Sunday, July 21, 2013

How To Organize Boycotts, Protests, And Demonstrations, Part Two

In yesterday's post, "How To Organize Boycotts, Protests, And Demonstrations, Part One," we went over the basics and the history of political activism.  We should have noted that a web search for the subject found a majority of the essays coming from the Left and Moderate sites, while a search on one of our recent postings on "How To Take Over A Political Precinct" found most of the posts emanating from Conservative writers.

Wikipedia lists the types of demonstrations under their entry on "Protests":

"Forms of Protest

"See also: Repertoire of contention

"Commonly recognized forms of protest include:

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

"Public demonstration or political rally

Demonstrators marching outside the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

"Some forms of direct action listed in this article are also public demonstrations or rallies.

"Protest march, a historically and geographically common form of nonviolent action by groups of people.

Big government protesters fill the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall on September 12, 2009.

"Picketing, a form of protest in which people congregate outside a place of work or location where an event is taking place. Often, this is done in an attempt to dissuade others from going in ("crossing the picket line"), but it can also be done to draw public attention to a cause.

"Street protesters, characteristically, work alone, gravitating towards areas of high foot traffic, and employing handmade placards such as sandwich boards or picket signs in order to maximize exposure and interaction with the public.

Protest march in Palmerston North, New Zealand

"Lockdowns and lock-ons are a way to stop movement of an object, like a structure or tree and to thwart movement of actual protesters from the location. Users employ various chains, locks and even the sleeping dragon for impairment of those trying to remove them with a matrix of composted materials.

"Die-ins are a form of protest where participants simulate being dead (with varying degrees of realism). In the simplest form of a die-in, protesters simply lie down on the ground and pretend to be dead, sometimes covering themselves with signs or banners. Much of the effectiveness depends on the posture of the protesters, for when not properly executed, the protest might look more like a "sleep-in". For added realism, simulated wounds are sometimes painted on the bodies, or (usually "bloody") bandages are used.

"Protest song is a song which protests perceived problems in society. Every major movement in Western history has been accompanied by its own collection of protest songs, from slave emancipation to women's suffrage, the labor movement, civil rights, the anti-war movement, the feminist movement, the environmental movement. Over time, the songs have come to protest more abstract, moral issues, such as injustice, racial discrimination, the morality of war in general (as opposed to purely protesting individual wars), globalization, inflation, social inequalities, and incarceration.

"Radical cheerleading. The idea is to ironically reappropriate the aesthetics of cheerleading, for example by changing the chants to promote feminism and left-wing causes. Many radical cheerleaders (some of whom are male, transgender or non-gender identified) are in appearance far from the stereotypical image of a cheerleader.

"Critical Mass bike rides have been perceived as protest activities. A 2006 New Yorker magazine article described Critical Mass' activity in New York City as "monthly political-protest rides", and characterized Critical Mass as a part of a social movement;[4] and the UK e-zine Urban75, which advertises as well as publishes photographs of the Critical Mass event in London, describes this as "the monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the streets of London."[5] However, Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations.[6][7] This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police.[8][9]

Protesters outside the Oireachtas in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

"Toyi-toyi is a Southern African dance originally from Zimbabwe that became famous for its use in political protests in the apartheid-era South Africa, see Protest in South Africa.

"Written demonstration

"Written evidence of political or economic power, or democratic justification may also be a way of protesting.


"Letters (to show political power by the volume of letters): For example, some letter writing campaigns especially with signed form letter

"Civil Disobedience Demonstrations

"Any protest could be civil disobedience if a “ruling authority” says so, but the following are usually civil disobedience demonstrations:

FEMEN protesting in Ukraine against patriarchy
"Public nudity or topfree (to protest indecency laws or as a publicity stunt for another protest such as a war protest) or animal mistreatment (e.g.PETA's campaign against fur). See also Nudity and protest.


"Raasta roko (people blocking auto traffic with their bodies)

"As a residence

"Peace camp

"Formation of a tent city

"Camp for Climate Action


"Riot - Protests or attempts to end protests sometimes lead to rioting.



"Hunger strike


"Direct action

"Civil resistance[10]

"Nonviolent resistance


"Protesting a government

Protest in Wisconsin State Capitol.

"Tax resistance

"Conscientious objector

"Flag desecration

"Protesting a military shipment

"Port Militarization Resistance - protests which attempt to prevent military cargo shipments.

"By government employees

The District of Columbia issues license plates protesting the "taxation without representation" that occurs due to its special status.
"Bully pulpit

"Judicial activism

"Job action

"Main article: Industrial action

"Strike action



"In sports

"During a sporting event, under certain circumstances, one side may choose to play a game "under protest", usually when they feel the rules are not being correctly applied. The event continues as normal, and the events causing the protest are reviewed after the fact. If the protest is held to be valid, then the results of the event are changed. Each sport has different rules for protests.

