Updates within the Biden administration

CLAIRE HIPPS
STAFF WRITER

Joe Biden has served as US President for nearly two months. In this period of time, he has addressed the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign policy and the environment, all by signing over 40 executive orders.

Executive orders are not the same as laws. The Heritage Foundation says that, “an executive order is a type of written instruction that presidents use to work their will through the executive branch of government. Congress and federal courts can strike down executive orders that exceed the scope of the president’s authority.”

“A large portion of President Biden’s initial executive orders are focused on reversing policies of the Trump Administration,” said Jacob Keeley (’24), president of the Alma College Republicans. “While [it is] within the powers of the President to take such steps, it is important to note that a Presidency based on undoing… sets a dangerous precedent [and leaves] the nation stagnant in terms of leadership and divided politically.”

Biden, as promised, has enacted policies to combat the effects of the pandemic. First, Biden signed a $1.9T relief package which extends unemployment aid, distinguishes the first $10,200 in jobless benefits tax free and allocates $20B for vaccine distribution. Lost in this provision was the minimum wage increase, which House democrats were hopeful to pass.

Biden has also allocated $250M to encourage COVID-19 safety and vaccination in underserved populations, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Biden has also taken foreign policy action. He has placed sanctions on Myanmar with the support of the UN and has ordered airstrikes against Syria, escalating tensions in already-stalling negotiations with Iran.

“President Biden’s executive order taking economic action against those involved with the military coup in [Myanmar] was an important action for the United States to take,” said Keeley.

The strikes in eastern Syria were reportedly in response to Iran-backed militias who instigated a rocket attack on Feb. 15 which harmed American citizens. Despite this, Biden still intends to reopen negotiations regarding the Iranian nuclear deal tabled by the Trump administration, according to the NY Times.

Biden’s environmental agenda aims to guide the US towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Climate-related executive orders included, but were not limited to, directing 40% of federal sustainability investments to disadvantaged communities, rejoining the UN Paris Agreement and WHO and halting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. These policies were popular with activists on the left and generally disliked by Senate republicans.

“[Biden’s steps] to stop the U.S’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization… should be [a unifying] factor for the country; however, it is important that President Biden recognizes and grants the republican minority party opportunities… to voice its input and make suggestions on these matters,” said Keeley.

Biden’s Presidential campaign was largely based on unity and bipartisanship. Despite the high volume of executive orders, many remain hopeful that compromise and the interests of everyone will remain at the forefront of his priorities.

“The Alma College Republicans stand by the President as he attempts to lead the charge for unification,” said Keeley on behalf of the Alma College Republicans. “Unity in the United States requires President Biden to…establish policy that works for all Americans”

Trump acquitted by Senate

ZACH CARPENTER
STAFF WRITER

Donald Trump’s second articles of impeachment were taken up by the United State’s Senate on Feb. 9, for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

Trump had already been impeached in the House of Representatives on Jan. 14 while still in office.

Trump was charged for having, “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperaled a coequal branch of government.” On those grounds, in a 232-197 vote that included 10 GOP Representatives who chose to vote to impeach Trump. The articles of impeachment were then sent to the Senate to be taken up at trial at a later date.

The trial began with a debate on whether or not the trial itself was constitutional, with House Impeachment Managers arguing it was constitutional to impeach a former president and Trump’s defense arguing it was not. Following eight hours of debate the Senate voted 56-44 to continue forward with the impeachment trial based on the legal precedent it was constitutional.

“The purpose of impeachment is to either expel a person from federal office if they are seen as dangerous to the Republic because they’re corrupt or because they’re dangerous to democracy itself,” said William Gorton, Associate Professor of the Political Science department.

In the case of Trump, Impeachment Managers appointed by the House of Representatives attempted to make the case before the Senate that Trump’s words were directly responsible for inciting the violence at the Capitol. They also argued that because of Trump’s outsized role in the leadup to the riot he should be disqualified from serving in future federal office.

Prosecutors opened their argument by saying that in his Jan. 6 speech at the Ellipse in Washington D.C., Trump addressed his supporters saying, “if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” They also argued that statements such as that directly motivated his supporters to march towards the Capitol building in order to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote.

