On 19 September 1990, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the city of Atlanta the contract to host the 1996 Summer Olympics. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) believed that by hosting the Olympics, Atlanta would be able to reinvent itself as an international city, and investment in the Games would help fuel urban development. The Committee leaned on the city of Atlanta’s strong civil rights history to secure the bid.
spersed the protesters via bullets, tear gas, and beatings. This led to rioting and violence between a small minority of protestors and the security forces.
Before protests against racial discrimination and harassment began at University of Missouri campuses in 2015, tensions had risen for a number of years. For example, on 26 February 2010, two students spread cotton balls on the fields of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center as a racist mockery of enslavement. A lack of substantive administrative action in response to such cases of racial discrimination provoked the ire of the university’s Black students.
In December 2013, Argentinian police forces throughout the country went on strike to protest low salaries that failed to match rising living costs. Analysts estimated inflation at approximately 25% that year, although the government of Argentina said it was less than half that rate. The strikes provoked looting, robberies, hundreds of injuries, and over a dozen deaths before the governor of Córdoba, José Manuel de la Sota, conceded to the demand and doubled police force salaries. Manuel de la Sota’s decision prompted police departments in other provinces to follow suit.
Torres Strait soldiers stage stay-at-home strikes to demand full pay and an end to discrimination in the army, 1943
South of Papua New Guinea (PNG) lies the Torres Strait. The strait consists of 274 islands, 14 of which are inhabited by a predominantly Melanesian population. Based on the 2016 census, the total population of the Torres Strait is 4,514 compared to an estimated size of 1,800 in 1943. Torres Strait Islanders are an ethnic minority in Australia and, historically, have been discriminated against by the Australian government.
South Koreans demonstrate for President Park Guen-hye's resignation (Candlelight Revolution), 2016-2017
In 2016, a scandal erupted in South Korea when the local TV channel JTBC found President Park Geun-hye’s photos, public speeches, and policy drafts in a discarded tablet PC reportedly owned and used by Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend of Park with no official position in the government. On 25 October, the day after the news broke, Park appeared publicly to admit that she had given Choi access to drafts of her speeches during the first months of her presidency.
Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has spent almost two decades as a quasi-authoritarian state with the ruling Republican Party controlling most of its political, economic, and social institutions. Serzh Sargsyan became President in 2008 and under his rule, Armenia endured slow economic growth, high unemployment rates, and corruption.
On 14 October 2015, student protests began at the University of Witwatersrand in response to an announcement by the university board that there would be a 10.5% increase in tuition fees. On 15 October, students barricaded the gates of the university. Over the next two days, both student and staff members held a sit in, causing the eventual lock down of the university as the blockades obstructed lectures and activities. On 17 October, the University of Witwatersrand agreed to suspend and renegotiate the fee increases.
New York University students sit-in for NYU to change its Labor Code of Conduct (End Deathtraps Campaign, 2013-2014)
The deadliest disaster in the history of the Ready Made Garment (RMG) industry occurred in Bangladesh on 24 April 2013 when a sweatshop, Rana Plaza, collapsed and killed 1,134 people. The day before the collapse an engineer expressed concern over a crack in the building. Unfortunately, the factory remained open to fulfill overdue orders and collapsed when generators restarted after a power blackout.
PT Kizone, an apparel factory in Tangerang, Indonesia, held major contracts with Nike and Adidas. In September of 2010, the factory started to withhold its workers’ severance pay. In January 2011, the factory failed to pay its workers their monthly compensation. At the end of the month, the owner of PT Kizone, Jin Woo Kim, fled to his home country of South Korea. The factory declared bankruptcy and closed on 1 April 2011. PT Kizone fired all its workers, to whom the factory owed $3.4 million in severance compensation.
In 2015, student activists took action against New York University, a prestigious 4-year research university in New York City, United States, to increase the minimum wage of part-time student workers employed by the University. The campaign began on 18 September 2015, when members of the Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) gathered to conduct a sit-in at 726 Broadway inside the office of Beth Haymaker, the director of NYU’s Global Programs. SLAM members organized the sit-in to protest the mistreatment of Niza Mirza, an international student from Pakistan.
Following the assassination of his father, Joseph Kabila took power and the position of President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 26 January 2001. He subsequently won re-election in December 2011, with charges of an illegitimate election surrounding the outcome. On 17 January, 2015, students began mass protests over an announcement that President Kabila would remain in power until the government completed a census. This began the nonviolent protest movement to remove President Kabila from office and prevent him from remaining in power for a third term.
