From Mexico City, to Paris, to Ferguson, Missouri, it’s been a busy week in demonstrations around the world, including one on a beach. What exactly have these throngs done to get attention? The theater of publicly expressed opinion can involve blocking a thoroughfare, bodies in costume, words in your face, and sadly, oftentimes violent clashes with the police.
The photos of this week’s events range from group dynamics to intense individuals, with lots of visual drama in between. Let’s break it down by signage, costumes, and choreography, all the while taking a very abridged look at political issues worldwide.
Activists of the Comuna organization hold painted silhouettes representing 43 missing Mexican students while performing a symbolic blockade of a pyramid at the archaeological site of Monte Albán in Oaxaca on Nov. 12, 2014. Anger has intensified since Attorney General Jesús Murillo said last week that evidence suggests the 43 missing students were murdered by gangsters, incinerated in a bonfire at a garbage dump, and their ashes thrown in a river. The banner reads “Until they are found.”
Photo © STRINGER Mexico/Reuters
A student holds a cutout portrait of Remi Fraisse during a demonstration at the Place de la Nation in Paris on Nov. 13, 2014, against “police brutality” and in memory of the 21-year-old environmentalist who died during a violent standoff last month between police and ecology protesters seeking to prevent construction of a dam in Sivens.
Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
Demonstrators hold flags and balloons as tens of thousands of Italian civil service workers marched through Rome on Nov. 8, 2014, to demand that the government give them better pay and a new contract and take measures to boost employment.
Photo by Remo Casilli/Reuters
Protesters hold effigies representing judges and politicians dressed as inmates during an anti-government rally in Buenos Aires on Nov. 13, 2014. Diverse organizations rallied against inflation, corruption, and high crime rates in widespread demonstrations organized via social media networks. The signs under the effigies read: “Enough thieve politicians,” “Enough servile politicians,” “Enough dictator politicians,” and “Enough corrupt judges.”
Photo by Enrique Marcarian/Reuters
Activists hold signs reading “This is not a human being” as they take part in a pro-abortion demonstration in front of La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, on Nov. 11, 2014.
Photo by Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images
Students demonstrate against the deployment of an armed militia of the Shiite Houthi movement at Sanaa University campus in Sanaa, Yemen, on Nov. 12, 2014. The Houthis established themselves as power brokers in Yemen two months ago by capturing Sanaa with scant resistance from the administration and began advancing into central and western Yemen this month.
Photo by Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters
Nurses hold signs as they march outside of the Dellums Federal Building on Nov. 12, 2014, in Oakland, California. Hundreds of nurses with the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United staged a demonstration as part of a national day of action to bring attention to the lack of training and protective equipment for health care workers who could be exposed to the Ebola virus.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Turkish students protest the policies of the government and the Council of Higher Education during a rally in Ankara on Nov. 9, 2014. Signs read: “Universities belong to the students and they will be free with us” and “Women take to the streets against reactionaries and war.”
Photo by Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images
Children of striking government contract workers gather for a protest on the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Low-wage contract workers employed at the U.S. Capitol joined with other federal contract employees demanding that President Obama “take more aggressive executive action to help low-wage workers and boost the economy.”
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
A school bus passes demonstrators protesting outside the police station on Nov. 10, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. As the suburb prepares for the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown, school leaders have urged officials to announce the finding outside of school hours so that children will not be at risk of being caught up in rioting if it occurs. The grand jury’s decision is expected sometime in November.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Two former employees of Unicom, contractor of the Itaipu Dam, lie on crosses after being “crucified” by fellow co-workers during a protest in front of he Brazilian embassy in Asunción, Paraguay, on Nov. 12, 2014. They were demanding compensation benefits after the two workers were fired from their jobs. The Itaipu hydroelectric dam, the second-biggest in the world after China’s Three Gorges facility, straddles the Brazil-Paraguay border.
Photo by Norberto Duarte/AFP/Getty Images
About 400 demonstrators participate in a protest by burying their heads in the sand at Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Nov. 13, 2014. The protest, held ahead of Saturday’s G20 summit in Brisbane, was being promoted as a message to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government that, “You have your head in the sand on climate change.”
Photo by David Gray/Reuters
Muslim groups led by the Islamic Defenders Front march toward the Jakarta, Indonesia, parliament building during a protest against acting Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama on Nov. 10, 2014. Muslim groups led by the Islamic Defenders Front have demanded the governor be prevented from taking office because of his ethnicity and religion.
Photo by Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images
Students march in central Athens on Nov. 13, 2014, against police presence outside universities in the city, a precautionary measure ahead of the anniversary of a student uprising against the military junta on Nov. 17, 1973. Minor clashes erupted in the early morning outside a law school in Athens while students tried to enter the building, which was closed and blocked by police. More than 7,000 police will be deployed ahead of the anniversary.
Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images
More students demonstrate against the Shiite Houthi movement’s armed militia at Sanaa University campus in Sanaa, Yemen, on Nov. 12, 2014.
Photo by Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi/Reuters
Right-wing nationalists clash with the police during a far-right annual march that coincides with Poland’s National Independence Day in Warsaw on Nov. 11, 2014.
Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinian protesters prepare to throw stones at Israeli army soldiers during clashes following an anti-Israel demonstration in solidarity with al-Aqsa mosque, in the West Bank city of Hebron on Nov. 14, 2014. Israel and the Palestinians have pledged to take concrete steps to calm tensions around Jerusalem’s holiest site, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday after talks in the Jordanian capital. Violence has flared in recent weeks over the compound, revered by Muslims as Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa mosque stands, and by Jews as the Temple Mount, where their biblical temples once stood.
Photo by Mussa Qawasma/Reuters
Victims of the Bhopal, India, gas tragedy, a gas leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant that killed at least 3,500 people, shout slogans during a sit-in protest in New Delhi on Nov. 10, 2014. Hundreds of the victims held a sit-in protest and five survivors of the tragedy started an indefinite hunger strike demanding additional compensation for all the affected people and revision of figures of death caused by the disaster 30 years ago, according to a media release.
Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Cambodian security guards arrest an activist Buddhist monk during a protest in front of Phnom Penh municipal court on Nov. 11, 2014. Activists say land conflicts are Cambodia’s most pressing human rights issue and protests have intensified since last year. Forced evictions across the country have displaced thousands of families and prompted protests and violent clashes between residents and armed security forces.
Photo by Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli security forces detain an Arab-Israeli youth during clashes in the town of Kfar Kana, in northern Israel, on Nov. 9, 2014, a day after security forces shot dead a 22-year-old Arab-Israeli man. The dawn killing in Kfar Kana comes against a backdrop of soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions in annexed east Jerusalem where there have been near-daily clashes in flashpoint neighborhoods. Arab-Israelis, who account for about 20 percent of Israel’s population, are the descendants of Palestinian Arabs who remained on their land when the Jewish state was established in 1948.
Photo by Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images