15 votes

Have you attended any protests lately? Why or why not?

I live in Portland, Oregon, and have attended a few protests/rallies in the time I've been here, but admit I am not a regular attendee. The few times I have gone were to organized rallies that had a planned out route to walk, which then dispersed when they were done.

The last one I went to had a few bad actors in the crowd; individuals who would bash the windows of buildings and actively tag everything they went past. These were mainly buildings of big institutions like Bank of America, Nike, Wells Fargo-- whenever I'd look to see where that broken glass came from, my thoughts were pretty much "Woah! Don't break window-- oh... yeah I guess fuck Bank of America." And when we were done, we'd arrived at the justice center where it felt like there was no plan left, a lot of shouting and tagging had started, along with a few fires-- my wife and I thought "we did our part, this wasn't what we signed up for, let's leave." And that was that.

Afterwards we'd attended (virtually) the city's town hall meetings wherein the police budget was gutted a little bit (not nearly as much as we'd have liked), Jo Ann Hardesty (who's our greatest ally as far as I'm concerned) assured us it was a big step, we trusted her, and have since decided to stay home.

But, as you've seen, the protests continue: people are getting picked up off the streets by non-identified DHS agents, local government has expressed disapproval but it's getting ignored, and fascism is essentially in full effect.

Since then we've asked ourselves "shouldn't we go back out there?" "what if we get arrested?" "people are already getting arrested, and the majority of them are likely people of color." But we wrestle with it, "we're not rich-- we're barely scraping by-- we'd be more helpless if we were arrested and our jobs were taken than if we'd stayed where we are and just donate what we can and volunteer where we can." We attend city hall meetings and add our voice where we can, we volunteer for organizations when possible (mostly stuff through HRC), but anytime we take a break or have a free weekend, there's just this nagging thought of "shouldn't we be doing more?"

Have you wrestled with these thoughts? Why or why don't you join protests? What do you do in place of it?

22 comments

  1. precise
    Link
    I have been attending protests regularly. For a while I was working and my work schedule was generally 7-10 days on and 5-7 days off, so those 5-7 days off were full speed ahead with activist...

    I have been attending protests regularly. For a while I was working and my work schedule was generally 7-10 days on and 5-7 days off, so those 5-7 days off were full speed ahead with activist work. Now that I've (begrudgingly) left my job and I'm floating on savings, pretty much 80-90% of my free time has been working with local civil rights and racial equity groups.

    I don't want to go into detail about my location our who I am working with, but I will say this. I started attending protests regularly after George Floyd's murder, and I've been doing other activist work for various causes for over 8 years on and off. I've fallen into a leadership position with this racial equity group I'm working with and I'm super excited because this is something I feel a need to do, but also being able to bring about change directly rather than just responding to Facebook events is huge. We aren't BLM (hence the vague-ish terms), but we share a majority of the platform and policies. While there are issues we want to avoid with calling ourselves BLM, the big one is this isn't exactly Portland. I'd honestly be scared to have a BLM bumper sticker on my car around here. I guess in this part of the country, the only BLM that matters to a vocal portion of the locals is Bureau of Land Management, and they hate that BLM too.

    Our activities, especially the bigger ones do see bad actors and agitators. We've had to break up fights, ask people to leave and stop vandalism. One of our main tenants that we hold very close is non-violence. I personally believe violence is the voice of the voiceless, but the bottom line is we've got counter protesters and militias who post up with their guns outside of our events to "protect the community". If anybody they perceive to be with us starts something like that, it very easily could turn needlessly violent. We've been able to work with some of them in the past to resolve and deescalate conflicts, but all it takes is one. Next thing you know bullets are flying and the media is painting our entire group as "evil terrorist antifa", and in this town that can mean demonstration permits denied and further threats of violence. I think most members of our inner circle (myself included) have gotten at least one credible death threat that the police don't care about.

