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Bloody Sunday —sometimes called the Bogside Massacre—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, in which twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army...

, 30 January 1972, in Derry is seen by some as a turning point in the civil rights movement. Up to that day, so one interpretation goes, Catholics were trying to peacefully resolve the problem, but they were ignored and fights broke out. Fourteen unarmed Catholic civil rights marchers protesting against internment
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 were shot dead by the British army and many were left wounded on the streets.

The peace process has made significant gains in recent years. Through open dialogue from all parties, a state of ceasefire by all major paramilitary groups has lasted. A strong economy and more opportunities for all citizens has greatly improved Northern Ireland's standard of living. Civil rights issues have become far less of a concern for many in Northern Ireland over the past twenty years as laws and policies protecting their rights and forms of affirmative action have been implemented for all government offices and many private businesses. Tensions still exist in some corners of the province, but the vast majority of citizens are no longer affected by the violence that once paralyzed the province.

Movements of Independence in Africa


A wave of independence movements in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 crested in the 1960s, which included the Angolan War of Independence
Angolan War of Independence
The Angolan War of Independence began as an uprising against forced cotton cultivation, and became a multi-faction struggle for control of Portugal's Overseas Province of Angola with three nationalist movements and a separatist movement...

, the Guinea-Bissauan Revolution, the war of liberation in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. This wave of struggles re-energised pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism is a movement that seeks to unify African people or people living in Africa, into a "one African community". Differing types of Pan-Africanism seek different levels of economic, racial, social, or political unity...

 and led to the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.

Canada's Quiet Revolution


The 1960s brought intense political and social change to the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 province of Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, with the election of Liberal Premier Jean Lesage
Jean Lesage
Jean Lesage, PC, CC, CD was a lawyer and politician in Quebec, Canada. He served as the 19th Premier of Quebec from 22 June 1960, to 16 August 1966...

 after the death of Maurice Duplessis
Maurice Duplessis
Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis served as the 16th Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. A founder and leader of the highly conservative Union Nationale party, he rose to power after exposing the misconduct and patronage of Liberal Premier Louis-Alexandre...

, whose government was widely viewed as corrupt. These changes included secularization
Secularization
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values and secular institutions...

 of the education and health care systems, which were both heavily controlled by the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, whose support for Duplessis and his perceived corruption
Duplessis Orphans
The Duplessis Orphans were the victims of a scheme in which several thousand orphaned children were falsely certified as mentally ill by the government of the province of Quebec, Canada, and confined to psychiatric institutions.-Overview:...

 had angered many Québécois. Policies of the Liberal government also sought to give Quebec more economic autonomy, such as the nationalization
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

 of Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec is a government-owned public utility established in 1944 by the Government of Quebec. Based in Montreal, the company is in charge of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across Quebec....

 and the creation of public companies for the mining, forestry, iron/steel and petroleum industries of the province. Other changes included the creation of the Régie des Rentes du Québec (Quebec Pension Plan) and new labour codes that made unionizing easier and gave workers the right to strike.

The social and economic changes of the Quiet Revolution gave life to the Quebec sovereignty movement
Quebec sovereignty movement
The Quebec sovereignty movement refers to both the political movement and the ideology of values, concepts and ideas that promote the secession of the province of Quebec from the rest of Canada...

, as more and more Québécois saw themselves as a distinctly culturally different from the rest of Canada. The segregationist Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 was created in 1968 and won the 1976 Quebec general election
Quebec general election, 1976
The Quebec general election of 1976 was held on November 15, 1976 to elect members to National Assembly of the Province of Quebec, Canada. It was one of the most significant elections in Quebec history, rivalled only by the 1960 general election, and caused major repercussions in the rest of Canada...

. They enacted legislation meant to enshrine French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 as the language of business in the province, while also controversially restricting the usage of English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 on signs and restricting the eligibility of students to be taught in English.

A radical strand of French Canadian
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

 nationalism produced the Front de libération du Québec
Front de libération du Québec
The Front de libération du Québec was a left-wing Quebecois nationalist and Marxist-Leninist paramilitary group in Quebec, Canada. It was active between 1963 and 1970, and was regarded as a terrorist organization for its violent methods of action...

