Since the beginning of 2019, a series of protests across the globe have erupted mainly driven by neo-liberal economic policies. These protests are direct consequences of economic policies making rich richer and the poor poorer thereby globalizing inequality and injustice.
Starting from last November 2018 one of the biggest uprisings in France started protesting against the economic policies of French Emmanuel Macron. The protests were known as “yellow vests” symbolizing safety jackets of truck drivers (welfare state policies of common people) being removed by the French government spread throughout the country before it was quelled using force.
In October 2019, protesters in Spain have been filling the street of Madrid to protest against the Spanish state repression of the Catalan Independence Movement. More than a lakh protesters have been gathering regularly protesting against sentencing (13 years imprisonment to 9 politicians and activists) and witch hunt of people who were involved in the Catalan Independence Movement.
Palestinians have been protesting the 12 years of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. The protesters are demanding the right to return to their land in Gaza. Gaza Strip has seen a severe bombardment of Gaza Strip for last 10 years and in on the brink of the biggest humanitarian crisis.
Protests have erupted in Lebanon against rising taxes and government corruption. It is said that protests started after the government’s announcement of a planned daily tax on the use of WhatsApp, Skype, and other voice-over-internet services. But the deepening crisis is mainly blamed on high prices, unemployment and poor services which challenge the long-established systems dominated by political dynasties. The protesters even created a 105-kilometer human chain from north to south running through Capital Beirut.
Chile is witnessing one of the biggest people’s mobilisation in decades against the neo-liberal policies of the government. Though the trigger to the protests is said to increase in Metro rail fare, deeper dissatisfaction amongst people on poverty, inequality and rising cost of living has triggered people coming in huge numbers against the government. More than 100 people have lost lives and thousands injured with allegations of police brutality including sexual intimidation of female students. More than a million Chileans have been protesting against the government shouting slogans with “Neoliberalism started in Chile and they will end neoliberalism in Chile.
Students in Columbia are protesting for better funding at the universities demanding an end to economic policies of austerity and government corruption. Capital Bogota is witnessing series of protests against wealth concentration by a few plutocrats and the expense of the impoverishment of Colombians.
Haiti’s population has taken to streets demanding the removal of President Jovenel Moïse blaming fuel shortages and widespread corruption. Haiti has been paralyzed by protests against the falling livings standards and rampant corruption by the ruling government. So far 9 protesters have been killed by police and more than a dozen injured with the president still refuses to resign.
Ecuadorians are protesting against the economic policies of Lenin Moreno after IMF imposed austerity measures (cutting fuel subsidies and social spending) were introduced by the government. The general strike called on October 2nd resulted in one of the biggest protests against the government with more than a million protesters participating in the event. Since then, the government has retracted the austerity measures.
Iraqi youth for more than a month are protesting against unemployment and rampant government corruption. So far more than 250 protesters have lost lives in the anti-government protests. The youth who have grown up post-Saddam Hussain in a war-torn country have taken to streets against corrupt religious oligarchy, the corrupt Iraqi administration and the failed promises by the President Adil-Abdul Mahdi.
Algeria is protesting against the military backed government for civilian democracy. The Hirak movement of the revolution of smiles has swept Algeria from February 2019 against the 5th term nomination filed by the president Abdulaziz Bouteflika. Though subsequently the nomination was withdrawn the protesters are still demanding more democracy, civil liberties and democratic rule of law.
Mass protests broke out in Indonesia by students against the dilution of anti-corruption laws and unemployment on 23 September 2019. The students from more than 300 universities demanded more transparency by the government. These protests were largest since 1998 student’s movement against the Suharto Regime.
Hong Kong protests which started with the extradition law by Mainland china has transformed into complex hybrid warfare. Though Hong Kong ranks number three in the world freedom index its organizers are fighting against the Chinese government by waving British flags and placards saying “Trump save us” . Interestingly, protestors are demanding more freedom laws to be introduced and recognized by the United States which ranks 17 in the world freedom index. Hong Kong protesters now known as black bloc are intensifying their protest against the anti-mask law introduced by the Hong Kong Government by destroying public property. The government has retracted the extradition law but the protests continue.