The subsequent hours saw the death of four people directly as a result of the violence and occupation of the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.

Trump’s defense team argued that his words alone did not incite the riot and that the rioters acted on their own accord, having planned it in advance of Trump’s speech. They also argued that Democrats had been attempting to remove Trump from office since the beginning of his presidency and this was just another attempt to prevent him from holding the office in the future.

“I think that the second impeachment of Trump was just political theater and a useless waste of taxpayer’s money,” said Sawyer Hill (‘23).

Following a combined 32 hours of arguments from Impeachment Managers and Trump’s defense team the Senate had to decide whether or not to call witnesses in the trial. They ultimately decided not to, paving the way for a vote on whether or not to convict given all the evidence.

“After carefully listening to all the evidence presented in this trial, it is overwhelmingly clear that Donald Trump violated his oath of office by inciting a violent, deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol

and our democracy,” said Sen. Gary Peters (‘80) (Local 4 News). Both Sens. Peters and Stabenow of Michigan voted to convict Trump.

In a final vote of 57-43, the Senate voted to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting a riot. The vote marked the first time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached and acquitted twice. The vote also shows the loyalty many GOP Senators still have for Trump, even after he has left office.

“I think [the impeachment] was super predictable,” said Anika Ried (‘23). “He should have been convicted if only to stop him from holding federal office ever again.”

“[Trump] remains very popular with the Republican base…I imagine he’s going to start holding rallies again in anticipation of running for president again in 2024,” said Gorton.

Since the acquittal Trump has also been permanently banned from most social media platforms including his previous go-to Twitter, potentially complicating future campaigns.

Moving forward with the investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Congress has created a bipartisan investigative committee focused on understanding how rioters were able to get past security and into the Capitol. More hearings are scheduled for the near future.

Senate blocks minimum wage bill

ELLA BRIGHT
STAFF WRITER

Senate lawmakers, in an overnight voting session that lasted for 15 hours on Friday, Feb. 6, dismissed President Joe Biden’s bill to bump the minimum wage to $15/hour nationwide.

The bill, titled the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, and included in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus plan, has stirred up controversy between both senators and citizens across the United States.

At the overnight voting session on Friday (also called a ‘vote-a-rama’ where over 800 amendments were passed), both independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Republican Senator Joni Ernst made their arguments for and against the bill, respectively. According to the New York Times, both of the senators stressed the importance of keeping the interest of the American people in mind, but on different sides of the bill.

“…We end this debate in a moment in which our country faces more crises, more pain, more anxiety than any time since the Great Depression,” said Senator Sanders. “But we have the opportunity to give hope to the American people and restore faith in our government by telling them that tonight we understand the pain that they are experiencing, and we are going to do something very significant about it.”

Senator Ernst was very much against the passing of this bill, his largest argument being the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “A $15 federal minimum wage would be devastating for our hardest-hit small businesses at a time they can least afford it,” said Senator Ernst. However, Senator Sanders argued that the bill was not to raise the minimum wage immediately, in the middle of the pandemic, but rather gradually over the next five years.

Nevertheless, while the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan was passed by Democrat Senators, the minimum wage bill included was blocked. The minimum wage in the U.S. is currently $7.25 (though many states have already raised it) and has not been federally changed since 2009. Arguments were being strongly made for and against the raising of the minimum wage, all of which were similar to the argument of Senators Sanders and Ernst.

Those in favor of the bill stressed the benefits for those working in fast food, serving, or cashier jobs. The raising of the minimum wage would lift pay for approximately 32 million workers in the United States, and, according to a CBO study, could cut unemployment and poverty rates.

The argument of those in favor of the bill is that so many of those who praised these workers for being ‘heroes’ at the beginning of the pandemic, and for putting themselves in potential harm’s way, are now being forgotten and pushed aside.

Those against the bill mainly voice their concerns for the economy; a spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott warned in an interview with Fox News that the bill would “put a boot on the neck of small businesses struggling under the weight of the pandemic”.

