General Question

zenele's avatar

Do you join protests or marches?

Asked by zenele (8252points) July 13th, 2010

I rarely do. I watch them on tv and think “I should’ve been there” – but I rarely do.

What would get you to dust off your placards, don some sneakers and march?

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47 Answers

evandad's avatar

Yes I do, I’m not as sympathetic to all the causes I use to embrace, but I’ll still participate with some.

Austinlad's avatar

The last March I attended was the one on Washington in 1963. Hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. in person was the experience of a lifetime.

SmashTheState's avatar

I not only attend them, I organize them. (See my avatar, taken from a newspaper article about a 2007 May Day protest.)

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

All the time. I wish they were effective in other ways, but at least it’s nice to see that other people feel the same way I do. I don’t think they create change.

dynamicduo's avatar

No sir, I do not. It’s a waste of time as far as I’m concerned. Even when the topic starts hitting close to home, as it has with Canada’s G20 policing (400+ arrests of mostly nonviolent spectators), I see no reason to join the protests protesting the police brutality because it will have no effect, or better yet there will be an inquisition and a report all on taxpayer money that THEN has no effect on the police system. I have made my decision and voted with my feet, I now live as far away from politics as I can get, and now that I farm and fend for myself I have more important things to do with my time.

I will however join a pro-cannabis rally. But that’s mostly cause it’s a great time to spend with your friends smoking doobies with tons of other doobie smoking peeps, and it’s a cause that has had many rallies over time so it’s easy to generate a graph that says “look at the number of people attending the rally over the past 10 years, the increase in people must mean that more Canadians want legalization”. But really I just do it for the fun, not because I expect any change to happen. I take change into my own hands with things like that.

TexasDude's avatar

No, but I’ve been to a few of different varieties as an objective observer. (Two Code Pink things and one Tea Party shindig).

I don’t really get involved in the whole activist thing. I’m just a historian. Not a wannabe revolutionary.

JLeslie's avatar

No. I probably should be more active in the things I believe are worth fighting for.

Facade's avatar

I haven’t, but I’d like to.

tinyfaery's avatar

I used to, a lot actually. That was before I realized the futility of anything we do and I stopped. The last demonstration I went to was in 2000 when the Supreme Court ordained Bush II as king of America. Fat lotta good that did. Plus, I hate to chant.

BoBo1946's avatar

Once….many years ago, protested the city cutting teacher’s pay and supplies. Actually, we went out on strike. Tough deal…seeing your friends cross the picket lines to teach school. After it was over, surprisingly, we went back to our lunch area (that is a time of the day that most of the teachers sit together and as if nothing ever happened.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@BoBo1946 Teachers going on strike is a really touchy kind of deal, isn’t it…

pitchtheview's avatar

I’ve been in several protests, all of them relating with the Deaf education in Utah. Nothing radical, but it certainly got our point across, although sometimes I wonder if they actually take us seriously. Hummfh.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Dutchess_III it really was back then….but, everything turned out okay.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

The plight of the Iranian women for liberation (they are very brave to stand up and they face imprisonment on a daily basis…and stoning is still acceptable for adultery).

The plight of Africans for gay rights (they are literally being killed and persecuted.)

The plight of the UK to stay out (or get out, rather) of the European Union. (Which everyone says is impossible…but I’m still a bit idealistic.)

YARNLADY's avatar

Not by joining up with mob violence. I do my protesting by joining letter writing campaigns, working for candidates and office holders I agree with, and supporting projects I believe in.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@YarnLady….Has a good point.

I do most of my protesting with writing about it and talking about the issues.

SmashTheState's avatar

Good thing your forefathers didn’t believe in “letter writing campaigns, working for candidates and office holders they agree with, and supporting projects they believe in” or you’d still be singing God Save the Queen.

“Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are rather forced upon them from without. They do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace.”Rudolf Rocker

LostInParadise's avatar

I attended a silent vigil opposing the Iraq war just before it started. It obviously did no good, but it made me feel good to be among like minded people, and I would do the same kind of thing again. I also participated in a march in D.C. after the war started. It was fun but not much worth the effort.

Jude's avatar

Gay Pride, yes.

Dyke March, too,

tranquilsea's avatar

When our government prorogued our parliament I gathered the kids together and we all went down to Harper’s office and protested. It’s the first time I have ever done so and I think he got the point I hope he could the point

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have and would do so again. I suppose peaceful protests. I write letters. I call politicians.

I support gay, lesbian etc rights
I support pay equality
I oppose stupid wars waged for bogus reasons
I oppose intolerance and tax cuts for the rich

Just a sampling…

YARNLADY's avatar

@SmashTheState There were many thousands of residents of pre-revoluntionary U.S. who did not take up arms and fight a war. They used the methods I described and did their part to help the efforts. I do not accept that violence is the only way to effect change.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

One can be an activist without advocating or engaging in violence!

SmashTheState's avatar

Some of you folks really need to read Ward Churchill‘s Pacifism as Pathology.

