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How mass protests around the globe have become the 'new soci

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/n....cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892468
How mass protests around the globe have become the 'new social network'
6/24/13

The demonstrations in Brazil began after a small rise in bus fares triggered mass protests. Within days this had become a nationwide movement whose concerns had spread far beyond fares: more than a million people were on the streets shouting about everything from corruption to the cost of living to the amount of money being spent on the World Cup.

In Turkey, it was a similar story. A protest over the future of a city park in Istanbul - violently disrupted by police - snowballed too into something bigger, a wider-ranging political confrontation with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has scarcely been brought to a close by the clearing of Gezi Park.

If the scenes have seemed familiar, it is because they shared common features: viral, loosely organised with fractured messages and mostly taking place in urban public locations.

Unlike the protest movement of 1968 or even the end of Soviet influence in eastern Europe in 1989, these are movements with few discernible leaders and with often conflicting ideologies.

Their points of reference are not even necessarily ideological but take inspiration from other protests, including those of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement.

The result has been a wave of social movements - sometimes short-lived - from Wall St to Tel Aviv and from Istanbul to Rio de Janeiro, often engaging younger, better educated and wealthier members of society.

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