Coronavirus chills protests, forces activists to innovate
“The virus is just what the government needed,” said Antonio Cueto, a volunteer rescue worker who provided medical assistance to protesters. “It’s saved them for a bit.”
Across the globe, the coronavirus outbreak is slamming the brakes on dreams of social change, halting a season of civil unrest from Hong Kong to Lebanon to Chile. Stay-at-home orders issued by authorities, often enforced by police officers or soldiers and backed up by detentions, along with activists’ own calls to stand down in the name of public health, are zapping the momentum from pro-democracy movements, civil rights marches and protests for everything from women’s rights to more drastic steps to fight climate change.
Yet instead of killing these movements outright, the pandemic is compelling them to evolve. Some are adopting creative tactics for protest in the era of social distancing.
In Hong Kong, eight months of political unrest over Beijing’s tightening grip on the semiautonomous territory had begun to dwindle in size and ferocity in the face …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]