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world
Saturday Oct 26 2019
By
AFP
,
Web Desk

A surge in protests around the world in October

By
AFP
,
Web Desk
Photo: Reuters

PARIS: The past weeks have seen a wave of protest movements erupt in countries worldwide. 

Pakistan happens to be one of them, with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam - Fazl chief Fazlur Rehman holding an Azadi March against the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf later this month. 

Here is an overview of the other main demonstrations that started this month and some more that are ongoing.

Also read: Scotland Yard bans Kashmir protest outside Indian embassy in London

Bolivia

When? Since October 21.

Trigger? The disputed results of the October 20 presidential election which gave outgoing leader Evo Morales almost outright victory for a fourth term.

State of play? There has been violence in several regions and a general strike was launched on October 23.

Also read: PTI government impounding export containers to counter protests

Toll? Several people have been injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morales.

Chile

When? Since October 18.

Trigger? An increase in the price of metro tickets in the capital.

State of play? President Sebastian Pinera suspended the price hike and then announced social measures such as increased pensions and lower electricity costs. 

Also read: Lebanese protesters sing ‘Baby Shark’ to soothe toddler

But the protests spread, including complaints about living costs and social inequality. A general strike started on October 23.

Toll? 18 dead.

Lebanon

When? Since October 17.

Trigger? A proposed tax on calls made through messaging apps.

State of play? The government of Saad Hariri quickly axed the measure and announced emergency economic reforms. But the protests have widened to demand the removal of the entire political class.

Also read: Two truckers killed in Indian occupied Kashmir as apple trade turns bloody

Toll? Peaceful protests, marked by several clashes, have paralysed the country but there have been no injuries.

Guinea

When? Since October 7.

Trigger? Accusations that President Alpha Conde is trying to circumvent a bar on a third term in office.

State of play? Thousands of people have joined a string of demonstrations organised by an alliance of opposition groups, the FNDC.

Toll? Around 10 protesters killed.

Ecuador

When? From October 1 to 13.

Trigger? The scrapping of fuel subsidies.

State of play? After 12 days of protests, President Lenin Moreno and the indigenous movement, which has spearheaded the demonstrations, reached an agreement under which the government reinstated fuel subsidies.

Toll? Eight killed and 1,340 injured.

Iraq

When? Since October 1.

Trigger? Spontaneous calls on social media to protest corruption, unemployment and poor public services.

State of play? After a week of protests that quickly escalated into clashes with security forces, the government announced reforms. Protesters continue to demand an end to corruption and unemployment, and an overhaul of the political system. 

Also read: Protest held in Karachi over Sarfaraz Ahmed's sacking

On October 25 the protests resumed, with a new upsurge of violence, fanned by Shiite political leader Moqtada Sadr.

Toll? More than 150 dead the first week. At least 40 on Friday alone.

Ongoing movements

Other protest movements, which started earlier this year, are continuing:

- In Hong Kong, a protest movement started on June 9 in response to a draft government bill that would allow extradition to mainland China.

After months of regular demonstrations, including some of the worst violence the former British colony has known, the extradition bill was withdrawn in September. But the campaign had already broadened to demand greater democratic freedoms.

Also read: Actor Jane Fonda arrested in climate protest at US Capitol

Initially peaceful, the protests have degenerated into violent clashes between protesters and security forces. Numerous pro-democracy activists have been attacked, and on October 1 police shot and wounded a protester with a live bullet.

- In Algeria, the decision by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth term sparked a wave of peaceful demonstrations on February 22.

Bouteflika resigned in April but protesters continue to demand an overhaul of the entire political establishment. The opposition rejects elections under the current establishment, called for December 12.