Anatomy of a an effective protest

Had been involved when one was idealist and young. And strong minds in the room when protests were planned. Here I thought are an effective away to protest.
  • There must be numbers to send an effective message. The hardest work is here, getting the numbers.
  • Seize the moment - it must be done when it is current and top of mind for most people. I thought the vigil for Sarah Everrard was spot on here.
  • Sometimes administrative laws have to be broken - as in the Sarah Everard vigil case. An application was put thru it was rejected, clearly indicating that the authorities did not recognise how important it was. The authorities could have said yes and helped organise an orderly protest with social distancing in place. (super spreaders or otherwise, some causes are worth the sacrifice)
  • Bring the people with you and respect property, private and public. Lose the people and you lose the cause.
What you should not do
  • Don't allow a small segment to hijack the event. Go public and disassociate yourself from them. Fail to do this and your cause is tarred.
  • Don't bait the Police for PR opportunities. It is frequent and a bad habit. A common fallacy of dimwits is to think the public is not with the Police.
  • Don't marginalise the public by inconveniencing them such as disrupting public transport and with gratuitous tactics.
  • Don't waste your time with parliamentary petitions. It never did anything. Use your feet and the right to assemble.
Revolution is a whole different ball game. The first sign is when the public service is split and people as a whole are clearly on the opposite wide of authority. lll
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Still a bit involved now and then.

Was very impressed on the whole with the XR actions.

A few missteps, where the public got pissed off by poorly thought through actions.

Such as the commuter train business.

But for a non hierarchical organisation, with no 'central control' just a very strong ethos of non violence, care taking of participants, and three simple demands, they've done pretty well.

And no drugs, no alcohol, no violence, or hate speech.

There was criticism around the whole suggestion that it's useful to 'get yourself arrested' part of things.

As there are bigger consequences for some groups for doing that, than for others, so that led to a charge of it all being a bit 'middle class, and white' in some circles*.

But all that was clearly laid out, for any participants, and the fact that people who are likely to be best insulated from the worst consequences of CC in their lifetimes, are prepared to put themselves up front, and in the cells says something maybe.??

Public awareness has been raised, and some action taken at national and regional level.. Around CC.
Same with Fridays for future.

Of course there's been a bit of frothing around the pointless actions of 'The great unwashed, unemployed, rent a mob*'

But I think that's inevitable.

Despite most of us having perfectly serviceable bathrooms, often full time employment, and not being paid for our time, by anyone.


It will be interesting to see what happens with the COP and its fringe in November this year.

Really feels like last chance stuff.

Looks like there could be quite a summer of disruption around many other issues.

Violence against women, the right to protest, in itself, and other social justice issues.

As some of us are wont to say

*Environmentalism, without social justice, is really just a nice bit of gardening.. :angel:

(*lor we do like to tie ourselves up into intersectionality knots over all this :laugh:
 

Eric Olthwaite

Insert witty self-deprecating description here
Environmentalism, without social justice, is really just a nice bit of gardening

or we do like to tie ourselves up into intersectionality knots over all this
Superb demolition of the concept of intersectionality.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Don't bother supporting cause A, unless you also support cause B
Well that's not what I was meaning.

It's more about recognising that systemic inequality, and social injustice, is part of both the cause and effect of environmental degregation.

It's all interconnected.
 

the snail

Guru
Location
Chippenham
Had been involved when one was idealist and young. And strong minds in the room when protests were planned. Here I thought are an effective away to protest.
  • There must be numbers to send an effective message. The hardest work is here, getting the numbers.
  • Seize the moment - it must be done when it is current and top of mind for most people. I thought the vigil for Sarah Everrard was spot on here.
  • Sometimes administrative laws have to be broken - as in the Sarah Everard vigil case. An application was put thru it was rejected, clearly indicating that the authorities did not recognise how important it was. The authorities could have said yes and helped organise an orderly protest with social distancing in place. (super spreaders or otherwise, some causes are worth the sacrifice)
  • Bring the people with you and respect property, private and public. Lose the people and you lose the cause.
What you should not do
  • Don't allow a small segment to hijack the event. Go public and disassociate yourself from them. Fail to do this and your cause is tarred.
  • Don't bait the Police for PR opportunities. It is frequent and a bad habit. A common fallacy of dimwits is to think the public is not with the Police.
  • Don't marginalise the public by inconveniencing them such as disrupting public transport and with gratuitous tactics.
  • Don't waste your time with parliamentary petitions. It never did anything. Use your feet and the right to assemble.
Revolution is a whole different ball game. The first sign is when the public service is split and people as a whole are clearly on the opposite wide of authority. lll
Not sure this makes much sense really. One person can make an impact - like the woman who threw herself under the King's horse.
Sometimes people protest when an issue has gone off the public radar. A demo/protest pretty much always involves disruption to the public, and the police could probably nick you in any situation under some pretext or other. If someone wants to hijack your demo, there's probably not much you can do about it.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Don't bother supporting cause A, unless you also support cause B
Are you The People's Popular Front of Judea or The Judean People's Front?
 

