When the world does you injustice, when your pleas for being listened to fail to move the powers, and the social media movements fizzle out, what course of action do you have? 2020, the year of the pandemic was also the year of mass protests, protests which got together women and men of all colours, races, and even nationalities to make their message heard.  Even though, all nations big and small, had their issues being raised by their citizens, still there were some which touched issues more relevant on an international landscape.

Black Lives Matter: The protests to seek justice for George Flyod peaked on June 6, when half a million people turned out in nearly 550 places across the United States.

One of the defining characteristics of a just legal system is the correspondence between the crime and the punishment. Attempting to knowingly tender counterfeit currency is a crime, but is it a crime worthy of a ‘summary death sentence’ due to deliberate inhumane manhandling? George Floyd was trying to get some alcoholic beverages for a fake twenty dollars, and the police rightfully reached the spot as upholding the sanctity of the national currency is in the best interests of everyone. However, one of the four officers who responded knelt down of Floyd’s neck for the better part of ten minutes while the latter was letting out “I can’t breathe” as much as he could. The man died and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Black Lives Matter movement which had been going on touched almost everyone’s heart with support for equality of treatment and changes in police system being asked for. The support for Floyd has been unequivocal all over the world.

Edward Colston statue

Slavery is the owning of another human as a property. As strange as it may appear these days, ownership of men and women and the consequent abuse of the latter was a reality of the world not so long ago. In expression of solidarity to the innate freedom of every human, all attachments with the historical slavery are looked down upon. But what happens when a seemingly philanthropist merchant’s true links with slave trade are discovered. It would be naive to not consider the entire truth, right? The man in the question is Edward Colston and the treatment was meted out to his bronze statue. This year saw the eruption of a gradual build up of dissent against the merchant who probably concealed his nefarious activities under the guise of philanthropy. Ignited by the death of George Floyd, the statue was toppled, paint was thrown on it, and the statue was dragged on the streets to the Bristol Harbour where it was dumped. But before the dragging, someone knelt on his neck just like Floyd was. Later on the city administration recovered the statue and kept it in a safe place.

Farmers Protest in India

Change is always uncomfortable. When modernisation attempts are institutionalised in laws, a certain amount of resistance is expected. Now, in India, the central government has enacted three laws concerning agriculture. The laws intend to make selling produce convenient offline and online in any marketplace in India, in addition to introducing futures contracts between the farmers and the consumers. The farmers, for whatever reasons, do not approve of the same, and are demanding in no uncertain terms that the government to revert the laws. The farmer protests have taken on its side almost every farmer of the nation and also many individuals all over the world. Initially blocking the Indian Railways in Punjab, the farmers are now blocking the highways to the national capital of Delhi. The government is in rounds of talks with the farmer leaders and both parties are respectful to the other. It is noteworthy that the protests are peaceful and there has been no targeted violence against any women or men though property and assets all over Punjab have been vandalised by the farmers especially those of Reliance Industries.

2020, a year in which the world was locked down has had more than its fair share of protests, but as we saw in this article, the rationale and motivation behind the protests have been reasonable and gratuitous violence has been avoided.

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