The Norillag was a gulag labor camp, located in Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, a town in the Taimyr Peninsula on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, close to the mouth of the Enisei River. Inmates of the Norillag worked 12-hour days, in temperatures as low as negative 50 degrees Celsius during the winter. They worked in mines, brickyards, cement plants, and in the base camps, as well as on road and railroad construction.
In 1993, the Polish Parliament, with the support of the Catholic Church, passed a bill known as the “abortion compromise,” which was intended to decrease abortions and increase overall birth rates in Poland. The law prohibits abortion in all cases except rape, incest, or when the pregnant person or fetus’s life is in danger.
The Lusty Lady was a strip club in San Francisco. Opened since 1976, this North Beach club featured exotic dancers “Lusties” in a peep show on a stage and in individual booths. While being one of the most popular spots for nightlife in the city, the Lusty Lady was infamous among the dancers for its random firings and pay cuts, racist and ambiguous shift policies, and no-sick-day rules. According to Antonia Crane, a former stripper at the Club, “[the Lusty Lady] is playing the notoriously exploitative game in the adult entertainment world.”
Between 1970 and 1976, Russell Bliss used a toxic mixture of motor oil and dioxin to spray the unpaved roads in Times Beach, MO. The community hired Bliss, a career waste disposer, to reduce its dust problem. Unbeknownst to residents of the small town, Independent Petrochemical Corporation (IPC) paid Bliss for the disposal of its hazardous dioxin waste. Under the auspices of Northeastern Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company (NEPACCO), IPC generated dioxin through its production of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
On 20 November 2014, a New York police officer Peter Liang, joined by his partner, Shaun Landau, entered the Louis H. Pink Houses for a routine patrol of the Brooklyn public housing complex. During the vertical-patrol of the building, Liang drew his weapon as he opened the door to the stairwell. According to Liang’s defense, a loud noise startled him which caused him to accidentally pull the trigger. The bullet ricocheted against the wall and fatally struck Akai Gurley, who had entered the stairwell with his friend, Melissa Butler, a floor below.
Caption: Burmese students continued to protest for education reform, despite the numerous cases of police brutality and violence that were reported throughout the nation.
In 2009, the Century Aluminum factory in Ravenswood, West Virginia laid off 650 employees. However, the factory promised those laid off and those forced to retire that they would continue to receive their health care benefits. Retirees were shocked in June 2010 when the factory announced they were cutting the healthcare plan for retirees. Karen Gorrell, a leader of the ensuing movement to regain health care, stated, “[When the retirees are] actually beginning to suffer from the exposure [from hazardous chemical exposure], then the company comes in and just pulls out the rug.”
Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) is a labor coalition that includes unions such as the United Taxi Workers Association and iTaxi Workers Association and represents the majority of taxi drivers in Toronto, Canada. The formation of this coalition came as a surprise to some in a city where the taxi industry was divided into two camps: those who opposed the unfair, “two-tiered” system where a single taxi company held most of the market and those who fought aggressively to maintain it. What united the opposing groups was a common enemy – UberX.
The Taxi Drivers Alliance of Philadelphia (TDAP) and the Philadelphia Limousine Association (PLA), major labor unions in Pennsylvania, United States, represented the majority of taxi and limo drivers in the city of Philadelphia and its surrounding areas. With the rise of ride-sharing services such as UberX and Lyft since 2012, the taxi and limo industry in Philadelphia felt increasingly threatened, as more and more people opted for their cheaper counterparts.
When Rudolph (Rudy) Giuliani took office as New York City’s 107th Mayor on 1 January 1994, the city had a budget deficit of $2.3 billion. The Republican candidate planned to close the city deficit by eliminating 15,000 city jobs. Police, firefighters, and teachers, which made up 60 percent of total city employees, were exempt from the job cuts. With these exemptions, the city administration had to find its staff reductions from less that 40 percent of its 216,000-strong work force.
From 1943 to 1982, Escambia Treating Company (ETC) operated in Pensacola, Florida. Located in an industrial/residential zone, the location of a wood treatment facility threatened the health of Escambia County residents, who were primarily Black. Until the mid-1950s, ETC dumped creosote and pentachlorophenol (PCP) into an uncovered pit. In March 1992, community members founded Citizens Against Toxic Exposure (CATE) and launched a five-year campaign for relocation of the 358 households closest to the Escambia plant.
On 7 June 2013, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) announced the firing of more than 3,700 employees, as a result of cuts in the school district’s budget. Of the employees laid off, 1,202 were noontime aides, who helped ensure the safety of students: they formed relationships with students and intervened and defused conflict when necessary.