Colour revolution

political term associated with democratization

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Map of colour revolutions from 2000 to 2005

Colour revolution (sometimes coloured revolution)[1] is a term used since around 2004 by worldwide media to describe various anti-regime protest movements and accompanying (attempted or successful) changes of government that took place in post-Soviet Eurasia during the early 21st century—namely countries of the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and People's Republic of China.[2] The term has also been more widely applied to several other revolutions elsewhere, including in the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, and South America, dating from the late 1980s to the 2020s. Some observers (such as Justin Raimondo and Michael Lind) have called the events a revolutionary wave, the origins of which can be traced back to the 1986 People Power Revolution (also known as the "Yellow Revolution") in the Philippines.

Some of these movements have had a measure of success; in the early 2000s, for example, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Bulldozer Revolution (2000), Georgia's Rose Revolution (2003), Ukraine's Orange Revolution (2004), and Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution (2005). In most but not all cases, massive street-protests followed disputed elections or demands for fair elections. They led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders regarded by their opponents as authoritarian.[3] Some events have been called "colour revolutions" but differ from the above cases in certain basic characteristics, including such examples as Lebanon's Cedar Revolution (2005) and Kuwait's Blue Revolution (2005).

Russia, China and Vietnam[4] share the view that colour revolutions are the "product of machinations by the United States and other Western powers" and pose a vital threat to their public and national security.[5]

List of colour revolutions

Color revolutions map 2.svg
Revolution Location Date started Date ended Description
Yellow Revolution Philippines 22 February 1986 25 February 1986 The 1986 People Power Revolution (also called the "EDSA" or the "Yellow Revolution") in the Philippines was the first successful non-violent uprising in the contemporary period. It was the culmination of peaceful demonstrations against the rule of then-President Ferdinand Marcos—all of which increased after the 1983 assassination of opposition Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. A contested snap election on 7 February 1986 and a call by the powerful Filipino Catholic Church sparked mass protests across Metro Manila from 22 to 25 February. The Revolution's iconic L-shaped Laban sign comes from the Filipino term for People Power, "Lakás ng Bayan", whose abbreviation is LABAN, which means 'to fight'. The yellow-clad protesters, later joined by the Armed Forces, ousted Marcos and installed Aquino's widow Corazón as the country's eleventh President, ushering in the present Fifth Republic.
Coconut Revolution Papua New Guinea 1 December 1988 20 April 1998 Long-standing secessionist sentiment in Bougainville eventually led to conflict with Papua New Guinea. The inhabitants of Bougainville Island formed the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and fought against government troops. On 20 April 1998, Papua New Guinea ended the civil war. In 2005, Papua New Guinea gave autonomy to Bougainville. In 2019, citizens of Bougainville voted for independence from Papua New Guinea.
Velvet Revolution (Czechoslovakia) Czechoslovakia 17 November 1989 29 December 1989 In 1989, a peaceful demonstration by students (mostly from Charles University) was attacked by the police—and in time contributed to the collapse of the communist government in Czechoslovakia.
Bulldozer Revolution Yugoslavia 5 October 2000 This revolution led to the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević. These demonstrations are usually considered to be the first example of the peaceful revolutions that followed. However, the Serbians adopted an approach that had already been used in parliamentary elections in Bulgaria (1997), Slovakia (1998), and Croatia (2000), characterized by civic mobilization through get-out-the-vote campaigns and unification of the political opposition. The nationwide protesters did not adopt a colour or a specific symbol; however, the slogan "Gotov je" (Serbian Cyrillic: Готов је, lit.'He is finished') did become an aftermath symbol celebrating the completion of the task. Despite the commonalities, many others refer to Georgia as the most definite beginning of the series of "colour revolutions."[citation needed] The demonstrations were supported by the youth movement Otpor!, some of whose members were involved in the later revolutions in other countries.
Rose Revolution Georgia 3 November 2003 23 November 2003 The Rose Revolution in Georgia, following the disputed 2003 election, led to the overthrow of Eduard Shevardnadze and replacing him with Mikhail Saakashvili after new elections were held in March 2004. The Kmara civic resistance movement supported the Rose Revolution.
Second Rose Revolution Adjara (Georgia) 20 February 2004 May–July 2004 Following the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Adjara crisis (sometimes called "Second Rose Revolution"[6] or "Mini-Rose Revolution"[7]) led to the exit of Chairman of the Government Aslan Abashidze from office.
Orange Revolution  Ukraine 22 November 2004 23 January 2005 The Orange Revolution in Ukraine followed the disputed second round of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, leading to the annulment of the result and the repeat of the round—Leader of the Opposition Viktor Yushchenko was declared President, defeating Viktor Yanukovych. PORA supported the Orange Revolution.
Purple Revolution Iraq January 2005 "Purple Revolution" was a name to describe the coming of democracy to Iraq following the 2005 Iraqi legislative election. It was first used by some hopeful commentators and later picked up by United States President George W. Bush, intentionally drawing the parallel with the Orange and Rose revolutions. The name "purple revolution" has not, however, achieved widespread use in Iraq, the United States, or elsewhere.

