Angola: Youth Protest Movement Consolidates Against Odds

After the imprisonment and sentencing of some of the organizers of the September 3 Angolan protest against the 32-year rule of President José Eduardo dos Santos, the youth movement behind the protest movement has carried on in spite of intimidation.

On September 25 and again on October 2, a couple of hundred people took to the streets to call for the freedom of the 16 imprisoned after September 3.

Both times the marches were confronted with opposition – a few police but also a larger group that people have called “congoleses” – which does not mean people from Congo, but instead people associated with the ruling party, or paid by them. This video shows that on September 25, the opposing crowd effectively blocked the non-violent marchers, who in turn offered spirited response but did not advance:

More protests have been called for October 16 and 18 [pt]. Hip hop continues to be a large motivating force behind the youth movement, encouraging people to question where the petroleum money goes and question the lack of democracy. This raw video of a recent performance captures the energy

Consolidation of citizen media channels, viral media

The increasing number of videos uploaded from different YouTube users for the most recent protests indicates a proliferation of citizen reporters. The earlier protests this year were documented by only one or two YouTube users.

Its site or online headquarters, Central 7311 [pt], is named after the first protest of this year, which occurred on March 7. The site describes itself:

Aqui publicamos não só os pedidos de autorização enviados ao Governo Provincial de Luanda como também alguma informação independente, fora da redoma dos nossos viciados meios de comunicação social, na linha do chamado “jornalismo do cidadão”. Também publicamos alguns textos de opinião de diferentes colaboradores e estamos abertos a outros textos que vão ao encontro do que temos vindo a defender. A Centra 7311 pretende ser somente um espaço de convergência, de troca de ideias e de comunicação dessa juventude, dessa minoria(?) que está descontente, cansada e revoltada com a situação social e política em Angola.

Here we not only publish the requests to authorize [protest] to the Provincial Government of Luanda, we also publish some independent information, out of the domain of our dependent news media, along the lines of “citizen journalism”. Also we publish opinion pieces from our different contributors and we are open to other texts that have something in common with what we are calling for. The Central 7311 intends to be a convergence space, one of exchange of ideas and communication of this youth, this minority (?) that is not happy, tired and frustrated with the social and political situation in Angola.

Central 7311 also now has an active Twitter account which is used to spread breaking news during protest marches and a YouTube channel.

Video is used not only to document, but also to motivate and inspire, such as this musical montage with Thievery Corporation's “El Pueblo Unido” track:

Also worth noting are some of the video satire that appears to be going “viral”, including this dubbing-over of a Dos Santos speech which has had over 11,000 views since July. Its activist authors encourage others to do the same – to “satirize the speech of the President to exhaustion”:


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