 (FLQ), which since 1963 has been using terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 to make Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 a sovereign nation. In October 1970, in response to the arrest of some of its members earlier in the year, the FLQ kidnapped British diplomat James Cross
James Cross
James Richard Cross, CMG was a British diplomat in Canada who was kidnapped by the Front de libération du Québec terrorist group during the October Crisis of October 1970....

 and Quebec's Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte
Pierre Laporte
Pierre Laporte was a Canadian lawyer, journalist and politician who was the Deputy Premier and Minister of Labour of the province of Quebec before being kidnapped and killed by members of the group Front de libération du Québec during the October Crisis. Mr...

, whom they later killed. The then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, himself a French Canadian, invoked the War Measures Act
War Measures Act
The War Measures Act was a Canadian statute that allowed the government to assume sweeping emergency powers in the event of "war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended"...

, declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 in Quebec, and arrested the kidnappers by the end of the year.

Civil rights movement in the United States


The civil rights movement in the United States includes noted legislation and organized efforts to abolish public and private acts of racial discrimination African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s and other disadvantaged groups between 1954 to 1968, particularly in the southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. It is sometimes referred to as the Second Reconstruction era
Second Reconstruction
Second Reconstruction is a term, coined by historian C. Vann Woodward, that refers to the American Civil Rights Movement. In many respects, the mass movement against segregation and discrimination that erupted following World War II, shared many similarities with the period of Reconstruction which...

, echoing the unresolved issues of the Reconstruction era in the United States (1863–1877).

Integrationism



After 1890 the system of Jim Crow, disenfranchisement, and second class citizenship degraded the citizenship rights of African Americans, especially in the South. It was the nadir of American race relations
Nadir of American race relations
The "nadir of American race relations" is a term that refers to the period in United States history from the end of Reconstruction through the early 20th century, when racism in the country is deemed to have been worse than in any other period after the American Civil War. During this period,...

. There were three main aspects: racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 – upheld by the United States Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 , is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the United States, upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in private businesses , under the doctrine of "separate but equal".The decision was handed...

in 1896 –, legally mandated by southern governments—voter suppression or disfranchisement
Disfranchisement
Disfranchisement is the revocation of the right of suffrage of a person or group of people, or rendering a person's vote less effective, or ineffective...

 in the southern states, and private acts of violence and mass racial violence
Mass racial violence in the United States
Mass racial violence, also called race riots can include such disparate events as:* attacks on Irish Catholics, the Chinese and other immigrants in the 19th century....

 aimed at African Americans, unhindered or encouraged by government authorities. Although racial discrimination was present nationwide, the combination of law, public and private acts of discrimination, marginal economic opportunity, and violence directed toward African Americans in the southern states became known as Jim Crow.
Noted strategies employed prior to 1955 included litigation and lobbying attempts by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, usually abbreviated as NAACP, is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to...

 (NAACP). These efforts were a hallmark of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1896 to 1954
American Civil Rights Movement (1896-1954)
The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a long, primarily nonviolent struggle to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans...

.
However, by 1955, blacks became frustrated by gradual approaches to implement desegregation by federal and state governments and the "massive resistance" by whites. The black leadership adopted a combined strategy of direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

 with nonviolent resistance
Nonviolence
Nonviolence has two meanings. It can refer, first, to a general philosophy of abstention from violence because of moral or religious principle It can refer to the behaviour of people using nonviolent action Nonviolence has two (closely related) meanings. (1) It can refer, first, to a general...

 known as civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

. The acts of civil disobedience produced crisis situations between practitioners and government authorities. The authorities of federal, state, and local governments often had to act with an immediate response to end crisis situations – sometimes in the practitioners' favor. Some of the different forms of protests and/or civil disobedience employed included boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

s, as successfully practiced by the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and social protest campaign that started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA, intended to oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. Many important figures in the civil rights movement were involved in the boycott,...

 (1955–1956) in Alabama which gave the movement one of its more famous icons in Rosa Parks; "sit-ins", as demonstrated by the influential Greensboro sit-in (1960) in North Carolina; and marches, as exhibited by the Selma to Montgomery marches
Selma to Montgomery marches
The Selma to Montgomery marches were three marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. They grew out of the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama, launched by local African-Americans who formed the Dallas County Voters League...

 (1965) in Alabama. The evidence of changing attitudes could also be seen around the country, where small businesses sprang up supporting the civil rights movement, such as New Jersey's notable Everybody's Luncheonette.
The most illustrious march is probably the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the largest political rally for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr...

