Fueling social anger: 'Governments failed the test' in 2013
Governments have largely failed the test of representation, and the minor concessions they made haven’t dissipated protests but fueled social anger, Curtis Ellis, Executive Director of the American Jobs Alliance, told RT.
“People feel that governments aren't representing their interests. People have their backs against the wall, they have been squeezed economically, they are seeing all their dreams collapsed around them. So they feel they have no alternative but to take to the streets and express themselves in a way that the governments cannot ignore them,” he said.
In 2013, protests broke out in all parts of the world, showing people’s discontent with government policies on all levels, most of which RT has been covering. Just in December, Ukraine and Thailand saw large anti-government rallies. In Europe protests against austerity have been happening throughout the year and were echoed in the US, where the Million Mask March shook the world focusing everyone’s attention on corruption and internationally encroaching and far reaching spy operations. Protest movements also continued across Asia and Middle East. In July Egyptian demonstrations erupted with clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Morsi, and Tunisia renewed protests against its Islamist government. Environmentalist issues also propelled people to the streets, like discontent with Monsanto policies and government support for fracking. And those are just few examples.
The main problem in Ellis’s view is that governments aren't listening to the people, and therefore people must protest in order to make their demands felt.
In 2008, in the United States there was “a wholesale widespread revolt against the previous regime that got the US into war and then resulted in economic collapse.” People sought changes and the realization of their hopes. The new government positioned itself as the most transparent administration in history, however, people got “a continuation of the same policies with secret surveillance, with killer flying robot drones and with the government by corporatists, by globalist Wall Street bankers, huge bailouts and the continuation of the same policies,” Ellis points out. And that’s just one example out of hundreds.
“The governments have been doing their best to ignore the people’s demands, what people were asking for through these protests, whether it’s in Istanbul, whether it’s in Brazil or whether it’s in Greece,” Ellis told RT. “Overall, we have seen a cynical attempt by governments to ignore the wishes of their own citizens,” he said.
Curtis Ellis gives quite a negative forecast for 2014. He argues that dissatisfaction among citizens all over the world will grow, while governments around the world will continue to face a crisis of legitimacy.
“Whether it’s secret surveillance by the NSA and the US, whether it’s neo-liberal policies that are impoverishing people and deracinating cultures in places like Turkey, or whether it’s austerity policies that amount to economic and cultural suicide in the European Union,” said Ellis.
Ellis claims that in the coming years new coalitions will emerge, since the existing ones have discredited themselves because leaders of the different parties are representing the same globalist Wall Street banks and the same corporatist interests.
“What we will also see in this coming year [in the US] is the emergence of new coalitions as the old labels ‘liberal’, ‘conservative’, ‘democratic’, ‘republican’ – these labels which become increasingly irrelevant as people come to understand that the leaders of both parties are representing the same globalist Wall Street banks and the same corporatist interests, and that the division is not between liberal and conservative, but it is between the insiders of both parties and the rest of the people, the citizenry as a whole,” he told RT.
“We are already starting to see this with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a globalist agreement being pushed by Obama’s Administration. The Tea Party and progressive forces on the left are coming together to oppose this. With the NSA secret surveillance we are seeing the same thing – emergence of coalitions of the left and the right, it’s the populist, the people against the powerful government. And we are seeing this elsewhere in the world.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.