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Throughout history, governments have exploited crises to impose dangerous, authoritarian policies. This pandemic is no exception. As governments have attempted to contain the spread of COVID-19, many have imposed extreme measures and restrictions on civic rights.

AFSC's new limited-series podcast, “Under the Mask,” explores how communities are finding ways to connect, organize, and challenge repression in these times. Our podcast draws from a series of online dialogues hosted by AFSC this summer, which brought together activists and civil society organizations from around the world to share their experiences and tools to counter oppressive state measures. 

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Episode 3: The finale of AFSC’s “Under the Mask” series focuses on Kenya, where a history of police abuse and election violence have left a country with a great deal of disunity. As the international community continues to grapple with COVID-19, countries like Kenya are exploiting the pandemic to promote repressive laws—including a Dusk to Dawn curfew—and fueling fragmentation and corruption.

Episode 2: Journalists Bilal Qureshi and Marisa Mazria Katz talk with Luis Paiz Bekker, Kerri Kennedy, and Douglas from the American Friends Service Committee as well as Mexico City-based journalist Maya Averbuch to share a rich story about building movements to overcome challenges of inequity, migration, and the effects of the global pandemic in the region.


Episode 1: In our premiere episode, AFSC’s Sahar Vardi and Kerri Kennedy discuss how people in Israel and beyond are resisting government surveillance and the criminalization of protest and dissent. Two more episodes are coming soon.