. It is best remembered for the glorious speech Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 gave, in which the "I have a dream" part turned into a national text and eclipsed the troubles the organizers had to bring to march forward. It had been a fairly complicated affair to bring together various leaders of civil rights, religious and labor groups. As the name of the march tells us, many compromises had to be made in order to unite the followers of so many different causes. The "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" emphasized the combined purposes of the march and the goals that each of the leaders aimed at. These leaders, informally named the Big Six, were A. Philip Randolph
A. Philip Randolph
Asa Philip Randolph was a leader in the African American civil-rights movement and the American labor movement. He organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly Negro labor union. In the early civil-rights movement, Randolph led the March on Washington...

, Roy Wilkins
Roy Wilkins
Roy Wilkins was a prominent civil rights activist in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s. Wilkins' most notable role was in his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ....

, Martin Luther King Jr., Whitney Young
Whitney Young
Whitney Moore Young Jr. was an American civil rights leader.He spent most of his career working to end employment discrimination in the United States and turning the National Urban League from a relatively passive civil rights organization into one that aggressively fought for equitable access to...

, James Farmer
James L. Farmer, Jr.
James Leonard Farmer, Jr. was a civil rights activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was the initiator and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which eventually led to the desegregation of inter-state transportation in the United States.In 1942, Farmer co-founded the Committee...

 and John Lewis. Although they came from different political horizons, these leaders were intent on the peacefulness of the march, which even had its own marshal to ensure that the event would be peaceful and respectful of the law. The success of the march is still being debated but one aspect has been raised in the last few years: the misrepresentation of women. A lot of feminine civil rights groups had participated in the organization of the march but when it came to actual activity, women were denied the right to speak and were relegated to figurative roles in the back of the stage. As some female participants have noticed, the March can be remembered for the "I Have a Dream" speech but for most female activists it was a new awakening, forcing black women not only to fight for civil rights but also to engage in the Feminist movement.

Noted achievements of the civil rights movement in this area include the judicial victory in the Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

case that nullified the legal article of "separate but equal
Separate but equal
Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law that justified systems of segregation. Under this doctrine, services, facilities and public accommodations were allowed to be separated by race, on the condition that the quality of each group's public facilities was to...

" and made segregation legally impermissible, passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

 that banned discrimination in employment practices and public accommodations, passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that restored voting rights, and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968
Civil Rights Act of 1968
On April 11, 1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, or as CRA '68, and was meant as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964...

 that banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.

Black Power


By 1965, the emergence of the Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

 movement (1966–1975) began to gradually eclipse the original "integrated power
Racial integration
Racial integration, or simply integration includes desegregation . In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity regardless of race, and the development of a culture that draws on diverse traditions, rather than merely...

" aims of the civil rights movement that had been espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

. Advocates of Black Power argued for black self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, and asserted that the assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

 inherent in integration robs African
Pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism is a movement that seeks to unify African people or people living in Africa, into a "one African community". Differing types of Pan-Africanism seek different levels of economic, racial, social, or political unity...

s of their common heritage and dignity; e.g., the theorist and activist Omali Yeshitela
Omali Yeshitela
Omali Yeshitela the founder of the Uhuru Movement a left wing, African Internationalist organization based in St...

 argues that Africans have historically fought to protect their lands, cultures and freedoms from European colonialist
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

s, and that any integration into the society which has stolen another people and their wealth is actually an act of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

.

Today, most Black Power advocates have not changed their self-sufficiency argument. Racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 still exists worldwide and it is believed by some that blacks in the United States, on the whole, did not assimilate into U.S. "mainstream" culture, either by King's integration measures or by the self-sufficiency measures of Black Power—rather, blacks arguably became even more oppressed, this time partially by "their own" people in a new black stratum
Social stratification
In sociology the social stratification is a concept of class, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."...

 of the middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

 and the ruling class
Ruling class
The term ruling class refers to the social class of a given society that decides upon and sets that society's political policy - assuming there is one such particular class in the given society....

. Black Power's advocates generally argue that the reason for this stalemate
Stalemate
Stalemate is a situation in chess where the player whose turn it is to move is not in check but has no legal moves. A stalemate ends the game in a draw. Stalemate is covered in the rules of chess....

 and further oppression of the vast majority of U.S. blacks is because Black Power's objectives have not had the opportunity to be fully carried through.

