March 17, 2019

How effective are protests?

Oli Tao, 19

From Trump to Brexit to Climate Change, the recent wave of protests is abundantly clear yet are they effective? After all, Trump still visited, Brexit is still happening and only a handful of MPs turned up to a debate on climate change. Surely this suggests that their efficacy is non-existent? Surely it points to the need for other methods to be engaged?

However, there is cause for hope. Gene Sharp noted 198 methods of non-violent protest and now there are even more. The message therefore should not be one of despair but of distinct hope. These recent protests have inspired thousands of young children to take their first foray into protests, yet, as Gene’s work has put forward, in order for change, the only way is more. More protests of a varied sorts which aren’t simply one day of picketing. More people need to take up the cause. More attention must be raised for when we stay silent we give our tacit consent.

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