HMS_Dave

Grand Old Lady
Location
Midlands
Like anything. A protest can be completely ruined by thugs. Contrary to my views on recent Bristol "protests" i support the right to protest. Sometimes it is all we have. Revolutions tend to require more calories than most are willing to expend...

Occasionally one single protester can have leave a lasting image that will stand up in history for many many years indeed, such as "Tank Man" in 1989.

tiananmen-square-front.jpg


However this image with a yob with a fag in his mouth giving the bird just doesn't do or mean anything and is a waste of pixels...

2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fcb1c8d5a-8b03-11eb-a1a3-928d43a3bbc1.jpg


I think we all know which leaves the biggest impression. Yes, it does matter if you want the whole country and indeed the world to stand up for your cause...
 
OP
Arrowfoot

Arrowfoot

Guru
Not sure this makes much sense really. One person can make an impact - like the woman who threw herself under the King's horse.
Sometimes people protest when an issue has gone off the public radar. A demo/protest pretty much always involves disruption to the public, and the police could probably nick you in any situation under some pretext or other. If someone wants to hijack your demo, there's probably not much you can do about it.
Acknowledge that an individual can make a difference such as the guy facing the tanks in Tianamen.

Agree there will be disruption but deliberately sitting on tramlines as an example and a whole different thing. You upset a lot of people. It is not necessary. Note it is typically done when they don't have the numbers. Sarah Everard protest has nothing to do with disruption. It is an example of an effective protest.

You can't stop hijacks but if you are the organiser you have all the opportunity to come out and make an unequivocal statement that your cause and your protest have nothing to do with this those who burnt police vehicles and vandalised property. You will get the public on your side and these troublemakers know that it is not wanted.

What is important is not to miss the opportunity to assemble and protest if your cause is right. Numbers make the difference. Some organisers are lazy to put in the hard yards and bring along the same small group of our version of rent a mob.

I do remember in my younger days where there was always a group whose intention was confrontation and fun. They never attend the planning stages and just appear.
 
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OP
Arrowfoot

Arrowfoot

Guru
Still a bit involved now and then.

Was very impressed on the whole with the XR actions.

A few missteps, where the public got pissed off by poorly thought through actions.
I am still am taking in the XR protest. I still do not know who the actual organisers are but it clearly showed a lot of planning went into it. It did catch me off guard. I don't think the public was with them as it was getting into the anarchist spectrum. That part of the spectrum lost it lustre long time ago. People associated with them moved into or formed NGOs which became more effective years ago.

These causes also don't provide the authorities or anyone with a position to negotiate anything and I don't think they are looking to negotiate anything. More gratuitous tactics.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
I am still am taking in the XR protest. I still do not know who the actual organisers are but it clearly showed a lot of planning went into it. It did catch me off guard. I don't think the public was with them as it was getting into the anarchist spectrum. That part of the spectrum lost it lustre long time ago. People associated with them moved into or formed NGOs which became more effective years ago.

These causes also don't provide the authorities or anyone with a position to negotiate anything and I don't think they are looking to negotiate anything. More gratuitous tactics.
Well regarding the XR thing, many local authorities ramped up their climate action work, as a direct result.

Of course other influences were at play too - that's always the way.

There's been public consultation, and 'expert' panels on necessary change.

Even action taken.

It reinvigorated a lot of interest on many levels, and garnered support for the pre existing ecologically orientated organisations. .

At national governmental level it's a bit easier to get leverage on matters environmental, for those of us who are involved the ongoing practical side of that kind of work .

Many companies are falling over themselves to be associated with all things green.

Of course some people got annoyed by it all, but a non disruptive protest is a bit of a contradiction in terms.

The organisers are groups formed all over the country. Who come together create individual actions.

I'm not involved in any of that, but I know some people who are, from all sorts of professional backgrounds.
Some clearly with good management skills.

There was very little, if any, of the slightly menacing, or thuggish type behaviour that could be seen, at other protests.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
My anatomy of an effective protest includes picking a winning cause.

The murder of an attractive woman in London is a slam dunk in that respect, the death of a heroin addict in a back street in Leeds not so much.

Also keep it simple, no one is interested in the ins and outs of your pet issue.

A good slogan is another must.

'Kill the Bill' works in most respects, although the word 'kill' may be off putting to some sandal wearers.

'Bin the Bill' would have more universal appeal, and a little alliteration is never a bad thing.
 
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