- Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance (sometimes called civil resistance) or the use of armed force. In many cases, as for example in Norway in the Second World War, a resistance movement may employ both violent and non-violent methods, usually operating under different organizations and acting in different phases or geographical areas within a country.
The term resistance is generally used to designate a movement considered legitimate (from the speaker's point of view). Organizations and individuals critical of foreign intervention and supporting forms of organized movement (particularly where citizens are affected) tend to favor the term. When such a resistance movement uses violence, those favorably disposed to it may also speak of freedom fighters.
On the lawfulness of armed resistance movements in international law, there has been a dispute between states since at least 1899, when the first major codification of the laws of war in the form of a series of international treaties took place. In the Preamble to the 1899 Hague Convention II on Land War, the Martens Clause was introduced as a compromise wording for the dispute between the Great Powers who considered francs-tireurs to be unlawful combatants subject to execution on capture and smaller states who maintained that they should be considered lawful combatants. More recently the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, referred in Article 1. Paragraph 4 to armed conflicts "... in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes..." This phraseology contains many ambiguities that cloud the issue of who is or is not a legitimate combatant. Hence depending on the perspective of a state's government, a resistance movement may or may not be labelled a terrorist group based on whether the members of a resistance movement are considered lawful or unlawful combatants and their right to resist occupation is recognized. Ultimately, the distinction is a political judgment.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Background
- 3 Controversy regarding definition
- 4 Freedom fighter
- 5 Common weapons
- 6 Examples of resistance movements
- 7 Notable individuals in resistance movements
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
The modern usage of the term "Resistance" originates from the self-designation of many movements during World War II, especially the French Resistance. The term is still strongly linked to the context of the events of 1939–45, and particularly to opposition movements in Axis-occupied countries. Using the term "resistance" to designate a movement meeting the definition prior to WWII might be considered by some to be an anachronism. However, such movements existed prior to WWII (albeit often called by different names), and there have been many subsequent to it – for example in struggles against colonialism and foreign military occupations. "Resistance" has become a generic term that has been used to designate underground resistance movements in any country.
Resistance movements can include any irregular armed force that rises up against an enforced or established authority, government, or administration. This frequently includes groups that consider themselves to be resisting tyranny. Some resistance movements are underground organizations engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military occupation or totalitarian domination. Tactics of resistance movements against a constituted authority range from nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, to industrial sabotage and guerrilla warfare, or even conventional warfare if the resistance movement is strong enough. Any government facing violent acts from a resistance movement usually condemns such acts as terrorism, even when such attacks target only the military or security forces. Resistance during World War II was mainly dedicated to fighting the Axis occupiers. Germany itself also had an anti-Nazi German resistance movement in this period. Although the United Kingdom did not suffer invasion in World War II, preparations were made for a British resistance movement in the event of a German invasion (see Auxiliary Units).
Controversy regarding definition
Some definitions of resistance movement have proved controversial. According to Joint Publication 1-02, the United States Department of Defense defines a resistance movement as "an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to resist the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability". In strict military terminology, a resistance movement is simply that; it seeks to resist (change) the policies of a government or occupying power. This may be accomplished through violent or non-violent means. In this view, a resistance movement is specifically limited to changing the nature of current power, not to overthrow it; and the correct[according to whom?] military term for removing or overthrowing a government is an insurgency. However, in reality many resistance movements have aimed to displace a particular ruler, especially if that ruler has gained or retained power illegally.
- "Freedom Fighter" redirects here. For the aircraft, see Northrop F-5.
Freedom fighter is another term for those engaged in a struggle to achieve political freedom for themselves or obtain freedom for others. Though the literal meaning of the words could include anyone who fights for the cause of freedom, in common use it may be restricted to those who are actively involved in an armed rebellion, rather than those who campaign for freedom by peaceful means (though they may use the title in its literal sense).
Generally speaking, freedom fighters are seen as people who are using physical force in order to cause a change in the political and or social order. Notable examples include the South African Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Irish Republican Army (IRA), both of which were considered freedom fighters by supporters. However, a person who is campaigning for freedom through peaceful means may still be classed as a freedom fighter, though in common usage they are called political activists, as in the case of the Black Consciousness Movement.
People who are described as "freedom fighters" are often also called assassins, rebels, insurgents, or terrorists. This leads to the aphorism "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". The degree to which this occurs depends on a variety of factors specific to the struggle in which a given freedom fighter group in engaged. During the Cold War, under Ronald Reagan's Reagan Doctrine, the term freedom fighter was used by the United States and other Western Bloc countries to describe rebels in countries controlled by communist states or otherwise under the influence of the Soviet Union, including rebels in Hungary, the anti-communist Contras in Nicaragua, UNITA in Angola and the multi-factional mujahideen in Afghanistan. In the media, an effort has been made by the BBC to avoid the phrases "terrorist" or "freedom fighter," except in attributed quotes, in favor of neutral terms such as "militant", "guerrilla", "assassin", "insurgent", "paramilitary" or "militia".
A freedom fighter is different from a mercenary, as they gain no direct material benefit from being involved in a conflict.
Partisans often use captured weapons taken from their enemies, or weapons that have been stolen or smuggled in. During the Cold War, partisans often received arms from either the Free World countries or the Communist bloc. Free World backed forces would receive weapons such as the American M-16 assault rifle and the FIM-92 Stinger missile launcher. Communist backed forces would receive the Soviet AK-47 assault rifle (and its variants) and RPG-7s. They also may use improvised weapons such as Molotov cocktails or IEDs.
Examples of resistance movements
The following examples are of groups that have been considered or would indentify themselves as resistance groups, the Governments they oppose would more likely define them as terrorists or criminals. These are mostly, but not exclusively, of armed resistance movements. For movements and phases of activity involving non-violent methods, see civil resistance and nonviolent resistance.
- The Sicarii were a first century Jewish movement opposing Roman occupation of the so-called Promised Land. Jesus of Nazareth would have been heard by many to be endorsing this violent resistance against Rome when he told his followers to carry a cross (Luke 14:27), the manner of crucifixion reserved for rebels against Rome.
- Sons of Liberty – Revolutionary patriot group that embraced Republicanism in the United States during the 1760s and 1770s and routinely engaged in acts of violent resistance against British government officials and prominent loyalist sympathizers. The Boston branch of the Sons of Liberty met under the Liberty Tree, from which they would post messages or hang and burn effigies of their enemies.
- American Loyalists – group loyal to the crown and faithful to the British Empire, attempted to resist the separatist rebels in North America, though was defeated, except in Canada.
- The Underground Railroad – The pre American Civil War slave escape network consisting of volunteers who were dedicated to secretly helping escaping slaves reach free states or Canada.
- The Polish National Government- Underground Polish supreme authority during the January Uprising against Russian occupation of Poland. During 1863–1864 it was a real shadow government supported by majority of Poles, who even paid taxes for it, and was a significant problem for Russian secret police (Okhrana).
- Andrés Avelino Cáceres' Resistance – Andean resistance movement against invading Chilean forces during the War of the Pacific.
Pre–World War II
- Irish Republican Army
- Filipino guerilla units after official end of Philippine-American War (1902–1913)
- Pancho Villa led a resistance movement/rebellion in Mexico in the early 20th century, as did the Zapata brothers.
- Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (1918–1921)
- Forest Guerrillas (1921–1922)
- Augusto César Sandino led a rebellion against the United States occupation of Nicaragua
- Lwów Eaglets
- Ulster Volunteers resisted republican separatism
- Black Lions (1936)
- International Brigades fought in the Spanish Civil War
- Non-Cooperation Movement (1919–1939)
- Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-33)
World War II
- Albanian resistance movement
- Austrian resistance movement (O5)
- Belgian resistance movement
- Bulgarian resistance movement
- Burmese resistance movement
- Czech Resistance movement
- Chinese resistance movements
- Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army
- Anti-Japanese Army for the Salvation of the Country
- Chinese People's National Salvation Army
- Heilungkiang National Salvation Army
- Jilin Self-Defence Army
- Northeast Anti-Japanese National Salvation Army
- Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army
- Northeast People's Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army
- Northeastern Loyal and Brave Army
- Northeastern People's Revolutionary Army
- Northeastern Volunteer Righteous & Brave Fighters
- Hong Kong resistance movements
- Gangjiu dadui (Hong Kong-Kowloon big army)
- Dongjiang Guerrillas (East River Guerrillas, Southern China and Hong Kong organisation)
- Danish resistance movement
- Dutch resistance movement
- Forest Brothers
- French resistance movement
- German resistance movements
- Greek resistance movement
- Italian resistance movement
- Jewish resistance movement, including Jewish partisans and Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee
- Korean resistance movement
- Latvian resistance movement
- Lithuanian resistance during World War II
- Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian (Forest Brothers, Latvian national partisans, and Lithuanian partisans (1944–1953)) resistance movements during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the Baltic countries (continued after the end of WWII).
- Luxembourgish resistance movement
- Norwegian resistance movement
- Philippine resistance movement (Multiple, often opposing organizations, were active during the Japanese Occupation)
- Polish Underground State and Polish resistance organizations, such as:
- Armia Krajowa (the Home Army), Polish underground army in World War II (400 000 sworn members)
- Narodowe Siły Zbrojne
- Bataliony Chłopskie
- Gwardia Ludowa (the Peoples' Guard) and Armia Ludowa (the Peoples' Army)
- Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa (ZOB, the Jewish Fighting Organisation), Jewish resistance movement that led the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943
- Zydowski Zwiazek Walki (ZZW, the Jewish Fighting Union), Jewish resistance movement that led the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943
- Slovak resistance movement
- Soviet resistance movement of Soviet partisans and underground which had Moscow-organized and spontaneously formed cells opposing German occupation.
- Thai resistance movement
- Ukrainian Insurgent Army – fought the Poles, the Germans and the Soviets.
- Yugoslav resistance movements:
- Azad Hind Movement
- Viet Minh
Planned resistance movements
- The Auxiliary Units, organized by Colonel Colin Gubbins as a potential British resistance movement against a possible invasion of the British Isles by Nazi forces, note that it was the only resistance movement established prior to invasion, albeit the invasion never came.
