Is the world waking up to collective action’s possibilities? | Kenan Malik

From Argentina to India, activists are celebrating hard-won victories over harsh regimes

In Argentina, huge crowds take to the streets to celebrate the legalisation of abortion. In India, hundreds of thousands of farmers protest against new legislation, while millions take action in support. 2020 might have been a terrible, virus-ravaged year, but it ended with glimmers of new possibilities.

Argentina has become only the third South American nation, after Uruguay and Guyana, to permit elective abortion, a victory founded on decades of activism by women. In 2005, a number of groups came together to create the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion. A decade later came mass mobilisation against violence against women, a campaign that expanded to demand abortion rights, too. In 2018, parliament’s lower house approved an abortion bill but church opposition persuaded the Senate to block it. It took two more years of pressure to change the Senate’s mind.

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