Student workers at Alma College oftentimes make minimum wage and would also be impacted by the proposed legislation. Some students recognize the controversy while others endorse the idea of an increased minimum wage.

“I think that we should be cognizant of the area we live, the cost of living, and small businesses as well,” said Alexis John (‘24). “The minimum wage in New York is higher than here, but so is the cost of living in New York. I would say that the minimum wage can be raised, but those factors are really important.”

“I can see how it can be controversial,” said Jason Dunquist (‘24). “But here’s what I think: a fifteen-dollar minimum wage isn’t going to ruin your life, but it’s definitely going to help other peoples’.”

Despite the bill being currently left out of the COVID relief package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a news conference, assured the American people that the bill was still a huge priority for Democrats like herself.

“It doesn’t mean it won’t happen just because it won’t happen there,” said Pelosi. “There’s so much in the package that has to be done right now, and we’ll do the best we can.”

Trump impeached week before end of term

JORDYN BRADLEY
SPORTS EDITOR

On Jan. 13, Donald Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The impeachment came one week before the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

There have only been four presidential impeachments in U.S. history: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Donald Trump twice–first in December 2019 then again just thirteen months later.

“The most recent impeachment comes from essentially the charge that he was leading an insurrection against his own government,” said Professor of Political Science Sandy Hulme.

“I don’t think there are more serious charges that have ever been leveled against a president.”

Hundreds of Trump supporters from across the country stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was set to begin the process of confirming Biden’s win of the presidential race. Trump has been vocal about believing the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and led a rally just an hour prior to Congress meeting where he told attendees, “We will never give up. We will never concede. We will stop the steal!”

As Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, many politicians from both sides urged Trump to make a statement to condemn the violent behavior. In a tweet, Trump said, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order–respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

He wrote after reminding everyone to support the Capitol Police and law enforcement. However, he still did not condemn the actions that took place. In the insurrection, five people died–including a Capitol police officer–and multiple others were injured.

One week following the attack on the Capitol, the House voted 232 to 197 in favor of impeaching Trump. In that initial vote on Jan. 13, ten Republicans voted for impeachment.

“The vast majority of Republicans did not vote to support impeachment, which I think is troublesome, because if what Trump was accused of doing actually is the truth–and if the charge of inciting an insurrection is not an impeachable offense–then literally there is no such thing as an impeachable offense,” said Hulme.

“It is very problematic that only ten Republicans supported impeachment.”

In fact, on Jan. 26, all but five Republican senators backed the former president, which might lead to the second acquittal for Trump since 2019.

Trump’s impeachment trial isn’t set to begin until Feb. 9, but proceedings began on Jan. 26. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul objected to the charges against Trump, arguing that impeachment is for removal from office, and Trump’s presidency has already ended.

Others also question whether impeaching the former president would do good at this point.

“My initial thoughts were that it was a ridiculous waste of time and money that the House would consider impeachment,” said Brenden Kurtze (‘24).

“It [would be] a waste of money and time because the only thing impeachment will accomplish is furthering the party divide in this country.”

Although he has already left office, Trump being charged with impeachment could still affect him and his potential future in politics. If the Senate votes to convict him–which requires 67 votes, or

two-thirds of the Senate–he will not lose his security detail because his term of office was terminated by the election and swearing in of Joe Biden, not by a conviction of an impeachment.

If convicted, however, the Senate could disqualify him from holding any federal elective office in the future, which means it would prevent him from running for president again in 2024.

“In 2016, Trump [brought] in people to vote who had never participated [before]. If Trump is effectively removed from the Republican party, those people are at risk of never voting for the Republicans,” said Hulme.

In 2020, voter turnout was at an all-time high. People went to polling locations who had never voted before. Many people who voted for Trump in either election weren’t previously affiliated with the Republican party; they voted for Trump, not the party. If Trump is unable to run again because he is convicted of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol–or he just chooses not to run again–many of those voters may not ever vote in a presidential election again.

A lot of information will be brought to the forefront in the coming weeks as the trial approaches.

“How [the Senate] chooses to [conduct the trial] will be based on the type of information that is developed between now and the beginning of the trial,” said Hulme.

