Global Policy Forum

General Analysis on Protests


Documents and Articles

2011| 2008 | 2001 | 2000

Key Documents


Democracy at the Barricades (August 2001)

Ironically, governments of the industrialized world claim that NGOs are undemocratic because they are not elected. They have thereby tried to divert attention from the legitimate questions protesters raise. But in fact the democratic deficit lies with international capital, not with NGOs in the globalization-reform movement. (Le Monde Diplomatique)



The Facebook Purge: Corporate Power, political influence and the need for independent, powerfully popular social media networks (April 30, 2011)

As people increasingly use social media as means of organizing protests and participating in social movements, this OpenDemocracy article argues that we need to ensure that these social networking sites are not influenced by corporate and political powers. The author argues that, given the concerns that major social networking sites, like Facebook, are releasing the names or shutting down the accounts of anti-government or anti-business protestors, activists must start using independent, alternative social media networks. (OpenDemocracy)


Where Have All the Protests Gone? (September 24, 2008)

Fewer people are participating in protests today even though circumstances resemble those 40 years ago, when another economic crisis and continuing war marked the election year. This article argues that people of the new generation protest less, not only because they lack interest, but also because they have found other ways of making their voices heard, for example through the internet, fundraising and "going door to door." (Washington Post)

Mediating Protests: A Critical Examination of the Relation Between the Mass Media and Social Movements (April 22, 2008)

Through press, radio and TV, NGOs and social movements can communicate their message and mobilize support for social and political issues. How media portrays different NGOs and their protest activities often greatly influence people's opinion about the social movements. This paper analyses how media can both assist and obstruct social change by supporting mobilization or by ignoring or undermining the work of NGOs. (Global Research)



Will Terror Bring Silence to Protest Movement? (October 25, 2001)

Following the September 11 attacks, activists had to review their way of protesting. Will the pause will lead to a shift in the movement? (Reuters)

America's Tragedy Makes Protest Taboo (October 10, 2001)

Following the protest against US national missile defense system, a group of Greenpeace activists is still held in California, questioning whether the September 11 attacks will change the course of their trial.(Guardian)

Video Activism (August 20, 2001)

Anti-globalization protests have "been reduced to a binary battle between 'anarchists' and paramilitary police" by the mainstream media. The Guardian argues that independent media outlets, including Indymedia and Undercurrents, create "forums for the ignored and the bypass the corporate media."

Is This Any Way To Run A Globe? (August 14, 2001)

R.C. Longworth describes the opposition between the G8, who have put themselves in charge of global governance, and global protesters. The debate has reached a deadlock: "It's time to move on to a real debate, to open up some more chairs at the rule-writing table, and to define some intellectual battle lines." (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

The Undeterred: Government Throws the Book at Protesters, Creating Lifelong Activists (August 13, 2001)

Apparently the US government is trying to deter protesters with higher penalties. Laura Flanders argues, however, that this policy has already backfired by actually strengthening activists. (Working For Change)

Violence Should be Seen as a Sign of a Healthy Democracy (July 13, 2001)

Politicians often refer to violence in order to condemn their critics, without reflecting on the reasons that trigger violent action. Martin Woollacott demands that governments and citizens should not "condone violence, but only . see it as something which can never be entirely eradicated and which, meanwhile, has forms and rules and can be well- or ill-managed." (Guardian)

World Bank Nervous Over Growth of Bond Boycott (July 4, 2001)

The US-based World Bank Bonds Boycott, which has demanded that the Bank end structural adjustment programs and grant its debtors a 100% debt relief, is growing around the world. (ATTAC)

World Culture Resists Bowing to Commerce (July 2, 2001)

Jeremy Rifkin demands that the arguments of peaceful globalization protesters be taken seriously because they represent the cultural sphere, a crucial counterweight to commerce and governments. (Los Angeles Times)

From Protest to Program (July 2, 2001)

Michael Massing analyzes the possibilities and limitations of protest movements such as campaigns for fair trade and their impact on policy-making on the national and international level. (American Prospect)

Czech Republic: Police Brutality During Prague Protest Should Be Firmly Addressed (March 12, 2001)

This Amnesty International report denounces violations of human rights of hundreds engaged in peaceful demonstrations during the World Bank meeting 2000 in Prague.

2000: The Year of Global Protest Against Globalization (January, 2001)

Walden Bello describes why 2000 turned out to be a successful year for civil society, but a nightmare for global capitalism.


Protesters Shut Down NATO Meeting - A Year Early (October 12, 2000)

Global Protests are reaching their goals. The NATO conference scheduled to be held in Victoria, Canada in October 2001, has to find another meeting place after Victoria authorities expressed their reluctance to be its host. (The Martlet)

World Trade Targeted Down Under (September 12, 2000)

So Melbourne turned out similar to Seattle and all the other locations: all hell breaks loose when the police clashes with a violent minority. Thus the peaceful and creative demonstrations are overshadowed with the troublemakers getting all the media coverage, as in this piece from the Chicago Tribune.

Report # 2000-08: Anti-Globalization - A Spreading Phenomenon (August 22, 2000)

A strategic assessment of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service on civil disobedience against corporate power. It comes to the chilling conclusion that "the anti-globalist movement is a body that manages to survive and even thrive without a head".

Protest Ban 'A Denial of Basic Rights' (January 31, 2000)

An article from the Bangkok Post discusses how the ban on public rallies near the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Bangkok is a denial of basic human rights.


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