Resistance movement

A resistance movement is a group dedicated to fighting an invader in an occupied country. The term can also refer to any organized effort by supporters of a common goal against a constituted authority. Thus 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.

The term resistance has political overtones, as people have used it (and historically, other terms like it) to drum up support in opposition to "foreign intervention". 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. Both phrases -- resistance movement and freedom fighters -- can become ambiguous terms for what other observers might describe as terrorists.

Tactics of resistance movements range from passive resistance, harassment and industrial sabotage to what in today's terms we might label guerilla warfare and terrorism. Any government facing the violent acts of a group that considers itself a resistance movement usually condemns such a group as terrorist, even when such attacks target the military.

In World War II, many countries had resistance movements dedicated to fighting the Axis invaders. Germany itself also had an anti-Nazi German resistance movement in this period. Although mainland Britain did not suffer invasion in World War II, the British made preparations for a British resistance movement in the event of a German invasion.


Resistance movements

The following groups may differ widely in numbers and in activity:

Post-World War II

  • The guerrilla groups the National Libertion Front (FLN) and National Algerian Movement (MNA) who resisted French colonial rule during the Algerian War of Independence.
  • The ANC, PAC and other political and guerrilla movements that resisted the apartheid regime in South Africa.
  • The Mujahadeen in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.
  • Hizbollah (or Hezbollah), a Lebanese militant group who engaged the Israeli military, as well as other Lebanese factions, in various parts of Lebanon through guerrilla warfare until Israeli forces left the Southern Lebanese "security zone" in 2000.
  • Chechen separatist guerrillas fighting against what they see as a Russian occupation of their country.
  • The Palestinian militant (or guerrilla) groups such as the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the first intifada (or uprising) and the second Al-Aqsa Intifada against Israeli military occupation.
  • Resistance movements in Pattani since the early 1970s.
  • The Iraqi resistance -- a partisan resistance against the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq, (2003- ).
  • The anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua engaged against the Sandinista government.
  • UNITA, an anti-Soviet organization of Maoist origination opposed to the various MPLA-led governments of Angola.

World War II

Planned resistance movements:

  • The Wehrwolf (also spelled Wehrwölfe or Werwolf) was a planned Nazi resistance movement against the victorious Allies after the defeat of the Nazi government at the end of World War II.
  • The Auxiliary Units, organized by Colonel Colin Gubbins as a potential British resistance movement against a possible successful invasion of the British Isles by Nazi forces.

Pre-20th Century

  • Sons of Liberty - Revolutionary patriot group that embraced Republicanism in the United States during the 1760's and 1770's 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.

Notable individuals in the resistance movements

World War II (anti-Nazi, anti-Fascist)

Other Resistance Movements

See also

External links

cs:Odboj de:Widerstandsbewegung et:Vastupanuliikumine fr:Résistance (politique) lb:Resistenz nl:verzetsbeweging


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