Did You Know That….?

  • Protests in Turkey – against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — are continuing? This week more than 100,000 people gathered in the streets and squares of Istanbul to express their rage and grief. Their rage was at a leader increasingly viewed as being an autocrat, and at a government increasingly viewed as being autocratic. And their grief was over the death of a 15-year-old boy who had died after being hit in the head by a police tear-gas canister.  
  • Protests in Israel – against a government plan to compel more members of the ultra-Orthodox community to serve in the military – are beginning? This week some 300,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied for their cause in the streets and squares of Jerusalem. The government meanwhile insists that it is intent finally on limiting what up to now have been wholesale exceptions from military service.           
  • Protests in Venezuela – against the government and for the government – that have been going on for at least one month show no signs whatsoever of abating? Quite the opposite, in fact. The country is deeply divided with no solution or conciliation in sight. Positions are hardening, with many Venezuelans more not less inclined to accept the possibility that their country is heading toward a bloody face-off.   

    Ukrainians have not, in other words, been the only ones taking to the streets in recent months. The world over there is continuing evidence that ordinary people are feeling politically empowered – even though, as we see this weekend (the Crimean election), the products of protest are impossible to predict.  

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