In early November, 20,000 people marched out on the streets of Leipzig, Germany to protest coronavirus restrictions.

Flouting all rules, about 90% of the marchers refused to wear masks 
A similar rebellion against social-distancing rules has happened before. Seeing quarantines and lockdowns as unfair and tyrannical punishments, people took to the streets.

The year was 1625, the place was London, the disease was plague 
Back to 2020, people have marched, rioted or protested from Trafalgar Square to the Michigan Statehouse, sometimes armed with guns.

There have been more than 30 major protests in 26 countries between March and October just against Covid rules 
But protests in Leipzig or Michigan, Britain or Australia, only represent one category of unrest.

These rallies vent the frustrations of relatively well-off people living in prosperous and functional democracies 
In a different category, there are the many protests against governments or leaders suspected of being:

Corrupt (🇧🇬Bulgaria)
Incompetent (🇧🇷Brazil)
Demagogic, illiberal and even undemocratic (🇮🇱Israel, 🇷🇸Serbia) 
A third type of protest mobilizes people who fear for their livelihood:

🇲🇼Malawi street vendors march with signs saying “We’d rather die of corona than of hunger.”
🇪🇨Ecuadorians riot against the shutdown of state-owned companies and salary cuts 
Then there are protests that have little to do with Covid-19 but probably became more urgent or bitter in the pandemic’s context.

Black Lives Matter, for example, spread to at least 16 other countries, from France and Britain to Brazil and South Africa 
In April, @AndreasKluth predicted that this pandemic would lead to social revolutions.

What we’ve seen so far is just the start. Despite hopes for a new vaccine, the effects of the virus will linger for years
Covid-19 has rekindled old divisions across the world.

In the U.S., Black Americans suffer disproportionately from police brutality, but also from the coronavirus — now these traumas merge. And everywhere, the poor fare worse than the rich 
Even before the pandemic, we were entering an “age of mass protests.”

The number of uprisings globally has been increasing by an average of 11.5% a year since 2009. Covid-19, like so many other plagues before, will now act as the fire accelerant 
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