Response/ Summary - Essay Example

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Between these years protests were experienced across the world and they always hit the news headlines whenever they occurred. From 1990…
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The Protester In the early years from the 1960’s to 1980’s, protests were a fashionable way to express the opinions of the masses across the world. Between these years protests were experienced across the world and they always hit the news headlines whenever they occurred. From 1990 protests were no longer seen as the right method of expression by the masses except in few places like South Africa where a combination of sanctions and protests helped to end apartheid. For the next two decades, the world experienced a tremendous improvement in living standards.
As the world embraced a society of zero protests and riots, the situation suddenly changed. It all began in Tunisia, a country in North Africa. The protests began when a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze following repeated harassment by Police officers while the state just ignored. The protesters demanded the removal of their National leader. Protests also flared in Egypt following a fraudulent election. In the United States protests were triggered by economic crises while, in Russia, the citizens protested against the leadership of Vladimir Putin. Protests have also occurred in Madrid, London, Athens, India and Chile.
These protests have not come without a heavy price paid by the protesters. Ahmed Harara an Egyptian protester got blinded by rubber bullets that hit his eyes in two different occasions. Mohammed Bouazizi who triggered the Tunisian protests had to set himself ablaze after drenching himself in paint thinner. Rami Jarrah a Syrian protester had to flee his country for Cairo. Egyptian protesters collected rubber pellets that had been fired at them by government forces. Protesters from Greece have had to prepare home made substances that neutralize the harsh effects of teargas fired at them.
The diversity of the reasons why these protests are coming up is interesting. Protesters in the United States and Europe are protesting against matters that are mainly related to the economy. Interestingly, the protesters from the Middle East and North Africa only want political systems that run smoothly. Various administrative systems are coming up with different methods of dealing with protests. In North Africa and the Middle East, the governments or dictatorships in place handle protesters with violence by the use of government forces. In European countries and the United States, violence is not used. As long as world governments do not meet the expectations of their citizens, protests and riots are here to stay.
Riot: Self -organized, hyper-networked revolts - coming to a city near you
Technology has greatly contributed in making everyday life easier. It is easy to shop through websites like Amazon and meet new people using laptops and smart phones. However, these devices have also made it easier to create crowds that may easily gather to achieve a not so pleasant objective.
BlackBerry messaging facilitated the sending of a text message requiring many people to gather at Edmonton town and create havoc. Large numbers turned up and the town ran into chaos. Technology has enabled the formation of flash mobs that suddenly gather at a point and perform their ill missions without warning.
Stott, a psychology lecturer, believes that the crowd is never on its own. Crowd members have a shared identity which changes as the situation changes. Although the actions of the crowd may not make sense to a by-stander, they do make sense to the crowd members. Poor policing should be blamed according to Stott. Initially, when a crowd forms, the shared identity is crowd legitimacy. It is the extent to which the crowd feels that it has to behave lawfully. However with reference to crowds which form through technology, the level of legitimacy is usually low. The crowd knows that it is supposed to cause havoc.
Power is another factor in crowd violence. Crowd members take to the streets without fear of punishment because they are many. They cause mayhem in the streets without fear of arrest and persecution.
Social media has also greatly contributed towards crowd formation. Crowds formed through social media readily create havoc if the members were informed to do so before assembly. From this perspective, social media has been viewed by many people as a very effective tool to create societal disorder.
It is interesting that Police departments have been unable to deal efficiently with the crowd menace yet it is their duty. One of the options available to the police is to curtail the teleportation technology and commandeer it. This option is not applicable since it will involve infringement of people’s privacy. Another option is to monitor social media. However due to financial problems in police departments and sophisticated technology this is not a viable option. The last option is to ban technologies like the BlackBerry Messaging service. However, this will have the counter effect of making it hard for security forces to communicate. They are already using such technology. As long as freedom of assembly remains, the freedom to form crowds will also remain. The authorities have to come up with effective means to counter violent crowds.

Works cited:
Andersen, Kurt. "Person of the Year 2011: The Protester." Time. Time Inc., 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 4 May 2014. .
"#Riot: Self-Organized, Hyper-Networked Revolts—Coming to a City Near You | Magazine | WIRED." Conde Nast Digital, 11 Dec. 2014. Web. 4 May 2014. .
"Pictures of TIME’s Person of the Year 2011: the Protester | LightBox |" LightBox. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014. . Read More
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