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Author Topic: Demonstrations- do they really help?  (Read 3905 times)
Amy
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Demonstrations- do they really help?
« on: January 31, 2008, 01:09:14 PM »

I demonstrated by accident today o.O.

My English lessons got cancelled and so I decided to walk towards the city center and eat something. I was still at the university hospital when I heard people blowing whistles and then I saw a crowd with banners. Okay, I thought, that isn't new to me. The situation at the university hospital just sucks. The hospital is broke and many nurses, doctors etc. lost their jobs. My school is in danger of being closed next or even this year. My class might be last one. And then I saw two banners with a text about my school. And three of my teachers who were demonstrating!

It was a very strange feeling to see my teachers holding banners and blowing whistles. Kind of funny or rather... sad... Well, I walked with them through the city towards the building where a meeting was with the people who will decide what is going to happen. I couldn't come in because I'm a pupil but maybe I'll hear if anything has been decided tomorrow.

I don't think so. And I don't really think that demonstrating in this case really helps.

But after all, the right to demonstrate is a very important basic right in my opinion and it shows that one is living in a Democracy where you have the right to state your opinion in public. Yet it can be so frustrating.

So, has anyone of you ever demonstrated against anything? Did it work and was there a change?

I'd love to hear what you think. This was my second official demonstration and the first one wasn't very effective.
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GaijinTenshi
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 03:23:27 PM »

It only makes a difference if the party being demonstrated against feels the need to change is great enough.

I, alongside a handful of others on Feb 10th, will be outside of the Scientology Church here in Nashville.
Other groups world wide will also be out doing a "Truth About Scientology" demonstration on that day.

It only helps if the who need the help are willing (or are made to change by law/regulation.)
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humble scuba
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2008, 07:14:39 PM »

Quote from: GaijinTenshi on January 31, 2008, 03:23:27 PM
It only makes a difference if the party being demonstrated against feels the need to change is great enough.

I, alongside a handful of others on Feb 10th, will be outside of the Scientology Church here in Nashville.
Other groups world wide will also be out doing a "Truth About Scientology" demonstration on that day.

It only helps if the who need the help are willing (or are made to change by law/regulation.)

I guess there's going to be an anti-Scientology protest on campus here as well, though I'm not sure of the date.  I can't imagine it's a coincidence, so I'm going to go ahead and ask: Is there something significant about Feb. 10?

And by the way, no, I've never really had the opportunity to protest anything.
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The Serenity to accept that which I cannot,
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GaijinTenshi
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2008, 07:29:27 PM »

It is just the date that Anonymous has set for us.
That's all I know.
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Silverain
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2008, 07:59:43 PM »

Demonstrating works if you do enough of it.  Just ask any woman who votes.  Ask any African-American.  Ask any labor union.  Ask any baseball fan.  Heck, go ask the Hollywood writers who are on strike right now.  Oh noez, we're all stuck watching reruns until they decide to go back to work.  That's the power of demonstrations.

The general idea behind a democracy is, leaders rule only by consent of the ruled.  So if the people make a big fuss over something, leaders are supposed to pay attention, lest the people become displeased enough to oust them from office and replace them with someone more amenable to popular wishes.  Even if leaders ignore the protests at first, they can't ignore them forever, and more demonstrations draw more people's attention to the cause, which is beneficial.  When people are protesting, their major goal is usually to get as much attention as possible.  (Sometimes it appears that that's the only goal.)

Even if only a small group keeps up the demonstrations, if they make a sufficient nuisance of themselves, the rest of the world may say "Oh, just give them what they want so they'll go away / go back to work."  This adds to the pressure on the party being targeted, and is especially useful in labor unions, which exist to lever people who aren't democratically elected.

I've been to a variety of protests, demonstrations and political events -- hard to avoid it on a big university campus.  People have "die-ins" to draw attention to the genocide in Darfur.  They put up fake gravestones all over the lawn to point out how many people suffer sexual assault, or die in Iraq, or whatever.  They shout through bullhorns, they stand around with signs, they pass out literature, they have meetings and rallies, they put up flyers, the whole buffet.  Every year in my city there is a pro-marijuana festival in late summer (they sell New Age trinkets, hemp clothing and glass pipes, they make speeches, and the cops mostly just stand around watching for signs of trouble.)  I also went to a pro-immigration rally downtown once, just to see the action.  Traditionally, demonstrations take place either on the plaza in front of a large mall, or in front of the Federal Building.  I missed the WTO riots because I had to go to school and I wasn't anywhere near downtown, but I sure heard about them.

