Inspired by the protests in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011, Bahrainis rose up against the monarchy in February and March of 2011. Initiated by activists and propelled by the “February 14th Revolution in Bahrain” Facebook group, the protests had clear goals: disband the Bahraini National Assembly, abrogate the current constitution, and form a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution. They demanded the new constitution stipulate that an elected parliament hold legislative authority and that an elected Prime Minister exercise executive authority.
As of 2014, about 168 million rural migrant workers traveled annually to China’s cities. This significant portion of China’s workforce consists of workers leaving rural areas to find employment in cities in other provinces in order to send wages to families left behind. As the average age of the migrant worker force has increased, workers have switched the focus of strikes and protests from demanding wage increases to pensions, healthcare, and unemployment insurance. As of 2013, only one out of six migrant workers had a pension.
Kazakh oil workers strike against three leading oil companies for better pay and increased unionization activities, 2011
Oil is a central feature of the economy in Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia. In 2010, Kazakhstan was among the top 20 global oil producers, with the oil sector comprising over 11% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Three of the most prominent oil companies in the country included (1) Ersai Caspian Contractor LLC, an oil service contractor, (2) KarazhanbasMunai JSC and (3) OzenMunaiGas, both owned by the parent company KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG EP).
From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala was embroiled in a civil war fought between the government of Guatemala and the rural poor. In the early 1980s, under the leadership of military dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, the Guatemalan military massacred 250,000 indigenous Mayans leaving deep wounds in Guatemalan society, which have contributed to the high murder and crime rates that continued to plague the country. Additionally, the government was famously corrupt; one non-governmental organization asserted that up to thirty percent of the annual national budget was lost to corruption.
The ten year civil war in Nepal that claimed over 13,000 lives ended in 2006 when Maoist insurgents gave up their armed revolt in order to integrate themselves socially and politically. At the end of the war, more than 19,000 former Maoist combatants remained sequestered in barracks controlled by the U.N. Part of the peace agreement called for their gradual integration into Nepal’s security forces, but army chief Rookmangud Katawal, who strongly opposed the integration of politically indoctrinated enemy soldiers, blocked this process.
In December 2009, 948 Burmese migrant workers who had entered Thailand legally began work at the Dechapanich Fishing Net Factory in Khon Kaen. Their employer confiscated the workers’ passports and personal documents, and for nine months, they worked in poor conditions. Additionally, the employer forced the Burmese workers to work without pay for an hour and a half each day to cover the cost of a recruiter for Burmese laborers.
In 1892, students at Havana University in Cuba (then called The Royal University at Havana) staged a strike in protest of the suspension of Doctoral degrees from the University. The student campaign took place from mid-March to mid-September and utilized striking, letters and public exhibitions comprised of notes displayed on the school walls as acts of nonviolent protest. During this time of the campaign, the president of the University of Havana was Joaquín Francisco Lastres y Juiz, whom the student activists held accountable for the suspension of Doctoral Degrees.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected President of Iran on 12 June 2009 The next day, hundreds of thousands of people peacefully protested the results, chanting “Where is my vote?,” because they believed that the election was fraudulent. Most of the protesters joined the Green Movement, a nonviolent pro-democracy group opposed to Ahmadinejad’s leadership and was led by Mir Hossein Mousavi and his spouse, Zahra Rahnavard. The Ahmadinejad regime responded violently to the protesters with its Revolutionary Guards, Basij paramilitary units, and Lebas Shakhsi forces. Many were beaten and arrested.
Brazilian workers of Portland Cement Company (PERUS) strike for economic justice and better working conditions, 1962-1974
The Portland Cement Company plant at PERUS opened in 1925. Located on the outskirts of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city, the plant served as the main source of raw building materials for the city. In 1951, prominent Brazilian businessman, José João Abdalla, took over the plant, making it one of the thirty subsidiaries under his control. J.J. Abdalla showed serious disregard to the needs of the workers, neglecting to provide the proper maintenance and development of facilities, which hugely impacted production and quality and safety of working conditions.
Following Chiang Ching-kuo’s death in 1988, Lee Teng-hui continued to implement reforms. He promoted Taiwanese nationalism, and also worked to suspend the Taiwan Provincial Government, among other actions. Nonetheless, Lee Teng-hui’s actions proved to not be enough for the Taiwanese people. Frustrated with the outdated National Assembly and its members’ attempts to gain more power and influence, Taiwanese university students began to demonstrate on 16 March 1990.
In 2012, Swaziland was a small landlocked country in southern Africa ruled by King Mswati III. Sixty three percent of the country’s population lived below the poverty line. Government spending on education had continuously decreased since 2008. With the economy virtually stagnated, the International Monetary Fund had urged the government in February 2012 to reduce the size of its civil service.
