10 Political Protests That Changed The World

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    <p>Iran’s capital of Tehran is currently mired in political protests over its recent and disputed presidential election. Most of the demonstrators are gathered in the hopes of forcing a vote recount, and they may well get it, if history is any indication.</p><p>Political protests &mdash; both violent, peaceful and downright strange &mdash; have a rich past, with varied degrees of success in accomplishing what they originally set out to do.</p><p>The following historically significant political protests include a decisive event in the Civil Rights movement, two <a href="http://www.livescience.com/history/090525-top10-historical-events.html">history-changing moments</a> that occurred within one year and the medieval defiance of one man:</p><p><strong>The Protestant Reformation</strong><br /> The <a href="http://www.livescience.com/technology/080526-hs-gutenberg.html">Protestant Reformation</a> began with the quietest and most orderly single protest in this list &mdash; the nailing to the door of a German church a treatise on the abuses of Catholicism by Martin Luther, in 1517. However, the movement that followed would ultimately spill blood and tear empires apart.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Storming of the Bastille</strong><br /> This one act of July 14, 1789, has come to symbolize the entire <a href="http://www.livescience.com/history/top10_weather_history.html">French Revolution</a> and indeed was a major catalyst to the 10-year-long rebellion against the crown. On that day, a throng of Parisians descended on the Bastille (long a symbol of royal authority and excess), beheaded its governor and overtook the prison. <br /> <br /> <strong>Boston Tea Party</strong><br /> Despite its quaint-sounding name, the 1773 "<a href="http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?s=history&amp;c=news&amp;l=on&amp;pic=090616-boston-tea-party-02.jpg&amp;cap=An+engraving+of+the+Boston+Tea+Party+from+a+1789+book.+Credit%3A+Library+of+Congress&amp;title=">tea party</a>" was in fact a bitter reaction to harsh new&nbsp; British taxation acts. Over the course of three hours on Dec. 16, more than 100 colonists secretly boarded three British ships arriving in harbor and dumped 45 tons of tea into the water. The unorthodox protest was a key precursor to the American Revolution. <br /> <br /> <strong>Gandhi’s Salt March, 1930</strong><br /> Another protest against British taxation sent Mahatma Gandhi on a 23-day, 240-mile journey to the coast of India to collect his own salt, which was illegal under crown laws. More than 60,000 people, including Gandhi himself, were incarcerated for participating in the salt march, but it ultimately <a href="http://www.livescience.com/history/080908-hs-gandhi.html">turned the tide of world sympathy</a> towards Indian, rather than British, interests.<br /> <br /> <strong>South Africa’s</strong> <strong>National Day of Protest</strong><br /> Nelson Mandela’s ANC party organized this anti-apartheid work stoppage in 1950, in retaliation for a new bill effectively allowing the government to investigate any political party or organization. On June 26, hundreds of thousands of South Africans participated in the "Stay at Home," a tactic that was used several times in the next decade. June 26 was celebrated as National Freedom Day in South Africa until 1994.<br /> <br /> <strong>March on Washington</strong><br /> Martin Luther King’s historic "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered during this August 1963 rally to promote racial equality in the United States. More than 200,000 demonstrators gathered peacefully at the L

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