One of the most public manifestations of the Black Power movement took place in the 1968 Olympics, when two African-Americans stood on the podium doing a Black Power salute. This act is still remembered today as the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute
1968 Olympics Black Power salute
The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute involved the African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black power salute at the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City...

.

Chicano Movement


The Chicano Movement, also known as the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement and El Movimiento, was the part of the American Civil Rights Movement that sought political empowerment and social inclusion for Mexican-Americans around a generally nationalist argument. The Chicano movement blossomed in the 1960s and was active through the late 1970s in various regions of the U.S. The movement had roots in the civil rights struggles that had preceded it, adding to it the cultural and generational politics of the era.

The early heroes of the movement—Rodolfo Gonzales
Rodolfo Gonzales
Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzáles was a Mexican American boxer, poet, and political activist. He convened the first-ever Chicano youth conference in March 1969, which was attended by many future Chicano activists and artists. The conference also promulgated the Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, a manifesto...

 in Denver
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 and Reies Tijerina
Reies Tijerina
Reies Lopez Tijerina led a struggle in the 1960s and 1970s to restore New Mexican land grants to the descendants of their Spanish colonial and Mexican owners...

 in New Mexico—adopted a historical account of the preceding hundred and twenty-five years that had obscured much of Mexican-American history. Gonzales and Tijerina embraced a nationalism that identified the failure of the United States government to live up to its promises in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico City, that ended the Mexican-American War on February 2, 1848...

. In that account, Mexican-Americans were a conquered people who simply needed to reclaim their birthright and cultural heritage as part of a new nation, which later became known as Aztlán
Aztlán
Aztlán is the mythical ancestral home of the Nahua peoples, one of the main cultural groups in Mesoamerica. And, by extension, is the mythical homeland of the Uto-Aztecan peoples. Aztec is the Nahuatl word for "people from Aztlan".-Legend:...

.

That version of the past did not, but take into account the history of those Mexicans who had immigrated to the United States. It also gave little attention to the rights of undocumented immigrants in the United States in the 1960s— which is not surprising, since immigration did not have the political significance it later acquired. It was a decade later when activists, such as Bert Corona in California, embraced the rights of undocumented workers and helped broaden the movement to include their issues.

When the movement dealt with practical problems in the 1960s, most activists focused on the most immediate issues confronting Mexican-Americans; unequal educational and employment opportunities, political disfranchisement, and police brutality. In the heady days of the late 1960s, when the student movement was active around the globe, the Chicano movement brought about more or less spontaneous actions, such as the mass walkouts by high school students in Denver and East Los Angeles
East Los Angeles, California
East Los Angeles is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States...

 in 1968 and the Chicano Moratorium
Chicano Moratorium
The Chicano Moratorium, formally known as the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, was a movement of Chicano anti-war activists that built a broad-based coalition of Mexican-American groups to organize opposition to the Vietnam War...

 in Los Angeles in 1970.

The movement was particularly strong at the college level, where activists formed MEChA, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, which promoted Chicano Studies programs and a generalized ethno-nationalist agenda.

American Indian Movement



At a time when peaceful sit-in
Sit-in
A sit-in or sit-down is a form of protest that involves occupying seats or sitting down on the floor of an establishment.-Process:In a sit-in, protesters remain until they are evicted, usually by force, or arrested, or until their requests have been met...

s were a common protest tactic, the American Indian Movement
American Indian Movement
The American Indian Movement is a Native American activist organization in the United States, founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota by urban Native Americans. The national AIM agenda focuses on spirituality, leadership, and sovereignty...

 (AIM) takeovers in their early days were noticeably violent. Some appeared to be spontaneous outcomes of protest gatherings, but others included armed seizure of public facilities, such as in the Wounded Knee incident
Wounded Knee Incident
The Wounded Knee incident began February 27, 1973 when about 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation...

.

The Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock" or simply "Traz", the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal...

 occupation of 1969, although commonly associated with NAM, pre-dated the organization, but was a catalyst for its formation.

In 1970, AIM occupied abandoned property at the Naval Air Station
Naval Air Station
A Naval Air Station is a military airbase, and consists of a permanent land-based operations locations for the military aviation division of the relevant branch of their Navy...

 near Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. In July 1971, it assisted in a takeover of the Winter Dam, Lac Courte Oreilles, and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. When activists took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

 Headquarters in Washington D.C. in November 1972, they sacked the building and 24 people were arrested. Activists occupied the Custer County
Custer County, South Dakota
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,275 people, 2,970 households, and 2,067 families residing in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile . There were 3,624 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile...

