bandh in Prithvi Highway near Bharatpur Nepal May 2008

A main form of protest in Nepal is known as a "bandh" - literally "closed." The goal is to stop all vehicular traffic until somebody pays attention to your issue. The police used to respond to these with force, but have become more selective about this, since it leads to escalation. Here is one which was carried out by middle school students just north of Bharatpur on the only highway leading into the Kathmandu Valley. The issue? getting enough textbooks for their school. Human Rights observers came. It held things up until 3 PM, when school normally lets out......in the meantime, we spent four extra hours on the road, and we had quite a distance to go before we were in Tansen. The tourists from Chicago got their introduction to Nepali politics. hey, it's better than shooting at each other......