A brief (six pages) overview of popular revolts during the past year, given at the Prout Convention, Denmark, July 2013. The author raises useful questions for activists working for socio-political change. Three different types of revolts are examined:
1) Anti-austerity demonstrations to extreme political and economic policies that are wiping out people’s social security across southern Europe. The author focuses on Greece, where she has spent considerable time studying the people’s anger and how politicians and the media have tried to defuse it by creating false national scandals and then passing draconian laws and sending in the police to “clean up the crisis”. She also briefly examines Slovenia and Bulgaria.
2) Demonstrations and clashes that are erupting in Turkey, Brazil and Chile, after a period of tremendous economic growth, due to dissatisfaction with the quality of development and the quality of life.
3) Revolutions across North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Syria) which began as popular uprisings but with more and more militarized factions, in some cases becoming civil wars.
She concludes by raising three questions:
1) What new social contract will replace the welfare state?
2) What does economic progress and quality of life mean today?
3) Will religion have a growing influence on politics, and what will be the consequences?
There are links to relevant articles about the revolts in Greece, Slovenia, Turkey and Brazil. Download pdf.