Take Action: No More Disney-fied Protests! It's Not Civil Disobedience If You Apply for a Permit to March

Are you one of those people who thinks that protesting is a waste of time, just doesn't get anything done anymore or otherwise poo-poos the idea? Well, Naomi Wolf has an answer for you. Namely that historically protests do work but part of the reason why they seem to be less meaningful these days (at least in the US) is 1) that they've been pushed in that direction by those wishing to maintain the status quo and 2) we've all been led down this road of "Disney-fied" protests not realizing it. Check out this clip for Wolf's take on it. It's definitely a worthwhile 9 minutes. Here's a brief transcript of part of it:Protest Always Works, But You Have to Raise the Tension

In trying to answer the question "How do you save a nation from being closed by an oligarchy that wants to close a democracy?" I looked at other times and places where citizens effectively pushed back against would-be dictators, and one thing that came up again and again and again is mass protest. Not only did it come up, but mass protest always works! Always works! I mean, unless the leaders are willing to literally send out the military with submachine guns and mow people down, mass protests like the kind you saw in Pakistan, the kind you saw with People Power in the Philippines, the kind you saw all over the Baltic States, Estonia when they were bringing down the Soviet Union, the kind you saw in East Germany—always works. The civil rights movement. Mass protest.

OK. So what kind of mass protest? The kind of mass protest that always works is illegal just about everywhere in the United States today. Why is that? For a protest to be effective, you have to stop traffic. You have to stop traffic. What keeps you from getting a permit in the United States? Stepping a foot into the street. Now why do you have to stop traffic? Because for a protest to do anything, it has to disrupt business as usual. I don't mean violence. Whoever's tape-recording this to take it back to, you know, Quantico or whatever, I don't mean violence. I mean dissent. Martin Luther King, who wrote "Letter from Birmingham Jail" because he marched without a permit, said sometimes it is important for the tension to rise up for people to see that all is not well. And that you do that by stopping traffic. That's how citizens indicate, you know, business as usual is not acceptable.

via: Chelsea Green
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Tags: Activism | Congress | United States


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