The Scope of the Global Spring
In December 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi drenched himself in fuel in the middle of Sidi Bouzid’s town square and ignited himself on fire as a traditional form of protest. Eighteen days later, Bouazizi died and four days after that, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year dictatorship crumbled. More than a year later, Bouazizi’s self-immolation has created a scourge of resistance across all corners of the world.
The people’s epoch of protest has not come easily, but no revolution ever has. Censorship, brutality, arrest and murder have greeted protesters to derail their struggle for liberation. But as last year’s Arab Spring has proved, once the oppressed have lost their fear and tolerance for tyranny, real revolution and change is possible.
An international uprising
Now that the people of the Middle East have paved the way for emancipation, the afflicted working classes across the world are stirring up mass waves of upheaval, each fighting for their own distinct struggles. So far, this Global Spring has activated thousands in nearly every country to take the streets, mobilize and launch an international revolution.
March brought the revitalization of resistance communities all over the world:
- The Socialist Unity Centre of India has reclaimed the streets of New Delhi to rally against unemployment, lack of education opportunities and violence against women and children in India.
- When the Indonesian government announced fuel price hikes of more than 30 percent, thousands invaded Jakarta to protest and were met with tear gas and water cannons.
- On the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, protesters reignited the American uprising against capitalism in all areas of the country.
- More than 200,000 Canadian students marched to protest tuition hikes in Montreal and awoke a student movement for accessible education.
- Protesters in the Philippines have marched by the thousands to rally against the U.S. imperialist occupation of their country.
- Portuguese protesters conducted a general strike against austerity measures after a 78-billion euro bailout last year.
- More than 400 people gathered in Moscow after taking the streets to mobilize against state television propaganda programming condemning opposition rallies.
- The Pakistan working class took over a petrol station to oppose power cuts in Lahore.
- The Aysén Social Movement in Chile has made great strides against its government tormentors and has worked to provide the working class with better working conditions, healthcare, education and city infrastructure.
- About 40 people were killed in this week alone in Syria as a continued backlash against the Arab Spring and activist groups. More than 9,000 have been killed in the year-long conflict, but protests and marches have continued.
- Countless marches have sprung up in the United States to assemble against racism in the dozens of protests that fought for justice for murdered teenager Treyvon Martin.
- Jamyang Palden set himself aflame in the town of Rongwo in China to protest the country’s occupation of Tibet where government officials have cut off Internet and international news access. Palden is the 27th person in the last year to self-immolate in protest.
…and this has only been in the month of March.
These are just a few of the communities of resistance that have assembled and organized against their oppressors to continue the legacy of revolution Bouazizi helped spark.
Solidarity in revolution
As the globalization of government and markets has come to be the way of the world, oppressive regimes and capitalist interests have terrorized working classes and distorted countries’ economies. But the working class is using internationalism to their benefit; one country’s struggle has become another’s struggle. This use of solidarity has acted as the fuel to enrage and motivate working class groups to begin their own emancipation. Globalization has forced us to see that revolution cannot just happen in one country; it must be an international effort to crush the oppressive forces of government control, greed, violence and war. Social justice and human rights cannot exist in one country and not in another. This conflagration of dissent is spreading purposefully and will continue a power shift from the oppressive to the oppressed.
Those maintaining the status quo are scared, too. The use of violence against protesters only demonstrates a government’s belief that uprisings can and will eventually topple them to dust. Brutality cannot and has not prevented activists all over the world from continuing their plight for basic human rights.
The Global Spring has arrived, but this is only the beginning of the emancipation of the world’s working class and oppressed.