People power: lessons from La Paz

Published by euobserver.com
24 October 2011

It has been a good few weeks for people power. Protest movements have occupied the world’s financial centres, brought European capitals to a standstill, and – with a helping hand from the West – brought down Gaddafi’s Libyan regime. | Meanwhile, in Bolivia, people power has chalked up a small victory of its own, but with major repercussions for the social conflicts the coming years may have in store. Following a two-month march from the Amazon lowlands to the capital, La Paz, protesters raised enough media coverage and popular support to force the government into a major u-turn. President Evo Morales agreed to drop plans for a highway to be built through a biodiversity-rich rainforest reserve. In doing so he agreed to ‘govern by obeying the people’ – and proved how powerful and effective social movements of this type can be. Read more here

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