The name comes from the colour that voters' index fingers were stained to prevent fraudulent multiple voting. The term first appeared shortly after the January 2005 election in various weblogs and editorials of individuals supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq.[8] The term received its widest usage during a visit by President Bush on 24 February 2005 to Bratislava, Slovak Republic, for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bush stated: "In recent times, we have witnessed landmark events in the history of liberty: A Rose Revolution in Georgia, an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and now, a Purple Revolution in Iraq."[9]

Tulip Revolution (or Pink Revolution)  Kyrgyzstan 27 February 2005 11 April 2005 The Tulip Revolution (sometimes called the "Pink Revolution") in Kyrgyzstan was more violent than its predecessors and followed the disputed 2005 Kyrgyz parliamentary election. At the same time, it was more fragmented than previous "colour revolutions". The protesters in different areas adopted the colours pink and yellow for their protests. This revolution was supported by the youth resistance movement KelKel.
Cedar Revolution  Lebanon 14 February 2005 27 April 2005 The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon between February and April 2005 followed not a disputed election, but rather the assassination of opposition leader Rafic Hariri in 2005. Also, instead of the annulment of an election, the people demanded an end to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Nonetheless, some of its elements and some of the methods used in the protests have been similar enough that it is often considered and treated by the press and commentators as one of the series of "colour revolutions."

The revolution was named after the Cedar of Lebanon, which is the symbol of the country. Likewise, the demonstrators used the colours white and red, which are found in the Lebanese flag. The protests led to the pullout of Syrian troops in April 2005, ending their nearly 30-year presence there, although Syria retains some influence in Lebanon.

Blue Revolution  Kuwait March 2005 "Blue Revolution" was a term used by some Kuwaitis[10] to refer to demonstrations in Kuwait in support of women's suffrage beginning in March 2005; it was named after the colour of the signs that the protesters used. In May of that year, the Kuwaiti government acceded to their demands, granting women the right to vote beginning in the 2006 parliamentary elections.[11] Since there was no call for regime change, the so-called "blue revolution" cannot be categorized as a true colour revolution.
Jeans Revolution (or Denim Revolution) Belarus 19 March 2006 25 March 2006 In Belarus, there have been a number of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, with participation from student group Zubr. One round of protests culminated on 25 March 2005; it was a self-declared attempt to emulate the Kyrgyzstan revolution and involved over a thousand citizens. However, police severely suppressed it, arresting over 30 people and imprisoning opposition leader Mikhail Marinich.

A second, much larger round of protests began almost a year later, on 19 March 2006, soon after the presidential election. Official results had Lukashenko winning with 83% of the vote; protesters claimed the results were achieved through fraud and voter intimidation, a charge echoed by many foreign governments. Protesters camped out in October Square in Minsk over the next week, calling variously for the resignation of Lukashenko, the installation of rival candidate Alaksandar Milinkievič, and new, fair elections.