 Courthouse in 1973, though police routed the occupation after a riot took place.

In 1973 activists and military forces confronted each other in the Wounded Knee incident
Wounded Knee Incident
The Wounded Knee incident began February 27, 1973 when about 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation...

. The standoff lasted 71 days, and two men died in the violence.

Gender equity issues



If the period associated with first-wave feminism
First-wave feminism
First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the 19th and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. It focused on de jure inequalities, primarily on gaining women's suffrage .The term first-wave was coined retroactively in the 1970s...

 focused upon absolute rights such as suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 (which led to women attaining the right to vote in the early part of the 20th century), the period of the second-wave feminism
Second-wave feminism
The Feminist Movement, or the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States refers to a period of feminist activity which began during the early 1960s and lasted through the early 1990s....

 was concerned with the issues such as changing social attitudes and economic, reproductive, and educational equality (including the ability to have careers in addition to motherhood, or the right to choose not to have children) between the genders and addressed the rights of female minorities. The new feminist movement, which spanned from 1963 to 1982, explored economic equality, political power at all levels, professional equality, reproductive freedoms, sexuality, issues with the family, educational equality, sexuality, and many other issues.

LGBT rights and gay liberation


Since the mid-19th century in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, social reformers have used the language of civil rights to argue against the oppression of same-sex sexuality, same-sex emotional intimacy, and gender variance
Gender variance
Gender variance, or gender nonconformity, is behaviour or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female...

. Largely, but not exclusively, these LGBT movements have characterized gender variant and homosexually-oriented people as a minority group
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

(s); this was the approach taken by the homophile movement of the 1940s, 50s and early 60s. With the rise of secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 in the West, an increasing sexual openness, women's liberation, the 1960s counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

, and a range of new social movements
New social movements
The term new social movements is a theory of social movements that attempts to explain the plethora of new movements that have come up in various western societies roughly since the mid-1960s which are claimed to depart significantly from the conventional social movement paradigm.There are two...

, the homophile movement underwent a rapid growth and transformation, with a focus on building community and unapologetic activism which came to be known as the Gay Liberation
Gay Liberation
Gay liberation is the name used to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s in North America, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand...

.

The words "Gay Liberation" echoed "Women's Liberation"; the Gay Liberation Front
Gay Liberation Front
Gay Liberation Front was the name of a number of Gay Liberation groups, the first of which was formed in New York City in 1969, immediately after the Stonewall riots, in which police clashed with gay demonstrators.-The Gay Liberation Front:...

 consciously took its name from the "National Liberation Fronts" of Vietnam and Algeria, and the slogan "Gay Power", as a defiant answer to the rights-oriented homophile movement, was inspired by Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

 and Chicano
Chicano
The terms "Chicano" and "Chicana" are used in reference to U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. However, those terms have a wide range of meanings in various parts of the world. The term began to be widely used during the Chicano Movement, mainly among Mexican Americans, especially in the movement's...

 Power. The GLF's statement of purpose explained: GLF activist Martha Shelley wrote,

Gay Liberationists aimed at transforming fundamental concepts and institutions of society, such as gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 and the family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

. In order to achieve such liberation
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

, consciousness raising
Consciousness raising
Consciousness raising is a form of political activism, pioneered by United States feminists in the late 1960s...

 and direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

 were employed. Specifically, the word 'gay' was preferred to previous designations such as homosexual or homophile
Homophile
The word homophile is an alternative to the word for homosexual or gay. The homophile movement also refers to the gay rights movement of the 1950s and '60s....

; some saw 'gay' as a rejection of the false dichotomy heterosexual/homosexual. Lesbians and gays were urged to "come out
Coming out
Coming out is a figure of speech for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people's disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity....

" and publicly reveal their sexuality to family, friends and colleagues as a form of activism, and to counter shame with gay pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

. "Gay Lib" groups were formed in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, the UK, the US, Italy and elsewhere. The lesbian group Lavender Menace
Lavender Menace
The Lavender Menace was an informal group of lesbian radical feminists formed to protest the exclusion of lesbians and lesbian issues from the feminist movement at the Second Congress to Unite Women in New York City on May 1, 1970...

 was also formed in the U.S. in response to both the male domination of other Gay Lib groups and the anti-lesbian sentiment in the Women's Movement. Lesbianism was advocated as a feminist choice for women, and the first currents of lesbian separatism began to emerge.

