Group sitting at cafe overlooking the White House

I nuovi nemici dello spazio pubblico

NEW YORK – Prima degli attacchi terroristici di Parigi, organizzare una manifestazione in una piazza pubblica della città era legale. Ora non lo è più. In Uganda, anche se i cittadini che sostengono le campagne contro la corruzione o quelle a favore dei diritti dei gay spesso si trovano di fronte ad un pubblico ostile, non hanno finora rischiato il carcere per aver manifestato. Ma ora, con un nuovo statuto terribilmente vago, c’è il rischio di essere incarcerati. In Egitto le autorità governative hanno fatto irruzione e hanno chiuso diversi istituti culturali prominenti, tra cui una galleria d’arte, un teatro ed una casa editrice, dove gli artisti e gli attivisti erano soliti riunirsi.

Sembra che in tutto il mondo si stiano chiudendo dei muri sugli spazi che le persone utilizzano per ritrovarsi, riunirsi, esprimersi liberamente e mostrare apertamente dissenso. Anche se internet ed altre tecnologie della comunicazione hanno estremamente facilitato l’esprimersi apertamente a livello tecnico, uno stato onnipresente e la supervisione a livello commerciale hanno fatto in modo che l’espressione, l’associazione e la protesta venissero sempre più limitate. In breve, esprimere la propria opinione non ha mai richiesto tanto coraggio quanto adesso.

Questo cambiamento mi ha riguardato molto da vicino. A novembre, infatti, l’Open Society Foundations (i filantropi globali di George Soros, di cui sono a capo) è stata la seconda organizzazione a finire in una blacklist secondo una legge russa entrata in vigore a maggio che permette al procuratore generale di interdire le organizzazioni estere e sospendere il sostegno finanziario agli attivisti locali. Dato che chiunque abbia a che fare con noi rischia di essere perseguito e messo in carcere, non abbiamo avuto altra scelta che chiudere le relazioni con dozzine di cittadini russi a cui davamo sostegno nei loro sforzi di preservare qualche frammento della democrazia nel loro paese.

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