The opposition originally used as a symbol the white-red-white former flag of Belarus; the movement has had significant connections with that in neighboring Ukraine. During the Orange Revolution, some white-red-white flags were seen being waved in Kyiv. During the 2006 protests, some called it the "Jeans Revolution" or "Denim Revolution,"[12] blue jeans being considered a symbol for freedom. Some protesters cut up jeans into ribbons and hung them in public places.[13] It is claimed that Zubr was responsible for coining the phrase.

Lukashenko has said in the past: "In our country, there will be no pink or orange, or even banana revolution." More recently, he's said, "They [the West] think that Belarus is ready for some 'orange' or, what is a rather frightening option, 'blue' or 'cornflower blue' revolution. Such 'blue' revolutions are the last thing we need".[14] On 19 April 2005, he further commented: "All these coloured revolutions are pure and simple banditry."[15]

Saffron Revolution Myanmar 15 August 2007 26 September 2007 In Myanmar (unofficially called Burma), a series of anti-government protests were referred to in the press as the Saffron Revolution[16][17] after Buddhist monks (Theravada Buddhist monks usually wear the colour saffron) took the vanguard of the protests. A previous, student-led revolution, the 8888 Uprising on 8 August 1988, had similarities to the colour revolutions but was violently repressed.
Yellow Rally Malaysia 10 November 2007 19 November 2016 A series of demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur. The rally, organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), was supported by Pakatan Rakyat, the coalition of the three largest opposition parties in Malaysia, but was deemed illegal by the government. Bersih, chaired by former president of the Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan, were pushing the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC) to ensure free and fair elections in Malaysia. It demanded that the EC clean up the electoral roll, reform postal voting, use indelible ink, introduce a minimum 21-day campaign period, allow all parties free access to the media, and put an end to electoral fraud.
Grape Revolution  Moldova 6 April 2009 12 April 2009 The opposition is reported to have hoped for and urged some kind of Orange revolution, similar to that in Ukraine, in the follow-up of the 2005 Moldovan parliamentary elections, while the Christian Democratic People's Party adopted orange for its colour in a clear reference to the events of Ukraine.

A name hypothesized for such an event was the "Grape Revolution" because of the abundance of vineyards in the country; however, such a revolution failed to materialize after the governmental victory in the elections. Many reasons have been given for this, including a fractured opposition and the fact that the government had already co-opted many of the political positions that might have united the opposition (such as a perceived pro-European and anti-Russian stance). Also, the elections themselves were declared fairer in the OSCE election monitoring reports than had been the case in other countries where similar revolutions occurred, even though the CIS monitoring mission strongly condemned them.

There was civil unrest all over Moldova following the 2009 Parliamentary election, owing to the opposition's assertion that the communists had fixed the election. Eventually, the Alliance for European Integration created a governing coalition that pushed the Communist party into opposition.

Green Movement  Iran 13 June 2009 11 February 2010 "Green Movement" is a term widely used to describe the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests. The protests began in 2009, several years after the main wave of colour revolutions, although like them, it began because of a disputed election, the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Protesters adopted the colour green as their symbol because it had been the campaign colour of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, whom many protesters thought had won the elections.[18]
Melon Revolution  Kyrgyzstan 6 April 2010 14 December 2010 The "Melon Revolution"[19][20][21][22] in Kyrgyzstan refers to the Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010, which led to the exit of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from office.
Jasmine Revolution  Tunisia 18 December 2010 14 January 2011 "Jasmine Revolution" was a widely used term[23] for the Tunisian Revolution, taking its name from the national flower. The revolution led to the exit of President Ben Ali from office and the beginning of the Arab Spring.
Lotus Revolution (or Nile Revolution)  Egypt 25 January 2011 11 February 2011 "Lotus Revolution" was a term used by various western news sources to describe the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring, which followed the Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia. The lotus plant is known to represent resurrection, life, and the sun of ancient Egypt.

