Telecommunications For Nonviol Essay Research Paper Telecommunications

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Telecommunications For Nonviol Essay, Research Paper Telecommunications for Nonviolent Struggle Telecommunications can play a vital role in nonviolent resistance to aggression or repression, as shown by numerous historical examples. Yet there has been no systematic development of telecommunications research, policy or training for this purpose. We interviewed a number of experts in telecommunications to learn how these technologies could be used in nonviolence struggle. We report our general findings and list a series of recommendations for use and design of telecommunications in nonviolent struggle. This pilot project reveals the radical implications of orienting telecommunications for nonviolent rather than violent struggle. Examples Communications are absolutely crucial to

nonviolent struggle against aggression and repression. The following cases illustrate some of the roles of telecommunications. * In April 1961, there was a military coup in Algeria, then a part of France, by generals who opposed de Gaulle’s willingness to negotiate with Algerian rebels. Popular opposition in France to the coup led de Gaulle to make a media announcement calling for resistance. In Algeria, many pilots opposed to the coup simply flew their aircraft out of the country. Many soldiers hindered operations, for example by “misplacing” orders and communications; others simply stayed in their barracks. The coup collapsed within four days without a shot being fired against it (Roberts, 1975). * In August 1968, Czechoslovakia was invaded by troops from the Soviet Union

and four other Warsaw Pact states. The reason was the liberalisation of communist rule in Czechoslovakia, threatening ruling elites in Moscow. There was no resistance to the invasion from Czechoslovak military forces, nor from the West. But there was an amazing spontaneous nonviolent resistance (Windsor and Roberts, 1969). Many of the invading soldiers had been told that they were there to smash a capitalist takeover. When told the truth by Czechoslovak people, many became unreliable and were transferred out of the country within a few days. They were replaced by troops from the Soviet far east who did not speak Russian. This shows the crucial importance of knowing the language of the aggressor troops. The radio network was crucial to the resistance (Hutchinson, 1969). The

network permitted simultaneous broadcasting from the same frequency from different locations. This meant that when Soviet troops tracked down and closed one transmitter, another immediately took over. The radio announcers announced strikes, recommended using nonviolent methods only, and provided information about troop movements, impending arrests and licence numbers of KGB cars. Jamming equipment being brought in by the Soviet military was delayed by railway workers. The radio broadcasts made this the first European invasion exposed to intense publicity. In the circumstances, the resistance was remarkably effective in frustrating the Soviet political aim of setting up a puppet government within a short time. The active phase of the resistance lasted just a week, but it was not

until April 1969 that a puppet government was installed. * Indonesian military forces invaded the former Portuguese colony of East Timor in 1975. Their occupation led to the deaths of perhaps a third of the population through killings and starvation. By cutting off communications to the outside world, outrage over this repression was minimised. The Australian government aided in this communications blockade by shutting down a short-wave transmitter in the Northern Territory. In November 1991, a massacre of nonviolent protesters in Dili, the capital of East Timor, rekindled international concern over the Indonesian occupation. This killing attracted attention because of the presence of foreign observers and videotapes of the killings, illustrating the importance of communications