15 Jul

Map of the Week: Mapping Protests Around the World

By: Nicole Oveisi

Al Jazeera compiled a series of maps to showcase the evolution of major protests within the last ten years. The Mass Mobilization Project has tracked protest data spanning the past ten years, recording almost 7,000 protests across 153 different countries. On average, protest sizes range from hundreds to thousands of individuals coming together, however in the last ten years, there have been at least 900 protests where over 10,0000 demonstrators gathered at once.

Protest movements have become more and more frequent around the world as inequalities deepen and as economic crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic threaten livelihoods everywhere. Large-scale COVID-19 shutdowns sparked global protests in 2020, prompting millions of people to take to the streets and voice their demands. Worsening conditions and greater distrust in governments will continue to trigger more and larger protests. 

Major Ongoing Protests: 

In France, anti-government strikes to protest fuel taxes and privatisation known as the Yellow Vest Movement began in 2018. 

In Lebanon, protesters began taking to the streets in 2019 to air their frustrations on their country’s economic meltdown and widespread corruption.

The Pro-Democracy Movement in Hong Kong originally started as a protest against an extradition bill but shifted to focus on the movement against China’s control over the semi-autonomous region.

Farmers in India have banded together to protest the country’s attempt to deregulate its agricultural sector. In November of 2020, 250 million people participated in a 24-hour general strike making it the largest protest gathering in the history of the world.

Nationwide protests calling for racial justice gained momentum in the United States after the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer, forcing the nation to (begin to) reckon with its longstanding history of systemic racism and police brutality against Black Americans. 

To learn more about these rising protest movements and how protest data is collected, read Al Jazeera’s “Mapping major protests around the world.”