“My sense is that if investigators begin to find connections in relationships between Trump and the insurrectionists between now and then, you are going to see an actual trial.”

Whether Trump ends up getting convicted or acquitted, this trial is an opportunity for the American public to learn information about the insurrection that is unknown at this point.

Unpacking the COVID-19 Vaccine

CLAIRE HIPPS
STAFF WRITER

Pfizer and BioNTech produced an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine found to be 95% effective in November. Despite the existence of this vaccine, many Americans are apprehensive about receiving it. According to AP/University of Chicago, 35% of Americans aged 18-29 said that they will not received the COVID-19 vaccine; another 22% said that they weren’t sure.

Despite potential mistrust of the vaccine in the student body, President Jeff Abernathy states that “We expect students, faculty and staff to receive the vaccine before the fall term. As with the flu vaccine, there will be exceptions for individual circumstances. The science is clear that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and that it saves lives”

COVID-19 has a “wide range of infection outcomes, ranging from asymptomatic to fatal,” said Timothy Keeton, an associate professor of biology here at Alma College focused on microbiology.

While the CDC outlines certain COVID-19 risk factors, like age or preexisting conditions, there are rare deaths amongst college students. The chronic effects following an infection are also unknown.

“I suspect we will discover that the virus causes more serious illness in individuals who unknowingly carry a certain version of a [presently unidentified] gene,” said Keeton. “Many fatalities are associated with an apparently hyper-active immune reaction, which ultimately causes most of the damage which kills the patient.”

The COVID-19 vaccine uses mRNA technology to combat the virus, which “utilizes modern genetic cloning technology to manufacture the genetic sequence of the desired target,” says Keeton. give your immune system directions on how to defend against the infection without introducing the virus itself, said Keeton. “None of the COVID-19 vaccines developed for human use involves live virus.”

That being said, mRNA vaccines cannot alter your DNA. “mRNA molecules do not survive long inside or outside your cells, [nor do they] gain access to your genetic ‘vault’ in the nucleus of your cells,” said Keeton.

As with many vaccines, there are some mild side effects that may occur when the vaccine is administered. “A common side effect to date with the mRNA vaccine is soreness at the injection site and sometimes general aches and pains, [as well as a] mild fever for 24 hours or so, especially following the booster injection,” said Keeton. “If you have known severe allergies, notify the clinic where you plan on getting your vaccine beforehand. They may have special instructions.”

Side effects are normal. “Know that [side effects] happen to many people and monitor your temperature for high fever. In most people this only lasts about 24 hours,” said Keeton.

Receiving the vaccine is integral for protection against the unknown effects of the virus. There is not enough evidence to determine whether or not exposure to the virus provides adequate immunity, as initial immune responses are oftentimes weak.

“We know that humans who have been infected usually are producing antibodies, but we do not know if those antibodies are protective,” said Keeton. “There is evidence which indicates

some people who have been infected may in fact be immune to a second debilitating infection but can still carry replicating virus in the respiratory system [and can thus transmit the virus to others].”

It is imperative that students take the vaccine within the guidelines outlined by the CDC. “You DO in fact need both doses,” said Keeton. “Some of our best vaccines provide long term or even lifelong immunity, but many do require periodic boosters. Be prepared to [receive boosters after the initial vaccine and] down the road.”

Although many compare COVID-19 to influenza, they are not the same infection. “Your flu shot from the fall will do NOTHING to help you against COVID-19,” said Keeton.

Despite the idea of herd immunity, “only those who are truly immune through vaccination or prior infection are truly protected,” said Keeton. “There will always be a small percentage of individuals who, due to pre-existing health conditions, cannot be vaccinated safely.”

The vaccine will likely be available to Alma College students in the summertime, according to Abernathy, although that estimate is subject to change.

COVID-19 has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. Serendipitously, each of us have the opportunity to prioritize our health and the health of others by receiving the vaccine in the recommended way.

Rioters storm the Capitol

AISHWARYA SINGH
STAFF WRITER

209 years ago, the United States saw one of its most violent attacks on what was symbolically the most significant building standing on its land- the US Capitol. The British knew the importance of the building, chose to burn it to down after looting it for that very reason.

