The era of mass protest has not come to an end. Many rushed to write off the peoples' uprisings against authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the protests against market fundamentalism in Western Europe and North America, between 2010 and 2012, as not sustained and lacking in impact. But the last 12 months have shown that the age of mass dissent is here to stay. In 2013 and 2014, struggles for economic justice and democratic rights spread to new locales, including Brazil, Malaysia, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela, in what can be characterised as a second wave of protest.
Some clear patterns emerge from major recent protests. Firstly, there are similarities in the manner in which protests develop. Many of the major protests of 2013-2014 started off with a small group of protesters raising local issues. In Brazil, protests started in opposition to public transport fare hikes, in Istanbul 50 people gathered to demonstrate against the conversion of a city park to a shopping mall and in Ukraine protests were initiated by the Yanukovych government breaking off a trade agreement with the European Union. Disproportionate and violent responses to protest by the state led to a scale shift. Images of heavy- handed police officers attacking small numbers of protesters in Brazil, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela were strewn across conventional and social media, provoking greater outrage, thereby rapidly increasing the number and type of protesters and broadening the range of their demands. The scope of the protests went beyond the initial issues and unearthed deep-seated public resentments.