French pension reform strikes
A series of general strikes and demonstrations began in France on January 19 this year, organised by people opposed to the 2023 French pension reform bill proposed by the Élisabeth Borne government, which would increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old. The strikes have led to widespread disruption, including garbage piling up in the streets and public transport cancellations. Last month, the government used Article 49.3 of the constitution to force the bill through the French parliament, sparking more protests and two failed no confidence votes, contributing to an increase in violence in protests alongside the union-organised strike action.
Georgian protests over ‘foreign influence’ bill
The 2023 Georgian protests were a series of street demonstrations taking place throughout Georgia over parliamentary backing of a proposed ‘Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence’. Under the bill, non-commercial legal entities (the most common form of NGO in Georgia), broadcasters, legal entities that alone or jointly own a print media outlet operating in Georgia, and legal entities that own or use, jointly or with others, an internet domain and/or internet hosting intended for the dissemination of information through the internet in the Georgian language, must register in public registry as “agents of foreign influence” and be subjected to the monitoring of the ministry of justice, if they receive more than 20% of their annual income from “a foreign power”. The police were reported to have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse tens of thousands of people, especially in the capital Tbilisi, who had gathered outside the Georgian parliament. On March 10, the parliament retracted the bill as a result of the mass protests.
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Peruvian political protests
Since December 2022, supporters of the ousted president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, have engaged in a series of political protests against the government of the current president Dina Boluarte and the Congress
Germany labour strike
The 2023 Germany strike is a nationwide labour strike that occurred in March this year. The strike was organised by Ver.di and EVG, two major transport unions, who demanded a 10.5% pay increase for their members to offset rising food and energy costs. This strike was one of the worst to hit Germany in decades and had a major impact on airports, public transport, and the country’s largest port. Eight major airports, including those in Munich, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, were affected, and long-distance railroad services, as well as early morning regional and commuter rail services, were suspended throughout the country. The strike involved over 400,000 transport workers, making it the largest transport workers’ action since a series of strikes in the 1990s.
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Mahsa Amini protests
Civil unrest and protests against the government of Iran associated with the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini began on September 16, 2022 and are ongoing. Amini had been arrested by the Guidance Patrol for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory hijab law by wearing her hijab “improperly” while visiting Tehran from Saqqez. As the protests spread from Amini’s hometown of Saqqez to other cities in the Iranian Kurdistan and throughout Iran, the government responded with widespread Internet blackouts, nationwide restrictions on social media usage. Although the protests have not been as deadly as those in 2019 (when more than 1,500 were killed), they have been nationwide, spread across social classes, universities, streets, schools. Over 488 people had been killed as of January 27, 2023.