South Africa: You'll Never Walk Alone (In Struggles for Democracy)

analysis

All over the world gigantic battles are taking place. This time they are not wars (although there's still enough of those going on) but battles between pro-democracy activists and authoritarian regimes and elites.

These battles have many and varying frontlines.

For example, on this very day at the World Trade Organisation's General Council meeting the battles are among mostly besuited men, rallying to protect some of the richest and most powerful pharmaceutical companies in the world from a proposal from South Africa and India that WTO rules protecting intellectual property rights over Covid-19 vaccines be waived for the duration of the pandemic.

This is necessary to allow poor countries a better chance of access to affordable vaccines and to overcome global vaccine apartheid. As Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has pointed out, such a measure would help tip the balance in a world where although up to 175 million people have now been vaccinated against Covid-19, almost none of them are in Africa.

Meanwhile on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and many other towns and cities in Myanmar, battles continue between hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and a military junta that was dissatisfied with even the small slice of democratic...

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