It is uncertain who gave the name, though Asharq Alawsat columnist and prominent Egyptian opposition leader Saad Eddin Ibrahim claimed to have come up with the name. "Lotus Revolution" later became common on western news sources such as CNN.[24] Other names, such as White Revolution and Nile Revolution, are used but are minor terms compared to Lotus Revolution. The term Lotus Revolution is rarely if ever, used in the Arab world.[citation needed]

Pearl Revolution  Bahrain 14 February 2011 22 November 2014 In February 2011, Bahrain was also affected by the protests in Tunisia and Egypt. Bahrain has long been famous for its pearls and Bahrain's speciality. Moreover, there was Pearl Square in Manama, where the demonstrations began. The people of Bahrain were also protesting around the Square. At first, the government of Bahrain promised reform to the people. However, when their promises were not followed, the people resisted again. And in the process, bloodshed took place (18 March 2011). After that, a small demonstration took place in Bahrain.
Yemeni Revolution  Yemen 27 January 2011 23 November 2011 An anti-government protest started in Yemen in 2011, where the Yemeni people sought to resign Ali Abdullah Saleh as the ruler. On 24 November, Ali Abdullah Saleh decided to transfer the regime. In 2012, Ali Abdullah Saleh finally fled to the United States (27 February).[citation needed]
Chinese Jasmine Revolution  China 20 February 2011 20 March 2011 "Jasmine Revolution" was first used on 17 February 2011 by the Chinese-language site Boxun.com (and repeated via social networking sites) in the United States to describe the 2011 Chinese pro-democracy protests in the People's Republic of China.

Boxun's calls resulted in the Chinese government blocking internet searches for "jasmine" and a deploying a heavy police presence at designated sites for protest such as the McDonald's in central Beijing (one of the 13 designated protest sites), on 20 February 2011. A crowd gathered there, but their motivations were ambiguous as a crowd tended to draw a larger crowd in that area.[25] Boxun experienced a denial of service attack during this period and was inaccessible.[26]

Snow Revolution  Russia 4 December 2011 18 July 2013 Protests started on 4 December 2011 in the Russian capital of Moscow against the results of the legislative election, leading to the arrests of over 500 people. On 10 December, protests erupted in tens of cities across the country; a few months later, they spread to hundreds both inside the country and abroad. "Snow Revolution" derives from December—the month when the revolution had started—and from the white ribbons that the protesters wore.
Colourful Revolution  Macedonia 12 April 2016 20 July 2016 Many analysts and participants of the protests against President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov and the Macedonian government refer to the demonstrations as a "Colourful Revolution," owing to the demonstrators' throwing of paintballs of different colours at government buildings in Skopje, the capital.[27][28]
Velvet Revolution  Armenia 31 March 2018 8 May 2018 In 2018, a peaceful revolution was led by a member of parliament, Nikol Pashinyan in opposition to the nomination of Serzh Sargsyan as Prime Minister of Armenia, who had previously served as both President of Armenia and prime minister, eliminating term limits that would have otherwise prevented his 2018 nomination. Concerned that Sargsyan's third consecutive term as the most powerful politician in the government of Armenia gave him too much political influence, protests occurred throughout the country, particularly in Yerevan. However, demonstrations in solidarity with the protesters also occurred in other countries where the Armenian diaspora live.[29] During the protests, Pashinyan was arrested and detained on 22 April, but he was released the following day. Sargsyan stepped down from the position of Prime Minister, and his Republican Party decided not to put forward a candidate.[30] An interim Prime Minister was selected from Sargsyan's party until elections were held, and protests continued for over one month. Crowd sizes in Yerevan consisted of 115,000 to 250,000 people throughout the revolution, and hundreds of protesters were arrested. Pashinyan referred to the event as a Velvet Revolution.[31] A vote was held in parliament, and Pashinyan became the Prime Minister of Armenia.
October Revolution  Lebanon 17 October 2019 present The "17 October Revolution" refers to a series of civil protests in Lebanon. The revolution was triggered by planned taxes on gasoline, tobacco, and VoIP calls on applications such as WhatsApp,[32][33][34] but quickly expanded into a country-wide condemnation of sectarian rule,[35] stagnant economy, unemployment that reached 46% in 2018,[36] endemic corruption in the public sector,[35] legislation that was perceived to shield the ruling class from accountability (such as banking secrecy),[37][38] and failures of the government to provide basic services such as electricity, water, and sanitation.[39]
Pitita Revolution  Bolivia 21 October

