playlist

The power of protest

Across history, protest has shaped societies in tremendous ways. These talks explore how movements catalyze monumental change.

  1. 10:15
    Zachariah Mampilly How protest is redefining democracy around the world

    The democratic process is messy, complicated and often inefficient — but across Africa, activists are redefining democracy by putting protest at its center. In an illuminating talk, political scientist Zachariah Mampilly gives us a primer on the current wave of protests reshaping countries like Tunisia, Malawi and Zimbabwe — and explains how this form of political dissension expands our political imaginations beyond what we're told is possible.

  2. 14:25
    Jennifer Granick How the US government spies on people who protest — including you

    What's stopping the American government from recording your phone calls, reading your emails and monitoring your location? Very little, says surveillance and cybersecurity counsel Jennifer Granick. The government collects all kinds of information about you easily, cheaply and without a warrant — and if you've ever participated in a protest or attended a gun show, you're likely a person of interest. Learn more about your rights, your risks and how to protect yourself in the golden age of surveillance.

  3. 17:42
    Yoruba Richen What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement

    As a member of both the African American and LGBT communities, filmmaker Yoruba Richen is fascinated with the overlaps and tensions between the gay rights and the civil rights movements. She explores how the two struggles intertwine and propel each other forward — and, in an unmissable argument, she dispels a myth about their points of conflict. A powerful reminder that we all have a stake in equality.

  4. 17:10
    Judith Heumann Our fight for disability rights — and why we're not done yet

    Four decades ago, Judith Heumann helped to lead a groundbreaking protest called the Section 504 sit-in — in which disabled-rights activists occupied a federal building for almost a month, demanding greater accessibility for all. In this personal, inspiring talk, Heumann tells the stories behind the protest — and reminds us that, 40 years on, there's still work left to do.

  5. 16:14
    Zeynep Tufekci Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win

    Today, a single email can launch a worldwide movement. But as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci suggests, even though online activism is easy to grow, it often doesn't last. Why? She compares modern movements — Gezi, Ukraine, Hong Kong — to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and uncovers a surprising benefit of organizing protest movements the way it happened before Twitter.

  6. 16:05
    Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter

    Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to participate in ensuring freedom for everybody: join something, start something and "sharpen each other, so that we all can rise."

  7. 4:33
    Will Potter The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest

    In 2002, investigative journalist and TED Fellow Will Potter took a break from his regular beat, writing about shootings and murders for the Chicago Tribune. He went to help a local group campaigning against animal testing: "I thought it would be a safe way to do something positive," he says. Instead, he was arrested, and so began his ongoing journey into a world in which peaceful protest is branded as terrorism.

  8. 5:25
    Damon Davis Courage is contagious

    When artist Damon Davis went to join the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after police killed Michael Brown in 2014, he found not only anger but also a sense of love for self and community. His documentary "Whose Streets?" tells the story of the protests from the perspective of the activists who showed up to challenge those who use power to spread fear and hate.