By the late 1970s, the radicalism of Gay Liberation was eclipsed by a return to a more formal movement that became known as the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement.

German student movement


The civil rights movement in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 was a left-wing backlash against the post-Nazi Party era of the country, which still contained many of the conservative policies of both that era and of the pre-World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 Kaiser
Kaiser
Kaiser is the German title meaning "Emperor", with Kaiserin being the female equivalent, "Empress". Like the Russian Czar it is directly derived from the Latin Emperors' title of Caesar, which in turn is derived from the personal name of a branch of the gens Julia, to which Gaius Julius Caesar,...

 monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

. The movement mainly attracted disillusioned students and was largely a protest
Protest
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations...

 movement analogous to others around the globe during the late 1960s. It was largely a reaction against the perceived authoritarianism and hypocrisy of the German government and other Western governments and the poor living conditions of students. A wave of protests, some violent, swept Germany, further fueled by over-reaction by the police and encouraged by other near-simultaneous protest movements across the world. Following more than a century of conservatism
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 among German students, the German student movement also marked a significant major shift to the left-wing and radicalization
Far left
Far left, also known as the revolutionary left, radical left and extreme left are terms which refer to the highest degree of leftist positions among left-wing politics...

 of student politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

.

France 1968


A general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

 broke out across France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in May 1968, which began to reach near-revolution
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

ary proportions before being discouraged by the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

 and finally suppressed by the government, which accused the communists of plotting against the Republic. Some philosophers and historians have argued that the rebellion was the single most important revolutionary event of the 20th century because it wasn't participated in by a lone demographic, such as workers
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 or racial minorities, but was rather a purely popular uprising, superseding ethnic, cultural, age
Ageing
Ageing or aging is the accumulation of changes in a person over time. Ageing in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change. Some dimensions of ageing grow and expand over time, while others decline...

 and class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

 boundaries.

It began as a series of student strikes that broke out at a number of universities and high school
Secondary education in France
In France, secondary education is in two stages:* collèges cater for the first four years of secondary education from the ages of 11 to 14...

s in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 following confrontations with university administrators and the police. The de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 administration's attempts to quash those strikes by further police action only inflamed the situation further, leading to street battles with the police in the Latin Quarter, followed by a general strike by students and ten million French workers, roughly two-thirds of the French workforce. The protests reached the point that de Gaulle created a military operations headquarters to deal with the unrest, dissolved the National Assembly
French National Assembly
The French National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The upper house is the Senate ....

 and called for new parliamentary elections on 23 June 1968.

The government was close to collapse at that point and De Gaulle had even taken temporary refuge at an airforce base in Germany, but the revolutionary situation evaporated almost as quickly as it arose. Workers went back to their jobs, urged on by the Confédération Générale du Travail
Confédération générale du travail
The General Confederation of Labour is a national trade union center, the first of the five major French confederations of trade unions.It is the largest in terms of votes , and second largest in terms of membership numbers.Its membership decreased to 650,000 members in 1995-96 The General...

, the leftist union federation, and the Parti Communiste Français (PCF), the French Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 Party. When the elections were finally held in June, the Gaullist party emerged even stronger than before.

Most of the protesters espoused left-wing causes, communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 or anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

, and many saw the events as an opportunity to shake up the "old society" in many social aspects, including methods of education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, sexual freedom and free love
Free love
The term free love has been used to describe a social movement that rejects marriage, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery...

. A small minority of protesters, such as the Occident group, espoused far-right causes.

On 29 May, several hundred thousand protesters led by the CGT marched through Paris, chanting "Adieu, de Gaulle!", "Goodby, de Gaulle!".

While the government appeared to be close to collapse, de Gaulle chose not to say adieu. Instead, after ensuring that he had sufficient loyal military units mobilized to back him if push came to shove, he went on the radio the following day (the national television service was on strike) to announce the dissolution of the National Assembly, with elections to follow on 23 June. He ordered workers to return to work, threatening to institute a state of emergency
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

 if they did not.

