Brasil

Its kicking off everywhere but wheres it going?

It’s kicking off everywhere – but where’s it going?

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We look at the protests in the week’s news, from Brazil and Bulgaria to Turkey, and ask what these protests have in common.

A common theme is democratic deficit: across the world, from Occupy Wall Street and the Indignados to Gezi Park, people feel let down and abandoned by the political elite. Even in nominally functioning democracies like Brazil and Turkey, people feel they have no real say.

So what does real democracy look like?

Map showing neighbourhood assemblies in Istanbul

Map showing neighbourhood assemblies in Istanbul

We consider the emergence of popular assemblies in Istanbul, as well in other countries, and look at the general assembly model of Occupy. We take a lesson in history from the anti-apartheid movement, where street and block committees came together in structured civic organisations that allied with the unions and students to form the United Democratic Front.

Are popular assemblies a democratic answer to an increasingly unrepresentative system? And what is the role of trade unions in this world of amorphous, horizontal protest?

How do we move beyond protest to a political programme that can challenge power and bring about real change? How do we move from a moment to a movement?

We consider all these questions and more.

We also talk about the posties rejection by a staggering 96% to the privatisation of Royal Mail, and report on our brick kiln project in India.

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