A New Movement? Mounting Dissent Indicates New Roles for Environmentalists in the Age of Disaster

Protest movements are re-emerging in several points of resistance. Through traditional war-and-economics-oriented protests to environmentalist demonstrations, the whole world is shuddering from expressions of grief and turmoil. What is this tumult going to turn into? Is there a future for this resistance, or is this simply the latest paroxysm in global history?

With its own revolutionary history in tow,Russia has encountered protests ontop of protests, raging throughout 11 time zones, at least 48 cities, and involving perhaps hundreds of thousands of people over the past couple of months. This swarm of protests has met substantial, violent police repression, but is only intensifying, as Russia’s economy hits decade lows. The so-called “Day of Wrath,” a nation wide day of protests that struck on March 20, has sparked more and more ad hoc protests featuring unlikely alliances and confrontations with authority. According to authorities, protesters hold a general grudge against power, itself, but the problems are clear: authoritarian exploitation of resources and people.

Meanwhile, in Haiti, anger is spreading amongst victims of the earthquake. Haitians have become subject to military expropriation of property and rights, as the State gradually transforms into a US-backed dictatorship that concentrates more on construction and development than on doctors and shelters for the needy. Thousands have been protesting throughout the country, coming together for days of protest on May 10 and May 17. Just as the anger surrounding the Israeli attack on the Free Gaza flotilla is only increasing, the movement shows no signs of easy dissipation.

There will be a protest at BP’s national headquarters tomorrow, called by the advocacy group, Public Citizen. Public Citizen, which usually advocates for Democracy, is straying from their formula slightly by holding an environmental protest. Of course there are streams of consistency with this flow of logic—after all, democracy equals environmental justice, right? Still, as tension mounts and disaster looms, what roles will the larger environmental movement start to fill? Be there tomorrow to find out, or just stay tuned to the newswire and feel free to post your comments.

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