Primary Source Paper





Primary Source Paper

Question 2

Opposition movements could rely on stirring nationalist fervor in order to arouse the interest of people with no active role in politics. By basing their grievances on the need to save their country from corrupt and ruthless leaders, it appeared that each patriotic citizen had a duty to defend the hard-earned freedom. As such, comparisons were made with similar independence movements in which the liberation of a country was based on the need to prevent the sacrifices made decades before to be in vain. In most nations, people might have different ideologies but they did agree on the importance of preserving the state’s values and principles. Such a technique would inspire them to join the protests thereby contributing to their strength. Additionally, leaders from opposing camps structured the narrative into a class warfare pitting the rich and the poor (White, Butt, and Lewis 11). Regardless of a person’s political stance, economic hardships were experienced by everyone. Therefore, inhabitants had to be informed about the level of exploitation of public resources by current regime officials. Their personal enrichment was to be contrasted with the poverty levels of the majority thus illustrating the injustice present in the system. Such a clear comparison of living conditions in which the elite were depicted enjoying enormous wealth at the expense of the poor majority was a message that resonated with many people. Therefore, they were willing to participate in the revolutionary process.

Similarly, some of the uprisings adopted a non-violent approach towards state brutality. Members would be advised to march peacefully without carrying arms and not to be confrontational with the police sent to drive them out of the streets. It was a pledge that was made and strictly imposed during the rallies. Consequently, the protestors stood in defiance of the military might of the government. They did not retaliate to the several beatings because they wanted to portray an image of innocence. The presence of the media facilitated the dissemination of such events thereby aiding their peace brand. The clear separation of mannerisms was used as a recruitment tool among members of the public since it was evident that the state was autocratic yet the society was meant to be democratic (Kenney 33). Viewers watching such episodes were able to make clear choices of which side to support due to the increase in the number of civilian casualties. The carnage caused by state agents was able to infuriate them and even those unconcerned with political issues became involved.

The making of impassioned speeches in outdoor spaces integrating humor and social policies as well as supplying leaflets with specific messages was used as well. In most instances, the leaders targeted those who were present and relied on them to spread the message to their family members and friends. Moreover, popular songs with catchy phrases that showed solidarity with the opposition were sang in a manner that was easy to understand in the shortest time. Such sessions offered entertainment to break the monotony of speeches while presenting entertainment opportunities. The quality, frequency, and zeal that the songs were sang appealed to a wide variety of people. The slogans too were easily memorized and the promises of an equitable society were realistic. These platforms served to increase interest in the cause hence aiding the exercises to attract more newcomers that were political to the events.

Furthermore, the event organizers and change advocates approached religious leaders from various denominations and convinced them to integrate their sermons with campaign content. They knew that a sizeable portion of the electorate attended church services regularly although there were those among them who were apolitical. Nevertheless, it was common knowledge at the time that most citizens were religious and thus followed the directives offered to them by their priests. Upon taking the offer, this scenario was replicated across several churches. Ordinary people got a chance to listen to their spiritual leaders telling them to be sympathetic to the opposition’s course as it was divinely sanctioned. Having learnt the importance of trusting spiritual guidance, they were inclined to align themselves as directed. By so doing, people not active in public life were also thrust into the unfolding events.

Likewise, engagement in charitable events was another strategy that was employed. In those days, different nationalities faced varying problems such as lack of decent housing, poor infrastructure, a tiresome bureaucracy, corrupt judicial process, and even homelessness. The opposition could not just express the problems within their societies without offering tangible solutions (Todd 89). It could have made them look just as bad. Therefore, its members interacted more with the communities by for example attending fundraising events for various projects as well as volunteering in certain care centers to participate in improving the healthcare system. Such platforms enabled them to develop bonds with the residents while facilitating their participation in voluntary service delivery. They also used these occasions to offer alternative ideas of governance most times to strangers. By learning from their examples and appreciating their intellect, people with no active role in politics were inspired to pursue responsible citizenship.




Works Cited

Kenney, Padraic. 1989: Democratic Revolutions at the Cold War’s End : a Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. Print.

Todd, Allan. Communism in Crisis, 1976-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Print.

White, Stephen, Judy Batt, and Paul G. Lewis. Developments in Central and East European Politics 4. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. Print.

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