Why is the Tunisian revolution, the source of inspiration for the Arab World Revolution and a symbol for the entire world, called the Jasmine Revolution?
The Jasmine Revolution is the term used to refer to the demonstrations in Tunisia. The cause of the demonstrations is still being analyzed. Some media report they were triggered by decades of oppression, unemployment, human rights violations, lack of democracy, rise in food prices and general discontent. Others argue that it is a youth movement, fuelled by the growing worldwide population which in Tunisia as in many other countries of the North African region doubled its population. This population dynamic can be factored into the corrupt system of government.
Others more moderate, state that the Tunisian Revolution or Jasmine revolution is a movement for change in government. One thing is certain the Jasmine revolution spread through several countries including Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen, Gabon, Iran, Morocco and Kazakhstan. The Jasmine revolution has had a profound impact on the world, its society and the markets. It even spread to China where isolated demonstrations broke out.
Many Tunisian themselves, do not agree with this geopolitical nomenclature. So what is a geopolitical nomenclature? It is a way to classify.
So, if not all revolutions are classified as color revolutions what elements does a revolution need to possess to referred as part of the color revolutions?
By definition “Color Revolutions” was the term fist used by the mainstream media to describe movements in that developed in several societies in the CIS (former USSR) and Balkan states during the early 2000s.
The concept of the revolutionary wave is said to be important to Marxists. Revolutionary waves are considered events that date as back as 1830s, 1900s Industrial revolutions, Maoist revolution, communisms, the revolution of Cuba and many other movements.
Many revolutions are named after colors, or flowers. Much remembered in history is the movement of 60s and 70s called Flower Power.
The 60s and 70s, was the stage for civil rights movements, and back-south-east-Asia stage for the Vietnam war. The time saw a cultural movement and ideological movement were new generations and youth were essential. The movement through a certain period was known as flower power.
A significant number of activists, strikes, rallies, campaigns, events and demonstrations were part of the movement. Strangely enough those years there were numerous massive government leaks, such as the Vietnam papers, the Watergate scandal and many others. This leaking heritage connection with youth movements and color revolutions can still be seen today, as some consider the role of social media in the Jasmine Revolution and other even venture calling the North Africa revolution the “Wiki-leaks Revolution”.
It could be said that a revolution is found side by side with growing discontent for policies and a system. Another major factor is the generation gap or population growth. The population growth, is met by a system that cannot fully provide, this leads to food crisis, economic crisis, unemployment and other social deficits. New generations also carry new information. The old and the new ideas, ideologies, culture and system engage in a relationship which can sometimes become violent and unstable.
Another revolution that shares the principle of people demonstrating in peace is the revolution that led to the Independence of India, however the Gandhi led revolution, a peace movement, is not normally considered part of the color revolutions.
Neither is the moment led by Mandela which led to the end of apartheid in South Africa. On the other hand the Saffron Revolution and its leader today Aung San Suu Kyi, is considered part of the color revolution classification.
Color revolutions are considered by most to be non violent resistance to an established system of government. Some also refer to this a civil resistance.
This means the people. Tools used in colour revolutions are demonstrations, strikes and interventions protest against governments seen as corrupt and/or authoritarian, advocate democracy; creation of strong pressure for change and many other more intimate specific details of the movement.
Color revolutions adopt a color or a flower as their symbol. Students also play a major role and so do new generations. Are the color revolutions part of the continued historical generational gap? Yes.
Some of the color revolutions are the Serbian Bulldozer Revolution (of 2000), the Georgia’s Rose Revolution (2003), in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (2004), in Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution and in Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution (2005).
Elections are a very important aspect for color revolutions. In fact elections have proven to be a catalyst that speed the process.
Each time massive street protests followed disputed elections or request of fair elections and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders considered by their opponents to be authoritarian.
Nevertheless color revolutions did not stay in Russia and certainly did not being in Russia, they are as ancient as the effect of the passing of generations and the coming of new generations into this world. New movements tend to use symbols or colors to identify themselves and express themselves. These generational natural movements are today called color revolutions.
The classification of color revolution for some refers strictly to the events occurred in 2000s in Russia. For others it goes back into time as back as the 1800s and even more, and it moves through all continents, throughout all times.
The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon between February and April 2005 did not follow a disputed election, but rather the assassination of opposition leader Rafik Hariri in 2005. The Cedar of Lebanon is the symbol of the country, and the revolution was named after it. The peaceful demonstrators used the colors white and red, which are found in the Lebanese flag.
Blue Revolution was a term used by some Kuwaitis to refer to demonstrations in Kuwait in support of women’s suffrage beginning in March 2005; it was named after the color of the signs the protesters used. That very year the Kuwaiti government acceded to their demands, granting women the right to vote beginning in the 2007 parliamentary elections.
The somewhat failed “Purple Revolution” was a name first used by some hopeful commentators and later picked up by United States President George W. Bush to describe the coming of democracy to Iraq following the 2005 Iraqi legislative election and was intentionally used to draw the parallel with the Orange and Rose revolutions.
Green Revolution is a term widely used to describe the Iranian election protests. The protests began in 2009, several years after the main wave of color revolutions, although like them it began due to a disputed election, the 2009 Iranian presidential election.
In 2007 Burmese anti-government protests were referred to in the press as the Saffron Revolution after Buddhist monks (Theravada Buddhist monks normally wear the color saffron) took the vanguard of the protests. A previous, student-led revolution, the 88 Uprising on 8 August 1988, had similarities to the color revolutions, but was violently repressed. The number 8 is the unlucky number of the Burmese Junta.
Finally, today the Jasmine Revolution which led the way to the Egyptian revolt was called by some the Lotus Revolution. The lotus is a flower that represents resurrection, life and the sun of ancient Egypt. The lotus and the Nile are very much representatives of the same symbols.