Activism around the world

Wages, the war in Ukraine and climate change: snapshots of protests globally


United Kingdom: Nine scientists from Scientist Rebellion, an international organization of scientists fighting for climate change reform, glued research papers and themselves to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in protest of the government’s new energy security strategy. It emphasizes fossil fuels, rather than clean-energy alternatives. The scientists were arrested as were other scientists protesting inaction on climate change across Europe and the U.S. Read more at Scientific American.

Russia: The Feminist Anti-War resistance in Russia protested the war in Ukraine by placing crosses in Russian cities to remember the civilian deaths, wearing anti-war symbols and even offering mental health support to anti-war activists. They are creating art that imitates the style of government posters, but advocates for an end to the war. Many have been arrested peacefully protesting in public as media censorship cracks down on the free press. Read more at The Conversation  and 

Sierra Leone: Teachers in the Teacher Solidarity Movement protested in April over the arrest of the TSM’s interim chair for giving a speech about unfair treatment of teachers. They called for a “living wage” and better working conditions. Two other leaders of the TSM have been arrested and the Sierra Leone Bar Association has released a statement condemning the “arbitrary” detainment. Read more at The Sierra Leone Telegraph. 

Turkey: Activists in Istanbul’s Taksim Square protest the conviction of Osman Kavala, a philanthropist, for attempting to overthrow the government by giving money to anti-government Gezi Park protests in 2013. Kavala is sentenced to life in prison. Associates of Kavala were also sentenced, but for 18 years in prison.  Over 20 protesters were also arrested on their way to the square for May Day protests over the cost of living in Turkey as inflation passes 60%. May Day protesters are demanding monthly wage adjustments in tandem with the rising inflation rate. Read more at JPost  and Reuters. 

Myanmar: After a coup last year, a military dictatorship has partially shut off the internet to Myanmar’s citizenry in an attempt to censor online protests for democracy against the regime. Politicians elected by the former democratic system were expelled from the country, and now some have coalesced into the National Unity Government, which calls for democracy in Myanmar again. Activists have also started the Blue Shirt campaign, launched in April, to show solidarity with the thousands of political prisoners being held and tortured by the dictatorship. They are wearing blue clothes in marches as well as raising awareness on social media.


China: As the country’s birth rates fall and the one-child policy squeezes demographics, China is trying to encourage women to have children. A new branch of its censorship effort is now scrubbing feminist posts from Chinese social media websites. Social media accounts promoting feminism are being deleted as women online advocate for women’s representation in government. In addition, the government has indicated abortion services may be restricted. 


Peru: Protesters near Peru’s Cuajone copper mine are demanding part of profits from the mine to support the local community, along with activists at one of the country’s other major copper mines, Las Bambas. Roads have been blockaded for weeks as Peru’s president, Pedro Castillo, declared a state of emergency at the Cuajone mine. The two mines compose a fifth of the nation’s copper production. 


Australia: Activists are demanding Australia increase its intake of refugees and provide better, fairer protection for those on temporary visas prompted by the release or transfer of detainees in the Melbourne Park Hotel detention center. Protests and marches occurred over the country and some clashed with police in an attempt to prevent twelve refugees from being deported to Christmas Island.