Monday, November 21, 2016

Why do some protests work while others fail?

"One of the most consistent answers I got was that protesters should realize that protests aren’t enough. There’s a real risk of catharsis being the start and end of the resistance to Trump: Protesting feels good and righteous, but if nothing comes after then it may not accomplish that much. It’s key, therefore, to understand the limits of protests and to put them in a broader activism context. 'There are some people that think that protests solve everything; you just have a protest, it’s going to make everything change,' said Fabio Rojas, a professor at Indiana University and the author of From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline. 'That’s not true — it is a tool that does a very specific thing, and you have to understand that when you start out.'
Protests are effective — sometimes very effective, in the case of big ones — at drawing attention to a given cause, and all else being equal they have an impact. 'There’s a lot of research showing that there is an effect of protest on policy,' he said. 'If you protest rather than do nothing, that does seem to attract attention, and that does seem to make institutions lean in your direction.' But beyond that, it’s important, Rojas said, to have a clear sense of what a given protest is for.' What are you really trying to accomplish with a protest? Are you trying to influence a specific policy? Are you trying to build solidarity within the movement? Are you trying to persuade people who are watching the movement, or even trying to persuade people on the other side of the movement?'”

What to protest about and what to do along with protesting seem to be 2 key parts of success.

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