Throughout the world, 2014 was a year of revolutions, and people coming together to use their people power in an attempt to overrule the state. For example, Burkina Faso, West Africa, managed to overthrow their president in October 2014. The president had ruled for 27 years, but now the republic is only semi-presidential. Additionally, you can discuss Hong Kong’s September upheaval to gain more political freedom in China, as well as Mexico’s protests about widespread corruption following the awful mass murder of Mexican students.
All in all, 2014 has been a year of protests and upheavals worldwide. A mass population of people all coming together to prevent them remaining so powerless in their homes. Riots, of course, are not entirely the way to get decent social change. However, this is what people do when they feel so powerless, and they are simply using these uprisings to kickstart a change that can’t be ignored.
Politicians and journalists alike all predict that these revolts will continue into 2015, and some understand they will continue for as long as they have to. People have started to come together, united in the knowledge that a change needs to occur. People are not powerless against the state, as has been proven throughout history and historical revolutions time and time again.
As previously mentioned, however, riots and protests aren’t the best way to get a people power revolution going, mainly because it’s extremely unsafe for the people. For example, last winter (from late 2013 to early 2014), as part of the Euromaidan movement, Ukraine demanded an open, non-corrupt regime, so they begun occupying the main square in Kiev in order to protest this. Then, in mid-January, local forces decided to violently attack the protesters, which resulted in more than 70 people killed. This was awful, although it simply solidified Ukraine’s reasons in protesting and trying to revolt for their desired political change.
Europe tried to mediate, and developed a power-sharing agreement with their neighbouring country, Russia, however this was shattered when Ukraine’s leader fled the country. Moscow’s ultimate reaction was to attempt to dismantle Ukraine, and did this through waging war on the country. Unmarked Russian troops were sent in to destroy main cities within Ukraine, and Russian’s army gathered at the border. The conflict is still ongoing today, with a current death count going on to approximately 5,000 people.
Despite this, Ukraine managed to succeed in their revolution attempts, and secured a president by the end of 2014, who has agreed to accomplish what the people want: political and government reform, as well as close relations with the EU. The Euromaidan movement and European project was ultimately successful, and stands as an inspiration for people power.
Perhaps the uprisings and upheavals of 2014 were no different to protests and riots that we have seen before. However, one main difference is the speed and efficiency at which the revolts can be achieved. Thanks to technological developments, such as the Internet and mainly social media, revolts and protests can reach people faster than ever. Additionally, it can reach a global scale, so that each country knows it is not alone in its protest against their state. Europe can get involved with disputes in each European country far easier and simpler than ever, and we all know exactly what’s occurring globally.
Nowadays, people take photos and videos of the upheavals, which spread rapidly and allow us to understand the revolutions more fully. Additionally, it allows for people to join in and stand for people power and social change. No one has to feel alone in their mission to claim back the power for the people anymore, because we understand that the whole world is watching and we are all supporting one another.