- Volunteer Fighting Corps (Japan)
Post–World War II
- Weather Underground
- Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) (ongoing)
- Animal Liberation Front (ongoing)
- American Indian Movement
- Algerian resistance
- Armenian resistance
- Basque separatists (ongoing)
- Balochistan conflict (ongoing)
- Bangladesh Liberation War (1971)
- Breton Revolutionary Army
- Caucasian separatists (ongoing)
- Casamance conflict (ongoing)
- Conflict in the Niger Delta (ongoing)
- Colombian communist resistance (ongoing)
- Cuban anti-Batista resistance
- Cuban anti-Castro resistance (ongoing)
- Cursed soldiers Polish anticommunist resistance
- Dissident republicans (ongoing)
- Earth Liberation Front (ongoing)
- Czechoslovakian resistance
- Galician separatists (ongoing)
- Greek resistance
- Free Wales Army
- Front for the Liberation of the Golan (ongoing)
- Hungarian Uprising
- Human rights resistance (ongoing)
- Indian Independence movement and Pakistan movement
- Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir (ongoing)
- Provisional IRA
- Jewish Zionist resistance to the British Mandate of Palestine
- Front de libération du Québec
- Khalistan (ongoing)
- Kosovo Liberation Army
- Kurdish separatism (ongoing)
- Hezbollah (ongoing)
- Lebanese Communist Party
- Los Macheteros puertorrican arm liberation movement (ongoing)
- National Liberation Front of Corsica (ongoing)
- Tevaga Peasant Movement in India
- Telengana Peasant Movement in India
- Polish resistance
- Palestinian Resistance (ongoing)
- Kurdistan conflictin Turkey and Iran
- Polisario Front (ongoing)
- Romanian anti-communist resistance movement
- Somali Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen (ongoing)
- Tamil Tigers
- Taliban (ongoing)
- Tibetan resistance movement (ongoing)
- Scottish National Liberation Army
- South Thailand insurgency (ongoing)
- South Yemen Movement (ongoing)
- Sudanese resistance (ongoing)
- Viet Minh
- West Sahara Independence Intifada (ongoing)
- Ulster Loyalism (ongoing)
- Zapatistas (ongoing)
- Sindhudesh (ongoing)
Notable individuals in resistance movements
World War II (anti-Nazi, anti-Fascist etc)
Other resistance movements
- Toussaint l'ouverture
- Spartacus
- Robert Mugabe
- Michel Bakunin
- Buenaventura Durruti
- Giuseppe Garibaldi
- Ho Chi Minh
- William Wallace
- Louis Joseph Papineau
- Nelson Mandela
- Nestor Makhno
- Maria Nikiforova
- Michael Collins
- Red Cloud
- Joan of Arc
- Rummu Jüri
- Theobald Wolfe Tone
- Osman Batur
- Nat Turner
- William Lyon Mackenzie
- Aivar Voitka
- Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
- Ülo Voitka
- Pancho Villa
- Ernesto Guevara
- Abbas al-Musawi
- Bobby Sands
- Asymmetric warfare
- Civil resistance
- Civil rights movement
- Collaborationism (and Collaboration),
the opposite of resistance
operatives loyal to a foreign government
- Guerrilla warfare
- Irregular military
- List of guerrillas
- List of revolutions and rebellions
- Nonviolent resistance
- Opposition to the Iraq War
- Opposition to the Vietnam War
- Partisan (military)
- Polish Secret State
- Reagan Doctrine
- Resistance Studies Magazine
- Social Change
- Special Activities Division
- Special Operations Executive
- Unconventional warfare
- ^ On the relation between mlitary and civil resistance in occupied Norway 1940–45, see Magne Skodvin, "Norwegian Non-violent Resistance during the German Occupation", in Adam Roberts ed., The Strategy of Civilian Defence: Non-violent Resistance to Aggression, Faber, London, 1967, pp. 136–53. (Also published as Civilian Resistance as a National Defense, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, USA, 1968; and, with a new Introduction on 'Czechoslovakia and Civilian Defence', as Civilian Resistance as a National Defence, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, UK, and Baltimore, USA, 1969. ISBN 0140210806.)
- ^ Rupert Ticehurst (references) in this footnote 1 cites The life and works of Martens are detailed by V. Pustogarov, "Fyodor Fyodorovich Martens (1845–1909) – A Humanist of Modern Times", International Review of the Red Cross (IRRC), No. 312, May–June 1996, pp. 300–314.
- ^ Rupert Ticehurst (references) in hist footnote 2 cites F. Kalshoven, Constraints on the Waging of War, Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, 1987, p. 14.
- ^ Gardam p. 91
- ^ Khan, Ali (Washburn University – School of Law). A Theory of International Terrorism, Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 19, p. 945, 1987
- ^ Mirriam-Webster definition
- ^ Gerald Seymour, "Harry's Game", 1975
- ^ BBC guideline
- ^ Perry, Simon (2011). All Who Came Before. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. ISBN 13: 978-1-60899-659-9. http://www.allwhocamebefore.com.
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