“In this sea of protest, a common factor is
the increased willingness of undemocratic regimes, ruling elites and wealthy oligarchies to use force to crush threats to their power – while hypocritically condemning protester violence.
Repression is often justified in the name of fighting terrorism, as in Hong Kong. Other culprits include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Myanmar and Nicaragua.
This global phenomenon of unfulfilled youthful aspirations is producing political timebombs. Each month in India, one million people turn 18 and can register to vote. In the Middle East and North Africa, an estimated 27 million youngsters will enter the workforce in the next five years. Any government, elected or not, that fails to provide jobs, decent wages and housing faces big trouble.”
“Numbers aside, the younger generations have something else that their elders lacked: they’re connected. More people than ever before have access to education. They are healthier. They appear less bound by social conventions and religion. They are mutually aware. And their expectations are higher.
That’s because, thanks to social media, the ubiquity of English as a common tongue, and the internet’s globalisation and democratisation of information, younger people from all backgrounds and locations are more open to alternative life choices, more attuned to “universal” rights and norms such as free speech or a living wage – and less prepared to accept their denial.”
Simon Tisdall, journalist