Now days we think of a protest as going on a march, making banners and getting people to join in. But through out history protesting has taken lots of different forms. In this post I will be looking at some of them and thinking about which have worked and which haven't.
Peaceful protests are protests that don't include riots or any other things that can cause harm to other people. For example, marching around with a banner does not cause harm to any one or any thing. Here are some examples of peaceful protesting:
A sit-in protest is a form of protest where people sit down in a public place and refuse to move until their demands are met. A local example of a sit-in protest is when protesters refused to leave Carnegie Library in South London because it was going to be closed and turned into a gym. The demonstrators stayed there for nine days and nights until the council agreed to keep the library open.
Boycotting is also an example of peaceful protesting because it isn't harming anyone. Boycotting is when someone refuses to buy a product because either they disagree what the product is made of or it is bad for the enviroment. Trade sanctions is basically boycotting on a larger level, for example when one country refuses to trade with another and boycotts their products. A country might decide to use trade sanctions because they disagree with what the other government is doing and wants to send a message or warning.
Protests where lives might be lost:
Hunger strikes are when people refuse to eat and drink because they want to be heard by leaders. Hunger strikers are usually in prison for their political views. The longest hunger strike lasted 16 years and was done by Irom Chanu Sharmila in India. Irom was a political prisoner and was force fed by a tube up her nose. She was released in 2016 and started her own political party.
Violent Protests like the storming of the Capitol after Biden won the election:
After the USA election result Trump supporters believed that Biden had won the election by cheating. They decided to protest because they wanted a new election. Demonstrators went into the Capitol building with weapons and were prepared to cause harm to make themselves heard. The protestors did not succeed but five people died during the protest.
Which are the most effective, peaceful protests or non-peaceful?
Protests which end up being violent or with people being hurt or dying do get a lot of publicity. Maybe more publicity than peaceful protests. We are all very interested in people who risk their lives for a cause because it makes the cause seem important and worthwhile. But I think that more people are willing to join in with peaceful protests because they know that no one will get hurt. This means that peaceful protests get larger numbers of supporters. Just look at Greta Thunberg! The climate change protests are now world wide and not one person has been hurt. I think that it depends on what you are fighting for and that peaceful protests are best. Sometimes though being peaceful means that the leaders can ignore what the protestors are angry about.