Participants in the colour revolutions have mostly used nonviolent resistance, also called civil resistance. Such methods as demonstrations, strikes and interventions have been intended protest against governments seen as corrupt and/or authoritarian, and to advocate democracy; and they have also created strong pressure for change. These movements generally adopted a specific colour or flower as their symbol. The colour revolutions are notable for the important role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and particularly student activists in organising creative non-violent resistance.
Such movements have had a measure of success, as for example in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Bulldozer Revolution (2000), in Georgia's Rose Revolution (2003), and in Ukraine's Orange Revolution (2004). In most but not all cases, massive street protests followed disputed elections, or requests for fair elections, and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders considered by their opponents to be authoritarian. Some events have been called "colour revolutions" but are different from the above cases in certain basic characteristics. Examples include Lebanon's Cedar Revolution (2005); and Kuwait's Blue Revolution (2005).
Government figures in Russia, such as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, disapprove of the colour revolutions and have stated that they are a new form of warfare. President Putin said that Russia must prevent colour revolutions, "We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called colour revolutions led to. For us this is a lesson and a warning. We should do everything necessary so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia."
A second, much larger, round of protests began almost a year later, on 19 March 2006, soon after the presidential election. Official results had Lukashenko winning with 83% of the vote; protesters claimed the results were achieved through fraud and voter intimidation, a charge echoed by many foreign governments. Protesters camped out in October Square in Minsk over the next week, calling variously for the resignation of Lukashenko, the installation of rival candidate Alaksandar Milinkievič, and new, fair elections.
The opposition originally used as a symbol the white-red-white former flag of Belarus; the movement has had significant connections with that in neighbouring Ukraine, and during the Orange Revolution some white-red-white flags were seen being waved in Kiev. During the 2006 protests some called it the "Jeans Revolution" or "Denim Revolution", blue jeans being considered a symbol for freedom. Some protesters cut up jeans into ribbons and hung them in public places. It is claimed that Zubr was responsible for coining the phrase.