Violent protests: do they ever work?

Hong Kong - Featured image 6

Last week we discussed the question: when is violence appropriate in a protest? That got us thinking about violent protests and whether they are ever successful. According to a BBC article, nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. We found this statistic quite shocking! Another article stated that, between 2000 and 2006, 70% of nonviolent campaigns succeeded. This was five times the success rate for violent ones. When put in the context of Hong Kong, where the protests seem to be becoming more and more violent, this only points to one outcome: that of failure.

This made us start to think about why this might be the case. Why might violent protests not succeed in their goals? Our initial thought was that, if people are out on the streets being violent, the government won’t listen to them or take them seriously. If there is violence, the government will need to spend most of their time responding to this by deploying police to put people in jail. They simply won’t have the time to listen to the demands of the people and put together a solution.

In addition, unfortunately violent people can be seen as less reasonable that non-violent people. This might make the government less likely to listen to them, as they may think they haven’t thought of the reasons behind their opinions. People that protest calmly, by giving speeches or writing letters often provide evidence for their thoughts, which is more likely to make people stop and take notice.

What do you think? Are the protests in Hong Kong going to succeed or are there more effective ways for the people to express their anger and get what they want?

References:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190513-it-only-takes-35-of-people-to-change-the-world

https://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/give-peace-a-chance-because-violent-change-doesnt-have-one/

Comments (9)

  • Braiswick Primary School spirited_insect | Braiswick Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    Exactly. The Government, like us human beings wont listen to other people who are fighting, or violent. But the Government of China aren't listening to violent protests or peaceful protests in Hong Kong's situation so we should think about this.

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg humble_hummingbird | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    Yes ,spirited _insect violet protests never work because or the Government won’t listen to other people (like China)won’t listen to people who are fighting!You have to calm your self down first then talk to the Government.

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  • Phoenix-logo-250x250.jpg admirable_signature | Phoenix Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    Violent Protest are not Acceptable in any case but no matter how long we try to stop Violent protesting we can not make people do anything,This a part of their freedom and human rights,.For example,on the internet i found out:An 18-year-old protester was shot in the chest with a live bullet - one of six live rounds fired by police.
    Protesters - some armed with poles, petrol bombs and other projectiles - fought pitched battles with police in several parts of Hong Kong.
    In all police made 269 arrests, more than on any day since protests began.
    Those detained ranged in age from 12 to 71. More than 100 people were taken to hospital and 30 police were injured.
    Tuesday's unrest saw police fire 900 rubber bullets and 1,400 rounds of tear gas. That compares with 1,000 tear gas canisters fired in the first two months of protests.The police will protest violently if they have no choice and by law it would be illegal to stop them from doing their job.Even if people we're under critical health,It is the police's job to arrest them by law as for we cannot harm others since its illegal.With all of this proof i have researched i believe that Violent Protests do work however we should Never EVER protest violently as it can harm ourself,others and the world.

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      admirable_signature's comment 08 Oct 2019

      Well done for doing some research to support your point! Please make sure you always write research in your own words, and include a link to the source where you found your information.

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo jolly_land | Hammond Junior School F
    08 Oct 2019

    wouldn't the violence make the government have to react because they need to stop them.

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  • Hammond School logo articulate_elephant | Hammond Junior School A
    08 Oct 2019

    useing violence is gonna get you nowhere but by have a sensible argument via peacefull protest

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  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg passionate_dinosaur | Portobello High School
    09 Oct 2019

    I think that protesting that involves violence is not aloud because people that want to share their opinion do not deserve to get hurt or put in jail. Also even if we try to stop violent protesting it is still happening.

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