September 22, 2015
Open Society Foundations, New York
In recent years the world’s people have turned to protest in increasing numbers, highlighting a failure of political representation in virtually every kind of political system. This September, as the United Nations celebrates its 70th Anniversary and activists look back on the fourth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the trajectory of protests and government response remains a zero-sum game, with protesters growing more alienated from those who are supposed to represent their interests, and many governments rushing to suppress protest movements as threats to peace and security rather than pursuing a middle path toward real dialogue. Is the United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Paradigm—our once-in-a-generation commitment to development—really capable of addressing the grievances driving world protests?
In this context, FES, Occupy the Media and Open Society Foundations organized this international conference to launch a Global Platform on Participation and Protest. The Global Platform hosts the interactive World Protests Tool, which builds on research behind “World Protests 2006-2013”—subsequently expanded and refined in 2014—and brings it online for public use and engagement so that demands for meaningful political participation, economic justice, human rights, and the rights of groups, minorities and the environment can be documented, analyzed by journalists, scholars, and people in movements with online data-visualization tools and space for user-generated content and forum discussion.
The conference keynote address was delivered by Amy Goodman, Host and Executive Producer for national, daily, independent, and award-winning news program, Democracy Now!.
Download conference program
Download backgrounder “Conceptualizing Protest and Conflict”
Download working paper “World Protests 2006-2013“: Executive Summaries available in English, Spanish, French, German and Russian