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The Debate

Rage against the system: From Chile to Lebanon, why the sudden wave of protests?

FRANCE 24
FRANCE 24 FRANCE 24

What if France's Yellow Vest movement was only the start of it? From the Middle East to South America, witness the sudden eruption of social media-backed leaderless protests against politicians from across the spectrum. This new age of transparency we live in has laid bare growing inequality that is simply not being addressed. In Lebanon, Chile and Ecuador, the spark was some sort of new fee or levy.

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Take Chile, where the anger quickly became about much more than a metro fare hike. The deadly violence that ensued prompted the government to put tanks in the streets for the first time since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship in 1990. What response from policy makers? What cautionary tale for neighbouring Argentina as it gears up for elections?

In the past months, the street has overthrown longtime strongmen in Sudan and Algeria, while Tunisia has elected an anti-system political novice as its president. If this is the end of politics as we know it, then what's next and why is this all happening now?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ingri Bergo.

 

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