The Future of Resistance, an OZY Original Series
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
All around the world, people are fighting for their rights. Find out how.
By Fiona Zublin
Get your flag, your pussy hat, your microphone. From Alex Jones to the Women’s March to the Brexiteers, seemingly everyone in 2018 believes they’re part of some kind of resistance. A feeling of being the underdog can be a way to motivate followers … or a way to mobilize a movement against a true oppressor.
For our series on the Future of Resistance, OZY’s focused on the latter. We’ve gone around the globe finding people who are coming up with new ways to fight back against oppressions big and small — and perhaps inspire another generation to do the same. Some of them are technological, some legal, some artistic, but all are standing up and saying “No” to something they just can’t take anymore.
Dutch women have been speaking out ever since a woman was fined for peeing in public, in the dark, after an Amsterdam night out in 2015. Last year, a judge upheld the fine and asked the woman why she hadn’t used one of the free men’s urinals. This kicked off protests. Now the Dutch are taking a stand — or a squat — for progress, throwing design contests for gender-neutral urinals and demanding equality of public peeing options.
Around the world, indigenous people and rural community hold half of humanity’s land, but legally they own just 10 percent of it. Even less land is formally titled, an issue that comes back to bite people when corporations or corrupt governments try to take over. In Tanzania, farmers are losing out on ancestral land to oil companies — so now they’re using new techniques like digital mapping and old ones like standing up and demanding more from their elected officials to secure the right to their stomping grounds.
Politics across the world is male-dominated, but particularly so in West Africa, where only one nation in the region has ever had a female president. Women in Nigeria are hoping to overturn their own political patriarchy though: Three women will run in next year’s presidential election, far more than ever before, and new laws about the minimum age of candidates could see a youth wave as well as a female one.
Women have long struggled for control of their own bodies, but that struggle is playing out in a new way: While the sexual health, menstrual and underwear industries were once dominated by male CEOs and designers, dozens of female-led companies have sprung up, many focusing on solutions that are both healthy for the women who use them and more environmentally friendly than options of yore.
Since the 2016 presidential election, political organizers have gotten serious about change, and increasingly they’re using the latest technology to further their cause. Organizations like Hustle, Tech Resistance and Ragtag are harnessing the power of tech to resist the current administration and elect progressives to office. But it doesn’t stop with lefties — conservative organizations like Americans for Prosperity are using tech to keep a strong hold on the House and Senate in the midterms. At a pivotal time in American history, this technology is helping both the left and the right to resist the opposition’s agenda.