WBEZ | Anti-Government Protests http://www.wbez.org/tags/anti-government-protests Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en One year later, Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who stoked revolution in Egypt, tells his story http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-25/one-year-later-wael-ghonim-google-executive-stoked-revolution-egypt-tell <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-25/AP110208039658.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Wael Ghonim, center, a Google marketing manager who was a key protest organizer." class="caption" height="489" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-25/egypt.jpg" title="Wael Ghonim, center, a Google marketing manager who was a key protest organizer. (AP)" width="630"></p><p>In an interview with <em>Worldview’s</em> Jerome McDonnell, Ghonim lifted the veil behind Egypt’s historic year of change. He said that the revolution would have happened without his actions, and also defended the slow pace of progress on the country’s new path toward democracy.</p><p>Last year, Egyptians began filing into Tahrir (or liberation), Square, first by the thousands— and then by the hundreds of thousands.</p><p>Ghonim’s activism — both online and on the streets — was critical in stoking the fire that toppled President Hosni Mubarek.</p><p><strong>Ghonim: The revolution had to be leaderless</strong></p><p>Ghonim discussed the anarchic nature of the protests, which he helped organize anonymously through a Facebook page. Named for an Egyptian beaten to death by local police in broad daylight, the “We Are All Khaled Said” page became the driving force behind the protests. “I was very surprised to see a lot of people going to the street – thousands doing it – without knowing who’s behind the invitation,” he says. “People believed in the cause and did not really care about the person [organizing].” He insists the revolution would not have unfolded to the same extent any other way.</p><p><strong>Ghonim defends slow progress on democracy-front</strong></p><p>Ghonim also defends the pace of progress in Egypt, where Islamists now hold a majority of seats in Parliament. “People revolted so that Egyptians can be empowered to make their own choices about whom they want to be representing them,” he says, reminding listeners that ‘“Egypt is recovering from about 30 years of corruption and more than 60 years of military rulers.”</p><p>The 31-year-old also revisits the uprising itself, in which an increasingly emboldened citizenry used social media to amplify the impact of street protests. He says what happened in Egypt reflects a new world order. “In the past, the people in power used to make all the decisions,” he said. “We’re seeing all of these movements around the world trying to do the same activities. World leaders need to start realizing that there need to be more grassroots activities, more bottom-up rather than top-down approaches in dealing with the people’s problems.”</p><p><a href="http://www.ahmedrehab.com/" target="_blank">Ahmed Rehab</a>, the Egyptian American director of <a href="http://www.cairchicago.org/" target="_blank">Chicago’s Council on Islamic Relations</a>, also takes part in this conversation. Wael’s new book is <em>Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater than the People in Power</em>.</p></p> Wed, 25 Jan 2012 16:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-25/one-year-later-wael-ghonim-google-executive-stoked-revolution-egypt-tell Fuel subsidy cuts spark protests in an already volatile Nigeria http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-12/fuel-subsidy-cuts-spark-protests-already-volatile-nigeria-95497 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-12/nigeria2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Monday, the Nigerian government announced it would end two decades of fuel subsidies. The actions prompted a nationwide strike in a country already rocked by deadly religious tensions in the north.</p><p>Now, the country’s top oil union - which represents 20,000 oil and gas workers - is threatening to completely shut down oil production if President Goodluck Jonathan doesn’t reverse his decision.</p><p><a href="http://%20http://las.depaul.edu/psc/People/Full-time%20Faculty/Adibe/index.asp" target="_blank">Clement Adibe</a>, a professor of political science at DePaul University, provides analysis. He’s originally from the Niger Delta.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-12/fuel-subsidy-cuts-spark-protests-already-volatile-nigeria-95497 Local Syrian-American says family in Homs lives in fear http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-04/local-syrian-american-says-family-homs-lives-fear-95272 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-04/syria2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Since violence first erupted in Syria last spring, the city of Homs has been a flashpoint between government forces and pro-democracy demonstrators. More recently, military defectors have taken up armed resistance against snipers who patrol the streets. Entire neighborhoods have shut down. Business has ground to a halt.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Worldview</em> first spoke with Hanna, a local dentist originally from Homs, back in April. Earlier this week, her second cousin — a 68-year-old U.S. citizen — was gunned down after leaving his mosque in Homs. Hanna believes he’s the first American citizen to die in the Syrian uprising. She gives her perspective on the deteriorating political climate in Syria.</p><p><em>Note: Hanna is using a pseudonym here to protect family back in Syria.</em></p></p> Wed, 04 Jan 2012 17:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-04/local-syrian-american-says-family-homs-lives-fear-95272 Questions raised about Turkish government's effort to exert control over Internet http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-13/questions-raised-about-turkish-governments-effort-exert-control-over-int <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-13/turkey2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Amidst political turmoil in countries like Syria, Egypt and Libya, Turkey has asserted itself as a regional leader and model for democracy in the Islamic world. But ramped up government controls over Internet access could tarnish Turkey’s global image.</p><p>The new rules were introduced three months ago but didn’t come into effect until November for "technical reasons," according to the government. Tens of thousands of Turks have already gone to the streets to protest the controls, marching under the motto "Hands off my Internet!" While officials call the Internet filters "voluntary," fears persist that it could pave the way to even more restrictive censorship.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Matthew Brunwasser's report originally aired on <a href="http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,266,00.html" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>. </em>Worldview<em> acquired it through the <a href="http://www.prx.org" target="_blank">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-13/questions-raised-about-turkish-governments-effort-exert-control-over-int Is Syria on the verge of an all-out civil war? