ARAB SPRING MOVEMENT
Published by: ISHITA CHINTA
The Arab Spring is also described as a series of anti-government mass protests, uprisings, and rebellions with armaments that took place across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It was an uprising and a reaction towards oppressive regimes. The term Arab Spring can be traced to the revolution of 1848 which are also referred at times to springtime of Nations, as it uprooted many monarchial representatives throughout the European continent. These protests spread quickly thanks to social media, and the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen were also overthrown in this process.
It all started when a person named Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor, self-immolated himself on the streets of Tunisia in the year 2010. He burned himself alive because of the ill-treatment faced due to the corrupt Government led by the President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had been ruling the country since 23 years. The self-immolation was main trigger to the citizens which lead to the beginning of the Arab Spring protests against the local government, subsequently; an organisation named Wikileaks published a report on the Tunisian government corruption which soon turned the protests nationwide against the President Ben Ali. In the month of October 2011 donations ensure the participation in a free election to choose members of a council who were then tasked with drafting a new constitution.
A democratically chosen president and prime minister took oath of office in December 2011 and a new constitution was begotten in January 2014. Tunisia had became the first country of the Arab Spring protests to undergo a peaceful transfer of power from a democratically elected government to another. As soon as the protests spread like wild fire, Ben Ali decided to flee the country leading to the formation of a new government. Herein began the Domino effect, the fall of one country lead to many others.
From Tunisia, the spread of the protest went to 5 countries these five countries were: Libya Egypt Yemen Syria and Bahrain. As a mark of these protests either the ruler was deposed or major uprisings in social violence took place. These included riots, civil wars or insurgencies. Places like Morocco Iraq Algeria and Lebanon among others so continued street demonstrations and minor protest also took place in various other places like Palestine and Saudi Arabia. There is a disagreement among historians when it comes to the importance of external factors vis-a-vis internal factors.
At its root, the 2011 protest movement was an outpouring of deep-seated frustration against overpowering Arab dictatorships (some of which were obscured by rigged elections), righteous anger toward the security forces' brutality, unemployment, rising inflation, and corruption that resulted from the privatization of state assets in some countries. There were a series of events and reasons that played a vital role in setting fire to a heap of frustration that had taken place in the minds of people living under an oppressive regime. The primary spark which led to the explosion was the self immolation of the 26-year-old street vendor in Tunisia as said before, however that was not the only cause for the revolution.
The primary reason for the existence of protest was the dissatisfaction especially of youth and unions with the rule of local governments. Although some have speculated that low income levels and pressures also what is the primary reason. A large number of people agreed to the former as compare to the latter. Issues such as monarchy, human rights violations, political corruption, economic decline, extreme poverty, lack of employment opportunities, a number of democratic and structural factors were among the reasons that became a driving force besides the uprising. One of the reasons was also that a large number of educated unemployed people were present in the country and due to the failure on part of the government to provide adequate employment opportunities there was an extreme sense of dissent satisfaction among the people for the government.
Social media became yet another reason for the uprising after the technological revolution and communication became an extremely easy task. This meant that communication and promulgation of various democratic and freedom related ideas could be effectuated in a matter of seconds among all the people in the country this led to assistance of coordination among the protesters and ensured that the protests were not disintegrated in an easy manner due to ease and pace of communication
The aim of the Arab Spring movement was to establish a democracy elected in the right way and to uphold the social and political rights of the citizens. Arab Spring was not some small uprising, it was rather a series of protests that became an inspiration for a lot of democratic struggle in the time to come. The response of authority to pro-democracy reforms has essentially been an announcement of human rights element in a majority of cases. However it is extremely premature to conclude whether reforms on paper would translate into tangible change in practice.
Human rights situation has deteriorated in the immediate aftermath of demonstrations during the early part of 2011. Some practices which are inherently violative of human rights have continued and moreover the remaining security forces across the region including Egypt have continued to use heavy-handed tactics against the protesters. By and large, security powers have not yet been considered responsible for common liberties mishandles submitted because of fights, including the extreme utilization of power, subjective captures and torment of prisoners.
Since so many of the Arab Spring's activities are still unfolding, it's difficult to foresee what will happen in the streets and in polling booths. Though, given the long-term awakening process, at least politically and diplomatically, some points can be expected, such as:
This movement took down the monarchial rulers of Libiya, Tunisia and Egypt.
People in the Arab nations were granted social and political rights.
A sense of awareness arose between citizens regarding the basic human rights which lead to this political development.
Not only the Arab countries, but also various other nations were inspired by this movement to fight against the monarchial domination and to procure their rights.
“While the Arab Spring is not over, the moment of 2011 is. As beautiful as it might have been, it would be a mistake for political actors in the region to remain stuck in that moment. The political landscape and determinants of popular mobilization have radically changed since then, changes that must be thoroughly analyzed and addressed in both discourse and action. Failing to do so will only hold back the Arab Spring from finishing what was started 10 years ago.”
Over the last couple of years seen together with the ongoing political and social economic tensions across the region, point to the fact that no political equilibrium has been achieved. Far-reaching transformations however have taken place due to the Arab Spring as well as to the determinants of popular mobilization. To sum up, the Arab Spring is neither entirely successful nor entirely unsuccessful. It would take a long time to accurately determine the outcome of the uprisings.