Police violence during some riots after ‘Revolutionäre 1. Mai Demonstration’.
Berlin, Kreuzberg (Spreewaldplatz). 1th of may, 2010.
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.”
George Orwell - 1984
How does a governement react to social unrest, like what we have just seen in Egypt and Tunesia? Although said governements might not have had a plan of action, don’t think other governements haven’t thought of this jet. Here is a draft version of a paper written for OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the topic of “Social Unrest” as part of the OECD/IFP Project on “Future Global Shocks”: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/62/46890018.pdf
It must be clear that this paper wasn’t written as a response to the unrest in North Africa and Arab countries. One case study is that of the unrest in Greece from 2009 onwards. Other case studies are Pandemic flue N1H1, Hurricane Katrina and Cyber security. The question asked in this paper is not how to better handle a flue pandemic or a natural desaster, but how to asses the risk of social unrest as a result.
I think everyone who is interested or involved in direct action and social movemnts should read this paper very carefully as it shows how governements are thinking about what we do and how they could respond. This kind of papers show a) that governements are really scared of their people and b) they plan on making sure they have their people under control in every situation.
More info on OECD can be found here: www.oecd.org Its official mission is “to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” But it is off course clear that this institution exists to protect the intrests of governements of the West.
A very interesting image in hindsight, from The Economist, showing “States of combustibility” or the risk of social unrest in 2010. Notice that Tunesia and Egypt are marked as Medium risk, not higher than for example the United Kingdom or France.