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/syria-verge-all-out-civil-war-93661 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-01/syria2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In Syria, the Arab Spring is looking more violent than ever. With President Assad cracking down on protesters and some dissidents taking up arms against the government, many fear that Syria is slipping into a civil war.</p><p>The numbers are grim: the United Nations claims that 3,000 civilians are dead, while the government says it's lost 1,150 members of the military to the violence. Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria and a staunch critic of the regime's crackdown, just left the country after alleged threats to his safety.</p><p>In an impressive display of defiance against international criticism, thousands of regime supporters marched last week through the streets of Damascus. Meanwhile, President Assad warned the international community not to align itself with the resistance movement: “Syria is the hub now in this region," he said. "It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake." He added, “Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”</p><p><a href="http://www.hampshire.edu/faculty/odahi.htm" target="_blank">Omar Dahi</a> is a professor of economics at Hampshire College. We <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-16/american-professor-gets-rare-glimpse-inside-syria-90651" target="_blank">spoke to him</a> earlier this year about his fact-finding trip to Syria. Today, he joins us to discuss what may come next in this violent uprising.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 15:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-01/syria-verge-all-out-civil-war-93661 Chicago-area dentist worries about declining situation in native Syria http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-20/chicago-area-dentist-worries-about-declining-situation-native-syria-8544 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-20/HomsFuneral.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p>A Syrian newspaper reported that President Bashar al-Assad is expected to lift a decades-old emergency law that restricts public demonstrations and other political freedoms. The move is meant to appease a protest movement that began on March 15 and has resulted in the deaths of more than 220 people at the hands of security forces and police.</p><p>The Syrian city of Homs has been the site of the most recent violence. A Hinsdale dentist originally from Homs shares her thoughts on the crackdown there. She asked that we use a pseudonym, Hana, to protect her family in Syria.</p></p> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 17:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-20/chicago-area-dentist-worries-about-declining-situation-native-syria-8544 Fighting intensifies in Yemen http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-06/fighting-intensifies-yemen-84828 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/80030037.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Protestors in Yemen have managed to politically isolate longtime U.S. ally President Ali Abullah Saleh. Yet Saleh still manages to hang on. One hundred demonstrators have died, including four on Tuesday. The U.S. shifted its position earlier this week and is now urging a negotiated power transfer.</p><p><a href="http://www.polis.leeds.ac.uk/about/staff/jones/" target="_blank">Clive Jones</a>, chair of Middle East Studies at the University of Leeds, offers analysis of the latest events in Yemen.</p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 17:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-06/fighting-intensifies-yemen-84828 Deadly protests continue across Syria http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-30/deadly-protests-continue-across-syria-84490 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-30/85528217(2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In a speech to the Syrian nation today, President Bashar al-Assad said foreign conspiracies, media distortions and the hand of Israel are to blame for uprisings in his country. The Syrian protests have resulted in at least 60 deaths, according to human rights groups. In his speech Assad didn’t offer&nbsp; to repeal emergency laws that have kept his regime in power since 1963. But he did say reforms are necessary while offering no specifics about how to enact those reforms. &nbsp; <a href="http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/" target="_blank">Joshua Landis</a>, author of the blog “<a href="http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/" target="_blank">Syria Comment</a>” and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma joins us to talk about the speech and the ongoing political unrest in Syria.</p></p> Wed, 30 Mar 2011 17:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-30/deadly-protests-continue-across-syria-84490 More deaths reported as protests continue in Syria http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-28/more-deaths-reported-protests-continue-syria-84363 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-28/Saraa shot.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p>Security forces in Syria are reported to have fired teargas and shots in the air as anti-government protests flared again in the southern city of Daraa. The unrest follows clashes in Latakia over the weekend that killed at least 12 people. Also, two Reuters television journalists have been missing since Saturday night and two U.S. citizens have also been detained. The protesters are calling for President Bashar al-Assad to lift emergency laws that restrict public gatherings and allow arrests on the grounds of national security.</p> <div><a href="http://damascenethoughts.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Yaser Tabbara</a> will give us an update on the latest news from Syria. He&rsquo;s a Syrian American attorney and former executive director of the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.</div></p> Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-28/more-deaths-reported-protests-continue-syria-84363 After violence, key military leaders and diplomats defect in Yemen http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-22/after-violence-key-military-leaders-and-diplomats-defect-yemen-84080 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-22/80029950.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>50 protestors shot in Yemen on Friday swung momentum firmly against President Ali Saleh. Longtime Saleh supporter General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and a slew of military officers said yesterday they now support the protestors. President Saleh&rsquo;s support is now down to his family and their Republican Guards. Saleh says he is willing to hold early elections this year and leave office by January, but the opposition rejected the offer. We&rsquo;ll talk about Yemen with <a href="http://people.hofstra.edu/daniel_m_varisco/hofdan.html" target="_blank">Daniel Varisco</a>, professor of anthropology at Hofstra University.</p></p> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 17:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-22/after-violence-key-military-leaders-and-diplomats-defect-yemen-84080