    But, as you've seen, the protests continue: people are getting picked up off the streets by non-identified DHS agents, local government has expressed disapproval but it's getting ignored, and fascism is essentially in full effect.

    This terrifies me! We are small enough that I don't think that will happen here, but it can't be happening anywhere. Once we take away the rights for a few... I just don't know what to do besides raise awareness. I think I'm going to run the idea by the group that another policy we call for is some way to get the state to keep the federal agencies out. It would be very easy to sell it as states' rights here, and if we preemptively set a standard in this state I think it could spread. None-the-less, I don't know who to be more scared of, the militias and lone wolves who culture in them, or the police...

    So why do I protest? Well it's about damn time we put the D back in Democracy. The number of conversations I've had (in the dozens) with people who come to our protests and events full of hate and ready to scream at us for being antifa and evil, where both parties have walked away satisfied is huge. I'd posit a majority of America is tired of this division, and even the most strident Trump supporters have left these conversations feeling like they now have a commonality with our group and BIPOC, almost in a common enemy:

    • Sometimes it's the struggles of BIPOC in a systemically racist society (because yes, there are BIPOC individuals who dislike our movement right off the bat).
    • Sometimes it is fascism, even Trump supporters don't like the way this nation is going and explaining things like the aforementioned federal agencies violated constitutional rights.
    • Sometimes it is police brutality, non-BIPOC individuals who feel wronged by the police identify with our group, I've spoken with former skinheads at our rallies who say that they fully support us on that tenant. It's not hard to help even white nationalists who identify with the problems of police brutality understand how BIPOC individuals could be more of a target for such acts.

    My favorite is the large portion of individuals who yell all lives matter at us. To start a conversation is as simple as saying, "Well if all lives matter, don't black lives matter?" It's a logical fallacy when you consider their intended or perceived intent and 99% of the time they want to explain themselves which is productive, even if we don't get a word in.

    So that's why I protest for this, to have conversations. In a community where a large contingent of peoples' instinctual reaction to us is hatred, when we can help teach them why we are here, that there is no need to (or place for) hate, that we come from a place of love, it helps build community so much. I have honestly seen people have weights lifted off of their shoulders, weights of fear and hatred, after they speak with us. We aren't here to destroy your community, we are your community and we are here for unity.

    7 votes
  2. [7]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    I collect unanswered questions and "when are protests effective" is one that I've had for years, because I've had friends go to protests and wondered if I should go too, and if it would make any...

    I collect unanswered questions and "when are protests effective" is one that I've had for years, because I've had friends go to protests and wondered if I should go too, and if it would make any difference.

    The protest (or rather, rally) that I remember the most was the Internet Day of Protest that I attended in South Park, San Francisco in December 1995, when I was working at HotWired. Here is the email announcing it that was sent out by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    This was a rally against the Communication Decency Act, which Congress passed in an attempt to keep porn and "indecent" speech off the Internet.

    I was working at Hotwired and the whole office got involved. I remember making signs for people to carry. I remember later at the protest, some young woman going through the signs and pointing and laughing at one of the signs I made. (I was trying to be creative, but she was right, it wasn't very good.) I vaguely remember hanging out and not really knowing what to do there. I guess this could be considered a sort of astroturf event since it had Wired's support, but it was still a bunch of young people who were sincere in opposing it.

    I'm not sure how much difference it made. Naturally, HotWired and Wired covered it. Probably the Great Web Blackout had a larger effect, since it was seen by a lot more people?

    The law was struck down by the Supreme Court 9-0 the following June. But Section 230 survived, and this is what prevents Internet companies from being sued over the content they host.


    My current tentative hypothesis for when protests make a difference is that you need two things: (1) some people in power who are sympathetic or at least not strongly opposed, and (2) a lot of people showing that they feel strongly about something, to keep them focused.

    So in the early 1960's this was Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement keeping the pressure on, which caused Lyndon Johnson to put civil rights legislation ahead of the other stuff he wanted to do and get it through Congress, which itself had a lot of supportive legislators or getting it past the southern filibusters would have been a lost cause. But if Richard Nixon were president at the time then it probably wouldn't have happened.

