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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 producers of propaganda 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.
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.
- Albanian resistance movement
- Dutch resistance movement in World War II
- German resistance movements in World War II:
- Greek resistance movement -- opposed German and Italian occupying forces in World War II
- Polish resistance movements:
- Armia Krajowa (the Home Army), Polish underground army in World War II (400 000 sworn members)
- 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
- The French resistance movement in World War II, including the Maquis
- Norwegian resistance movement in World War II
- Danish resistance movement in World War II
- Italian resistance movement in World War II
- Yugoslav resistance movements:
- Czech Resistance movement
- Philippine resistance movement -- the anti-Japanese phase of the Huk movement
- Slovak resistance movement
- Romanian anti-communist resistance movement - during the Soviet occupation of Romania (continued after the end of WWII).
- Soviet resistance movement of underground and partisan operatives, which had Moscow-organized and spontaneously formed cells opposing Fascism
- Ukrainian Insurgent Army - fought against Soviet and Polish
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.
- 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.
- The Underground Railroad - The pre American Civil War slave escape network consisting of volunteers who were dedicated to secretly helping escaping slave reach free states or Canada.
Notable individuals in the resistance movements
- Mildred Harnack
World War II (anti-Nazi, anti-Fascist)
- Mordechaj Anielewicz
- Josip Broz - Tito
- Albert Camus
- Jean Moulin
- Christian Pineau
- Jean-Paul Sartre
- Hannie Schaft
- Nancy Wake
Other Resistance Movements
- Quotes about resistance
- Special Operations Executive
- Polish Secret State
- Collaboration (quite the opposite of resistance)
- Covert cell
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