Blog Post Week 6 and 7

Last year, Guatemala proved itself to be a strong willed country that was able to protest with passion and stay peaceful at the same time. In April of 2015, the United Nations announced that President Molina and Vice President Baldetti were both involved with organized crime, fraud, and overall corruption. These things have affected the country of Guatemala immensely and one woman could not sit by and watch the resources of her country be depleted any longer. She initiated the protests by opening an event on social media asking people to join her in this action. She wanted people to go with her to the Guatemala City Center and demand resignation from these politicians who had cheated them and she ended up receiving a huge response and thousands of people joined her. Her goal was to make known that enough was enough and these politicians had to go, but she wanted to make sure the message was heard in a peaceful and lawful manner. So using the power of social media that initiated the protest, she also made clear on there that “no political party or group was behind that event” and that everyone needed to follow the law and keep orderly. The result was amazing and all peace was kept. After the resignation of Baldetti, protests continued into August of last year and another massive yet peaceful one to get rid of Molina had the city packed. Places all over the city were closing temporarily so that everyone could get to city square to protest and show how they felt about their leader taking things from them. Once again the nonviolent protests showed how powerful a group of people can be and at the same time be abiding by the rules causing no harm to anyone or anything. If this movement had been violent, I can see the people getting blamed for destruction which turns the fault away from what they were initially fighting for. Maybe Baldetti would have never stepped down if riots had broken out during the protest for her resignation. It also could have put a really bad name on the social media aspect of it, rather than the good it actually did by bringing so many people together. The images I saw on both sites were mostly of people holding or wearing flags, being a powerful representation of their country, which was the opposite of what their leaders were doing.

One thought on “Blog Post Week 6 and 7

  1. A very similar tactic on non-violence through protest utilizing social media as a tool for mobilization, world wide support, and solidarity among protestors began back in June 2009 after the allegedly fraudulent presidential elections in which the obligatory candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad beat opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The protests were originally named the “Green Movement” and focused on peace and non-violence was met with extreme brutality from the Iranian regime who had declared political activism and protest illegal. Iranian protestors used various forms of social media: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc to capture the extreme violence and brutality inflicted by the State regime in order to show the world the atrocities they were faced with. Social media mobilized Iranian activists and provided them with a forum through which they could express their views on a worldwide platform, but unfortunately despite utilizing this tactic resulted in failure of achieving their goal to the end the rule for Ahmandinehad and his regime. I think this movement was different from what happened in Guatemala in that the peaceful protestors were met with such extreme violence that the rest of the world albeit horrified by what happened, focused more on the violence instead of the gross misuse of power in the Iranian political elections. When the focus becomes centralized around the physical acts of violence rather than the missuse of power, it’s too easy for the rest of the world to associate the violence as something “that is always happening in the Middle East”. It reiterates the fallacy that violence is an expected norm of that part of the world.

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