The square is back

From Egypt to Algeria, from Russia to Hong Kong and elsewhere, thousands of citizens are risking their lives – again – to defy authocracies and demand political liberties and social justice. Across the globe, and in the cities of Europe and the US, similar mass demonstrations are back after years of dominant political apathy: newly, they are led and animated by young activists, those of the Fridays for Future movement.

What keeps such street phenomena united? What is the value of such “ancient” way of protesting for today’s unsatisfied citizens? And most importantly, how far can they get in achieving their collective demands?

Contrary to all predictions of an era dominated by digital agorà, especially for the youngsters, the square is back as the primary place and instrument of protest. A comparative enquiry.