    I think there are similar things going on now, where we see some movement on police brutality with Democrat-controlled governments and perhaps we'll see more after the next elections, assuming the Democrats do well and people keep the pressure up.

    I don't see property damage as making much difference, though, other than as another way to get in the news. And sometimes making a lot of noise on Twitter seems to work pretty well for getting in the news too? It's unclear whether in-person protests are strictly necessary? In some countries people protest by banging pots and pans on balconies. Whatever works.

    On the other hand, I don't think the Hong Kong protests, large and impressively organized though they were, accomplished anything, sorry to say. The necessary conditions weren't there.

    9 votes
    1. [4]
      precise
      Link Parent
      I agree with much of what you've said here. A productive, effective protest is difficult to stage. You either need large contingents of sympathetic outsiders who you are targeting, or you need...

      I agree with much of what you've said here. A productive, effective protest is difficult to stage. You either need large contingents of sympathetic outsiders who you are targeting, or you need large numbers and consistency.

      It's unclear whether in-person protests are strictly necessary?

      They are!!!! How many Facebook pages, twitter hashtags, online petitions and other internet based protests have we seen, with millions of supporters? How many have worked? One you are probably familiar with is the FCC's call for comments on Net Neutrality! This is a forum literally built to help people protest without hitting the streets, that was thrown into the garbage despite thousands of comments, all under phony pretenses of fraud and hacking. If even the most official online protest through the federal government with a mass of responses was ignored, then what else do we have to do? Hit the streets!

      I stood in front of the FCC building in DC the day of the NN vote, it was so fucking cold, like -20F with windchill, right on the river. We screamed, we yelled, we were so loud that some supporters of NN actually held a banner up on a upper story window IN THE FCC BUILDING. I call that a win, even if we didn't win. We motivated people to take action and we made a point, we were heard. We exercised our first amendment rights, rights that the current administration would gladly take away from certain groups right now.

      So if we should protest is not so much about any particular cause at this point. At this point, in this administration taking us on the expressway to fascism, an administration of increased legal scrutiny of its enemies and boogeymen, an administration of lies, we must be in the streets. If we aren't in the streets, our rights our like muscles, we will eventually lose them.

      In some countries people bang pots and pans, in America we engage in civil disobedience, marches and rallies. We can do nothing less, as anything less is taking a step backward.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        For Network Neutrality, the petitions didn't work and the protests also didn't work. By which I mean influencing the FCC enough to get them to change their minds. This isn't really a good argument...

        For Network Neutrality, the petitions didn't work and the protests also didn't work. By which I mean influencing the FCC enough to get them to change their minds. This isn't really a good argument for the in-person protests being essential for change. It seems more like the FCC wasn't going to listen regardless.

        But it sounds like the protest may have served another purpose, which was rallying the protesters with heroic, memorable deeds. Maybe that turns out to be important in the long run?

        I remember the Great Web Blackout as being pretty impressive, that so many websites would cooperate to do this. Although, perhaps I'm confusing it with a later web blackout that was big enough to impress Congress.

        So it seems like both in-person protests and Internet protests can be memorable and effective under the right conditions. Maybe a lot of people signing an online petition isn't all that impressive anymore, if it ever was.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          precise
          Link Parent
          The protests to protect Net Neutrality maybe aren't the best example, but I figured they'd be tangentially pertinent. Between both of our experiences muddling our way through politics and the...

          The protests to protect Net Neutrality maybe aren't the best example, but I figured they'd be tangentially pertinent. Between both of our experiences muddling our way through politics and the internet, I figured it'd be a common experience :).

          But it sounds like the protest may have served another purpose, which was rallying the protesters with heroic, memorable deeds. Maybe that turns out to be important in the long run?

