New Internationalist

The Facts

Issue 106

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COMMUNITY ACTION [image, unknown] Milestones in popular pressure

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The FACTS

[image, unknown] Anti-War Protests in US
1970 The Vietnam war catalyses American youth into vocal opposition with marches all over the country against the policies of Johnson and Nixon. The protests come to a tragic climax when the National Guard gun down students at Kent State University in 1970.


[image, unknown] Ecology
1974 Concern for the environment and opposition to the politics of growth is becoming one of the most persistant popular movements of the 1970s in the West and is now given economic backbone by the OPEC oil price rises.


[image, unknown] Frelimo Takes Over
1975 Frelimo’s struggle in Mozambique against the Portuguese is strengthened by their provision of health and education services in the liberated areas. Now they take over the whole country and shift the strategic balance in Southern Africa.


[image, unknown] The Women's Movement
1975 Feminism gets an international seal of approval with the launching of the International Decade for Women. Though many of the changes have been cosmetic, the atmosphere in which women's s issues are discussed has been radically altered.


[image, unknown] Radical Church in Latin America
1968 Many of Latin Americas priests, facing the reality of poverty and injustice, embrace the ‘Theology of Liberation’ and commit themselves to popular causes. Brazilian Bishop Helder Camara is one of the leaders at the Bishops’ Conference in Medellin which give its approval to this new kind of Christianity.


[image, unknown] Jugoslavian Worker's Control
1948 Jugoslavia breaks with the USSR and sets out on its own road to socialism. The factories now come under more democratic and independent worker-management councils, which share out the profits and produce new levels of commitment and enthusiasm.


[image, unknown] Revolution in China
1949 Mao-Tsetung’s idea that in a Third World country like China revolution must come from mass participation of peasants throws the Russian textbook out of the window and sets a new pattern for colonial freedom struggles.


[image, unknown] Kibbutzes in Israel
I950s Israel’s radical contribution to the idea of collective agriculture is now in full swing. Kibbutzes are owned by the members with decisions taken by a weekly meeting. Only four per cent of the population is involved but they have a profound influence throughout Israeli society.


[image, unknown] End of the Vietnam War
1975 With the helicopter scramble from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon one of the world's most painful liberation struggles comes to an end. Even the most sophisticated war machine is no match for guerrilla organisation with popular support in the countryside.


[image, unknown] Indian Independence
1947 The end of British rule in India is a violent and bloody partition — a sad conclusion to the new style of non-violent ‘civil disobedience’ that Mahatma Gandhi had pioneered in the 1920s and 1930s for his Quit India movement.


[image, unknown] Paris Street Riots
1968 Student protests about the society for which they are being trained spill into the streets and coincide with strikes to produce unprecedented full-scale battles with the police.


[image, unknown] Schistosomiasis in China
I950s An extraordinary labour-intensive campaign that includes rooting out individual snails by hand brings this snail-based worm disease undercontrol — one that had affected 10 million Chinese.


[image, unknown] Hungarian Uprising
1956 A surge in national consciousness in Hungary leads to demands for independence and free elections. But the few heady days of illusory liberty are crushed bythe arrival of Soviet troops- a pattern to be echoed in Czechoslovakia in 1968.


[image, unknown] US Civil Rights
1955 The defiant gesture of Mrs Rosa Park, in Montgomery, Alabama refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white, starts a movement for black civil rights that sweeps America and makes a hero of a local minister, the Reverend Martin Luther King.


[image, unknown] Soweto School children
1976 Schoolchildren in the black township of Soweto in South Africa protest against the teaching of Afrikaans and produce one of the major flashpoints in the struggle against apartheid. Over 600 people die.

[image, unknown] Resurgence of Popular Protest
1981 Europeans are shocked into action by the crude belligerance of the new US administration. In Germany anti-bomb protests draw 300,000 crowds and CND springs into new life in the UK. In New Zealand the anti-apartheid movement makes international headlines with its remarkable demonstrations against the Springboks rugby tour.

[image, unknown] Solidarity
1980 The story that started with the firing of a woman shipyard worker in Gdansk has grown into a mass of popular opposition to the heavy hand of Soviet communism. With its 10 million members. Solidarity is determining the limits of popular participation for the next decade in Soviet satellites.


[image, unknown] Nicaragua's Literacy Crusade
1979 With the end of the war to oust Somoza, the Sandinistas use the momentum of popular support to launch one of the world’s most ambitious literacy campaigns. In six months the illiteracy rate drops from 54 per cent to 12 percent in what they call their ’second victory’.


[image, unknown] The Fall of the Shah
1979 Years of injustice and repression come to a head with million-strong crowds chanting ‘Death to the Shah’. The country rallies round Khomeini’s fundamentalism in a tide of protest that not even the feared secret police can control. The Shah leaves for his ‘holiday’.


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