This analysis is mainly focused in the European territory, specifically in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy and Spain where case studies were recorded. References to third regions in the international sphere are continuous, due to the extension and the sometimes difficult division between national and international territories, and vice versa, when it comes to social activism, extremism or even violent actions.
Marches and protests are still the most current actions of social mobilization. Both can be included in the claims, as for its fulfillment no violence is required. The violent elements act in a marginal way with the intention of subverting the order, among others. In this way as they it is possible to find isolated actions as the main form of repeated violence. Simultaneously disruption activities are behaviours whose realization is growing. Occupation and disobedience actions are generating a challenge to security forces actuation. They do not imply directly the commission of violent acts but its materialization in a greater confrontation context is more plausible. It is non-violent actions, but their development can be given civic breaking rules, such as sit-ins, occupations of public and private spaces, roads blockades, strikes, boycotts, interrupt events or halt a project or construction.
THESE METHODS CAN INVOLVE VARYING DEGREES OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, IN THIS CASE, IS THE LEGISLATION OF EACH COUNTRY WHICH ESTABLISHES THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN LAWFUL OR UNLAWFUL ACTIONS AND WHICH ARE CONSIDERED VIOLENT OR NOT.
These kind of alterations have been able to transcend the public and political debate taking in account, not only the own actions, but also the number of participants and extension on time. This is becoming an easily imitable behaviour along the international scene.
Every social group, movement or “gateway organization”, as an adaptive and with some degree of resilience institution, evolve over time. One of the possible evolutions of any group or movement may be carrying out violent actions. We could apply the graduation of actions of social movements, pointed in this report, to the actions that could be develop by other groups, possibly extremist or radical, that could defend the use and exercise of violence as a means of action.
As shown along this research there is no sign of an increase of violence in social groups in recent years, despite the severe economic crisis and the loss of credibility of public institutions, except in very specific occasions. The most violent outbreaks occur in demonstrations legally established in legal systems (such as general strikes), or in protests against major international summits or at the end of demonstrations through the infiltration of radical elements.
It is customary to speak of the possibility of an escalation in the use of violence by groups and movements, which depends on the following factors:
Faced with escalating violence, in democratic systems, it is the state that owns “the monopoly on the use of violence”, through the rule of law. In this case violent movements are doomed to failure. This is why social movements do not usually resort to violence, also because of the loss of support from social base, calling for the use of non-violence actions, passive resistance, or at most a controlled civil disobedience degree.
Activism nowadays could be conceived differently way the one we are used to. It could be understood as an evolution of the movements itself. Under this premise, taking into account the amount of information citizens has is greater than in the past. The rise of social actions opposed to a plurality of situations or actions takes shape.
Glut reactions arise as well in that sense. They are social mobilizations during a more or less long period of time, which find their crucial moment in the reaction of a specific event or fact, which plays the role of a detonator.
As a reaction, not as a glut situations but created after the exploitation of a specific situation multiple mobilizations are also recorded. The case of PEGIDA, although it was created three months before, did not gain the great support until the terrorist attacks in France in 2015.
MULTI-ACTIVISM COULD BE UNDERSTOOD AS A METHOD TO INCREASE SOCIAL PRESSURE. THOSE ACTIVISM THAT SYMPATHIZE OR, AT LEAST ARE NOT DIVERGENT IN THEIR CLAIMS, TEND TO JOIN THEIR DEMANDS, SO THE ACTIONS OR PROTESTS HAVE A GREATER CONVENING POWER. A CLEAR EXAMPLE OF THIS TYPE OF MOBILIZATION IS “MAREAS” IN SPAIN.
Mobilizations, mostly spontaneous, of demand of one or more social causes in which citizens, with different profiles and concerns, tend to get together, without the need of the existence of a previous structure or organization.
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