created tensions between different subgroups and fueled sectarian divides within Iraq.
* * *
Amid the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought that in-person street protests would come to a halt. I was wrong. In a phone call in April 2020, the artist Lara Baladi remarked, “Protests will continue because people’s lives are going to be evenmore precarious during this troubling time of global crisis.” That people across the globe would defy lockdown regulations, curfews, and other ordinances installed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus was a testament to protest’s persistence as an essential tool for political and social change. Although its efficacy in influencing policy change has had varied results, it functions powerfully to galvanize attention on fights for justice against the inequities promulgated by governments, corporations, and other powerful actors. Protest is a broad category, yet when characterized as a right in neoliberal constitutional societies, it is, in its peaceful manifestations, constitutionally protected and is, with increasing force, shaping narratives for social and political priorities. From resistance to oppression and inequity to outcries to protect the environment, protest itself manifests as a symbol of potentiality for forging a progressive future.
17 Betti -Sue Hertz
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