Today, HRF is introducing a new interview series: Dissidents and Dictators.
The first episode features the legendary Serbian protest organizer and peaceful revolutionary Srdja Popovic (@SrdjaPopovic) on the topic of protest in a time of pandemic.
In just a few years, Srdja grew from a student in a rockband to the leader of a national movement that ended the fearsome dictatorship of Slobodan Milošević. He and his colleagues used clever tactics and movement building, and deposed a tyrant without firing a single shot.
After the dictator’s fall, Srdja went on to serve in Serbia’s National Assembly in his country’s new democracy and later launched an organization called CANVAS that teaches the art and science of peaceful protest to democracy activists around the world. He is the author of Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World.
HRF chief strategy officer Alex Gladstein (@Gladstein) sat down with Srdja to discuss:
How do you scale a movement of one up to millions of people?
How do you overcome a regime that holds all the power and weapons?
Why are peaceful revolutions much more successful than violent ones?
Why are street movements like start-ups?
Is it possible to sustain a movement during a global pandemic?
How are protest movements around the world reacting to their new twin enemies, the coronavirus and the rise of authoritarianism?