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Ever? Seems like you're better off sitting at home and eating your cornflakes.
But you probably need to live in 18th Century France. Or just France.
Just the ones you hear about on the news.
there were 37 arrests, but thousands of protestors peacefully had their say
But it has worked in the past.
Although people power does seem to be at an all-time low disregarding periods/areas of oppression, I believe that protesting is still a worthwhile cause if done in the correct manner.
it's about bringing an issue into the public conscience.
If done intelligently and sensitively, it leads to further, widespread debate which forces the government to discuss its position.
Agreed, lobbying is where the change happens but I think protest is often the only precursor which can put an issue into a domain in which lobbying takes place.
Often with protests it is not the people in charge that the message is intended for. You're right that "the man" may indeed cover his ears as he tries to maintain a situation to his advantage, but the important aspect of protesting is and always has been that it has the ability to form a nucleus of a social movement, one which can grow, influence, and absorb other members of society. And it doesn't matter who's "in charge", because they can only be in charge if they have control over the majority of the population. As soon as they lose their illusion of control and superiority, then they become just a few old men in a building in the capital.
directly influenced change.
my mum goes on at me so much about protesting as 'women died to give you the right to vote' then *slyly* influences my vote for both elections.
got the poll tax removed.
And people got to smash stuff up.
have managed to have the Olympic Flame extinguished three times ?! as far as I'm aware yesterday in London we Brits didn't manage to put it out once ! poor show Britain, poor show..
he was a Protestant.
The Chartists had protests of millions (with a much smaller population) and the Poll Tax protests weren't responsible for it's repeal.
What protests do achieve is putting the issue on the agenda, raising its profile and pulling people into the cause. From which point more people become active (yes, including lobbying) and organised.
What killed the poll tax was the amount of anti Poll Tax unions formed which encouraged and supported non payment. And very many of those unions formed as a direct result of people who became active as a result of the protests.
So yes, protesting works. Just not if everyone goes home a forgets about it afterwards.