2019

11 November 2019 After the 2019 elections, wherein incumbent President Evo Morales was re-elected, protests erupted across the country claiming fraud. A report from the Organization of American States also reported fraud, but was later contradicted by researchers at MIT.[40][41] After the presentation of the final report of the OAS, which ratified the fraud, the requests for resignation from many social sectors, and the suggestion of resignation by a military, Morales and many of his supporters resigned, and an interim government took over.[42] Some, including the Áñez interim government, called these events the "Pitita Revolution."[43] It has been called a colour revolution by some analysts, especially Morales' supporters.[44]
Slipper Revolution  Belarus 24 May 2020 25 March 2021 After the 2020 Belarusian presidential election, where incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected, protests started claiming fraud. The main opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya declared herself the winner, saying that she won by a large margin. She then set up the “Coordination Council,” which was recognized as the legitimate interim government by the European Parliament. As of December 2020, some of the media states that the revolution failed and that Lukashenko managed to prevent a repeat of the Euromaidan.[45]

Influencing factors

Anti-Communist revolutions

Many have cited the influence of the series of revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, particularly the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989. The police attacked a peaceful demonstration by students (mostly from Charles University) – and, in time, contributed to the collapse of the communist government in Czechoslovakia. However, the roots of the pacifist floral imagery may go even further back to the non-violent Carnation Revolution of Portugal in April 1974, which is associated with the colour carnation because carnations were worn, and the 1986 Yellow Revolution in the Philippines where demonstrators offered peace flowers to military personnel manning armored tanks.

Student movements

The first of these was Otpor! ('Resistance!') in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, founded at Belgrade University in October 1998 and began protesting against Miloševic during the Kosovo War. Most of them were already veterans of anti-Milošević demonstrations such as the 1996–97 protests and the 9 March 1991 protest. Many of its members were arrested or beaten by the police. Despite this, during the presidential campaign in September 2000, Otpor! launched its Gotov je (He's finished) campaign that galvanized Serbian discontent with Milošević and resulted in his defeat.

Members of Otpor! have inspired and trained members of related student movements, including Kmara in Georgia, Pora in Ukraine, Zubr in Belarus, and MJAFT! in Albania. These groups have been explicit and scrupulous in their non-violent resistance, as advocated and explained in Gene Sharp's writings.[46] The massive protests that they have organized, which were essential to the successes in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Georgia, and Ukraine, have been notable for their colourfulness and use of ridiculing humor in opposing authoritarian leaders.

Criticism

The analysis of international geopolitics scholars Paul J. Bolt and Sharyl N. Cross is that "Moscow and Beijing share almost indistinguishable views on the potential domestic and international security threats posed by colored revolutions, and both nations view these revolutionary movements as being orchestrated by the United States and its Western democratic partners to advance geopolitical ambitions."[5]

Russian assessment

According to Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Russian military leaders view the "colour revolutions" (Russian: «цветные революции», romanizedtsvetnye revolyutsii) as a "new US and European approach to warfare that focuses on creating destabilizing revolutions in other states as a means of serving their security interests at low cost and with minimal casualties."[47]

Government figures in Russia, such as Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (in office from 2012) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (in office from 2004), have characterized colour revolutions as externally-fuelled acts with a clear goal to influence the internal affairs that destabilize the economy,[48][49] conflict with the law and represent a new form of warfare.[50][51] Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia must prevent colour revolutions: "We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called colour revolutions led to. For us, this is a lesson and a warning. We should do everything necessary so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia".[52]

