segunda-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2012

2011: year for self-immolations

Chinese television footage shows what it describes as Falun Gong members setting themselves on fire, Jan. 23, 2001 in Beijing's Tiananmen Square
2011: year for self-immolations
From Mohamed Bouazizi to Tibetan monks, why did so many people light themselves on fire this past year? 
JAKARTA, Indonesia — When news broke here in early December that a young Indonesian student had doused himself in gasoline, lit a match and ran flaming toward the presidential palace, Indonesians reacted with shock and confusion. 
An outpouring of supporters set up vigil at the hospital where he clung to life, as speculation swirled about why the man had set himself alight. 
Those who knew him say he actively participated in rallies and demonstrations against the government, and they believe his act was one of protest. If so, his would be the first self-immolation in Indonesia, a country where protesters are more often polite and peaceful than rambunctious, even in large numbers. 
On Dec. 10 the student, Sondang Hutagalung, died from extensive burn wounds, seemingly the latest victim of an extreme form of protest that has captivated the world in 2011. 
The spark began with Tunisian fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi, who self-immolated last December after police confiscated his wares and humiliated him in public. The 26-year-old’s act helped launch the Arab Spring, a liberation movement that soon spread across North Africa. 
Tibet - 2011
Within months a series of self-immolations occurred in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Mauritania — all places without any tradition of death by fire. 
So pervasive were demonstrations — against despots, corporate greed and heavy-handed governance — that TIME magazine named 2011 the year of the protester. 
Yet seldom has self-immolation featured so prominently as a political form of protest. Perhaps most notably this year, a dozen Tibetan nuns and monks have self-immolated in protest of China's grip on their homeland.
Read more in Global Post

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