          That is the point of a protest, while our assemblage in DC was a protest, in hindsight you could classify it as more of a rally. I think most people (myself included) knew the FCC didn't give two shits about 200 people standing in the cold. That's why I bring up the banner held up from inside the building, that's a moral and rallying victory. To rally public support, to change the optics of the protests in the eye of the general public and to make the idea of Net Neutrality and our efforts to save it so much more real were the end goals. To a majority of people on the internet, there was no real life representation of this struggle. It was all hashtags, petitions, and other social media; to show the world that there are people who all strongly agree on this one thing and that we are showing up, that was the end goal and result. As I said, more of a rally in hindsight :). It's unfortunate how things ended up, but if nobody had shown up I'd posit we would be in a worse position to exercise and embrace our civic duties in the face of federal agencies.

          The reason petitions were so useful and impressive in history was because they were so damn difficult. With the advent of internet petitions, said ilk has been rendered insignificant. It's not uncommon for internet petitions to go viral and get thousands of signatures in a day or two. Legally recognized petitions, that have all signatures collected in person and are audited are still impressive, but those are less common now-a-days. Especially as the levels of apathy of the general populous increases. Why would we try an in person petition that takes dozens if not hundreds of volunteers and actual legal work when we can start this virtual petition. Honestly, most online petitions, even since their advent, have just been virtue signals for people who believe in something but can't be arsed to do anything else about it. That's my personal opinion though.

          This is why I argue that we need to attend in person protests. In person protests make the issue at hand real, it rallies public support, and it is much more in your face. You can scroll by a social media post for some online petition, but you can't exactly do the same when we crowd the streets. So maybe in person protests don't "work" right off the bat, but it's a hell of a lot harder for the people we are protesting against to just press the delete key and get rid of us.

          4 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            Makes sense. Although, for people who don't go out much, they may never see the in-person protest except if it's recorded and shared online. And that's particularly true now due to the pandemic....

            Makes sense. Although, for people who don't go out much, they may never see the in-person protest except if it's recorded and shared online. And that's particularly true now due to the pandemic. So in this way, the in-person protest becomes a way of generating stories, pictures, and video for online outreach. And hasn't that been particularly true for the current police brutality protests, with all the videos on Twitter? Although I don't know how much this is a conscious strategy, stress-testing the police can cause some of them to break, resulting in more video of police brutality, which seems like a particularly effective way of proving a point, for this particular issue. (It might not require much stress-testing either, in some cases.)

            This relationship between protests and media has been true for a long time. It was important for the civil rights movement to get stories into the press, because a lot of the people they were trying to reach weren't even in the South and would never see in person what was happening there. The difference is that the professional media aren't the gatekeepers anymore. (Other than for people who don't do social media.)

            It's probably important to occasionally see a protest as a real-world confirmation that it's not all happening onscreen. But seeing a protest doesn't necessarily mean you know what it's about. I think this might be particularly true in Washington DC where people see protests all the time and might not be all that curious about what this particular one is for? (But we did see one as tourists and that was interesting to us.)


            Regarding petitions, in California due to how referendums work, there are often paid signature-gatherers outside stores. They will have multiple petitions and show you the one they think you'll want to sign. If you sign one they'll see if you want to sign any more of them. It doesn't really matter to them as they're paid by the signature.

            This is the way that activists and business interests and billionaires turn money into signatures when it actually matters. It does matter whether the petition sounds appealing, but it's not like people necessarily look at the petitions all that closely on their way out of the store. Fortunately the bad ones usually get voted down later, which somewhat makes up for the very casual vetting at the petition level.

            2 votes
    2. [2]
      Douglas
      Link Parent
      Well the current Portland situation has both of those things, except the people in power who are sympathetic appear to be outpowered by those that aren't, and meanwhile are giving the lots of...

      My current tentative hypothesis for when protests make a difference is that you need two things: (1) some people in power who are sympathetic or at least not strongly opposed, and (2) a lot of people showing that they feel strongly about something, to keep them focused.

