The following four of the most memorable political gatherings shown on TV news (besides the Egyptian unrest) show how the power of the small screen can instantly record history and move the world. With the unrest in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, TV news has been there to capture the dramatic images of both peaceful political gatherings and the riotous behavior that often accompanies it. But over the last 20-plus years, the TV cameras have caught other dramatic events where people have gathered en masse to protest the actions of their governments.
Four of the most memorable political gatherings shown on TV news no. one: UK Poll Tax Riots in 1990
When Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative (Tory) Government instituted the poll tax, (in a nutshell: a tax on adults based on what their local governments, or Councils, set, shifting much of the tax burden from property owners), the masses were outraged and set to the London streets to protest on March 31, 1990 before it took effect that April. But at and around Trafalgar Square in Central London, the scene turned ugly and was caught by LWT News cameras. This poll tax championed by Margaret Thatcher was a factor in her being forced out of 10 Downing Street later in the year. In 1993, the tax would be replaced with a Council Tax.
Four of the most memorable political gatherings shown on TV news no. two: Tiananmen Square protests from 1989
The Chinese people came out to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 to protest their oppressive government, which CNN caught with their cameras to broadcast to the world. But one man would become a worldwide hero when he faced down oncoming tanks on June 4, 1989, risking his own life to make a political statement on behalf of the oppressed Chinese, many of which would ultimately lose their lives for their actions. That figure would become known as the “Tank Man.”
Four of the most memorable political gatherings shown on TV news no. three: Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989
In 1989, the hold of the Soviet Union’s grip on their Communist puppet states was slipping out of their their figurative fingers. The high point of this came via the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, as ABC News was on hand to capture this dramatic event and after effects. People from East Germany who had been separated from their West German families by this ghastly barrier since 1961 would finally be able to reunite without fear of being shot. The throngs of people gathering on this wall is one of the most dramatic moments in world history.
Four of the most memorable political gatherings shown on TV news no. four: London Tuition Fees Protests/Riots in 2010
With the Tories back in power (in coalition with the Liberal Democrats) after 13 years of being in opposition, big changes have been in the works, especially to address the country’s massive deficit, i.e., cutting services and increasing fees for such things like college tuition. When Parliament debated and approved tuition fee hikes of up to roughly three times their current rate, once again protesters came out to show their disapproval, and rioting would ensue, which the Russian RT News showed from December 9, 2010.
Community Charge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Charge, Wikipedia