We have been witnessing a surge of people power during the last few months from Hong Kong in the East to Chile in the West and elsewhere in Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon and other areas in between
Although these protests are against authorities in frustration, the common enemy in all these countries is injustice, corruption, inequality and abuse of power.
The Hong Kong protests were triggered by the introduction of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill by the Hong Kong government that would have let local authorities detain and extradite fugitives who are wanted in territories with which Hong Kong does not currently have extradition agreements, including Taiwan and mainland China.
This created concerns that the bill would subject Hong Kong residents and visitors to the mainland Chinese jurisdiction and legal system, undermining the region’s autonomy and its civil liberties.
The Chinese government has expressed their opposition to the protests while taking measures against the protests and their supporters calling it separatist riots accusing the movement of displaying “characteristics of colour revolutions” and “signs of terrorism”.
The people power that started the so-called Sudanese Revolution with street protests throughout Sudan in December 2018 and continued with sustained civil disobedience with the April 2019 Sudanese coup deposing President Omar al-Bashir after thirty years in power.
The June Khartoum massacre took place under the leadership of the Military Council (TMC) that replaced al-Bashir, and in mid 2019 the TMC and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) signed a Political Agreement and a Draft Constitutional Declaration legally defining a planned 39-month phase of transitional state institutions and procedures to return Sudan to a civilian democracy.
Now the TMC has formally transferred executive power to a mixed military-civilian collective head of state, the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, and to a civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok and a mostly civilian cabinet, while judicial power was transferred to Nemat Abdullah Khair, Sudan’s first female Chief Justice.
To some extent, this has been a success story so far.
The Iraqi protests over deteriorating economic conditions and state corruption have been held in Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities where almost 100 people have now been killed by Iraqi security forces in October with over 6,000 injured.
This sad situation has been the result of poor governance, sectarian politics, nepotism and corruption where people now feel that enough is enough.
Similar is the case with Lebanon that has been governed on the basis of religious/sectarian political system for decades.
The Lebanese protests started in response to the government’s planned taxes on fuel, tobacco and online phone calls such as through WhatsApp.
However, now the protestors are calling for the replacement of the sectarian power-sharing system and replace it with true democracy.
Most of the times we perceive our enemies to be amongst people of other faiths, cultures or ethnic groups other than our own. But this is not true.
In building a peaceful society free from conflicts, it is important to fight the real enemies like corruption, nepotism, secrecy, abuse of rights and oppression and inculcate virtues such as justice, equality, transparency, sharing of power, safeguarding of human rights and wealth leading towards good governance.