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”Malcolm X

Jeruba's avatar

I have, but it’s been more than 40 years.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SmashTheState Have you read the rebuttal Movement for a New Society?

I have read the book you cite, and I don’t want to get into a debate about it here. Needless to say, I do not agree with most of the arguments.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

What @JeanPaulSartre said except I don’t attend.

SmashTheState's avatar

I have not read it. I have, however, read many other critiques, and I am unconvinced by any of them. You say you are a member of the Choctaw Nation; how well did nonviolence work at Wounded Knee, when the Lakota meekly surrendered their weapons and were shot down like dogs? How well did it turn out for the Choctaw on the Trail of Tears? On the other hand, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull fought bitterly with the White Man and lived free as a result. Neither the Amerikan nor the Mexikan armies could stop them.

I know a couple of Ojibwa militants, and they assure me that their band has been stockpiling weapons and ammunition in large quantities. The Ojibwa were among the most peaceful of the First Nations and it got them rammed hard in the ass, repeatedly. They learned their lesson. My Ojibwa comrades tell me they are not going to lose the same way twice.


No, I don’t like being in crowds of people. I don’t have a phobia or anything like that, I just don’t like crowded places. Besides, there isn’t one single parade or march I would consider, for their agenda anyway.

anartist's avatar

Only once when I was in college.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SmashTheState A lot more people survived the trail of tears than succumbed, and their peace efforts had absolutely nothing to do with the deaths. It was a direct result of mismanagement by the government. No one was shot or did any fighting on the peaceful relocation.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a strong, peaceful nation today, as is the Choctaw Tribe of Mississippi, consisting of the thousands of Choctaw who chose to peacefully stay in place.

Austinlad's avatar

Hay, y’all, check out the lyrics to John Mayer’s song “Belief.”
Extremely apropos to this thread, starting with the opening four lines:

“Is there anyone who
Ever remembers changing their mind from
The paint on a sign?
Is there anyone who really recalls
Ever breaking rank at all
For something someone yelled real loud one time”


No, I would never participate in any protest or march. I don’t like to do what other people do, en masse. And I don’t care if it’s for a “good cause” either. I don’t like being affected or swayed by political matters or by ideas of “what is right” and “what is wrong”, political correctness or the like.


@MRSHINYSHOES I am with you on this one. And another thing, what the heck is politically correct anyway. Who made up that phrase and just what does it cover? I can’t stand all the political correctness.

mammal's avatar

No marches don’t change much but civil disobedience does.


@mammal Are you proposing civil disobedience as a better way to get their point across to the government?

LostInParadise's avatar

@mammal , Marches serve to encourage people to use peaceful means to gain their ends. They show people that there are others who feel the same way as they do and spurs people to political action or civil disobedience.

@SmashTheState , Civil disobedience is a very successful alternative to violence. It worked with Gandhi and it worked with Martin Luther King. There have also been many successful boycotts. A well coordinated civil disobedience effort by Palestinians would achieve what terrorism never will.

zenele's avatar

@LostInParadise If the Palestinian’s would renounce terrorism, remove the part about destroying Israel from their charter, and decide what to do with a Hammas led terrorist regime – I’d join the protest. But if they’d do that – who’d they have to blame for all that’s fucked up? Who would the Arab world have to kick around and conveniently keep as refugees? And I wouldn’t even have to protest – Israel would sign a peace treaty immediately – as it did with Jordan, Egypt and even Arafat (Oslo Accords). But it’s always fun to blame Israel – not that you are doing so here necessarily. Watch Bibi on Larry King live – that’s how Israel feels.

mammal's avatar

@LostInParadise i beg to differ, the orange order parades are nothing but a spiteful reminder to Irish republicans of centuries of British colonially inflicted pain…and thus cause nothing but rancour and inevitable violence.

mammal's avatar

@zenele Terrorism, imperialism and hard cash bought the Israeli state so why should Palestinians give up terrorism? Your argument is completely unreasonable, all statehood is won with blood. No one is going to give it to you, that is ridiculous as believing in Santa Claus.

zenele's avatar

@mammal Terrorism, imperialism and hard cash bought the Israeli state?

Drawkward's avatar

Yes, I went to a protest for public school funding, back in high school, and one against my city’s olympic bid. Also, not to be missed, many a Zombie walk.

mammal's avatar

@zenele a cursory google search brought up this reference to Zionist extremism however i have not cross checked the facts. you should be aware of the British (an imperial power WWII) involvement in the formation of the Jewish state and subsequently the colossal American strategic support (imperial power post WWII) economic, military. Plus a good deal of financial support, lobbying and political maneuvering, (which kind of goes hand in hand) I’m not suggesting some caricature of the fabulously wealthy Jewish financier bought the region with some petty cash, it wasn’t quite that crude a conveyance.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, especially during my time as a student.

zenele's avatar

@mammal Yeah, I remember you now. Kish mir.

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