The 2015 presidential decree The Russian Federation's National Security Strategy (О Стратегии Национальной Безопасности Российской Федерации) cites "foreign-sponsored regime change" among "main threats to public and national security," including[5][53]

the activities of radical public associations and groups using nationalist and religious extremist ideology, foreign and international non-governmental organizations, and financial and economic structures, and also individuals, focused on destroying the unity and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, destabilizing the domestic political and social situation—including through inciting "color revolutions"—and destroying traditional Russian religious and moral values

Chinese government view

The 2015 policy white paper "China's Military Strategy" (中国的军事战略) by the State Council Information Office said that "anti-China forces have never given up their attempt to instigate a 'color revolution' in this country."[5][54]

Pattern of revolution

Michael McFaul identified these seven stages of successful political revolutions common in colour revolutions:[55][56][57][3]

  1. A semi-autocratic rather than fully autocratic regime
  2. An unpopular incumbent
  3. A united and organized opposition
  4. An ability to quickly drive home the point that voting results were falsified
  5. Enough independent media to inform citizens about the falsified vote
  6. A political opposition capable of mobilizing tens of thousands or more demonstrators to protest electoral fraud
  7. Divisions among the regime's coercive forces.

Reactions and connected movements in other countries

Armenia


Aram Karapetyan, leader of the New Times political party in Armenia, declared his intention to start a "revolution from below" in April 2005, saying that the situation was different now that people had seen the developments in the CIS. He added that the Armenian revolution would be peaceful but not have a colour.[58] In 2008, a massive anti-government demonstration took place in Armenia. The citizens of Armenia held demonstrations against illegal elections.

Azerbaijan

Several movements were created in Azerbaijan in mid-2005, inspired by the examples of both Georgia and Ukraine. A youth group, calling itself Yox! (which means No!), declared its opposition to governmental corruption. The leader of Yox! said that, unlike Pora or Kmara, he wants to change not just the leadership but the entire system of governance in Azerbaijan. The Yox movement chose green as its colour.[59]

The spearhead of Azerbaijan's attempted colour revolution was Yeni Fikir ("New Idea"), a youth group closely aligned with the Azadlig (Freedom) Bloc of opposition political parties. Along with groups such as Magam ("It's Time") and Dalga ("Wave"), Yeni Fikir deliberately adopted many of the tactics of the Georgian and Ukrainian colour revolution groups, even borrowing the colour orange from the Ukrainian revolution.[60][61]

In November 2005 protesters took to the streets, waving orange flags and banners, to protest government fraud in recent parliamentary elections. The Azerbaijani colour revolution finally fizzled out with the police riot on 26 November, during which dozens of protesters were injured and perhaps hundreds teargassed and sprayed with water cannons.[62]

Bangladesh

On 5 February 2013, protests began in Shahbag. They later spread to other parts of Bangladesh following demands for capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, Others were convicted of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh.[63][64] On that day, the International Crimes Tribunal had sentenced Mollah to life in prison after he was convicted on five of six counts of war crimes.[65][66] Later demands included banning the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party from politics, including election and a boycott of institutions supporting (or affiliated with) the party.[67]

Protesters considered Mollah's sentence too lenient, given his crimes.[68][69] Bloggers and online activists called for additional protests at Shahbag.[70][71] Tens of thousands of people joined the demonstration, which gave rise to protests across the country.[72]

The movement demanding trial of war criminals is a protest movement in Bangladesh, from 1972 to the present.

Belarus

In Belarus, there have been a number of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, with participation from student group Zubr. One round of protests culminated on 25 March 2005; it was a self-declared attempt to emulate the Kyrgyzstan revolution and involved over a thousand citizens. However, police severely suppressed it, arresting over 30 people and imprisoning opposition leader Mikhail Marinich.