209 years passed since the attack, and the nation protected and revered its Capitol with all of its might. It housed elected representatives that changed the course of American history, it was the venue chosen to draft documents that helped define the very essence of America, and it stood as a representation of American democracy.

209 years later, on the morning of Jan. 6’ 2021, history repeated itself.

Thousands of supporters of the now former President Donald J. Trump collected in front of the Capitol on Jan. 5 and 6 to protest the declared victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

While outside the Capitol, the rioters changed “Hang Mike Pence” for the Vice President’s inability to reject the final vote of the electoral college. Eventually, the protestors broke police barricading, claimed the walls protecting the Capitol, broke its doors and windows and entered to vandalize the building, loot the votes stored within and possibly hold hostage the officials present inside since many of them were carrying handcuffs.

Pictures from the time the rioters spent inside the building prove most invaluable in depicting the dystopian reality of what has come to be called an insurrection attempt on the American democracy. They show rioters hang from the balcony of the Senate Chambers, a weapon carrying protestor sitting on the desk of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a protestor with a Trump cap carrying a lectern with the Speaker’s seal on it.

Eventually, the ordeal ended with law enforcement successfully evacuating the officials within the building, firing tear gas, and even entering an armed confrontation with the protestors which resulted in four casualties, and one critically injured individual.

However, the incident wasn’t an impulsive reaction by a mob fueled by group think and polarization.

For months now, the rhetoric that the elections are rigged, will yield an illegitimate result, Trump’s loss will simply not be accepted have made the rounds of even the most prominent right wing circles. Had the former President, and his cabinet denounced these rumors early on, the situation may very well have not escalated. While the riots went on, the President failed to denounce the rioters effectively leading to him being banned from several of the world’s biggest social networking platforms, including Twitter and Instagram.

Post what the country saw on the morning of Jan. 6, many were certain the lawmakers, even those belonging to Trump’s cabinet, would move swiftly to impeach him. However, they have been left disappointed for more reasons than one.

“To me the most disturbing thing about the capitol violence was not the assault on the capitol — although that was very troubling — but rather what happened after the assault. About two-thirds of Republicans in the House voted against certifying the electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania,” said William Gorton, Associate Professor of Political Science. This signaled that they were quite possibly willing to nullify the results of a free and fair election. That’s the sort of thing that happens in failing democracies and autocratic regimes. One wonders what would have happened had the Republicans controlled the House and Senate. Would they have nullified Joe Biden’s win? Unfortunately, it’s quite imaginable that something like that might happen in future presidential races. American democracy is in a very precarious state.”

Eugenics bring controversy

HANNAH STIFFLER
STAFF WRITER

BAILEY LANGBO
HEAD EDITOR

Eugenics are defined as the arrangement of reproduction within the human population in order to increase the occurrence of certain desirable characteristics. The eugenics movement was first introduced to America in the early 20th century, despite its principles dating back to Ancient Greece. It was originally coined by Francis Galton in the late 1800s.

In 1897, Michigan was the first state to propose eugenics in legislation, which did not pass at the time. Several years later in 1913, Michigan passed this piece of legislation but primarily enforced it on those who were deemed “mentally defective” or “insane.”

The law was then adapted in 1923 for the addition of x-rays for vasectomies and salpingectomies and was expanded to those who were considered imbeciles but not insane. In 1929, the law was expanded to include those who were found to be harmful to the general public such as pedophiles, which was an even larger number of the population.

“In the 1920s, the Supreme Court voted on Buck v. Bell, which boiled down to the legalization of eugenics and forced sterilization of those deemed “unfit” to reproduce,” said Maria Ruedisueli (‘21).

“This statute has not been overturned and there have been thousands of forced sterilizations across the country since this passed.”

Since mid-September, there have been reports to the Department of Homeland Security about forced hysterectomies performed on immigrants who are located at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention center in Georgia. Hysterectomies are female sterilization, which cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs and sperm from meeting. Dawn Wooten, who used to work full-time at the detention center, was the nurse who raised these concerns.