From that point, the revolutionary feeling of the students and workers faded away. Workers gradually returned to work or were ousted from their plants by the police. The national student union called off street demonstrations the government banned a number of left organizations, and the police retook the Sorbonne on 16 June. De Gaulle triumphed in the elections held in June and the crisis had ended.

Tlatelolco massacre, Mexico


The Tlatelolco massacre, also known as Tlatelolco's Night (from a book title), took place in the afternoon and night of October 2, 1968, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas
Plaza de las Tres Culturas
The Plaza de las Tres Culturas is the main square within the Tlatelolco neighbourhood of Mexico City. The name "Three Cultures" is in recognition of the three periods of Mexican history reflected by those buildings pre-Columbian, Spanish colonial, and the independent "mestizo" nation...

 in the Tlatelolco
Tlatelolco (Mexico City)
Tlatelolco is an area in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City, centered on the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, a square surrounded on three sides by an excavated Aztec archaeological site, a 17th century church called Templo de Santiago, a former convent, and office complexes that used to belong to...

 section of Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

. The death toll remains uncertain, with some estimates placing the number of deaths in the thousands, but most reporting 200–300 deaths with many more wounded and several thousand arrested.

The massacre was preceded by months of political unrest in the Mexican capital, echoing student demonstrations and riots all over the world during 1968. Mexican students wanted to exploit the attention focused on Mexico City for the 1968 Summer Olympics
1968 Summer Olympics
The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Mexico City, Mexico in October 1968. The 1968 Games were the first Olympic Games hosted by a developing country, and the first Games hosted by a Spanish-speaking country...

. President
President of Mexico
The President of the United Mexican States is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces...

 Gustavo Díaz Ordaz
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Bolaños served as the President of Mexico from 1964 to 1970.- Political career :Díaz Ordaz was born in San Andrés Chalchícomula . His father, Ramón Díaz Ordaz Redonet, worked as an accountant, while his mother, Sabina Bolaños Cacho de Díaz Ordaz, worked as a school teacher...

, however, was determined to stop the demonstrations and, in September, ordered the army to occupy the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico
National Autonomous University of Mexico
The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is a university in Mexico. UNAM was founded on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to the Roman Catholic-sponsored Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (National Autonomous...

, the largest university in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. Students were beaten and arrested indiscriminately, causing Rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 Javier Barros Sierra to resign in protest on September 23.

However, student demonstrators were not deterred and the demonstrations grew in size until October 2, when, after nine weeks of student strikes, 15,000 students from various universities marched through the streets of Mexico City carrying red carnations to protest the army's occupation of the university campus. By nightfall, 5,000 students and workers, many of them with spouses and children, had congregated outside an apartment complex in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco for what was supposed to be a peaceful rally. Among their chants were México – Libertad – México – Libertad ("Mexico – Liberty – Mexico –Liberty"). Rally organizers attempted to call off the protest when they noticed an increased military presence in the area.

The massacre began at sunset when army and police forces — equipped with armored cars and tanks — surrounded the square and began firing live rounds into the crowd, hitting not only the protesters, but also other bystanders uninvolved with the protest. Demonstrators and passersby alike, including children, were caught in the fire; soon, mounds of bodies lay on the ground. The killing continued through the night, with soldiers carrying out mopping-up operations on a house-to-house basis in the apartment buildings adjacent to the square. Witnesses to the event claim that the bodies were later removed in garbage trucks.

The official government explanation of the incident was that armed provocateurs among the demonstrators, stationed in buildings overlooking the crowd, had begun the firefight, causing security forces to return fire in self-defense.

Prague Spring




Prague Spring (Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

: Pražské jaro, Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

: Pražská jar, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

: пражская весна) was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 starting on January 5, 1968, and running until August 20 of that year, when the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and its Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 allies (except for Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

) invaded the country.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Czechoslovakia fell into the Soviet sphere of influence, the Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

. Since 1948 there were no parties other than the Communist Party
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, in Czech and in Slovak: Komunistická strana Československa was a Communist and Marxist-Leninist political party in Czechoslovakia that existed between 1921 and 1992....

 in the country and it was indirectly managed by the Soviet Union. Unlike other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the communist take-over in Czechoslovakia in 1948 was, although as brutal as elsewhere, a genuine popular movement. Reform in the country did not lead to the convulsions seen in Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

.

