Politically, during the pandemic, there has been no rest in activism fueling global change around a number of different topics. It is often argued that voice has a critical role in improving the quality of governance. Political voices can become a catalyst for improvements in areas of well-being. Online activism is very common at this time. Activism is also popular among the youth. In other countries like China some activism among youth people would include students using social media to raise money for medical workers at the frontline of the pandemic. Using social media is very common right now for activism. Youth involvement through digital activism participation are more likely to engage in voting which is positive (Pelter).
The Greek government passed legislation that places restrictions on demonstrations or complete bans if protests are deemed to threaten public safety. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law was necessary to deal with “dozens of small protests” that have sparked in city centers across the country. Amnesty International joined the chorus of criticism, expressing “serious concern” about the new law, saying that it runs counter to international human rights provisions. Ten thousand protesters gathered in the center of Athens to oppose legislation put forward by the center-right government. The clashes between protesters and authorities left at least six police officers injured (Deutsche).
In Poland, as in many other countries, women’s rights activists organized a “march” where participants stayed inside their vehicles. Activists and opposition party leaders have also planned full-scale online rallies, complete with speakers and live music broadcast to tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of participants in places like Germany and Indonesia “Many autocracies tightly control, or even directly administer, their country’s internet service providers. This allows them to more easily monitor and often censor information flow through digital networks—as in China’s famous “Great Firewall”—or selectively prevent activists from getting and maintaining internet access. These restrictions in turn make movement actions more difficult to start” (Pickney).
Countries like Zimbabwe, Eritrea and the Philippines, with an authoritarian regime, the COVID crisis has provided good opportunities for activists to build support for citizens hit hard, as well as being centers of opposition to the government. Zimbabwe has experienced similar crises to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many movements have been launched in Eritrea. The movement, One Day Seyoum, is a pro-democracy group in Eritrea. Since the pandemic, they have been able to shine the spotlight on their campaign #PurpleForCiham. This campaign demands the release of an American-Eritrean citizen, Ciham Ali Abdu, who was imprisoned in Eritrea at fifteen. With people staying home and self isolating, this campaign built momentum and achieved one of their goals of getting the attention of Senator Kamala Harris (Vaca-Daza).
“Greece Protests: Violence as Thousands March in Athens Against Protest Law”
“African Regimes are Using COVID-19 to Stifle the Third Wave of Protests”
“Iranian Workers Strike Amid Worsening Economy, Deadly Coronavirus Crisis”