In her report, she explained that immigrants were not receiving accurate information in regard to their treatments.

Forced sterilization has long been an issue within minority groups, and it appears that this time is no different. “Minorities have always been a target for the upper and middle Anglo-Saxton population,” said Ruedisueli. “It is fueled by an irrational fear of displacement and losing their status in society.”

Such is the case in prisons and detention centers now. Official complaints received by the Department of Homeland Security say that immigrants have specifically been targeted as of lately, as shown in Georgia. This maltreatment of immigrants and minority groups is a concept that has long been practiced within the United States.

There have been at least 148 women in California’s prisons from 2006-2010 who have reported forced hysterectomies. “Sterilization of women is still taking place in prisons as of quite recently, and with new reports, it appears that this trend is back again at the border,” said Ruedisueli.

While forced sterilization within the United States is still a problem, steps have been taken to lessen its frequency. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the government of the United States had begun to provide funding towards reproductive health for both men and women. President Obama signed the Eugenics Compensation Act into law in 2016 which has provided thousands of Americans federal safety net programs.

Election day in the United States is arriving quickly. There has been a lack of response from political officials regarding forced hysterectomies at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention center in Georgia.

Belarus – the last European Dictatorship

ARYAAN MISRA
STAFF WRITER

100,000 people on the streets, 12,000 arrested, 450 injured, and 50 missing.

These seemingly plain numbers carry on their shoulders the largest protest that Belarus has ever seen. A small landlocked country in Eastern Europe, Belarus emerged an independent state in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed. The country first held elections in 1994 which saw Alexander Lukashenko rise to power. Almost 25 years later, in 2020, the sixth Presidential elections were held, and Lukashenko won, again, for the sixth time. Belarusians took to the streets fearing five more years of the same leader that a majority of young Belarusians view as tyrannical. The protests were instigated when the election results gave Lukashenko an 80% majority of votes, which the opposition as well as some poll workers declared to be fraudulent.

Last week marked the 50th day of these protests, with protestors amassing support instead of diminishing in numbers. Belarusians between the ages of 18-40 seek change in a country fettered between unemployment and inflation. The real frustration of the protestors however doesn’t stem from economic issues, which are very real, but from the dictatorial style of governance adopted by the Lukashenko administration. Early 2020 saw the rise of a popular political commentator and blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky. His internet streams against President Lukashenko gained mass popularity, and he was seen by many as an alternative; an alternative with a real chance of victory. The popular will however was quashed before it bloomed into democratic participation as the present administration arrested Sergei under charges of treason.

This did not stop the movement, which was absorbed by Sergei’s wife, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, an English school teacher. The unprecedented presidential candidate rose to popularity, contrary to what most pundits speculated, including Lukashenko who claimed that a woman isn’t capable of the Office. Belarusians thought otherwise, and soon Svetlana became the face of the opposition movement—‘Stop the Coakroach’— alluding to the current President.

But popular support and democratic participation can go only so far while operating in a corrupt and dictatorial system. There is a reason Western scholars and journalists argue that Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship, and this was exemplified once the results were out. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was forced to seek political asylum in Lithuania as she faced threats from the current administration.

In the aftermath of the results several other female leaders disappeared from Minsk, capital of Belarus. One of them was Maria Kolesnikova. She was kidnapped by masked assailants and dragged into a van that drove up to the Ukraine border. There, she was forced to exile in Ukraine so as to limit her political influence. Political suppression isn’t new in this country, and this fact is driving the largest protests in the history of independent Belarus.

From BLM protests in US, to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, this year has been characterized by mass protests engulfing nations. But the impact of each protest has varied, and to understand this better we approached Dr. Hulme, professor of political science at Alma College. “The repression of post-election protests in Belarus continues a longstanding pattern of authoritarian rule in the country”, said Dr. Hulme. We also asked him about the future of the protests, and whether the international community can help. “While the international community, including the European Union and the United Nations, have urged authorities to refrain from violence, such key figures as China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have expressed support for the government and opposition to any external interference in the internal affairs of Belarus, making meaningful change unlikely in the foreseeable future.”

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