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The Era of Street Protest: Berkeley to Bucharest

Maria Bucur-Deckard februarie 3, 2017 Opinie
14 comentarii 1,489 Vizualizari

When the dust settles from the rowdy global uproar of early 2017, I don’t know how kind historians will be to the political leadership around the world. What I know is that street protest has become a core feature of how individuals of every imaginable identity and set of interests understand their rights as citizens. Starting with the historic women’s marches of January 21st, an unprecedented global event, and continuing with the daily protests in various places, people living in the U.S. are acting with hope and audacity in the face of intimidation.

At U.C. Berkeley a speaker representing the views of Breibart News was invited by the campus College Republican organization and was met with a large peaceful protest, two forms of free speech in the agora. When violent instigators began to disrupt this peaceful expression of dissent, the campus police, in accordance with their duty to protect the safety of all individuals on campus, placed the university on lockdown. Standard procedure. From his bully twitter pulpit, President Trump threatened the university with cutting their federal funds, despite no evidence that censorship had happened or that it is even legal for him to make such threats.

Around the same time, in Bucharest over 100,000 people took to the streets when the recently formed government passed an emergency order to protect members of Parliament, many of them colleagues from the same parties as the government, from being effectively prosecuted for corruption and from losing their place in Parliament. In short, the Social Democrats are closing their ranks against the anti-corruption campaign that has been extremely popular with the citizenry. During the peaceful protest, a small group of instigators started a violent scuffle with the cops, leading to allegations on the part of the government that widespread violence was afoot and security measures were necessary.

The citizens of Romania responded to this sort of bullying and outright lying on the part of the government by showing up in much larger numbers two evenings later (300,000) in freezing weather, families with kids in strollers, in the most peaceful and largest street march since December 1989. Children were carrying placards that read “thieves go home” and “the police is with us”, handing out flowers and treats to the police. People broke out in song and dance, bringing the cops into this flow of energy.

We are living in a historic moment of great contrasts and it is worth thinking about these street protests as instances of a new ethos in our midst: politics is no longer about just the ballot box, and political leaders need to start paying greater attention to what people are saying and doing in these repeated occurrences of participatory citizenship. So long as speech and peaceful marches do not turn into violence, we have a great opportunity to shape the direction of oppositional politics into the future.

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Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. bogdan spune:

    in Romania nu sunt proteste de “identity politics”, e altceva, nu avem problema asta, cel putin nu in termenii astia, ci probleme mai banale si mai generale; se protesteaza tot impotriva guvernului bineinteles dar e alta palarie!

  2. A. Delan spune:

    “From his bully twitter pulpit, President Trump threatened the university with cutting their federal funds, despite no evidence that censorship had happened or that it is even legal for him to make such threats.”

    Ceeeee? “no evidence that censorship had happened”???????

    Si asta ce e?
    https://youtu.be/-Mg8AVpe6rY

    Dar asta?
    https://youtu.be/hwzffeICkP8

    Trump nu trebuia doar sa ameninte cu taierea fondurilor federale pentru Republica Populara Berkeley, trebuia sa le fi taiat imediat. Si nu doar la Berkely, ci la toate scolile si universitatile americane in care libertatea de exprimare e sugrumata de “speech codes”.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/02/01/20170203_free.jpg

    • AT spune:

      Yeah, right. Punch a nazi. A gay jew immigrant “nazi”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IawEMxTroBk

      Berkeley si PSD, aceeasi mizerie.

      http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2017/02/elsewhere-224.html

      Evident ca profesoara universitara isi trage spuza pe turta ei si apara mana care o hraneste. In socialism plebea inferioara e obligata sa le plateasca astora iluziile de grandoare si asa-zisa cercetare. Orice om normal se uita la ce se publica zilele astea si crede ca e parodie, dar nu, e nevoie de nivelul de sofisticare a doua doctorate, in african american studies si queer studies, pentru a le lua in serios.

      https://twitter.com/RealPeerReview

      Tocmai am fost la o prelegere intr-un campus american in care se sustinea ideea lui Socrate ca societatea trebuie guvernata de filozofi, adica ei, autorii acestor articole. Fereasca Dumnezeu sa ajunga la cunostinta alegatorilor ce se intampla in aceste campusuri pe banii lor.

    • Josef Svejk spune:

      Și ca să nu fie doar surse „imperialiste” care contrazic gogrița cu „a large peaceful protest,”, iată și „realatarea progresiștilor” de la CNN:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90mKkGdlAxs

      • Josef Svejk spune:

        Apoi comparațiile între manifestația în favoarea dreptului la uciderea copiilor nenăscuți până în luna a 9-a de pe 21 ianuarie de la DC, sau cea a marxiștilor isterici de la Berkeley împotriva libertății cuvântului, cu manifetațiile din România din ultima săptămână pentru apărarea justiției și statului de drept sunt de-a dreptul hidoase. Nimic mai prejos ca pretențiile lui Hitler că apără civilizația europeană sau cea a lui Iliescu că a fost revoluționar.

