May Day: why the right to protest should be sacred
To mark May Day – or International Workers’ Day – CA/B interviews the leading Nigerian lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner, Femi Aborisade. May 1st is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many more. It has long been a focus for protests and anti-war struggles, and was this year adopted by the ‘Occupy movement’ which held a ‘global disruption’ day to protest against extreme social inequality across the US and globally. As civil society around the world reports a rise in mass demonstrations and other types of more spontaneous action, CA/B speaks to Aborisade about his recent experiences of protesting in Nigeria. He denounces the use of violent control and the lack of coverage by state-owned media. He explains how the ‘Arab Spring’ and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movements have fired the determination of Nigeria protestors, and calls on the Commonwealth to help civil society improve coverage of protests and to monitor the policing of protests, thereby helping to curb the excessive use of force by national governments.
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Commonwealth Advisory Bureau (CA/B)
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
University of London
London WC1E 7HU
+44 (0)20 7862 8865