By Mayank Jain:
It is only when people rise, that the true spirit of freedom awakens. 2013 as a year, was a milestone in the spirit of freedom and human rights. People from all over the world came on streets and spoke for themselves in ways that were innovative as well as tenacious. Let’s recount some of the major protests that happened round the globe in this year:
1. Thailand’s Political Protests:
Thailand has witnessed strong political protests meant to oppose Thaksin Shinawatra’s influence on the incumbent Pheu Thai Party. The government has proposed an Amnesty Bill that will pave way to acquittal of Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban and also aid in the return of the self-exiled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
With a “a will to change life in Ukraine” the protests have evolved since November and people are protesting against the government with the aim of getting European Union Association Agreement and Free Trade Agreement by the government and also improving the state of governance and eradication of corruption.
3. Balcombe Drilling Protests:
The Balcombe drilling protests were born when the government sanctioned test drilling and fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for Balcombe, which is a village near west Sussex. The protest has taken an important stand of protection against harmful impacts of industrial scale exploitation of shale gas.
4. Million People March:
Million People March is probably one of the first ever national movements in Philippines born out of social media in their infancy. The protests are against government and its fund appropriation strategy to make money for the representatives rather than for the welfare of the state. The protestors call for an end to Pork Barrel and widespread corruption.
5. Catalan Way:
Also known as the Catalan Way for Independence was a one of a kind protest for Catalonia’s independence from Spain. The protest was organized on National Day of Catalonia in the form of a 480 kilometer human chain. According to Carme Forcadell, president of the ANC, it was “a symbol of the unity of Catalan people to achieve national sovereignty”.
6. Rise up, Ukraine!
Rise up, Ukraine! Is the series of protests carried out all over the country by opposition national parties All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland”, UDAR and All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” against the government of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych that have taken place in Ukraine since 14 March 2013. The protests are majorly peaceful including rallies, marches and picketing.
7. Protests Against The Borisov Cabinet
The protests were against the very high hot water and electricity bills the residents of Bulgaria received and later evolved into a non-partisan movement against the government and the political system. The protests ended on 20th February, 2013 with the resignation of Boyko Borisov government.
8. 2013 protests in Brazil
These protests are also known as V for Vinegar Movement, Brazilian Spring and June Journeys. The protests are formed of several ongoing public demonstrations in many cities of Brazil asking for less priority to fund for major sport events and instead work towards better transportation systems as well as basic amenities for the citizens.
9. 2013 Protests in Turkey
The protests were a form of civil movement in the country with the aim to protecting Gezi Park and the forest of METU and also highlighting the lack of consultation and police’s use of excessive force. The protestors are asking for resignation of ErdoÄŸan’s government and defending their right to freedom of speech.
10. 2013 Armenian Protests
This ongoing movement in Armenia is getting bigger by the day and is 10 months old already. The protests are against the monopolization, inflation, and an alleged election fraud during the 18 February 2013 presidential election. The major demands include resignation of the president and cancellation of a controversial gas deal with Russia.
11. Protests Against The Oresharski Cabinet
Born out of the capital Sofia in Bulgaria, these protests are against the left wing coalition cabinet of Oresharski. The demonstrations started on 28 May, 2013 and still continue as people protest government corruption and the general failure of the democratic system in the country because of political deals happening under the table.
12. 2013 Romanian Social Protests
One of the important modern day struggles for better wages and living conditions is going on in Romania triggered as an opposition to the RoÈ™ia MontanÄƒ Project which is a gold and silver mining project initiated in Romania. The demands include allocation of at least 6% of GDP on health and education each as well as resignation of the president and the prime minister. Various causes have merged into one and they vary from Euthanasia of street dogs to Shale drilling and IMF presence in the country.
13. Delhi Gang Rape Protests:
After the horrific incident of gang rape of a 23 year old student in a private bus by the driver and five others including an unnamed juvenile resulted in mass anger and agitations against the Government of India and the Government of Delhi. The incident happened on 16 December, 2012 but the protests continued all around the country till much later and rallies and marches are being observed even today as part of the protest against lax security for women in the capital.