5 biggest protests in modern history

(ORDO NEWS) — Some of the biggest protests in history have been pivotal in changing many laws and holding governments to account. Usually such historic rallies drew so many people to the streets that it was hard to ignore them.

Historical events when people united against injustice

And while many major protests don’t always achieve their goals, they leave a mark on society, inspiring others for decades. Let’s take a look at the five largest of them in modern history!

Protest against military action in Iraq (2003)

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On February 15, 2003, millions of people marched in over 600 cities around the world against US President George W. Bush’s plans to invade Iraq. Three million people took part in the protest in Rome alone! Alas, a few weeks later, a military operation began in Iraq.

President Bush has argued for months that Iraq is violating UN resolutions on weapons of mass destruction. Days after the UN address in September 2002, calls for action began against his policies.

Events in Tiananmen Square (1989)

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This photograph, taken on Tiananmen Square in China, has become one of the most famous symbols of defiance of the 20th century.

According to Amnesty International, the man’s solitary stance was the final act of protest, which at one point drew close to a million people. The protesters demanded more freedoms in a communist country.

In the mid-1980s, some students who had spent part of their studies abroad began to push for change. During the protests, martial law was introduced in the country.

Demonstrations covered about 400 cities. About 300,000 troops were sent to Tiananmen Square in May 1989, where about a million people gathered.

Earth Day (1970)

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Earth Day was first held in the United States in 1970. They called for a healthier and more sustainable environment. Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson saw the damage from the oil and took the recent anti-war protests as a model for action.

His idea of ​​holding a day of demonstrations to draw attention to the environment soon came to fruition. On April 22, Earth Day, over 20 million people took to the streets in tens of thousands of places across the US!

The protests led to an almost immediate change in legislation: by the end of the year, laws were passed to provide clean air and water, as well as laws to protect endangered species.

Black Lives Matter (2020)

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If we talk about one of the most recent protests, then, of course, these are the rallies that took place after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, on May 25, 2020.

This event caused a wave of anger, which soon led to massive demonstrations involving millions of people.

George Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest. A video of Floyd pleading for help and saying he can’t breathe quickly went viral.

Within 48 hours of his death, thousands of protesters took to the streets of American cities. Protests took place in 75 US cities, and more than 4,000 people were arrested, according to CNN.

Yellow Revolution (1986)

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Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines for 20 years under martial law. He was ousted from power by a popular protest made up of dissenting military leaders and millions of citizens.

On February 7, 1986, Marcos was declared the winner of the presidential election. However, his victory was immediately called into question.

At this point, the Catholic Church played a decisive role, which condemned the elections, as well as army officials, who planned a coup d’état.

Millions of people took to the streets at that moment to support the military. Tanks surrounded the capital against the president, and church representatives gave flowers and food to the soldiers.


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