Are protests pointless? | The Tylt
Since Donald Trump's election, we've seen countless protests, including massive demonstrations on Capitol Hill against Obamacare repeal. Some argue elected officials pay attention to protests, and they inspire people to participate in the political process. But others say marching with signs is just analog slacktivism that detours around the real work of voting, organizing, and coalition building. What do you think? ✊🏾✊🏽✊🏻
Are protests pointless?
Whether you think street protests accomplish anything depends on how you define goals. If success equals getting more people to the polls, an analysis by economists from Harvard University and Stockholm University finds that protests do have a major influence on politics:
"Research shows that protest does not work because big crowds send a signal to policy-makers—rather, it’s because protests get people politically activated."
The Women's March was the biggest protest in world history—but did it accomplish any real policy change? The Tax Day March came and went, and President Trump has not released his taxes. The People's Climate March drew 200,000 people in DC alone, yet the EPA still took down climate change data from its site. Moisés Naím says street protests are just not enough:
"Behind massive street demonstrations there is rarely a well-oiled and more-permanent organization capable of following up on protesters’ demands and undertaking the complex, face-to-face, and dull political work that produces real change in government."
Many political observers are giving protesters major credit for the defeat of Obamacare appeal.
But others think protesting is simply window dressing. Carrying a sassy sign looks great on Instagram but none of it matters unless you actually organize and vote.
We should start a protest, against all these pointless protests.— junius (@AkesterGeorge) July 8, 2017
2) just like it doesnt matter if I rant or go2 protests, if i don't do all i can 2help get the vote out in elections my words R meaningless— Catalina Wine Mixer (@TulipCassidy) April 18, 2017