A second, much larger round of protests began almost a year later, on 19 March 2006, soon after the presidential election. Official results had Lukashenko winning with 83% of the vote; protesters claimed the results were achieved through fraud and voter intimidation, a charge echoed by many foreign governments. Protesters camped out in October Square in Minsk over the next week, calling variously for the resignation of Lukashenko, the installation of rival candidate Alaksandar Milinkievič, and new, fair elections.

The opposition originally used as a symbol the white-red-white former flag of Belarus; the movement has had significant connections with that in neighboring Ukraine. During the Orange Revolution, some white-red-white flags were seen being waved in Kyiv. During the 2006 protests, some called it the "Jeans Revolution" or "Denim Revolution,"[12] blue jeans being considered a symbol for freedom. Some protesters cut up jeans into ribbons and hung them in public places. It is claimed that Zubr was responsible for coining the phrase.

Lukashenko has said in the past: "In our country, there will be no pink or orange, or even banana revolution." More recently, he has said, "They [the West] think that Belarus is ready for some 'orange' or, what is a rather frightening option, 'blue' or 'cornflower blue' revolution. Such 'blue' revolutions are the last thing we need".[14] On 19 April 2005, he further commented: "All these coloured revolutions are pure and simple banditry."[15]

Burma

In Burma (officially called Myanmar), a series of anti-government protests were referred to in the press as the Saffron Revolution[16][17] after Buddhist monks (Theravada Buddhist monks normally wear the colour saffron) took the vanguard of the protests. A previous, student-led revolution, the 8888 Uprising on 8 August 1988, had similarities to the colour revolutions, but was violently repressed.

China

A call which first appeared on 17 February 2011 on the Chinese language site Boxun.com in the United States for a "Jasmine revolution" in the People's Republic of China and repeated on social networking sites in China resulted in blocking of internet searches for "jasmine" and a heavy police presence at designated sites for protest such as the McDonald's in central Beijing, one of the 13 designated protest sites, on 20 February 2011. A crowd did gather there, but their motivations were ambiguous as a crowd tends to draw a crowd in that area.[25][further explanation needed] Boxun experienced a denial of service attack during this period and was inaccessible.[26]

Fiji

In the 2000s, Fiji suffered numerous coups. But at the same time, many Fiji citizens resisted the military. In Fiji, there have been many human rights abuses by the military. Anti-government protesters in Fiji have fled to Australia and New Zealand. In 2011, Fijians conducted anti-Fijian government protests in Australia.[73][74][75] On 17 September 2014, the first democratic general election was held in Fiji.

Guatemala

In 2015, Otto Pérez Molina, President of Guatemala, was suspected of corruption. In Guatemala City, a large number of protests rallied. Demonstrations took place from April to September 2015. Otto Pérez Molina was eventually arrested on 3 September. The people of Guatemala called this event "Guatemalan Spring".[76]

Mongolia

On 25 March 2005, activists wearing yellow scarves held protests in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, disputing the results of the 2004 Mongolian parliamentary elections and calling for fresh elections. One of the chants heard in that protest was "Let's congratulate our Kyrgyz brothers for their revolutionary spirit. Let's free Mongolia of corruption."[77]

An uprising commenced in Ulaanbaatar on 1 July 2008, with a peaceful meeting in protest of the election of 29 June. The results of these elections were (it was claimed by opposition political parties) corrupted by the Mongolian People's Party (MPRP). Approximately 30,000 people took part in the meeting. Afterward, some of the protesters left the central square and moved to the HQ of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party – which they attacked and then burned down. A police station was also attacked.[78] The night rioters vandalized and then set fire to the Cultural Palace (a theatre, museum, and National art gallery). Cars torching,[79] bank robberies, and looting were reported.[78] The organizations in the burning buildings were vandalized and looted. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon against stone-throwing protesters.[78] A 4-day state of emergency was installed, the capital was placed under a 2200 to 0800 curfew, and alcohol sales were banned[80] rioting not resumed.[81] Five people were shot dead by the police, dozens of teenagers were wounded from the police firearms[82] and disabled and 800 people, including the leaders of the civil movements J. Batzandan, O. Magnai and B. Jargalsakhan, were arrested.[83] International observers said 1 July general election was free and fair.[84]

