In the first part of this article, we discussed Black Lives Matter, and the fact that it spread across the United States, and then across the entire globe. But there are many other protests around the world. And as usual, Americans need to be told that it’s not always about them.
On the upside, pandemic disruption has made people think about what kind of society they want, when we finally get through the pandemic, in a matter of months (if we’re smart). Russia has seen protests in Khabarovsk over Moscow’s removal of their former governor, Sergey Furgal. People of the province didn’t take it lying down (as they may have in more normal times). Instead, the movement has grown, with calls not just to protest Vladimir Putin, but to remove him. This wouldn’t have happened without the bottled up frustration from the pandemic.
“I do not agree with this government’s course, this is a criminal government, they rob our cities, our regions,” said Elvira, a protester. “I’m against Moscow. All evil comes from the Kremlin.”
Meanwhile, there are now protests in the neighboring country, Belarus. The above story also covers this protest. Belarus is Russia’s government’s closest ally. But the peoples are also close—in their disrespect for both governments.
“We are very worried about them (Belarusian people),” said Oleg, a businessman who wouldn’t give his last name. “The things president Lukashenko gets away with there – well, president for now still – are just totally unacceptable, you can’t do that to your own people. (Reporter: Do you think they will succeed?) I think so. But it will take time, not so fast.”
The Belarusian Central Election Commission said on Monday that after all ballots were counted, Lukashenko took 80.23% of the votes and the main opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya had 9.9% of the vote. . .
“I’ve never actually been to Belarus, it’s just that I understand we have a common historical past, which connects us,” said Yelizaveta Lipatova, an engineer. “Our political systems grew up side by side as well in the 90s and before that. And so I believe we have to follow each other closely, support each other, not lose sight of each other. I think that Belarusians are doing great, and we can learn a lot from them.”
There’s also discontent in Africa.
Tens of thousands of Malians have taken to the streets in recent months, in protests fueled by pervasive corruption, extreme poverty, and protracted conflict. The unrest risks further destabilizing a region already battling an alarming rise in violent extremism.
Protestors mobilized after then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika postponed an election. Protests reached a million participants.
And the Far East.
A coalition of Thai youths, students and political activists has launched a series of protests since mid-July 2020. Over the weekend, the demonstrations swelled to the largest street protests in the kingdom since a coup six years ago, with some ten thousand protestors gathered around the Democracy Monument in Bangkok.
As we said, some are seeing this pandemic disruption as an opportunity to make societal changes—of all kinds. There have been protests in Hong Kong for months. The Hong Kong leaders were forced to withdraw a law that said Hong Kong residents should be held under mainland oversight. But democracy protests continued, sometimes, violently. While the world was focusing on Covid, apparently, the Chinese government felt that it was safe to step in. The main government passed a version of the law that Hong Kong had withdrawn, and have made arrests. Some think the protestors should have quit while they were ahead—when the Hong Kong government withdrew the original law.
The Middle East.
A massive anti-government protest movement took off in October 2019, condemning an authoritarian government, corruption, poor public services, and perceived sectarian policies of the previous prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi.
Bashar al-Assad has been presiding over one of the Middle East’s most disastrous civil wars for nearly a decade. But his hold on Syria could slip due to. . .unprecedented protests. . .
Lebanon had protests even before the recent massive explosion, which has led many to ask their former colonial leader, France, to step in and take over the country again. And that just “exploded” the unrest that had already been boiling in May.
An unprecedented financial and political crisis has sparked mass protests in Lebanon, but a nonresponsive government and the coronavirus pandemic could stand in the way of demonstrators’ demands.
And elsewhere in the Americas.
A pair of gruesome murders rocked Mexico in February, reinvigorating long-standing discontent over systemic violence against women and girls.
Sparked by a subway fare increase, government protests in Chile also mounted to include a million participants, demanding a rewrite of their constitution.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The BBC says that all of the protests around the world have a few things in common. They are about fighting—
• Social inequality
• Economic inequality
• Climate Change
• And for political freedom
The point of this article is that we are not alone. People are protesting around the world. And maybe, just maybe, when we get out of the pandemic, we’ll find ourselves in a little better world.