Friday, November 18, 2011

Whats Changed ** Number 2 Student Protests **

I chose this subject next because we have seen what started as student protests and attracted the general population to support the protest have sometimes changed dictator based regimes .

Over the last 30 or so years we have seen how political protests often started by students for a cause that is just and correct has changed society

These range from the protests in South Africa against apartheid segregation that combined with political support from around the world with sanctions against South Africa to force change

To the latest where protests started in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya as part of the "Arab Spring" against dictator regimes drew support from the ordinary working man and woman  plus political, media and popular support from around the world leading to the overthrow of the corrupt regimes.

Some are still going on in
Syria is one example and currently those in power have used force using the Police, Army and who ever else to squash the protests.

Israel is a second example where hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to protest Social Inequality, this is still ongoing

Some have failed a number of times for example in Burma where each time the protests have been squashed

We send our kids off to University to broaden their horizons, provide them with the knowledge to make informed decisions and hopefully and most important the higher education needed to find decent payed careers which will allow them to pay back high levels of student loans required to finish their degrees.

Whats Changed 

Occupy Wall Street / We are the 99% protests

For the first time since The Vietnam War students in the United States took to the streets in large numbers during the Occupy Wall Street and the We are the 99% protests, in general from everything I have seen and read they have protested peacefully.

Their  gripes ranged from large Student loans with poor job prospects to Wall Street Bailouts to the current inequality in our society between the 1% and the other 99% . What is interesting is the number of ordinary working men and women that were beginning to show support for the protests. It is scary in many ways that as soon as larger numbers of the  General Populace were seen to be showing support  the protests have been squashed using the Police.

Unlike media support for the Arab Spring Uprisings our media has done everything to discredit them

I did not see the media change the name of the Libya Arab Spring Uprising to LAS for example but the media has changed the name of these protests to OWS ( Occupy Wall Street ) .

It is also interesting that there is little media coverage in the United States of the social justice protests in Israel which included hundreds of thousands of protesters but wide coverage of Arab Spring protests.

The "Israeli Social Justice Protests" are essentially the same as the "We are the 99% protests" and "The Arab Spring Protests"  protesting about the inequality of wealth distribution between the haves and the have nots.

The big question on my mind is now that force and the law has been used to squash these protests in the United States is will they disappear as those in power are hoping or will they re-appear in a more violent form due to frustration. My personal hope is that frustration does not lead to a more violent style of demonstration as they will lose the increasing support of the general populace.

I feel for the students. it must be frustrating to do "the right thing" go off to college to enhance your career prospects and while studying build up student loans ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 only to find no decent paying jobs when you have finished and obtained your degree. College education fees ( and the loans required ) have increased exponentially over the last few years as state and Federal Funding has decreased in real terms. Colleges and Universities have also increased fees significantly more than inflation. Those that talk about kids working their  way through college have little idea of the challenges facing these kids.

One further comment over the last 30 years the parents of these kids have less disposable income available so are less able to help.

A Question for the readers

Should the students be allowed to protest peacefully against what they feel are injustices in our society ?



Cheyenne said...

In 1968, I saw the students protest in Grosvenor Square, London, against the vietnam war. I watched as they protested in Prague against the communist intention to take over Czechoslovakia, when Dubchek started reforms.
I have watched the students protest aginst all manner of things.

if I may say this, the Establishment fears the youth of the next generation, mainly as they seek to change what is seen as inequality. I have to agree with the students. yes the powers that be will try and stop the protests, and they will ramp up the action. But in the end, all that happens is frustration, resentment, and a situation where tension begins to rip at the heart of a society.

For myself? I envy the students the freedom to protest, some how we lose that energy, as we get older. we become more "comfortable", less prone to upset the apple cart. But, when I see the young ones start to raise questions, I begin to feel that I too should ask questions of our government.

Redneck Geologist said...

They should be able to protest. What we all should protest is college football coaches making $50,000/week as the MU coach does.

C-ingspots said...

Everyone should be able to peacefully protest what they believe are social injustices. in Portland, the "occupy movement" has degenerated into an ever-increasing number of homeless people, druggies, social misfits and society drop-outs who have nothing else better to do than camp out and shout power to the people! It's become pathetic. They have destroyed several beautiful city parks, are costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars in repair costs, police overtime dollars, disrupting traffic and mass transit for those 99% who are trying to get to work and actually support their families. They're hurting the very segment of the population that they're claiming they want to help. It's becoming hypocrasy. It's quickly becoming the 98%, or the working people who support themselves, their families and our society, the 1% who are the large corporate greedy, obscenely rich, and the 1% who are unemployed, "sponges" on the society who claim they want nothing to do with society, but prove otherwise by taking everything that the rest of us working stiffs will hand out free of charge to them. I don't know what it's like in the rest of the country, but that's what it's become here in Portland. Land of the weird. And, the sad part is that on a base level, I agree with everything they started out representing. The world will only change when each person, individually decides to change themselves. That's the way to change the world. I don't have much hope that anything's going to improve.

The People History said...

Thanks all for the comments, I must admit I have not been to any of the protests so can not make comments on specific protests, I have no doubt that trouble makers have joined protests to give legitimacy to their own actions, it is up to the organizers of these protests to ensure they do not get hijacked by yobs and thugs who are just out for trouble,

I also think it is a shame when those in power use the police to break up genuine protests by those who believe the wealth of the country has moved from all to a small powerful minority who own or control the media, police and have undue political influence.