Goa, a state in Western India that borders the Arabian Sea, was a Portuguese colony until 1961. The anti-colonial movement of Goa started in 1910, when the Portuguese monarchy was abolished after a popular revolution, and went through several phases and sub-movements until India took Goa through force in 1961. This included constant diplomatic efforts and negotiations, several instances of extensive non-violent action, and ultimately Indian military action.
On 11 September 1973, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinoche came to power and during the 1970s, he privatized Chile’s education system. The central government gave money to some private schools, while the public schools remained grossly underfunded. This commercialization of education began a legacy of educational attainment disparity along socioeconomic class lines—the poor received poor quality education, received jobs that paid meager wages, and remained poor, while the wealthy received high quality education, went on to university, and obtained well-paying jobs that increased their wealth.
The British commissioner governed the state of Mysore in southern India from 1831 to 1881 when the administration reinstated the pre-existing Wodeyar (Wadiyar) Dynasty. Mysore became a princely state with the Wodeyar Dynasty ruling under the paramountcy of the British. The reigning Maharaja (king) during the Indian independence movement was Jayachamaraja Wodeyar. On 15 August 1947, India gained its independence from the British Raj.
In November 2010, Bianca “Nikki” Peet attempted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in Flour Bluff, Texas, part of the greater Corpus Christi area. She initially went through the normal channels within the local high school, but the school’s principal, James Crenshaw, denied her request to form a GSA. Crenshaw asked her to change the club’s name and mission and come back for reconsideration. After this initial denial, Peet revised the club’s mission statement. She resubmitted it in January of 2011 and was again denied.
In 2012, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) voted to “phase-out” Walter Dyett High School, the only open-enrollment high school in the African-American south side neighborhood of Bronzeville, due to poor academic performance. Opponents of the closing said that CPS and Mayor Emanuel had caused this poor performance by cutting Dyett’s funding. The decision to shut the school came amidst a series of closures throughout the CPS system that disproportionately affected poor, black neighborhoods.
In 2011, Mexico faced huge costs from the drug trade and efforts to
counteract it. Mexico constituted a key part of the global drug trade,
as cartels trafficked illegal drugs through Mexico to their main buyer,
the United States. Cartels committed extensive violence as they tried
to ensure compliance from citizens and maximize profit. The most
frequent victims of drug violence were poor Mexicans, and some cities,
such as the border town of Ciudad Juarez, were particularly dangerous.
From its founding in 1935 until the early 1950s, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas accepted only white students. In 1951, when NAACP chapter leader Henry Boyd Hall began work to desegregate the college, community college classes for African American students were held at the city’s Solomon M. Coles High School for Negroes. However, these classes were insufficient in several ways.
Marikana platinum mine, near Rustenburg, South Africa, employed thousands of workers, composed mostly of migrants working for low wages. Lonmin, a British mining company, owned Marikana. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) represented most of the workers at Marikana. NUM was one of the two largest unions in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), an extremely powerful organization and a major player in South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).
On 1 June 1966, growing disputes between farmworkers and the owners of
melon farms in the Rio Grande valley in South Texas culminated in a
strike. Four hundred farm workers had voted in favor of a strike against
their employers at La Casita melon farm. It was the height of melon
season. Eugene Nelson, who had worked as a farm worker and author as
well as an organizer with the National Farm Workers’ Association, led
these workers to strike and organized them into the Independent Workers’
Association. Their organization, based in Rio Grande City in Starr
Sarasotan Students' school boycott stops neighborhood schools from closing, Florida, United States, 1969
Before Booker Grammar School, Sarasota’s first Black public school, was established in 1925, Black students received their education at home or in churches. The establishment of three other schools for Black students -- Amaryllis Park for first through third graders, Booker Junior High, for seventh and eighth graders, and Booker High School, for ninth through twelfth graders -- followed. These schools, located centrally within Sarasota’s African-American community, Newtown, became deeply rooted institutions within the community.
In dire economic crisis under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe, many Zimbabwean citizens and human rights activists felt that Zimbabwe was a “dictatorship under another name.” Political violence was common, especially in the months leading up to the general election of March 2008, and the government used police to violently suppress any voices that opposed the current leadership. The organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (“WOZA”, a Ndebele word meaning “come forward”) was formed in 2003 to give women a voice against injustice and violence.
In March 1960, a national wave of sit-in campaigns to desegregate lunch counters and public accommodations reached Miami. Miami was one of 11 Florida cities where activists organized sit-ins over the months of February and March 1960. On 4 March 1960, students from Florida Memorial College led a sit-in in in Miami, Florida. Participants included adult ministers.
Iranians turned out in large numbers to elect their President on 12 June
2009. The candidates included the incumbent and favorite of the
religious authorities, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as three
challengers: Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mohsen Rezaee, and Mehdi Karroubi.
Authorities announced results just two hours after polls had closed,
with Ahmadinejad receiving 62.63% of the vote, Mousavi 33.75%, Rezaee
1.73%, and Karroubi 0.85%.