The Most Important Figures Fighting For Democracy That You Have Never Heard Of

Democracy is a wonderful thing but all around the world, and in some of the most democratic countries in the world, there is great pushback against the great equalizer.

2020 and 2021 have shown most of the world what it is like to live under government control in one form or another, and there have been many who struggled throughout history and in the present day to push back against complete government control.

Most of the world has been forced to live under a dictatorship, and most of the world has experienced tyranny at some point in history, but there are those brave figures who, for their own reasons, have chosen to fight against the tyrant.

What Is Democracy and Why Is It Important?

Democracy is a form of government in which all the citizens have the right and privilege to choose their own representatives to represent them in a public assembly. A democracy is made up of the people, and not ruled by one person or an elite few.

A democracy, in theory, requires participation from everyone who has a right to vote for elected officials. 

It is maintained by free and fair elections with universal suffrage as well as fundamental freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association; respecting individual rights such as privacy; enforcing due process (rule of law); protecting human rights; holding periodic fair elections where every adult citizen has an equal say via secret ballot (universal suffrage); and tolerating dissent through freedom of expression.

The Alternatives To Democracy

Ruling by democracy is not the only way to run a country or a society, there are a number of other alternatives that have been used throughout history. Some of these are tyrannical in nature, rather than democratic.

These alternatives include:

  • Autocracy – A form of government in which one person or a very small group of people holds the power, often through coercive means.
  • Oligarchy – A select few rule over or dominate the society in a non-democratic fashion. 
  • Theocracy – Belief that religion should control all aspects of government, including law and policy; usually ruled by an elected deity (god) 

Fighting For Democracy

There have been many famous people fighting for democracy over the centuries, but here are a few you may not have heard of before.

Agnes Chow: Democracy Blogger

Agnes Chow was born in Hong Kong but moved to Canada at the age of 11. She studied film and theatre at York University in Toronto where she also wrote for a few magazines. 

She started her blog in 2006 to help with her mission of promoting democracy around the world. At its peak, Agnes Chows Blog received over 4 million views per year and was one of the top 100 blogs on the internet. In 2014, Agnes Chow began a political career by running for the Hong Kong Island by-election.

After Agnes died, the blog remained online. Her blog is now maintained by Agnes’ mother, and friends.

Mark Dubowitz: Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mark Dubowitz: foundation for defense of democracies is the CEO and Chief Strategy Officer.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a Washington, DC-based think tank that is dedicated to providing critical insight and analysis. Its main goal is to achieve victory for the West in its persistent struggle with radical Islamism by framing the U.S.’s strategic and political interests through an abundance of knowledge in Middle East Affairs, Counter-Terrorism, Iran, Iraq and Egypt.

Mark Dubowitz has been involved in various international organizations including the Center for Persian Gulf Studies in Washington DC and The Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

He was educated as a Middle East Analyst after graduating from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he earned his MBA. 

Dolores Huerta: Co-Founder of United Farm Workers

Dolores Huerta was a co-founder of United Farm Workers (UFW). She is recognized for her role in the nonviolent civil rights movement for farmworkers. 

Her co-founders included Cesar Chavez and Alpheus M. Newman, among other figures of significance to the Civil Rights Movement. 

Dolores Huerta’s activism was primarily focused on improving union power amongst farmworkers in California through organizing boycotting of produce and promoting strikes, which succeeded in establishing a national system of labor law reform. 

The impact that she had on society cannot be understated given her work as an advocate for social justice and worker rights with an emphasis on gender equality. Through her work as a co-founder and leader of the United Farm Workers, she established strong female leadership and showed that women could be leaders in major movements.

Gloria Steinem: Women’s Rights Activist

Gloria Steinem was a well-known political activist for women’s rights throughout the 1960s and 1970’s in the United States. 

Her activism during this time period resulted in her being recognized as one of “the most influential activists of all time,” by Time Magazine. 

She was the co-founder of several notable organizations including the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from 1966-1973 and NOW (National Organization for Women), which is widely known as one of the most influential activist groups in American history.

Pancho Daniel Lopez: Activist For Labor Rights

Pancho Daniel Lopez was an activist for labor rights. He was involved in the movement to gain better working conditions and pay for farm workers in California. 

Between the years 1967 and 1971, Pancho Daniel Lopez organized a series of workers’ marches that resulted in public awareness of the fact that farmworkers were not receiving fair wages.

 Jimmy Lai: Falun Gong

Jimmy Lai is a political and business leader in Hong Kong. He was born in 1945 and had a very interesting past before founding Mango Tree Limited. Jimmy has been labeled as the “father of Hong Kong’s democracy movement.”

James L. Lai was educated in Australia at the University of Sydney where he received a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a master’s degree in Economics. He later attended Harvard University where he received a Doctorate Degree in Economics.

He helped in the creation of the Democratic Party and was successful in his goal to have Hong Kong’s government directly elected by the people. He was also responsible for the creation of Falun Gong, an organization that is still standing strong today.