Russia

Since the 2012 protests, Aleksei Navalny mobilized with support of the various and fractured opposition parties and masses of young people against the alleged repression and fraud of the Kremlin apparatus.[85] After a vigorous campaign for the 8 September elections in Moscow and the regions, the opposition won remarkable successes. Navalny reached a second place in Moscow with a surprising 27% behind Kremlin-backed Sergei Sobyanin, finishing with 51% of the votes. In other regions, opposition candidates received remarkable successes. In the big industrial town of Yekaterinburg, opposition candidate Yevgeny Roizman received the majority of votes and became the mayor of that town. The slow but gradual sequence of opposition successes reached by mass protests, election campaigns and other peaceful strategies has been recently called by observers and analysts as of Radio Free Europe "Tortoise Revolution" in contrast to the radical "rose" or "orange" ones the Kremlin tried to prevent.[86]

The Republic of Bashkortostan's opposition has held protests demanding that the federal authorities intervene to dismiss Murtaza Rakhimov from his position as president of the republic, accusing him of leading an "arbitrary, corrupt, and violent" regime. Airat Dilmukhametov, one of the opposition leaders and leader of the Bashkir National Front, has said that the opposition movement has been inspired by the mass protests of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.[87] Another opposition leader, Marat Khaiyirulin, has said that if an Orange Revolution were to happen in Russia, it would begin in Bashkortostan.[88]

Uzbekistan

In Uzbekistan, there has been longstanding opposition to President Islam Karimov, from liberals and Islamists. Following protests in 2005, security forces in Uzbekistan carried out the Andijan massacre that successfully halted country-wide demonstrations. These protests otherwise could have turned into colour revolution, according to many analysts.[89][2]

The revolution in neighboring Kyrgyzstan began in the largely ethnic Uzbek South and received early support in the city of Osh. Nigora Hidoyatova, leader of the Free Peasants opposition party, has referred to the idea of a peasant revolt or 'Cotton Revolution'. She also said that her party is collaborating with the youth organization Shiddat and that she hopes it can evolve to an organization similar to Kmara or Pora.[90] Other nascent youth organizations in and for Uzbekistan include Bolga and the freeuzbek group.

Uzbekistan has also had an active Islamist movement, led by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, most notable for the 1999 Tashkent bombings. However, the group was largely destroyed following the 2001 NATO invasion of Afghanistan.[91]

Response in other countries

When groups of young people protested the closure of Venezuela's RCTV television station in June 2007, President Hugo Chávez said that he believed the protests were organized by the West in an attempt to promote a "soft coup" like the revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia.[92] Similarly, Chinese authorities claimed repeatedly in the state-run media that both the 2014 Hong Kong protests – known as the Umbrella Revolution – as well as the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, were organized and controlled by the United States.[93][94][95]

In July 2007, Iranian state television released footage of two Iranian-American prisoners, both of whom work for western NGOs, as part of a documentary called "In the Name of Democracy." The documentary discusses the colour revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia and accuses the United States of attempting to foment a similar ouster in Iran.[96]

Other examples and political movements around the world

The imagery of a colour revolution has been adopted by various non-revolutionary electoral campaigns. The 'Purple Revolution' social media campaign of Naheed Nenshi catapulted his platform from 8% to Calgary's 36th Mayor. The platform advocated city sustainability and to inspire the high voter turnout of 56%, particularly among young voters.[97][98]

In 2015, the NDP of Alberta earned a majority mandate and ended the 44-year-old dynasty of the Progressive Conservatives. During the campaign, Rachel Notley's popularity gained momentum, and the news and NDP supporters referred to this phenomenon as the "Orange Crush" per the party's colour. NDP parodies of Orange flavoured Crush soda logo became a popular meme on social media.[99][100]

See also

References

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Further reading

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Colour revolution