      Well the current Portland situation has both of those things, except the people in power who are sympathetic appear to be outpowered by those that aren't, and meanwhile are giving the lots of people who feel strongly about police defunding more evidence for their cause.

      I can only hope the news keeps the pressure on, but sadly don't think they will given the trend of the cycle in the past. I'm very eager to see how the next meeting will go and what can feasibly be done to kick the feds out.

      4 votes
      1. determinism
        Link Parent
        “Henry, Henry, they’re going to break through the barricades and get us.” -Richard Nixon

        “Henry, Henry, they’re going to break through the barricades and get us.”
        -Richard Nixon

        2 votes
  3. tempestoftruth
    Link
    Although I've felt a bit guilty for not attending local protests, the decision not to is largely made for me already. I live in an area where a car is necessary to get anywhere, and I don't have a...

    Although I've felt a bit guilty for not attending local protests, the decision not to is largely made for me already. I live in an area where a car is necessary to get anywhere, and I don't have a license. Even if I did, my family only has one car, which is in use most of the day to take working family members to their workplace. That being said, I donate where I can, preferring local organizations to big national ones.

    About a year or two ago, a friend of mine studying sociology wrote a paper for her class on a food desert in a majority-Black neighborhood close to where I live. My dream is to work with the community there to determine a fix for the issue, through something like a food co-operative, or to work on another project if something's more pressing for them (important to take into account what the community needs, as opposed to what I would like). I recently reached out to other friends in the same area and they're supportive of the idea; in the meantime, I've been looking for resources on founding a local co-operative. Not everyone has the time or skills to entertain a project like this one (and I'm privileged to have both), but I want to do more than just donate and protest and post on social media.

    7 votes
  4. [2]
    Erik
    Link
    I used to be out in the streets regularly, but covid has me sidelined. I know the new data suggests that protests haven't really been driving infection rates, but I'm a dad. While I don't mind...

    I used to be out in the streets regularly, but covid has me sidelined. I know the new data suggests that protests haven't really been driving infection rates, but I'm a dad. While I don't mind spending money on a fine (I live somewhere with no cash bail), in the off chance I get arrested, I don't want to be the vector the brings covid into my home.

    So, gotta be honest, it sucks. So many of my friends and acquaintances are out there, doing the work and I'm stuck inside and I feel pretty useless. I do what I can, such as donating to metal aid groups and bail funds for other cities and hanging out in slack to help people that might need it. But it's just not the same as being on site, putting my body on the line.

    7 votes
    1. Douglas
      Link Parent
      I think part of the problem is our minds have a hard time feeling any sense of inner equilibrium when we send our resources remotely versus being up close and personal. But for what it's worth, I...

      I think part of the problem is our minds have a hard time feeling any sense of inner equilibrium when we send our resources remotely versus being up close and personal.

      But for what it's worth, I think donating whatever money you can to help the people putting their bodies on the line is as equal to being there physically as one can get. No you are not taking as big of a risk, but given the factor is you can't physically attend, I'm not sure what remote risk could compare, really.

      3 votes
  5. [3]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    I have not. Partly due to access as I have no car and am worried about bringing a bicycle to a protest, and partly due to the pandemic and general anxiety about anti-police protests (last one in...

    I have not. Partly due to access as I have no car and am worried about bringing a bicycle to a protest, and partly due to the pandemic and general anxiety about anti-police protests (last one in my area before this year destroyed my city center).

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Douglas
      Link Parent
      Transportation is a bit of a hindrance on the ones we've gone to; you essentially have to park your car near where it started, and have a plan on how to get home when we're done. The last one had...

      Transportation is a bit of a hindrance on the ones we've gone to; you essentially have to park your car near where it started, and have a plan on how to get home when we're done.

      The last one had us walk six miles with no means of getting home/back to our car, so we had to use e-scooters for half the trip back and walked the rest of the way at 2am back to our place and got our car the next morning. It feels silly to not want to take the bus or Lyft because we just got out of a protest with hundreds of other people, but any measure we can take, we try and take it.

