Voices in the Streets: Mass Social Protests and the Right to Peaceful Assembly

A Freedom House Special Report

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Based on studies of mass social protests in 12 countries, Voices in the Streets looks at strategies for mass protests as well as the causes for failures to promote to protect the right of peaceful assembly. The comparisons span a range of democratic and nondemocratic societies as well as an array of motivating issues.

Authorities in undemocratic countries try to block protests “upstream,” while the events are being organized. Struggles between protesters and authorities play out in the media, as officials use traditional media to generate public disdain for the protesters, while the protesters themselves turn to social media to get their messages out.

The protests examined include examples from Chile, China, Denmark, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda, and the United States.