The year of protest

In 2019 people protested all over the world against corrupt governments and oppression, and for justice and climate protection. Will their protests bear fruit in the coming year?

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El País (ES) /

The flames are spreading

El País is hopeful that social change is coming:

“2019 will be remembered as the year in which the frustration and despair of the population dominated the front pages of the most important media. Irrespective of race or religion, the flames that were ignited in Hong Kong spread to Iraq, Lebanon, Chile and Colombia; and in an unprecedented turn of events, 2019 saw social sectors from different countries join forces to support each other in their respective struggles. ... I trust that 2020 will be the year in which social solidarity and persistence will prevail against injustice, poverty and corruption.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Listen to the calls for fairness

It's time the powerful took the protest movements seriously, De Volkskrant comments:

“Young people around the world inspire each other with their calls for freedom, equal opportunities and self-determination. The increased influence of the Internet and social media should not be underestimated; citizens are no longer ignorant. ... The discontent over the growing prosperity gap is also evident in Europe, in the protests of the 'yellow vests'. Citizens are no longer willing to accept others reaping the fruits of economic growth or the natural resources of their country while they stand empty-handed on the sidelines. The genie will no longer go back into the bottle. Political leaders will have to take the protests seriously and improve the distribution of wealth and economic opportunities around the world.”

Dnevnik (SI) /

Statistical blip or permanent trend?

There's no telling whether the global unrest is here to stay, Dnevnik writes:

“What were people dissatisfied with? The reasons vary, so it remains to be seen whether this was a year-long deviation from the statistics or a permanent global reduction in tolerance to state arbitrariness and economic incompetence, as well as a number of other causes of dissatisfaction. ... Despite all this fragmentation there were also demonstrations with a global common denominator - the Friday climate protests, which stand out because they illustrate a growing awareness of the problem and the willingness to take to the streets for it, although for the vast majority it is not yet tangible or acute.”