Is the crisis of the Middle East coming to Europe?
Often those protests started with people protesting on a square, demanding more rights and freedom of speech. Then the regimes tried to stop the people protesting, using violence and shooting them; as a consequence people became more angry. In the past, by killing some people the governments could control their population. But when people are desperate and hungry (indeed, food prices are rising worldwide because of natural disasters, therefore people can't buy much food and are hungry), guns loss their power.
In the meanwhile, Western governments are demanding changes in the Middle Eastern countries: people should be allowed to speak their own mind and protest on the streets. The Western governments are demanding the resignation of many Middle Eastern politicians and free elections. And indeed, free elections should be possible in all countries, many dictators ruled too long (although with the help of the West).
|Protest in Brussels by the Indignados|
Many people are starting to experience difficulties buying food and clothes for their family and many fear to loose their home. Even people who thought they had a secure job working for the government are now loosing that job while unemployed people hear almost daily that the benefit system has to change. Some people, and especially younger people who fear they will have no future, are protesting and demanding a better society. They ask politicians to listen to the ordinary people and less to the bankers.
At the same time, we face a major problem: the weather. All over the world, countries experience either too much rain or too little (for instance, the Danube river is evaporating due to a shortage of rain while in Thailand there is a major flood). Other countries experience other natural disasters such as earthquakes (e.g. Japan). All these problems cost society a lot of money (e.g. in Belgium, the fund to support people when natural disasters occur is already empty while we didn't even had a major catastrophe (although a brief storm destroyed half of their fruit and trees)). So, a few more natural disasters might bankrupt insurance companies and banks, and as a consequence pension schemes might collapse. And as countries are already struggling, countries might not be able to save the banks or worse the money of the people.
In the meanwhile, many bankers still hope they will become even richer before their bank collapse. And this fuels the anger of a growing number of people. The "gamblers" do not seem to understand that some people might become so angry that they become dangerous. Or they hope the government will be able to control the people and that they will escape the furry of the mass.
Thus, while people marshing on the Western streets (e.g. the indignados, the movement "Occupy Wall Street") have similar demands as the people on the streets in the Middle East (more democracy and better distribution of the wealth), the "elite" is trying to stop the protests in their own countries while they pretend to encourage the protests in the other countries .
An example (and notice the comparison with the second paragraph). In London, not too many (young) people are occupying the square around St-Paul's Cathedral and they are doing this very peaceful, demanding a better society. And guess what? The Head of the Cathedral (the Dean) is now demanding, together with other companies in the City, that the demonstrators leave the square (thus stop their protest) because the Dean claims the protesters are the reason he had to close the cathedral, and as a result the Cathedral is loosing thousand of pounds each day. In conclusion, the Dean is on the side of the money. And one day, the City (including the managers of St-Paul's Cathedral) might ask the police to remove the people, if necessarily with violence, so that the Church (and the City) can earn again (more) money. What I just wrote is not only theory: the Canon Chancellor of the Cathedral resigned today because he is against the possible forceful removal of the protesters. And in New York, protesters from "Occupy Wall Street" had already a few times confrontations with the police. And so the Western governments might use violence against their own people as the leaders in the Middle East did.
In summary, our politicians are demanding that people in the Middle East are allowed freedom of expression and the right of demonstrations while our politicians in the West start getting annoyed with their own protesters. They, the politicians, are trying to save the community and all they get in return is people protesting, costing the society money and damaging the economy.
And at the moment the majority of the people do not support the protesters, they would even prefer the protesters off the streets. Many people even want laws against the 'disruption' of the cities. However, ones the system collapses and more people loose their work and savings, more people will protest in the streets. However, then it might be too late to protest because the governments might have introduced more restrictions against demonstrations, arguing the restrictions are necessary to protect the economy. Thus, while now many people want strickter laws, then the society might regret to have allowed those changes.
What I write above does not mean I am against order. I am not. When violence erupts the police has to intervene. And many people don't protest because they don't want to be involved in violence as often during demonstrations there are individuals who want a fight (see London during the Summer, the city was burning). However, I expected that more politicians want to meet the protesters to listen to them (even when only pretending they are interested in what the people are saying). But the politicians nowadays prefer to talk only with the "elite", neglecting the ordinary people in the streets. And thus, people's angry continue to grow.