Obviously, the key word here is "enough."  For demonstrations to accomplish real political reform, they need to involve a lot of people and draw a lot of attention.  The bigger the mountain that must be moved, the more people are needed to move it.  The LaRouche supporters on my campus have been protesting away for as long as I've gone to school there, and for all I know they've been doing it since the 1950s.  (LaRouche himself  is a dinosaur, I expect him to drop dead of old age any time now.  I wonder what will happen then: will his people disband, or continue the cult?)  But they've never accomplished anything except wasting a ton of paper, because they're a small insane fringe group, no one actually cares what they want, and they aren't enough of a problem that anyone would accede to their wishes just to get them to stop.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 08:07:40 PM by Silverain » Logged

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Miles_2397
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 05:35:05 PM »

Regarding the Protests mentioned earlier, I've been watching them.. and there has been quite the stir caused amongst underground groups, but there's nothing in the mainstream, even though, as this image shows, there was quite a large turnout at sites like London. This was opposite one Institution:


Whether Anon believes anything will be achieved by this, I'm not that sure, but the fact that it was a large-scale operation that struck globally, and the protestors themselves were 'good as gold' to quote this video as one of a few sources out there - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SraUpcJfqw then I'm not sure..
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 05:39:49 PM by Miles_2397 » Logged
Juno
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 06:44:13 PM »

Quote from: GaijinTenshi on January 31, 2008, 07:29:27 PM
It is just the date that Anonymous has set for us.
That's all I know.

This sounds SO V for Vendetta. XD
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Miles_2397
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 06:47:20 PM »

J, just look up some of the pics.

They were all wearing the V masks.. I don't have any images to hand at the moment though beyond that one I found..
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GaijinTenshi
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2008, 11:54:44 AM »

It's a popular image that the masses can associate with.
The Hugo Weaving mask is etched into a lot of the population world wide.

We could all dress up like Alfred E. Neuman or Michael Jackson. They're both popular people.
But nothing says "not so much loving" like a man or woman under a mysteriously strange mask.
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Silverain
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 10:21:52 PM »

I actually read somewhere that in many places, it's illegal for adults to wear masks in public.  Probably that law is intended to prevent masked robberies and the like.  It's an interesting contrast to Islamic nations where women are expected to conceal their faces.

Although it seems kinda stupid, since a person who intends to commit a felony such as armed robbery isn't going to be bothered about the additional crime of wearing a mask.
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Pancake Ninja
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Nephtys
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 02:41:42 AM »

Ah, but isn't there a difference between wearing a mask and concealing that which - according to some people's religion - makes you desirable to other people?

I'd argue that the one is all about hiding your face and NOT to be recognized, whereas the other - though strange as this custom may seem to westerners - is about hiding whatever body parts may seem arousing to a potential stranger. That does NOT mean you're unrecognizable by mates then, to put it in an extreme way.

I'm aware this point is actually going off on a tangent, but I still had to mention it.
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 04:42:04 PM »

Quote from: Nephtys on February 14, 2008, 02:41:42 AM
I'd argue that the one is all about hiding your face and NOT to be recognized, whereas the other - though strange as this custom may seem to westerners - is about hiding whatever body parts may seem arousing to a potential stranger. That does NOT mean you're unrecognizable by mates then, to put it in an extreme way.

I suppose that's one of the other things that's irked me about the whole burka deal.  Women cover up because supposedly men can control themselves when presented with a beautiful woman and/or men will only go for beauty instead of getting to know the woman.  I don't have any real objection to the latter, but it's an intrinsically sexist statement, throwing all guys into this kind of shallow pervert lot which, being something I work had at NOT being, I take great offense to.

And, additionally, it's rather sad to take it out on women.  Instead of making men exercise more self control as part of the religion, they just hide the women.  jeeze.


ON the topic: I think protests and demonstrations help in a way that elections and writing letters to congress just don't.  I mean, think about it, if you vote, you're likely content with things, if you write letters, you're a little upset, but generally dismissed if your letter is rather scathing.  When you protest it's visual and making a statement which appeals to all the senses, visual, audible, and if you're near by, physical. 

As long as a protest doesn't get infiltrated by people who can't get enough people to protest their issue, I think it works great.
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Re: Demonstrations- do they really help?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 11:00:04 PM »

Quote from: Silverain on February 13, 2008, 10:21:52 PM
I actually read somewhere that in many places, it's illegal for adults to wear masks in public.

LMAO! I can't imagine. I find it hard to believe that in some places walking around town drunk, holding a giant un-bagged bottle of booze is illegal.


As for my experience with demonstrations though, here's what I saw the DAY I got back from Japan:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SGndFhVhCXU

And here's what I saw on my street last weekend (as the projects are down the street :p):


=_= The problems I saw in this case were the following:

a) the protesters were upperclass white people from New York city that thought the moldy, half collapsed buildings were historically important and just used human rights as a cover.

b) It was a GHETTO! People DIED there! Crime was terrible! That's no way to live! Good riddens!

c) The city plans to construct the same low income housing availability in more plentiful, one-building units so as to discourage the degradation to less-than human conditions (as these underprivileged people were living prior to Katrina).

What I take from it all: DO YOUR DAMN HOMEWORK KIDS!!! Put your effort where it really counts if you really care about your cause! Sometimes picketing is not the best answer (especially if you don't like mace in your eyes).
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