“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

A Social Trend in the Decade of Dissent

Nick Webb looks into the protests and demonstrations of our recent past, and explores their common concerns.

Photo by ev

Everywhere you turn, no matter where you are, the news is full of protests. From the current spate of anti-lockdown and anti-mask demonstrations to protests against climate change, university fees and cuts in the transport industry, it seems that everyone is taking to the streets.

New studies have shown that there has, indeed, been a marked rise in different groups demonstrating and protesting: a movement that some are calling ‘Age of Dissent’. David Bailey, a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Birmingham, has studied the rise of global social unrest, in particular noting the general increase since the economic crash of 2008. His research also shows how there has been a general shift in the groups of professionals and workers who are protesting: lawyers and junior doctors, for example, who had not previously taken part in as many formal demonstrations, both took to the streets in the last decade. 

How are people protesting?

Throughout this recent development, the tactics have evolved. While the most common practices have included peaceful demonstrations and marches, there has also been an increase in more innovative forms of protest. In London,