Do political protests really change anything? | The Tylt

Do political protests really change anything?

Do protests actually create change? Since Donald Trump's election, we've seen countless protests, including the Women's March, the Tax Day March, the Science March, and the People's Climate March. Observers argue elected officials do pay attention to protests, and they inspire people to participate in the political process. Others say marching with signs is just analog slacktivism that detours around the real work of voting, organizing, and coalition building. Are street protests pointless? ✊🏾✊🏽✊🏻

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Do political protests really change anything?
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Do political protests really change anything?
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Whether you think the 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."
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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 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."
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At Seeker, Robert S. Eshelman makes an excellent point. If public protests are so pointless, why have legislatures in five states put forth proposals to criminalize them?

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But others say street protests are a shortcut around the less-Instagram-able work of voting and organizing.

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But those who are pro-protest argue they do help build movements and connect activists. And you can't underestimate their capacity to inspire people: 

Ask almost anyone who attended the March on Washington in August 1963, and to this day they'll be able to tell you exactly what it felt like. Good protest events have an almost religious effect on people, charging their batteries and inspiring them to get up and fight again another day.
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Do political protests really change anything?
A festive crown for the winner
#ProtestsMatter
#ProtestsDontMatter