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Surfing the global protest wave

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On May 14, 2021, the body of Thabani Nkomonye was found in a field in the southern African kingdom of Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, by his mother. His eyes had been gouged out, and there were three holes in his torso, she said.

Suspicions that the 25-year-old student had been tortured and killed by police led students to organize protests demanding an end to police brutality and calling for multiparty democracy. The protests continued through June and into July, and were met by tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

At least 27 people were killed. If the overall trajectory of the protests in Eswatini sounds familiar, it is because it reflects broader trends found in varying forms around the globe. At a time of great uncertainty and anxiety, young activists are especially invested in struggles for a better future. Unless their demands for a secure future, greater democratic participation and equitable solutions on climate change…

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