Towards the end of World War II Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 wanted Czechoslovakia, and signed an agreement with Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 that Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 would be liberated by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

, despite the fact that the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 under General George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 could have liberated the city earlier. This was important for the spread of pro-Russian (and pro-communist) propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 that came right after the war. People still remembered what they felt as Czechoslovakia's betrayal by the West at the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

. For these reasons, the people voted for communists in the 1948 elections, the last democratic poll to take place there for a long time.

From the middle of the 1960s, Czechs and Slovaks showed increasing signs of rejection of the existing regime. This change was reflected by reformist elements within the communist party by installing Alexander Dubček
Alexander Dubcek
Alexander Dubček , also known as Dikita, was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia , famous for his attempt to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring...

 as party leader. Dubček's reforms of the political process inside Czechoslovakia, which he referred to as Socialism with a human face, did not represent a complete overthrow of the old regime, as was the case in Hungary in 1956
1956 Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....

. Dubček's changes had broad support from the society, including the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

, but was seen by the Soviet leadership as a threat to their hegemony over other states of the Eastern Bloc and to the very safety of the Soviet Union. Czechoslovakia was in the middle of the defensive line of the Warsaw Pact and its possible defection to the enemy was unacceptable during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

However, a sizeable minority in the ruling party, especially at higher leadership levels, was opposed to any lessening of the party's grip on society and actively plotted with the leadership of the Soviet Union to overthrow the reformers. This group watched in horror as calls for multi-party elections and other reforms began echoing throughout the country.

Between the nights of August 20 and August 21, 1968, Eastern Bloc armies from five Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia. During the invasion, Soviet tanks ranging in numbers from 5,000 to 7,000 occupied the streets. They were followed by a large number of Warsaw Pact troops ranging from 200,000 to 600,000.

The Soviets insisted that they had been invited to invade the country, stating that loyal Czechoslovak Communists had told them that they were in need of "fraternal assistance against the counter-revolution". A letter which was found in 1989 proved an invitation to invade did indeed exist. During the attack of the Warsaw Pact armies, 72 Czechs and Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

 were killed (19 of those in Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

) and hundreds were wounded (up to September 3, 1968). Alexander Dubček called upon his people not to resist. He was arrested and taken to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, along with several of his colleagues.

1967 Australian Referendum



On 27 May 1967, Australians voted to amend their constitution, particularly removing Section 127, which had previously excluded Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 from voting in State or Commonwealth elections.

Further reading

  • Manfred Berg and Martin H. Geyer; Two Cultures of Rights: The Quest for Inclusion and Participation in Modern America and Germany Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press
    Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

    , 2002
  • Jack Donnelly and Rhoda E. Howard; International Handbook of Human Rights Greenwood Press, 1987
  • David P. Forsythe; Human Rights in the New Europe: Problems and Progress University of Nebraska Press, 1994
  • Joe Foweraker and Todd Landman; Citizenship Rights and Social Movements: A Comparative and Statistical Analysis Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    , 1997
  • Mervyn Frost; Constituting Human Rights: Global Civil Society and the Society of Democratic States Routledge, 2002
  • Marc Galanter; Competing Equalities: Law and the Backward Classes in India University of California Press, 1984
  • Raymond D. Gastil and Leonard R. Sussman, eds.; Freedom in the World: Political Rights and Civil Liberties, 1986-1987 Greenwood Press, 1987
  • David Harris and Sarah Joseph; The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and United Kingdom Law Clarendon Press, 1995
  • Steven Kasher; The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History (1954–1968) Abbeville Publishing Group (Abbeville Press, Inc.)
    Abbeville Publishing Group (Abbeville Press, Inc.)
    Abbeville Publishing Group is an independent book publishing company specializing in fine art and illustrated books. Based in New York City, Abbeville publishes approximately 40 titles each year and has an active backlist of over 700 titles on a wide range of subjects, including art, architecture,...

    , 2000
  • Francesca Klug, Keir Starmer, Stuart Weir; The Three Pillars of Liberty: Political Rights and Freedoms in the United Kingdom Routledge, 1996
  • Fernando Santos-Granero and Frederica Barclay; Tamed Frontiers: Economy, Society, and Civil Rights in Upper Amazonia Westview Press, 2000
  • Paul N. Smith; Feminism and the Third Republic: Women's Political and Civil Rights in France, 1918-1940 Clarendon Press, 1996
  • Jorge M. Valadez; Deliberative Democracy: Political Legitimacy and Self-Determination in Multicultural Societies Westview Press, 2000

External links