      2 votes
      1. knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        To be honest, the only thing that kept me from saying protests shouldn't happen was the early research suggesting low viral spread outdoors. Fortunately, we didn't seem to see a surge from large...

        To be honest, the only thing that kept me from saying protests shouldn't happen was the early research suggesting low viral spread outdoors. Fortunately, we didn't seem to see a surge from large outdoor groups.

        A bus, or even a lyft with a potential asymptomatic carrier, however, is significantly higher-risk, even with masks.

        2 votes
  6. [3]
    skeetcha
    Link
    I would be joining protests but there are two problems with why I haven’t (not that these issues excuse me of my guilt for not joining a protest; I still feel guilty every time it’s brought up)....

    I would be joining protests but there are two problems with why I haven’t (not that these issues excuse me of my guilt for not joining a protest; I still feel guilty every time it’s brought up).

    Firstly, I have no way of knowing when there is a protest near me. I live in Wine Country, CA (not a real town and if it is, I’m surprised) where a) I wouldn’t imagine a lot of protests are happening, and b) I don’t really know anyone around me nor if they know about any protests happening nearby.

    Secondly, I struggle a lot with anxiety and paranoia. The movement has actually brought this relation to me: I experience paranoia that someone might just out of the blue shoot me or kill me for no reason. However, I can turn off that paranoia (for a little while until it resumes again) because I don’t have to deal with that actual threat. The movement comes along and shows me that black people feel the same paranoia, but in their case, it’s totally a threat. I have donated to causes supporting the movement and I have signed every petition I come across, and I even sent a letter to my university asking for better restrictions on the police power (as we do have actual police that work with the city) to the President of the university. However, I can do all of these without putting myself in physical or mental danger (I should also mention that while I haven’t been diagnosed with anything and I cannot pin it down, I do have some sort of mental disability in the realm of ADHD, OCD, and Autism). I realize that and every time I feel guilty about not going to protests, I remember that my lane in this fight is from home and on the Internet amplifying BIPOC/BAME voices in the industries that I am choosing to be part of after I graduate.

    4 votes
    1. Douglas
      Link Parent
      I recently learned that I struggle with anxiety as well-- I did not think it was anxiety, because my mind feels empty and calm most of the time, but apparently your body can just exhibit signs of...

      I recently learned that I struggle with anxiety as well-- I did not think it was anxiety, because my mind feels empty and calm most of the time, but apparently your body can just exhibit signs of anxiety/stress while your current state of mind is perfectly calm (after which my mind will follow suit and get anxious about what my body's up to, fun stuff!). I'm sure that doesn't compare with what you're dealing with, but I just wanted to say anxiety is absolutely a valid reason for not going.

      That said, I found that knowing the structure and having a plan for a protest really helps me. As I'd said in the original post, my wife and I just make an agreement to do whatever march/protest route the rally has organized, and head home once they've reached their destination-- especially since that's when things tend to get very rowdy.

      However there are still anxiety-inducing events that have taken place on the routes. In one instance, an intoxicated driver threatened to run us over if we didn't move (which we were moving/marching, it was just taking a long time for everyone to pass), and even went so far as to start nudging his car forward, getting out and screaming at us. All I can think to do in those moments is film it, or even just act like I'm filming it, as public shaming seems to be the only recourse people like that listen to. If you get your camera-phone close enough to let them know you have a good shot of them/have them on camera, they usually back down.

      My wife doesn't have the same problem and is much braver than I, but I don't want just her to go to protests on her own during this COVID situation.

      We've tentatively decided that, once this COVID business is over, she'll go to protests with her friend the day of, and I'll head to the rally sites the next day to clean up whatever garbage has been left behind-- that way we both get to sort of contribute to them in our own way.