"By management


"By tenants

"Rent strike

"By consumers


"Consumer Court


"Informative letters, letter writing campaigns, letters to the editor




"Civil disobedience to censorship

"Samizdat (distributing censored materials)

"Protest Graffiti

"By Internet and social networking

Protesters in Zuccotti Park who are part of Occupy Wall Street using the Internet to get out their message over social networking as events happen, September 2011

"Blogging and social networking have become effective tools to register protest and grievances. Protests can express views, news and use viral networking to reach out to thousands of people.
Literature, art, culture

"Culture jamming

"Protests against religious or ideological institutions


"Book burning"

And under their article, "Demonstrations (People)," Wikipedia notes the other basics of direct protests:

American Civil Rights March on Washington, leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963.

"There are many types of demonstrations, including a variety of elements. These may include:

"Marches, in which a parade demonstrate while moving along a set route.
"Rallies, in which people gather to listen to speakers or musicians.
"Picketing, in which people surround an area (normally an employer).
"Sit-ins, in which demonstrators occupy an area, sometimes for a stated period but sometimes indefinitely, until they feel their issue has been addressed, or they are otherwise convinced or forced to leave.
"Nudity, in which they protest naked - here the antagonist may give in before the demonstration happens to avoid embarrassment.

"Demonstrations are sometimes spontaneous gatherings, but are also utilized as a tactical choice by movements. They often form part of a larger campaign of nonviolent resistance, often also called civil resistance. Demonstrations are generally staged in public, but private demonstrations are certainly possible, especially if the demonstrators wish to influence the opinions of a small or very specific group of people. Demonstrations are usually physical gatherings, but virtual or online demonstrations are certainly possible.

"Sometimes, particularly with controversial issues, groups of people opposed to the aims of a demonstration may themselves launch a counter-demonstration with the aim of opposing the demonstrators and presenting their view. Clashes between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators may turn violent.

"Government-organized demonstrations are demonstrations which are organized by a government. The Islamic Republic of Iran,[3][4] the People's Republic of China,[5] Republic of Cuba,[6] the Soviet Union[7][dead link] and Argentina,[8] among other nations, have had government-organized demonstrations.

"Times And Locations

"Sometimes the date or location chosen for the demonstration is of historical or cultural significance, such as the anniversary of some event that is relevant to the topic of the demonstration.

"Locations are also frequently chosen because of some relevance to the issue at hand. For example, if a demonstration is targeted at issues relating to foreign nation, the demonstration may take place at a location associated with that nation, such as an embassy of the nation in question.

"Nonviolence Or Violence

Orange Revolution demonstrations lasted so long that demonstrators set up tents.
"Protest marches and demonstrations are a common nonviolent tactic. They are thus one tactic available to proponents of strategic nonviolence. However, the reasons for avoiding the use of violence may also derive, not from a general doctrine of nonviolence or pacifism, but from considerations relating to the particular situation that is faced, including its legal, cultural and power-political dimensions: this has been the case in many campaigns of civil resistance.[9]

"Some demonstrations and protests can turn, at least partially, into riots or mob violence against objects such as automobiles and businesses, bystanders and the police.[citation needed] Police and military authorities often use non-lethal force or less-lethal weapons, such as tasers, rubber bullets,pepper spray, and tear gas against demonstrators in these situations.[citation needed] Sometimes violent situations are caused by the preemptive or offensive use of these weapons which can provoke, destabilize, or escalate a conflict.

"As a known tool to prevent the infiltration by agents provocateurs,[10] the organizers of large or controversial assemblies may deploy and coordinatedemonstration marshals, also called stewards.[11][12]

Demonstration in front of the British parliament

"Laws By Country: The U.S.

"The First Amendment of the United States Constitution specifically allows peaceful demonstrations and the freedom of assembly as part of a measure to facilitate the redress of such grievances. "Amendment I: Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."[16]

"A growing trend in the United States has been the implementation of "free speech zones," or fenced-in areas which are often far-removed from the event which is being protested; critics of free-speech zones argue that they go against the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by their very nature, and that they lessen the impact the demonstration might otherwise have had. In many areas it is required to get permission from the government to hold a demonstration.

"Before getting into the lessons in how to start your own boycotts, protests, and demonstrations tomorrow, Wikipedia also has some additional entries having to do with direct political action by the People:

"Activist Wisdom
Civil resistance
Crowd controlFare strike
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
I Protest
Nonviolent Resistance
Port Militarization Resistance
Protest art
Public Library Advocacy
Right to protest
Social criticism
Tactical frivolity
List of uprisings led by women"

Now you have the complete background and history at your fingertips, and...

Next: Boycotts, Protests, And Demonstrations, DIY.


"I want to go ahead of Father Time with a scythe of my own."

H. G. Wells


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