Anti-government protests are the legal rights of citizens to express their anger to the government against a concerning issue or a recurring event. These protests have been around for as long as governments have. Also, every continent in the world has recorded one or more of these protests in history. Since 2017 till date over 230 significant government protests have broken out worldwide, with over 110 countries engaging in these demonstrations. 

Many believe that the protest of February 15th 2003 is the largest unified demonstration ever in history as people across over 600 cities expressed opposition to the imminent Iraq War. BBC News reported that between 6 – 10 million people took part in the anti-war protests in over 60 countries across the world on the weekends of 15 and 16 February 2003. 

Europe recorded the most turn out in the Iraq War protest. With Rome and Madrid averaging an attendance of 3 million and 1.5 million people, respectively. The Rome attendance made the list in the 2004 edition of Guinness Book of World Records as the largest anti-war rally in history. 

Africa Anti-government protests 
Anti-government protests have proven to be a useful tool for expressing socio-political or economic resistance and Africans have many times employed this. Since 2017, anti-government protests have erupted in over 30 African countries with underlying issues bordering on election crisis, economic challenges, police brutality, etc. 

The most recent of these demonstrations is the Sierra Leone crisis, where residents took to the streets to protest over the rising cost of living and other issues surrounding the worsening economic state of the country. While some of these protests end in clashes with security agencies, others pass off with no violent occurrences. 

Here are a few significant anti-government protests in Africa from 2020:

South Africa 
Earlier in August 2022, about four people died as South Africans took to the streets to protest the rising cost of electricity. This is not the first time the country has experienced protests over poor services. Last year, South Africa experienced the worst riot since the apartheid era, as over 350 died whilst recording other criminal vices, including looting. 

Thousands of Senegalese nationals took to the streets in June 2022 to challenge President Macky Sall’s decision to remove opposition leader Ousmane Sonko from the ballot. Unofficial sources announced the death of two people in a faceoff between protesters and security forces. 

While small scale protests have erupted this year over the ongoing strike of public universities, Nigerians wouldn’t forget the #EndSars protest of 2020. EndSars protest was a protest by Nigerians across the country to call the Nigerian government’s attention to repeated reports of misconduct, misuse of power and intimidation by members of the Nigerian Police Force. Military personnels shot at protesting civilians to disperse them and till date there has not been justice for the victims. 

Multiple protests broke out in Ghana last year, following the implementation of an E-levy by the Ghanaian government. Law students, toll booths and a group of teachers stormed the streets to express their displeasure. 

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