Protests are sometimes viewed as a negative thing because of the violence that comes along. However, the violence is often a result of conflicting opinions. In nearly every country, the residents have a right to protest peacefully. Through these protests, the world has witnessed significant policy changes in politics, labor, equality, and the environment. They have marked revolutions that have made many communities better despite the loss of lives that may have been experienced. Today, we want to highlight the 8 major protests that have been held across the globe and marked the start of something positive.

1. George Floyd and Black Lives Matter

During the coronavirus pandemic, a man by the name of George Floyd was killed under the custody of an officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for nine consecutive minutes. A video of the incident shows George telling the officer that he can’t breathe. Within two days, the video of George Floyd’s death had gone viral, and thousands of people showed up on the streets.

What made this protest massive is that it did not happen only in Minneapolis, where the incident occurred; it happened in almost every city in the US, as the rest of the world keenly followed. Thousands protested wearing “I can’t breathe” t-shirts.

Like any other protest, things got violent, and more than 4,000 people were arrested. Things got so severe that President Donald Trump considered seeking military assistance. It was this protest that popularized the Black Lives Matter movement.

2. The March on Washington

Led by Martin Luther King Jr, the March on Washington is one of the most significant protests for the African American community. Held in 1963, the African American community was under severe oppression despite having been granted freedom from slavery. The inequality between races was so rampant in the mid-1900s.

The March on Washington protest was organized to address these inequalities, attracting more than 200,000 men and women. It was also at this protest that Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. The movement was so strong that President Kennedy had no option but to meet the leaders.

3. The Anti-Iraq War protest

In most cases, protests are usually confined within a certain geographical region. However, when former United States President George Bush shared plans to invade Iraq in 2003, millions of people from 600 cities in the world protested.

There were more than three million protesters in Rome, Italy. In Madrid, 1.5 million protesters showed up, and there were 750,000 protesters in London. For a long time, Bush had blamed Iraq for going against the United Nations policy of creating weapons of mass destruction.

Despite the protests and controversy, the US, under Bush’s leadership, still invaded Iraq within the same year. In this case, the anti-Iraq war protest, as massive as it was, bore no fruits.

4. People’s Protest in the Philippines

After ruling the Philippines for over two decades, millions of residents and military leaders on the opposite side of his camp removed Ferdinand Marcos from power, and a general election was organized. During the 1986 elections, Ferdinand Marcos was again declared the winner over Corazon Aquino, the wife of Benigno Aquino, who had been assassinated earlier.

Everyone was against these results, including the church. This led to Ferdinand arresting catholic cleric Cardinal Jaime Sin. A coup ensued, and the residents came out to protect the rebel army against the sitting government. This left Ferdinand with no option but to leave the country.

5. The Salt March

Under British rule, Indians were not allowed to make or sell salt, which was a popular economic activity. This prompted Mohandas Gandhi to organize a salt march in 1930. Initially, he only had 78 people accompanying him, but the number grew to 50,000 when he reached the Arabian Sea and started boiling the water to get salt.

Although there are no exact records, historians believe that Gandhi was eventually joined by millions of protesters when word got out. This salt march led to the arrest of 60,000 people, including Gandhi himself, who stayed in prison until 1931. The Salt March is considered a significant contributing factor that steered India to gain independence from the British.

6. The Orange Revolution in Kyiv

Politics is a leading cause of protests in many countries. In Ukraine, the Orange Revolution occurred in Kyiv for 12 straight days. After a run-off between Yushchenko and Yanukovich, the latter was declared the winner, but he emerged to have engaged in election malpractice.

Even before the elections, the Yushchenko camp had been subjected to numerous counts of harassment by Yanukovich. Millions of people stormed Kyiv and demonstrated, demanding what they thought were the accurate poll results. After 12 days, the results were reversed, granting Yushchenko victory. It was called the Orange Revolution because that was Yushchenko’s party colors.

7. Indian Farmers Protest

The Indian Famers Protest also happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indian government in 2020 had loosened the rules regarding the storage, pricing, and sale of farm produce. These rules had protected local farmers from the claws of larger companies for decades. This led to Millions of Indians, whose economy relied mainly on agriculture, organizing massive protests against the changes in 2021.

It started with farm workers blocking railways and roads in Haryana and Punjab. Things escalated very quickly when some farmers started burning their fields. Also, numerous people had gone on strike in support of this protest.

When protesters began marching to Delhi despite the pandemic still causing havoc, the authorities had to do something about these laws. The Indian Supreme Court put the laws on hold, and the protests subsided.

8. Women’s March in the US

Donald Trump’s administration witnessed a lot of protests, among them being the Women’s March. After his inauguration in 2016, many women in the United States did not agree with Trump’s perception of their gender, forcing Teresa Shook, a retired lawyer, to trigger the protest.

After only a day in office, thousands of people in Washington and other states marched against the president while wearing pink hats in reference to the insulting language that Trump had used. The Women’s March movement continued in subsequent years of Trump’s presidency.

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Last Update: May 22, 2024