This section covers a range of protests against government policies (e.g. neoliberalism leading to greater inequality) and styles of government (e.g. corruption and misspending). It begins with the Chilean student-led challenge to the Pinochet legacy in 2011-12 and three mass movements that erupted in 2013 (and sometimes compared to each other) in Bulgaria, Turkey and Brazil. Secondly it focuses more specifically on campaigns for greater transparency and against corruption, using a number of examples from India, including the well publicized anti-corruption movement that arose in 2011. Thirdly, this section illustrates campaigns for just taxation and against overtaxing the poor.
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Looks at 2006 and 2011 protests.
Briefly explains problem in higher education and how privatization promotes gap between rich and poor. Describes wide range of nonviolent direct action used by the students, but notes wider support and activism.
Discusses context of protest, the school and university education system, extent of inequality in Chilean society, and implications if movement successful.
Stresses challenge to Pinochet legacy and links with workers’ unions. Includes timeline of protests from May 2011 – August 2012.
Account of talk by Giorgio Jackson, President of the Catholic University’s Student Association in Chile.
Considers the reasons for emergence of movement and its challenge to free market provision of education. Argues experience of this education provides both mobilizing grievances and resources for political mobilization.
The author is assistant professor of sociology at the Catholic University of Chile. Examines causes of protests and educational system, ‘horizontalism’ of student organization, tactics, use of media and maintenance of internal unity.
Article published just before protests erupted in February.
Useful and well referenced analysis of student phase of protests, in context of earlier student protests in 1997 and wider national demonstrations in 2013.
Stresses that Bulgaria’s corrupt and incompetent governments are result of the nature of the 1989 transition, the opportunities created then for members of the security services to seize economic, social and political power, and lack of public debate about the past.
Examination of violence from a gender perspective by academic specializing in women’s political participation in Turkey.
Article discusses why, despite major role of young people using social media in the first three weeks of protests, columnists in the major Turkish daily Hurriyet (Liberty) often failed to mention, or underplayed, the significance of the young demonstrators.
Assessment of Turkey’s progress towards being a consolidated democracy since the Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002, arguing that despite some significant gains there are still ‘profound’ problems as the corruption allegations against Erodgan illustrate.
Includes a range of brief essays on the Taksim protests, but also includes Immanuel Wallerstein on ‘Turkey: Dilemma of the Kurds’, and chapters making comparisons with Mexico 1968 and with Brazil, plus an analysis of ‘Two Waves of Popular Protest in 2013 Bulgaria’.
Discusses the protests and their symbolism and the ideological conflicts evoked.
Criticizes the western view of Turkey as model for the Islamic world and analyses the Erdogan government’s domestic and foreign policy. Written the year before Gezi Park , but provides relevant background.
Critical examination of the multiplicity of the Gezi movement, the underlying factors and its repercussions . The author stresses the degree of violence and claims ‘the broader Gezi Park agenda represented a fundamentally Kemalist reaction against democracy’, citing the role of the Republican People’s Party as supporting evidence.
Economics professor suggests three main causes of the protests.
Series of 22 posts covering numerous aspects of protests, their cause, and issues of policing.
On the negative impact of preparations for the World Cup and increasingly repressive police tactics.
Examines causes, range of demands, social base and ‘contradictory frustrations’ of the mass protests. Discusses political dilemmas and proposes ‘constructive alternatives for the left’.
Analyzes varied class, age and political beliefs of the protesters (sometimes resulting in conflict between them).
Uses evidence of two surveys to examine effects of protests on party-alignment and suggests a drop in support for the ruling Workers’ Party, but that no other party gained in support.
Examination of the grass roots work of the MKSS in developing campaign for right to information as part of their wider campaigning and their use of jan sunwals (public hearings) in communities where official documents regarding public works, anti-poverty programmes etc. are read out and people are encouraged to add their own testimony about diversion of funds and fraud. The article also covers the MKSS use of public protest, such as a 52 day sit-in in the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, in 1997. See also: Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Right to Information. State Level: Rajasthan  , 2005 . Brief elaboration and update on work of MKSS and Right to Information Acts up to 2005.
Analyzes corruption as a violation of human rights and proposes a multi-pronged approach to tackling corruption, including a greater role for civil society. A postscript takes account of the 2011 Anna Hazare movement against corruption.
On use of legal mechanisms under the 2005 Right to Information Act by anti-corruption and right to information groups.
Article written at peak of Hazare movement, noting the divided views on the movement and criticisms of it, including the dangers of ‘messianic campaigns’ for parliamentary democracy.
Primarily an exposition of Gandhi’s theory of democracy, but commenting on Hazare’s anti-corruption movement as a starting point.
Comments on the potential of a large and nonviolent movement and criticizes hard line leftist criticisms.
Criticizes coercive nature of a ‘fast to the death’ and dangers of civil society activism that bypasses parliament.
Originally published in Dissent.
Raises caveats about comparisons with Gandhi, discusses Hazare’s diagnosis and prescriptions for corruption and comments on the nature of the Hazare movement. Argues against claims that it is a pawn of the extreme right RSS and/or CIA, noting the extent of mass protests and the depth of anger about corruption.
Brief summary of key disagreements between government and Hazare camp on role and powers of proposed ombudsman.
Examines social base, organization and tactics of the anti-poll tax movement and relates it to theoretical debates about new social movements and poor people’s movements. See also: Bagguley, Paul , Anti-Poll Tax Protest In Kennedy, Paul ; Barker, Colin , To Make Another World: Studies in Protest and Collective Action Aldershot, Avebury Press, , 1996, pp. 7-24
See also reply by Lavalette, Michael ; Mooney, Gerry , The Poll Tax Struggle in Britain: A Reply to Hoggett and Burn Critical Social Policy, 1993, pp. 96-108
Detailed case study of poll tax protest in the London Borough of Ealing.
Discusses how the poll tax campaign spread beyond its origins in Edinburgh to the rest of Britain and describes its main tactics.