It is unlikely that these demonstrations seen today in Hong Kong will bring about significant change. Nevertheless, whether you are a democracy advocating global citizen, a government looking at how best to peacefully manage demonstrations, or just someone interested in international politics and what life in a future, more developed, China might look like, today's protests are a significant event worth watching closely.
I see protests in the same way that I see pain killers. In the sense that, they temporarily get rid of the symptoms or ease the pain, but they never eradicate the root of the problem. And unless the problem is properly seen to, it will just keep coming back. Which is why we need to heal society's issues by nurturing society's roots.
These are dangerous times in Crimea. While the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has exposed the division between the country's pro-Western and pro-Russian populations, another divide is more clear-cut and arguably more imminently threatening: the divide between supporters and opponents of separatism in Crimea.
It was 6am when the lights came on and Rage Against the Machine started playing through the speakers in the University of Sheffield's Richard Roberts lecture hall. About 50 students from across Sheffield, including activists from the Autonomous Students Network, the Living Wage Campaign, the Revolutionary Socialists Society and others occupied the building at 7pm on Wednesday October 30, the night before the planned staff strikes...
Why do individual riot officers who may sympathise with the causes of protesters continue to use force to suppress them? How can officers shoot at a protest that they could have been a part of, had they not chosen to become members of the police? They too experience injustices, have families that must be fed and educated and hold opinions on social and political issues.
The reality is that Brazil is not just developing for itself. If this was the case it would be focusing on provision of public services considerably more. But in an era of globalisation it is staging development for the world and so priorities have changed. Therefore it is easy to criticise the Brazilian government for skewing its development focus, but it has too many actors to please.