(mainly or initiated by) student participants

STUDENT PARTICIPANTS (mainly or initiated by). Includes elementary school students as well as older ages of students. There are struggles, for example for regime change, that are initiated by students but grow far beyond that category. This tag enables readers still to find such cases, in which students played a key role.

Thai Muslims campaign for civil rights, 1975


The country of Thailand has experienced several conflicts between the Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority. In the decade of the 1970s tensions rose in the southern Thai region of Pattani. In late 1975 six young Muslims were traveling in a car through Pattani when they were stopped by soldiers. They were arrested, apparently for further questioning, but in fact were taken to a bridge, stabbed, and their bodies were thrown into the river. A fifteen year-old boy survived and swam ashore. The boy told other Muslims what had happened.

Syrian citizens general strike against France, 1936


French-occupied Syria was facing darkening hopes for more independence from France at the end of 1935. The major Syrian nationalist party, the National Bloc, was losing power, the Syrian Parliament was adjourned and the government in power was under the unpopular Shaikh Taj al-Din al-Hasani. France was also refusing to negotiate a new treaty with Syria. In a move to squash the National Bloc altogether, the French authorities closed the office of the National Bloc in Damascus on January 20, 1936, and arrested two leaders from the Bloc: Fakhri al-Barudi and Sayf al-Din al-Ma’min.

Sudanese students, workers bring down Numeiri dictatorship, 1985


The Sudan has a history of popular uprisings to depose oppressive or disagreeable governments, prior to the 1985 insurrection. In 1964 the October Revolution consisted of a widespread general strike led by the National Front for Professionals. The organization joined forces with political leaders to create the United National Front (UNF) and, along with dissident military leaders, this coalition succeeded in dissolving the Abbud regime and transitioning to civilian rule.

South Koreans win mass campaign for democracy, 1986-87

Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s)

The massive South Korean nonviolent campaign against the tradition of authoritarian regimes happened only seven years after the notorious Kwangju Massacre of 1980—governmental mass violence that was intended to shut down completely the movements for social justice.

From 1980 to 1983 the government tried to “cleanse” the society of activists, purging or arresting thousands of public officials, politicians, professors, teachers, pastors, journalists, and students. Activists not arrested went quiet or continued their activities in low profile or secretive ways.

University of Puerto Rico students strike to resist budget cuts, 2010


Luis Fortuño was elected Governor of Puerto Rico and sworn in on January 2, 2009. Two months into his term, Fortuño announced his plan to repair Puerto Rico’s struggling economy. He called for severe budget cuts, which some speculated would result in the laying off of over 30,000 government employees. Fortuño’s economic plan would be met with much resistance from workers, teachers, and students. In May, workers organized a march to San Juan in protest against the plans. In October, workers organized a general strike to protest these same budget cuts.

Students and community members fight to abolish ‘Fighting Sioux’ mascot, University of North Dakota, 1999-2011


In October of 1930, the University of North Dakota, in Grand Forks, changed its mascot from the Flickertails to the Fighting Sioux. The reported reasoning for doing so was that the university needed to better match their rival’s mascot, the North Dakota State University Bison, and that the Sioux Indians were notorious for their bison fighting skills. Since year one of the initial nickname and logo change, UND students, faculty, and community members, both Native American and non-Native American alike, have disputed the mascot.

U.S. protesters campaign against death penalty in Philadelphia, 2000


In 1981, former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal was accused of murdering Daniel Faulkner, a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A series of discrepancies emerged in the trial, which took place in June 1982. Although Abu-Jamal insisted that another assailant shot Faulkner, the police found two witnesses who claimed to have seen Abu-Jamal commit the crime. One of the witnesses, a cab driver, changed his testimony from the original story given on the night of the crime.

Mexican students protest for greater democracy, 1968


In July of 1968, as the student-led uprising of May and June in France was fading away, a new one was just beginning in Mexico City. Students inspired by the success of the movement in France saw their own opportunity to bring more open democracy to Mexico. They saw the summer Olympics that were to take place in Mexico City in October as an opportunity to put pressure on the government, led by President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Indonesians overthrow President Suharto, 1998


“I have decided to quit as president.”- Indonesian President Suharto, 21st May 1998

These words echoed across Indonesia, as students who had been occupying parliament for the past three days fell to their knees; while others cheered around television sets watching their president, in power for the past thirty years, resign.

South Koreans protest government's lift of ban on US beef, 2008


In 2003, the government of South Korea announced a ban on beef imported from the United States. Prior to the ban, South Korea had been the third largest purchaser of U.S. beef product. The decision to ban the product came after an animal in Washington was discovered to suffer from mad-cow disease. All together, more than fifty countries decided to ban U.S. beef imports after the incident, and consequently, the value of U.S. beef exports declined by $2.4 billion dollars over a three-year period.

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