The Case For Disruptive Protests

Not faux disruption or political theater, but actually inconveniencing people. Zaid Jilani:


Most people, when faced with a policy that makes them feel uncomfortable, will attempt to ignore the entire problem rather than fix it. That’s why these protests matter.

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2 Responses to The Case For Disruptive Protests

  1. Cameron says:

    When protestors decide to block traffic on freeways and streets with high traffic, they’re blocking emergency response vehicles. They’re taking one or two hours away from hourly employees (not to mention inflicting punitive damage, as some employees suffer repercussions for being late). And worse, they’re doing the cause a disservice; the news is no longer about the cause they’re championing, but rather the damage caused by protestors.

    More effective protesting would target that inconvenience at policymakers. The ones who can actually help create and enforce change.

    When people say “we want to be heard” they need to consider a few things:
    * What is the message they’re sending? Not just with their words, but with their actions.
    * Who are they trying to reach with that message?
    * Do their actions send the message they want to their intended audience?
    * How can they measure the success of their actions? How can they publicize that success? (In short, how can they demonstrate the value of “raising awareness?”)

    The point is that many protests are ill-conceived and essentially just for the media, which gives them the perceived value of a Facebook like. If they focused on demonstrating their value to the cause alongside championing the cause, people might take them a bit more seriously. With that in mind, thoughtless organization detracts from the value of the cause, and that’s something they should consider.

  2. anthrosciguy says:

    The French manage to keep much of their gains, while we lose ours. They don’t just protest, they riot. Tell me that hasn’t been effective.

    Way more effective than our waiting for “out of the goodness of their hearts” to come into play.

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