The Global Rise of Anti-Lockdown Protests—and What to Do About It

Anti-lockdown demonstrators in Huntington Beach, California, June 27, 2020 (AP photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez).
Anti-lockdown demonstrators in Huntington Beach, California, June 27, 2020 (AP photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez).
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The wave of anti-government protests that roiled global politics over the past decade initially seemed to be an early casualty of COVID-19. Lockdown measures, especially stay-at-home orders and restrictions on mass gatherings, halted protests almost everywhere. Yet as the pandemic has dragged on, the increasingly strained relationship between governments and citizens in many countries has brought demonstrators back into the streets. While many renewed protests reflect anger over familiar issues like corruption, political repression and economic hardship, a striking new trend is afoot: citizens openly challenging the public health measures governments have taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus. […]

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