Sunday, February 14, 2010

Apropos of the latter...


(February 15, 2003 might well) have been the biggest protest in history. A French academic estimated that 35 million people marched on the day, but it may have been many more. The day's protests started in New Zealand and swept round the globe, taking in more than 1000 cities and towns. Australia had its biggest demonstrations in living memory. 200,000 took to the streets of Calcutta. A similar number came out in Damascus. In Mostar in Bosnia, Muslims and Croats united for an anti-war protest. Greek and Turks came together in Cyprus to surround a British base.

The biggest single demo was probably Rome's 3 million strong march, but at least that number marched across Spain, and later well over 1 million demonstrated in the US. Rejkayavik hosted the biggest march anyone could remember. Scientists protested on Ross Island, Antarctica, and there were 15 demos in Brazil.

Days after the demo the New York Times dubbed world public opinion "the second global superpower". The great gatherings of the global justice movement laid the basis for this new kind of international protest. In July 2001, 300,000 people from across Europe marched against the G8 in Genoa, Italy. Earlier in the year the World Social Forum in Brazil had pioneered the idea of the mass international counter-conference, and in January 2002 the decision was made to organise a European Social Forum in Florence, Italy.

Read the whole article at Luna17, and remember the day tomorrow!

No comments: