The Challenge of Protecting Civic Space Continues: We hope you will join AFSC as we develop a global strategy! [BLOG]

COVID-19 has been used by multiple states to restrain civil society. As we feared, governments have not relinquished their control as the pandemic evolves from an emergency to a part of everyday life. AFSC has been tracking responses to COVID-19 and civic space since the pandemic began, with a particular focus on freedom of movement, speech, and the right to protest. During the pandemic, the penalties for protesting have ramped up around the world.

Connecting with Global South voices [blog]

Connecting with Global South voices

Acknowledging the shared challenges and experiences faced by civil society activists around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, AFSC launched Under the Mask (UTM) to help people worldwide to protect civil rights and civil liberties. We want to make sure these resources reach every person and organisation that needs them. And we could use your help with that!

Stories of resisting authoritarianism during COVID-19 [blog]

In 2020, AFSC launched the Under the Mask project to track governmental abuses of power in the context of the pandemic. While countries around the world enacted measures to contain the virus, some governments have exploited COVID-19 to impose authoritarian policies—including expanding surveillance of everyday citizens and restricting free speech and other civil liberties.

Our Under the Mask project brought together activists and civil society organizations from 32 countries for online discussions about their experiences and ways to counter oppressive state measures. 

India: Is the government fuelling the COVID-19 crisis? [blog]

COVID-19 has engulfed India, a country of almost 1.4 billion people, with an estimated one fifth living below the poverty line. Stories of people walking for miles seeking oxygen for loved ones, health systems crumbling under mounting pressure, and crematoriums completely overwhelmed are spreading across the world. 

But what has led to this? I spoke with Akhil, a senior development activist in India about factors contributing to the scale of the crisis.