Activism around the world: Vol. 5
Democracy, peace, retirement: a look at protests globally
April 19, 2023
France: The raising of the retirement age from 62 to 64 has sparked protests in France that are the largest in recent memory. Though the exact number is in dispute, it is indisputable that over a million have taken to the streets to march, and even opera and dance organizations in Paris have protested in their own way, like performing outside in the bitter winter. Theater troupes have added their touch by parading props and having actors perform scenes with themes of justice and activism. The president, Emmanuel Macron, has signaled that he will not give concessions to the protesters.
Philippines: The Philippine government has allowed the U.S. military access to four new bases, firing up activists across the country. This is to counter the growing presence of China in Taiwan and the South China Sea. A group of protesters clustered around the Manila — the capital of the Philippines — military camp where the deal was made, protesting the potential for the Philippines to become ensnared in the tensions and possible confrontation between China and the U.S.
South Africa: As South Africa’s economy stumbles and an energy crisis grows, civilians are crowding the streets of Pretoria — the nation’s capital — to attempt to make president Cyril Ramaphosa resign. Helping contribute to the protest is the leftmost, Economic Freedom Fighters, who are a large third party in South Africa. The activism has sparked fears of widespread looting and rioting, which has occurred in recent memory, causing the police to maintain a high level of readiness and businesses nearest the protesting to lock down.
Mexico: A wave of protests has racked Mexico City as president Obrador has altered electoral laws by cutting funding for certain election offices and lowering penalties for improper campaign finance reporting in order to divert more money towards helping the poor, he claims. Activists say that the new changes are threatening Mexican democracy and demand that the reforms be overturned. Tens of thousands flowed through city streets wearing white and pink in solidarity with the colors of the National Electoral Institute.
Russia: Though reports of anti-Ukraine war protesting — and most other protests as well — are tightly suppressed by the Russian government, a spate of one-person and silent protests has struck cities across the country. Flowers are being laid at sites with relation to Ukraine to protest the deaths of civilians in an apartment building in Dnipro, Ukraine despite the huge penalties protesting carries in Russia.