The famous Tahrir Square in Egypt looked different at the time of the Arab Spring – up until the new military government ringed its central part with an iron fence. A similar transformation happened with the Pearl roundabout in the capital of Bahrain where demonstrators used to gather – it was turned into a traffic junction. In Moscow the square where millions called for the end of Soviet rule in 1991 now houses an hideous shopping mall. For a pro-liberty movement to raise its head, Twitter is not enough: face-to-face contact is crucial. That is why when oppressive governments want to destroy civil society, they destroy public spaces. Street markets, green squares and lively are places where citizens meet, negotiate and slowly learn to trust each other. Read more here.