Both Ecuador and Chile have seen intense anti-government
protests. The demonstrations began after the presidents in each country made economic announcements,
which in turn sparked a massive public outcry. But there are protests with similar motives
happening all over the world as well. LEBANON, IRAN, IRAQ, COLOMBIA Many of the crises stand out for being the
most severe periods of turmoil in at least a decade. So what do these protests have in common? Experts say the answer may be inequality. People around the world are rising up against
the growing gap between the rich or political elite – and the poor.
After all, many of those protesting are people who have long felt shut out of the wealth
of their countries. In at least four cases, a rise in price for a key service had proven
the final straw. In Ecuador, that final straw was rising petrol
prices. In Iran, gas prices were also the tipping
point that got people outside and on the streets. In Lebanon, it was a tax on internet calls,
like those made via WhatsApp. In Chile, a 3.75 percent fare hike was announced
for the public transit system. Here’s what Chile’s metro stations looked
like following that announcement. A slowing global economy and a youth bulge
in many countries has produced a new generation that‘s frustrated.
According to the International Labour Organization, 44% of young people of working age are either
unemployed or working jobs that don’t pay enough to escape poverty. And an increase in youth unemployment is one
of the best predictors of social unrest. We are beginning to understand far more clearly
[with new data] how widespread feelings of social injustice are rooted in economic inequalities
and especially a failure of labour markets to generate decent work with adequate income. It is a national movement without sectarian,
political or regional labels. Our claims are clear as you can see. Why is the Iraqi industrial
sector at a standstill? And why is unemployment so widespread in Iraq, when it is a country
rich in oil, industry, agriculture and commerce? Why do people sit around doing nothing? We must not give up and we must keep going.
We must keep ralling because we have obtained absolutely nothing, and the repression is
continuing. Why are we different from other generations?
The other generations stayed for over 30 years under this regime without revolting, but we`re
fed up. When we go and yell at the people sitting in the cafes, we`re saying, `Hey you,
in the cafes, it`s enough`. Because really it`s enough. Thirty years and we can no longer
can bear it, and it`s our generation that will pay the price in the end. Many citizens continue to feel disillusioned
with unresponsive governments, while activists are sure that street action is the only way
to force change.