Bringing Down a Dictator

Event Date: Thursday February 15, 2007
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Pound Hall 101, Harvard Law School

Film and discussion with Eileen Babbitt, Professor, Fletcher School at Tufts University

In the year 2000, in a war barely noticed outside Yugoslavia, the indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic fought to hold onto power. He controlled a battle-hardened army, a tough police force, and most of the news media. But he underestimated his opponents, led by a student movement called Otpor! (Serbian for “resistance”), who attacked the regime with ridicule, rock music, and a willingness to be arrested. Their courage and audacity inspired others to overcome their fear and join the fight.

Otpor! students were the shock troops in what became an army of human rights and pro-democracy activists who systematically undermined police and army loyalty to Milosevic and forced him to call early elections. When Milosevic refused to accept his defeat at the polls, the people responded with a general strike. As normal life ground to a halt, Serbs by the hundreds of thousands descended on the capital on October 5 to seize the parliament in a dramatic triumph for democracy.

After the film, Professor Eileen Babbitt will facilitate a discussion on negotiation techniques used in the film and how they could be applied in other situations. This documentary screening is part of a series of events exploring the intersection of negotiation and nonviolent action.

Eileen F. Babbitt is Professor of International Conflict Management Practice and Director of the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is also a Faculty Associate of the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Free pizza and drinks.

Director: Steve York
Narrator: Martin Sheen

Runtime: 56 minutes


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