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  • Writer's pictureMarie S.

The impact of social movements: Social movements, such as the recent protests against corruption and

Updated: Apr 13, 2023


Social movements have been a significant feature of Liberian politics in recent years, with protests against corruption and economic hardship becoming increasingly common. These movements have the potential to impact the country's political landscape and influence policy-making. In this insight, we will analyze the impact of social movements on Liberian politics and the strategies they use to effect change.


Impact of Social Movements:


Social movements have been successful in bringing attention to important issues in Liberia, such as corruption and economic inequality. For example, the "Bring Back Our Money" campaign in 2018-2019, led by the Council of Patriots, a coalition of civil society groups, successfully pressured the government to investigate the disappearance of $104 million in banknotes. The campaign involved protests and a national stay-at-home protest that brought the country to a standstill.


Social movements have also been successful in influencing policy-making in Liberia. In 2019, protests by university students led to the government's decision to cancel a proposed fee increase. In addition, the protests led to the establishment of a committee to review the country's education system.


Further data shows that social movements have also been successful in holding politicians accountable for their actions. In 2020, the "Save the State" protests, organized by the Council of Patriots and other civil society groups, demanded the resignation of the President and other government officials over allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and human rights abuses. While the protests did not lead to the immediate resignation of the President, they brought attention to the issues and put pressure on the government to take action.


Social movements in Liberia have also utilized social media as a tool to amplify their message and mobilize supporters. The #BringBackOurMoney campaign, for instance, used social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to share updates and organize protests. This strategy proved effective in attracting national and international attention to the issue.

Strategies Used by Social Movements:


Social movements in Liberia have used a variety of strategies to effect change, including protests, petitions, and advocacy campaigns. Protests have been the most visible and effective strategy, with large-scale protests attracting national and international attention to the issues at hand.


In addition to protests, social movements in Liberia have also used social media to mobilize support and spread their message. For example, the "Bring Back Our Money" campaign used social media to organize protests and share information about the campaign.


Challenges and Limitations:


Despite their successes, social movements in Liberia face several challenges and limitations. One of the biggest challenges is the government's response to protests, which has often been heavy-handed. In some cases, protesters have been met with violence and arrests, which can deter others from participating.


Social movements in Liberia face challenges such as repression, intimidation, and violence from the government and other powerful actors. In 2018, the government banned all protests in the capital city, Monrovia, following violent clashes between protesters and police. This restriction on the right to protest was heavily criticized by civil society groups and the international community as a violation of human rights.



Another challenge is the fragmentation of the opposition. While social movements have been successful in bringing attention to important issues, the opposition parties have struggled to create a unified front and present a viable alternative to the ruling party.


Conclusion:


In conclusion, social movements have played an important role in shaping Liberian politics, bringing attention to important issues, and influencing policy-making. While social movements have been successful in effecting change, they face several challenges and limitations. The fragmentation of the opposition and the government's response to protests are significant challenges that must be addressed for social movements to continue to have an impact on Liberian.

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