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Empowering Change?

Empowering Change?

“We face a once-in-a-generation opportunity to empower people in our changing world.” These were not the words of a protester on Tahrir Square, Puerta del Sol or Wall Street, although they could have been. They were the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. On 16 Feb., Ban took to the red carpet podium in the […]

ACTA: Pandora’s Inbox

It was painfully cold on Saturday, 11 Feb. when several thousand people took to the streets of Vienna to protest the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that had mobilised tens of thousands across Europe. ACTA is an international trade agreement to protect intellectual property rights on goods and on the Internet. Its rules apply equally […]

Burschenschafter Ball: With the Demonstrators

Burschenschafter Ball: With the Demonstrators

On 27 Jan. around 5:00 in the afternoon at Christian-Broda-Platz next to Westbahnhof, only a few hundred had gathered for one of three demonstrations against WKR ball approved by the Vienna police – one more starting at the University of Vienna and marching towards Heldenplatz on the Ringstraße, the main one taking Place on Heldenplatz […]

Vienna’s Russians: Remote and Resigned

Online social networks are today’s stage for political discourse. This became relevant for Russia when suspicions of fraud by the ruling party in parliamentary elections last December brought some 50,000 protesters to the streets, organised over the internet. Since then, there has been a string of demonstrations in urban centres, not seen in Russia since […]

Romania: The Gold Rush is On

A mining project has attracted protests. But the source of the anger may be buried elsewhere.

Romania: Mining Trouble

Several Romanian cities have seen recurrent demonstrations against the introduction of cyanide mining in Roșia Montană, a gold mining site in northwestern Romania. The ongoing demonstrations, which resumed in Bucharest, Cluj and Timisoara in October, first started in 2006 when the government mooted giving Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining firm, the rights to open Europe’s […]

Forgotten Constitution

The first demonstration of Soviet human rights advocates in the history of the USSR took place in the center of Moscow in 1965. It was a very short one. As soon as demonstrators in the mass gathering on Pushkin Square started to unroll their banners, the militia appeared and arrested them. At the police station, […]

Torches for Tolerance

Bathed in a wash of light over Ballhausplatz in Vienna’s 1st District, the mood  felt unusually welcoming on the evening of Mar. 25, as a sea of brightly illuminated torches were carried high over the heads of thousands of marchers, joined in a protest against the far-right candidate for the Austrian presidency, Barbara Rosenkranz (FPÖ). […]

Students demand that Hahn gets serious

“Money for Education” (Geld für Bildung), “the Uni is burning” (die Uni brennt), “Think! Don’t serve!” (denken statt dienen) – Banners hanging all around the Audimax auditorium at the University of Vienna’s Main Building shout out the issues in what is becoming Austria’s most massive civil protest in nearly a decade. What started on Oct. […]

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