Following the worldwide depression of protests in spring resulting from COVID-19, social mobilizations again ramped up over the summer across the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States. These protests, though reacting to different local stimuli, were nonetheless linked by COVID-19 and the obstacles it presented to organizing. Yet, COVID-19 also seemed to present a prime opportunity to numerous states that sought to expand anti-popular measures under the guise of dealing with the disease, including state-sanctioned brutality by police and other security forces, increased neoliberal privatization of the commons, and a lack of accountability among the political and managerial classes to the humanitarian catastrophe of the pandemic. In response, protest movements of various stripes have engaged in bold new forms of organizing that reject the autocratic and capitalistic logics linked to the spread and duration of COVID-19.
This bouquet of analysis explores several different aspects of the interrelationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and social mobilization in the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States. It features analysis on Algeria (Muriam Haleh Davis and Thomas Serres), Iraq (Zahra Ali), Lebanon (Nadim El Kak and Ghiwa Sayegh), higher education in the United States (Anthony Alessandrini, Kylie Broderick, and the UCSC COLA Agitation Committee), race in the United States (Juan Doe and Rhea Rahman), and the general state of protests for feminist groups in the Global South (Nadje Al-Ali).
The bouquet features the following components. We hope you find them as fruitful in thinking through this moment as we do.
Introduction to the Bouquet on COVID-19 and Social Mobilization
Roundtable: Protest and Social Mobilization in the Time of COVID-19
Anthony Alessandrini, Zahra Ali, Kylie Broderick, Juan Doe, Nadim El-Kak, Rhea Rahman, and Ghiwa Sayegh
“This Is the Voice of Algeria:” Radio Corono International Carries the Torch of the Hirak
Muriam Haleh Davis
The Algerian Healthcare System in the Time of COVID-19
COVID-19 and Feminism in the Global South: Challenges, Initiatives, and Developments
Time to Strike: Academic Workers and the Tactic of Withholding Grades
UCSC Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Agitation Committee