rattle the cage
to make someone feel worried or upset ; To purposefully anger, upset, or unnerve one, especially to affect their performance or undermine their credibility. (freedictionary)
Rattling the cage. Protests by women students for equality in hostel rules have sparked a debate on gender bias on campus. It's a first step.
Some protests may look like a sign of democratic decay amid a rise of populism and alienation with the political status quo—for example, in Brazil, the United States or France. Others may look like a futile rattling of the political cage under growing illiberalism and authoritarianism, such as in Hungary, Morocco or Thailand. More optimistically, protests in places like Algeria, Venezuela and Sudan may signal a heartening indicator of the persistent aspiration for democracy and peoples’ willingness to fight for it in very different parts of the world.
TORONTO -- After the furor at the Toronto International Film Festival over its Israeli film spotlight, now it's the turn of Arab filmmakers to rattle the festival's cage.
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