The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
1963 – Washington, D.C.
In the year 1963, supporters took out a march to peacefully support the passage of the bill that was meant to address racial inequalities against African Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous and iconic speech “I Have a Dream”.
It eventually led to the civil rights act and voting rights act. The March was for jobs and freedom. The rally was organized by civil leaders to urge President John F. Kennedy to bring about the changes.
1969 – New York
In the 60s, life for the LGBTQ community became tough. Raids on local gay bars were common. The LGBTQ community had no legal protections. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Members of the gay community were subjected to harassment, violence, and discrimination.
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police officers raided the Stonewall Inn. The place was a haven for people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identity. People had enough, and a protest began that same morning in New York City. The violent protest came to be known as Stonewall Riots. The protests continued for days.
It became a watershed moment for the whole community. It resulted in awareness across the United States. Worldwide, pride parades are held in June to honor the Stonewall Riots and their struggle.
The Arab Spring
On December 18, 2010, in protest against police corruption and ill-treatment, Mohammad Bouazizi, a local vendor, set himself on fire in Tunisia. The incident changed the course of history. That is why Tunisia is called the ‘cradle of Arab Spring’. Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the fountainhead of Islamic fundamentalism, fled to Saudi Arabia.
The Arab Spring was a wave of uprising against authoritarian regimes that took place in North Africa and middle east countries in the years 2010 and 2011. Tunisia became the first country to undergo a peaceful transfer of power. But the same cannot be said for other countries.
In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak had to step down after ruling for 30 years. Similar uprisings took place in Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen. Each protest was unique, but the underlying aim was a call for democracy, to end corruption, and improve the quality of life.
The Iraq War Protests
This protest was not to bring down a government or improve their own lives, but to protect the world from an illegal and unjustified war. People took to the streets around the world in 2003. It was a show of firm public opposition.
The protests around the world were against the planned invasion of Iraq by the USA. It was part of the strategy against terrorism following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The USA accused Saddam Hussein of having links with al-Qaeda that carried out 9/11. It was said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
The protests were organized by anti-war groups around the world. The event of February 15, 2003, was unprecedented and involved large scale international coordination. In Rome (Italy), around three million people took part in the protest. It even entered the Guinness Book of Records.
Despite the international protests and the lack of support from the United Nations, Iraq was invaded by the troops from the US, UK, Australia, and Poland on March 20, 2003. But, the political credibility of the world leaders never recovered.
Fall of Berlin wall
After World War Two, Germany was defeated and divided into east and west Germany. The Eastern part got occupied by the Soviets, and the west came under allies. Berlin got split too with British, French, and American in the west of the city and Soviet in the east. The Wall got built in the middle of the City in 1961.
In the 1980s Soviets, power clout got reduced. In 1989, USSR disintegrated. Thereafter events moved faster. Civil unrest broke in Germany. People came together in East Berlin in a mass protest.
East Germany came under pressure to loosen travel restrictions. A political leader of East Germany was given the task to announce the easing of travel controls. The intention was not to open the border completely. But he was not given the full information as to when the new regulations would come into force. In confusion, he stated that it was with immediate effect.
After the announcement, the people of East German rushed to the Wall to seek entry to the West. The crowd outnumbered the guards positioned there. People began climbing the Wall. The entire atmosphere changed. The day was when the Berlin wall came down (November 9, 1989).