      3 votes
    2. precise
      Link Parent
      Regarding your mental health... I'm an activist and suffer from mental illness, and I have to take steps back. If I could, I'd be on the streets and in government buildings every day....

      Regarding your mental health... I'm an activist and suffer from mental illness, and I have to take steps back. If I could, I'd be on the streets and in government buildings every day. Realistically, even though I'm entirely free to do that right now, mentally I need to take breaks too. If you can't mentally or physically make it to a protest, that is nothing to feel guilty about. That you are taking the action where you can is awesome, and I hope you can keep it up!

      That said, if you ever feel up to going to a protest, most of them have some sort of social media presence (even if they are hard to find lol). When I first started out, I would find groups and their events and then go hang out nearby for a bit. Generally people watch and observe, not only to look for safety issues, but to also build up the confidence to get involved. It's gotten easier over the years, but I still recall those first rallies and protests and being anxious as hell, all the time.

      2 votes
  7. Wren
    Link
    Nice try, officer! /s Seriously though, I went to a few, one in a larger city and a couple in my hometown. All pretty peaceful affairs, none of the "out-of-town agitators" the local PD later...

    Nice try, officer! /s

    Seriously though, I went to a few, one in a larger city and a couple in my hometown. All pretty peaceful affairs, none of the "out-of-town agitators" the local PD later claimed there were. I had the good fortune to be out of town the day they broke out the teargas.

    3 votes
  8. [2]
    babypuncher
    Link
    No. It sounds like an absolutely terrible idea during a pandemic. Going to the store is bad enough with so many people blatantly ignoring mask rules.

    No. It sounds like an absolutely terrible idea during a pandemic. Going to the store is bad enough with so many people blatantly ignoring mask rules.

    3 votes
    1. precise
      Link Parent
      While going out into large events like that is risky, studies have shown COVID-19 infection rates are markedly lower in outdoors settings vs. indoors. Also, in my view protesters should be wearing...

      While going out into large events like that is risky, studies have shown COVID-19 infection rates are markedly lower in outdoors settings vs. indoors. Also, in my view protesters should be wearing masks. In recent history I've explained to people they are harming our movement's reputation and others by not wearing masks. Our group also has medics and other leaders carrying around disposable masks for people without. So far, haven't had an issue :).

      Also, this pandemic ain't ending anytime soon. I know this is a silly thing to posit, but I feel the need to say it because it's a glaringly obvious problem... Since the pandemic ain't going away, are we just going to let fascism reign while we hide...?

      5 votes
  9. [2]
    ThisIsMyTildesLogin
    Link
    I've never attended a protest. They're a waste of time; the politicians don't listen, and the police use them as an excuse to beat people up.

    I've never attended a protest. They're a waste of time; the politicians don't listen, and the police use them as an excuse to beat people up.

    1 vote
    1. precise
      Link Parent
      Do you mind expounding on your views a bit more? I've found quite the opposite, when protests are done right, when massive amounts of continuous pressure are exerted on the powers that be, they...

      Do you mind expounding on your views a bit more? I've found quite the opposite, when protests are done right, when massive amounts of continuous pressure are exerted on the powers that be, they are effective. I've seen substantial change enacted because of movements I've been a part of.

      The point of a protest is to make politicians listen, protests are so much more than just flooding the streets. Going to relevant political meetings, tracking down and forcing conversations with representatives, getting businesses and financial backers of said politicians on board, all of these actions are entirely effective. It's just people don't always see that, but without the mass crowds you can't spread awareness and get public support in the first place. Those two elements lead into the other actions. It's a process, not a all at once type situation.

      So the police beat some of us up? Sometimes, yes. I'd posit that with the current issue of racial equity at hand, that if you're scared of being beaten up you're the type of person who we need most with us on the streets.

      So that's my experience. So I guess my main question is, if the system is totally and utterly fucked up beyond repair, then what do we do? Are we just going to cry about it on the internet and then accost the people that are trying to fix it? Are there other actions that you feel are more effective?

      4 votes