Across time and history, in every country, and in every society, protest movements have been central to the achievement of change. From #MeToo to the Occupy movement, BLM to the Arab Spring, when united to demand justice, the power of our voices can change the minds and hearts of millions.
Yet, instead of listening to our voices, many governments are attacking people who march, trying to silence these voices, and prevent us from coming together. Weak laws or often misused to quell protests. More alarmingly, authorities and the media have begun to demonise people who march, in an attempt to stigmatise the very act of protest. Worst of all, this repression is growing more violent, with police brutality and arrests of protesters on the rise.
These trends negatively affect all those who protest but especially groups who already face discrimination, for whom mobilising collectively is often one of the only mechanisms they have left to be heard. This includes women; indigenous people; those who are LGBTQI+; and racial, ethnic, or religious minorities.
ARTICLE 19’s flagship campaign to is working to show how the right to protest is being violated across the world, and to ensure that all people, especially communities who face discrimination, feel empowered to use their right to protest. Over the next four years ARTICLE 19 will call on the police, the media, and on policymakers to end police brutality at protest, humanise protestors, and to reform laws to make protest safer for everyone.
Globally, protests are on the rise. Between 2010-2020 alone, there have been at least 900 protests across the world.
2 out of every 3 countries in the world have used pandemic lockdowns to criminalise people who march.
The 2020 farmer’s protests in India saw over 250 million people protest - the largest protest in history
In the last 15 years alone, the number of protest movements around the world have more than tripled.
‘Since January 2017, at least 45 U.S. states and the federal government have proposed at least 253 bills and executive orders that, if enacted, would work to suppress the right to protest, punish peaceful protesters, and restrict protests critical of the government. Of these, at least 44 bills have been enacted into law, and several additional bills are currently working their way through the legislative process.’
Over the next 4 years we will work with: