Search Results for Tag: politics
Disabled politician making waves
Australia has been a forerunner in granting political rights to women. Today, a young woman is making big changes on the political scene, despite some enormous physical challenges – but, Kelly Vincent is not letting that stop her.
This to the report by Daniel Pizarro, presented by Charlotta Lomas:
Here’s the Dignity for Disability website.
DateTuesday 17.04.2012 | 13:59
Russian student works toward honest democracy
Listen to the report by Geert Koerkamp:
For a long time, Russians were thought to have little interest in politics. Opposition rallies used to draw only a handful of activists. All that has changed since the parliamentary elections held on December 4, 2011. Frustrated by evidence of widespread election fraud, tens of thousands took to the streets in Moscow alone.
Belonging to the opposition has become fashionable again in Russia, and a growing number of young people are talking part in the protests. Among them is Anatoly Bulgakov, a 25-year-old student who felt he had to take action to show his discontent. DW’s Geert Koerkamp met him at one of the meetings against election fraud in Moscow.
Anatoly helps distribute white ribbons, which have quickly become a symbol of the new movement for democracy in Russia. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin only boosted their popularity by alleging that he first thought they were condoms used to draw attention to the fight against aids. The awkward statement was skillfully used by activists in a call to join the protests.
Student activists responded to Putin’s condom mix-up with this Youtube video:
DateTuesday 17.01.2012 | 13:56
Young Afghan politician sacrifices for change
Young politicians in Afghanistan face deep-rooted cultural and religious prejudices. But despite the intimidations, young activists like Said Mahmoud Pahiz are fighting to make their voice heard.
More from Deutsche Welle on Said Mahmoud Pahiz here.
DateTuesday 20.12.2011 | 13:33
Syrian activist uses mobile phones to campaign for freedom
Syria is not experiencing a Facebook Revolution; it’s more of a mobile phone uprising. And 24-year-old activist Rashid is risking his personal safety to fight for democracy in his country.
From reporter Reese Erlich:
Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq
I wasn’t sure what to expect when setting up an interview with a grassroots leader of the Syrian opposition. We were both staying in the relative safety of Iraq’s Kurdish Region, far from the long arm of Syria’s Mukhabarat (military intelligence).
But still, Ciwan Rashid didn’t want to meet me at home. We agreed to do the interview on a crowded Erbil street with a shopping mall and restaurants. He gave me his name, but it’s a nom de guerre.
Rashid lives in the predominantly Kurdish region of Syria. Kurds have long faced discrimination at the hands of the Syrian government. Rashid says all Syrians face repression, but “Kurds in Syria faced even more repression than others.”
Rashid, like many other Syrians, watched the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings with great anticipation. In Syria, demonstrations started in Damascus in March, caught fire in the southern town of Dara and ultimately spread to the northern Kurdish cities as well. Rashid immediately joined the protests.
“I wasn’t afraid,” he told me. I asked why not. After all, people were being arrested, tortured and killed. “There are two choices,” he said. “One is to escape and survive. The second is to die. If I survive, I will have my freedom.”
DateTuesday 25.10.2011 | 14:32
Serb teen blogs about democracy
Unlike most teens, 13-year old Belgrade native Rastko Pocesta is concerned about the direction of his nation. So much so, that he’s devoted himself to the life of a political commentator and human rights activist.
Rastko Pocesta is a politcal commentator for his blog Heimatlos. Here you can read all about his musings on the state of worldwide politics. Although it’s inspiring (and downright impressive) to read Raskto’s intellectual observations, he’s actually received threats from far-right groups in Serbia for sharing his anti-nationalist views.
Reporter Melanie Sevcenko on meeting Rastko:
I met Rastko one sunny Saturday afternoon in Belgrade. We exchanged a few text messages to arrange a meeting, but I suggested his flat downtown, since I wanted to get a glimpse of his liar, where he writes is proactive blog Heimatlos about Serbian and global politics. After googling Rastko online to get a little background information, I soon realized he was a bit famous, having appeared in the international media. So I have to admit, I was a little nervous gearing up to meet the boy wonder! At promptly 2:00 pm, Rastko opened the door to his ground floor apartment, which he shares with his mother, very shyly peeping his head through the crack in the door.
My colleague and I entered his humble flat and took a look around, attempting to make small talk while we set up the camera and microphone. Rastko was dressed in a suit jacket, collared shirt, neat slacks and shiny black shoes. His straight shoulder-length hair gave him a sort of scholarly sophistication, but it was obvious he wasn’t used to interviews. He is, I kept having to remind myself, only 13 years old. I asked him questions about his work, his blog, his political views on his nation and his thoughts about kids his age. Getting him to open up in a personal way was a challenge, but he spoke clearly and articulately about politics, so it was enough to understand his passions and his place within Serbia. But above all else, I was surprised by his nonchalance towards his endeavors and the public’s perception of him – some are quite supportive, while others have made violent threats.
But Rastko has vowed to never step down and to never stop fighting for what he believes in, which is a true test of democracy. For Rastko, it seems only natural to take on such a responsibility as he has, especially at such a young age. Raskto is a defender of human rights and a self-proclaimed Marxist, democratic socialist, pacifist and anti-capitalist, which is quite a hefty title for someone barely in his teens. But most important are Rastko’s intentions and visions. He seeks a more open society in Serbia and a better world for people who are oppressed – whether immigrants, minorities, or gays – and for people who think differently, like himself.
It was a delight to meet Rastko and an eye-opening experience to witness how much young people can actually do in their worlds, no matter how tiny they may seem to others.
DateMonday 10.10.2011 | 15:40
Dutchman revives social activism among his peers
Jeremy in Utrecht is bringing activism back to life in The Netherlands. He’s mobilizing Dutch students with debates and movie nights in the city of Utrecht.
Check out the website of Jeremy’s organization, Basta Debat.
From DW reporter Laura Potsma:
There is a little sticker that I have noticed in a couple of cities in the Netherlands. It has a black and white image of the Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders and it is crossed with a thick, red cross. I have no idea who is behind these stickers, but I had always seen it as a form of silent activism. Physical protests have become rare in this country, but I hadn’t even realized that until I met Jeremy.
Jeremy reminded me that the Netherlands has always been a country with a rich activist movement. Other countries took us as an example, like the Germans did in the 1980s. And when I thought about it, it seemed to make sense that a liberal, open-minded country like the Netherlands would have lively groups of activists.
Why this has changed in the last two decades, I don’t really know. But Jeremy has shown me that even though the Dutch streets seem empty of demonstrators, activism is not dead in the Netherlands. His determination to fight for justice, for causes he strongly believes in, was a great learning experience for me. He wants his voice to be heard, even if there is sometimes only one person listening. And that is the opposite of silent activism.
DateTuesday 04.10.2011 | 13:54
Latvian IT expert gives the people a voice in politics
Kristofs, 23, from Riga wanted to get his fellow citizens more involved in politics. He launched a unique website that allows for digital petitions – and it’s been an immediate success.
From DW reporter Gederts Gelzis in Riga:
For us Latvians, politics is usually something that seems to be very distant. We are more or less like outsiders and, God forbid, if you’re involved into politics in some way or another, you will likely hear: “There’s no dirtier business than that!” And if somebody happens to be connected with politics, then they will be men and women at least in their late thirties, forties or older.
That’s why I was really surprised when I met Kristofs Blaus at his rather small, but light, cosy and somewhat trendy office near the port of Riga – a 15-minute walk from the old town. I didn’t find a serious, middle-aged man wearing a pin-striped suit and holding a leather suitcase standing in front of me. There was a young 23-year-old in a casual outfit and with an unusual hairstyle.
He kind of embodies the great difference between the older generation of Latvians, which experienced the Soviet era and those kids who grew up in the country during the last two decades. He speaks English fluently; he’s an Internet-dweller and speaks his mind openly. And that’s not all – he really seems to care about his debt-ridden country’s future and is willing to do something about it.
I guess that many of his peers think similarly and that’s why his website Manabalss.lv isn’t just a project which happens to be in the right place at the right time. It’s that the tide is slowly turning on what the young Latvians think about participation in political events and during the interview I felt that Kristofs is a clear example of it.
Of course, Kristofs is just one of the 700,000 inhabitants of Riga and the word “politics” is on everyone’s lips ahead of the general election on September 17. But as long as Kristofs doesn’t give up his enthusiasm for developing the website, I believe that there will be more and more Latvians willing to bring about some positive change in their country.
Here is Kristofs’ website manabalss.lv.
And here is his personal blog.
DateTuesday 06.09.2011 | 14:50
Burmese activist risks personal safety for political change
Bo Bo, a 23-year-old Burmese student and musician, left his home behind because of politics. But his group of young political dissidents still advocates for change inside Burma, despite the huge risks.
Reporter David Meyers writes about the political situation in Burma:
In 1990, the people of Burma voted in civilian leaders to push their country forward – only to have Burma’s military rulers refuse to concede power. In the past year, the country experienced its first national election since the 1990 poll, yet in many respects, the state of democracy remains as stagnant as it was 20 years ago. Though Burma, or Myanmar as it is officially known, has at least nominally returned to civilian control, the election was widely seen as a foregone conclusion. Opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi was finally released from her long-standing house arrest following the November election, yet her role in her country’s political future remains cloudy. And though Burma’s authorities released dozens of political prisoners earlier this year – including hip hop star Zayar Thaw, whose politicized music had landed him in prison – almost 2,000 still remain behind bars. Being a political dissident in Burma, then, remains a dangerous job. Members of the anti-regime group Zayar Thaw founded, Generation Wave, are politically active, yet they live under the threat of arrest and carry out their work underground.
DateTuesday 23.08.2011 | 14:03