Protests, strikes, rebellions – all these actions are nothing but a proof of people’s reluctance to obey some rules and blindly follow someone’s promises. Despite the fact that people are very different, they have different views, likes, hopes, faith; however, when it comes to massive resentment, they are filled in with similar feelings – hatred, rage and anger. Undoubtedly, sometimes protests do help people reach their desirable goal, but at the same time they lead to inevitable consequences.
Protests are usually driven by a series of reasons – either related to politics, work, religion, or sexual discrimination. Irrespective of the reason itself, the consequences are usually rather similar. In December 2010 Belarus was shocked by a huge protest, which followed Belarusian presidential elections. Out of ten candidates the existing President Alexander Lukashenko won the elections with 76.7% of votes. (Belarus jails activists) However, the elections caused a real protest from the side of opposition and its followers. Thousands of people tried to storm the government headquarters, they were smashing the windows and doors; however, due to the forces of local police were pushed back. Opposition did not believe in fair results of the elections, claiming that they were rigged. However, the result of the protest was pathetic – seven presidential candidates were arrested, one of them was injured by police earlier, the authorities jailed about 600 demonstrators for almost two weeks, while some of them may even face longer terms, up to 15 years, if they are convicted of mass disturbances. (Protesters storm government) The result of their fail could have been predicted – Belarus is one of the countries, which is still following communistic regime. Even though they are constantly claiming about democracy, this very protest proves just the contrary. Alexander Lukashenko is a true dictator, who will not simply bear any disobedience, so that all the attempts of fighting against his regime result in jail.
Another protest, which shocked the world despite not being connected with politics, was not less noticeable. In October 2010, according to the police reports, almost 85,000 people took the streets of Paris to protest against the government’s pension reform plans. That was the biggest strike French trade unions had ever faced. According to plans of government, the minimum retirement age was about to be raised from 60 to 62, and from 65 to 67 for a full state pension. (French strike) As a result, despite the fact that nobody suffered, economics of France suffered damages – a number of flights to Paris Orly airport and Charles de Gaulle airport were cancelled; only one in three TGV high-speed trains was operating; the French oil industry, due to workers’ strike was also hurt, what caused a jump of diesel prices in Europe. (French strike) Unfortunately, the result was far from desirable ones – even though the government made some minor amendments and concessions to the pension proposal, the reform did not actually change. It is rather easy to understand people’s indignation, when they are told that they would have to work two or three years longer; however, such actions, taken by the government will be taken sooner or later, as the world is changing, and with the help of some reforms they are trying to decrease losses and help the country recover after the world crisis.
And another vivid example of protests, the one the whole world is facing breathless, is the protest in Egypt. The situation in Egypt is rather similar to the one in Belarus; however, it has far bigger volumes and consequences. Tens of thousands of people are protesting in Cairo against President Hosni Mubarak and his cabinet. Protestants are demanding Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for 30 years, to step down. As of 30 January, according to the reports, at least 105 protesters died, 750 policemen and 1500 protesters were injured. (Egypt protest) The capital of Egypt has become similar to a war zone with frequent violent clashes; the Egyptian National museum was damaged by vandals, and a number of prisoners took over a section of the Abu Za'abal prison. (Egypt protest) Although, Protestants hope that the demonstration will finish this Friday the latest, the actual results of all the losses will still follow. Each and every one hopes that the protest will lead to some considerable change in the country; however, there is still a possibility that everything will end up the way it did in Belarus.
BBC. “Belarus jails 600 activists over election unrest.” BBC, 2010. Web. 4 February 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12048520
BBC. “Protesters try to storm government HQ in Belarus.” BBC, 2010. Web. 4 February 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12029814
BBC. “French strikes biggest so far, say unions and police.” BBC, 2010. Web. 4 February 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11520220
CBC News. “Egypt protest death toll rises.” CBC News, 2011. Web. 4 February 2011 http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/01/29/egypt.html