  3. ion adrian spune:

    S-ar putea spune ca este o exagerare si daca te bazezi numai pe violenta, sange si morti o comparatie cu 89 sau cu iunie 2000 este desigur exagerata si conditiile sunt altele. Dar daca te gandesti ca in 89 a fost rasturnat prin forta numarului si a revoltei populare un regim evident totalitat , a doua s-a revoltat contra elementelor totalitare si a reminiscentelor bolsevice care inca erau prea prezente in socetatea romaneasca, dovada fiind facuta in final de mineriada si ca azi este o lupta pasnica prin mijlocul premergator celui extrem care este dreptul la forta al natiunii in conditii limita(exercitat in 89), atunci cand toate celelalte mijloace esueaza in fata factorului politic indiferent cum a capatat acesta puterea(si Hitler o capatase democratic s inca alti multi dictatori sau regimuri dictaoriale) articolul din Euronews nu mai pare exagerat:

    http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-international-21583226-euronews-face-comparatie-intre-protestele-care-loc-aceasta-saptamana-romania-revolutia-din-1989.htm

  4. Alina Ion spune:

    Thank you very much for for your very good article. We are all living in a historic moment which shows the progress in the way the citizens feel responsible for their societies. The participatory citizenship represents the answer of the mature societies for building the politics in the future.

  5. HAR spune:

    A forced parallel that reflects the unassumed biases of the author. Particularly inappropriate seems the parallel drawn between the instigators: in the case of Berkeley based on available information the masked rioters appear to have been from the Black Bloc, http://abc7news.com/news/uc-berkeley-blames-masked-individuals-for-violence/1735243/ , who were also against the speaker (Milo Y.), while in Bucharest, the instigators were apparently from the PSDist Negoita clan and associated ultras (football supporters/hooligans) http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-esential-21575173-carmen-negoita-fosta-sotie-patronului-lui-dinamo-facebook-fratii-negoita-strans-galeria-echipei-fotbal-dinamo-rin-grand-hotel-adus-autobuzele-protest-fratii-negoita-sunt-membri-psd-dosare-penale.htm determined to put an end to the demonstrations and in no way supporting the goals (and targets) of the large peaceful protest.

    If the author wishes to engage in comparative history then it would be appropriate to leave biases at the door. There is no mention of the spontaneous airport demonstrations in the US last weekend or, on the other side of the political spectrum, the March for Life in Washington. Nor did the uptick in protests suddenly start in January 2017. In Romania, protests toppled the Boc government in 2012 and the Ponta government in 2015 after the Colectiv tragedy (to the south in Bulgaria, protests have also toppled two governments in recent years). The demonstrations in Romania currently are truly impressive and historic–especially if one considers the temperatures in which people are turning out night after night–but the comparison (by themselves) with the Berkeley protests, in and of themselves a divisive theme on the left when it comes to the issue of free speech on college campuses, seems forced and somewhat inappropriate.

  6. Absurdistan spune:

    Dear Madam Professor, I am writing in English because it seems some of us may have forgotten the Romanian language altogether (with echoes of “Coana Chirita” coming to mind). 

    More importantly, there is a dishonesty bordering on the repulsive in associating the criminal radical left attacking mob-style other citizens with dignified, civilized Romanian protestors asking for an uncorrupt government.

    It is rather sad that the American “academia”, when it comes to the study of humanities, is being pestered and suffocated with ideological, poorly educated pseudo-scholars attempting to brainwash and indoctrinate on neo-Marxist premises whole generations of defenseless kids, who pay unimaginably high tuition costs on the top of the money which these “scholars” (the parasitic faculty) mooches from two other sources: 1) state budgets and 2) the productive departments (Math, Physics, Engineering, etc.).

    It is to be strongly hoped that President Trump will take a most serious look into the fraud, waste, and parasitism which are rampant in so many public money-funded university departments. Things cannot go on like this any longer.  

  7. Bucharest is not Berkeley spune:

    Violent riots at Berkeley, peaceful ones in Bucharest:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwzffeICkP8

  8. Yoda spune:

    Doar asa, la repezeala, sa vedem ce frumos este la Berkeley:

    1. Stim sa dam cu pumnii in toti aia care ne enerveaza (pentru ca poarta sepci cu Trump): https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/02/02/trump-supporting-berkeley-student-attacked-by-left-wing-thugs-in-the-middle-of-the-day/

    2. Sa vedem cine sunt cei care contribuie si finanteaza cenzura: https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/02/04/soros-funded-group-gave-50k-to-goons-who-provoked-berkley-riot/

    Articolul asta este o jignire pentru cei care au iesit in strada la Bucuresti si dovedeste o totala confuzie a autoarei in intelegerea lumii reale.

    • Margot spune:

      @yoda Cu totul de acord cu dumneavoastră. Articolul este jignitor. “Protestele” de la “Berkeley au fost declansate de un grup de agitati bezmetici si de agitatori de profesie, o masa de descreierati care cred ca de ideile si de oamenii cu care nu ești de acord, nu te poți apară decit cu parul, sau cu bata de baseball. Protestele de la București sunt expresia disperării perfect legitime a unor oameni umiliți de aceeași “ciuma roșie” care le-a umilit părinții si bunicii, si a care-i rapacitate nu este egalata decât de ticăloșia ei. Orice om civilizat se simte solidar cu protestatarii de la București. Pe scurt, la Berkeley a ieșit in strada a mob of malevolent do-gooders; la București s-a protestat împotriva lor. A temper tantrum is not a revolt.

  9. Margot spune:

    Autoarea, experta in istoria Europei de Est, nu pare sa priceapă ca a compara protestele de la Berkeley cu cele de la București, e ca si cum ai compara zidul lui Trump, cu zidul Berlinului. Lenin se rasuceste, satisfăcut, in mormânt contempland armatele de idioti utili din universitatile americane (si din mass-media) care-i continua “opera”.



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Maria Bucur-Deckard


Maria Bucur-Deckard

Maria Bucur este profesoara universitara la Indiana University, Bloomington, unde detine catedra de istorie a Europei de Est, si ocupa postul de vice decana pe programe internation... Citeste mai departe


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de: radu

la "#Rezistența. Sau cum a reinventat România speranța socială"

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