Articles on Protest

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Naked protests chafe with some, but they have a variety of advantages. Susanna Dunkerley/AAP Image

Protest in the 21st century: is naked the new balaclava?

For those of us who grew up with marches and rallies as the default type (or stereotype) of protest, some of the 21st-century forms – such as The World Naked Bike Ride or Nannas Knitting Against Gas and…
Russian forces detained all those aboard Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise after activists tried to hang a banner from an oil platform. EPA/Igor Podgorny/Greenpeace

Greenpeace’s Arctic 30 act on idea of a community of nations

Should the Australian government require Colin Russell to repay at least some of its costs for acting on his behalf when the Russians imprisoned him and 29 other Greenpeace activists and journalists, known…
Erdogan has fallen out with his best political pal. P Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

Rift with party fuels crisis at heart of Turkey’s government

The long-standing and, hitherto, powerful government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is under unprecedented pressure after one of the strangest fortnights in recent Turkish political history. Some key allies and…
Gloomy outlook for free speech. ucloccupation

Policing on campus is a brazen attack on free speech

Relations between student protesters and police in universities have broken down. From demonstrations demanding that “cops stay off campus” to protests against the heavy-handed way in which students have…
Toddling to the barricades. oudodou

Mexican elites worry as protestors evoke spirit of 68

On this day, 45 years ago, hundreds of peaceful protestors were massacred by the government in Mexico City. With worsening poverty, repressive government and no democratic outlet, all the conditions are…
Gathering storm: today’s well-equipped rebel carries an iPad. Mohamed Azazy/Flickr

Egypt uprising: much more than just a ‘Twitter revolt’

These days all you need to be a revolutionary is a mobile phone and a grievance. Some see what is happening on the streets of Cairo as the ultimate expression of democracy - millions of people using social…
The revolution will not be televised. Alan Hilditch via Creative Commons

Turkish mainstream media’s mask has finally slipped

While protesters were asleep, police stormed Istanbul’s Gezi Park using tear gas and water cannons. They set fire to the encampments. And yet pictures of bloodied protesters, or those blinded by plastic…
A Palestinian farmer and Israeli soldier clash in an olive grove. Can academics in other countries affect this situation by boycotting one side or the other? AAP/Abed Al Hashlamoun

Academics and activism: Stephen Hawking and the Israel boycott

The news that famous physicist Stephen Hawking has decided to join the academic boycott of Israel has attracted some heated commentary. Hawking pulled out of attending an Israeli conference in June, explaining…
La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor John Dewar defends his cuts to the humanities program. ABC News

Vice-Chancellor: La Trobe protestors abused freedom of speech

On Sunday, La Trobe University held its most successful Open Day ever, with more than 19,000 visitors. But the day was disrupted by student protests against recently announced changes to our Faculty of…
Israeli chocolatier Max Brenner in Sydney in 2009. A Victorian court has ruled people do have a right to protest his support for the Israel armed forces. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Is the Max Brenner protestors’ court victory an Australian legal watershed?

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is controversial on at least two levels. First, it targets businesses, which some (including the Victorian Government) see as an illegitimate…
Mass social movements, like the one in East Germany in 1989-91, don’t usually start out with clear goals. AAP

You think Occupy is incoherent? It takes time to change history

Those who call for the Occupy movement to have a coherent set of demands at its birth ignore the history of social and protest movements. Often, the coherence to the programs of protest movements is only…
The first free elections borne from the Arab Spring were held in Tunisia. Over 90% of registered adults voted. EPA/Zacarias Garcia

Tunisian hope and Greek despair: A week in the life of democracy

It has been a tumultuous week in the life and times of democracy in the Mediterranean. Seven days punctuated by joyous hope and its ugly opposite, sullen despair. The promising news came from Tunisia…
Police dragged protestors away from the Occupy Melbourne protests one by one. AAP/Julian Smith

#OccupyMelbourne - an eyewitness account of overwhelming police force

I received a text message on Friday morning from a friend at the Occupy Melbourne protest at City Square, saying that the protesters were about to be forcibly evicted. From my time in City Square the previous…
15-M started in Spain, but it has sparked protests around the globe. EPA/Jesus Diges

15-M back on Spain’s streets as protest goes global

This weekend Spain will see the return of its “revolution”. Those involved in the 15-M movement will once again take to the streets en masse to demand urgent reforms. Under the motto “united for a global…
Coptic Christians have long been discriminated against in Egypt, but the violence against them, and the government response to it, signals concerns for democracy in the country. EPA/Mohamed Omar

Democracy in peril: Egypt’s handling of Coptic unrest

The violence in Egypt involving Coptic demonstrators, military units and unidentified thugs shocked the country and rang alarms about prospects for transition to democracy. Egypt is going through a revolution…
Are puppy farm protesters part of a growing wave of interest in animal rights? forced rhubarb

Australia increasingly uncomfortable with animal cruelty

I may be wrong, but recent indicators suggest animal suffering is going out of fashion. I have been tracking the ebb and flow of the animal protection movement as a first-hand observer since the late 1990s…
The numbers in Manhattan streets are far outnumbered by those on social media. Don Emmert/AFP

#OccupyWallStreet …? I’ll be there, but on Twitter

On Saturday, hundreds of protestors congregated in the Wall Street area of New York at the start of a protest dubbed #OccupyWallStreet. The aim? To “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens…

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