Well, it seems that a change is required in the way people communicate their dispute in order for their voices to be heard. People need to change from the violent protests era to a more civilized and dignified manner while voicing their disagreements in certain matters. The period, when people would match a city to voice their disagreement on a certain policy, is long gone, though, at that time, the method worked. Thus, the article “protest is dead, long live protest” by Joseph Hart, explains why a change from a violent era to a non violent era is urgent. Therefore, I agree with Joseph Hart who effectively argues that it is time to change and thus put the signs and slogans down.
This article clearly shows that time has changed, and this can be seen from the comparison given of two protests. One in 1963, which was intensively, covered within the media houses and one in early 2007, which did not capture any attention, in fact, it was viewed as an ordinary thing in the current period. This moves to show that marching protests are currently not working hence it is time to change.
According to Tzeporah Berman, it is time to choose the best devices to use in order to solve crisis, instead of just holding protests and not offering a solution. The people, who want change in a certain policy should learn to be calm, and find better peaceful and reasonable ways to have their out cries heard, other than using violent means. Instead of shouting slogans and carrying large signs on the streets, activists for change should seek a civilized dialogue with the policy makers, and solve the issue amicably. This will reduce confrontations and solve the problem at hand
It is easier to carry signs and have slogans in the streets, just like in 1963, where quarter a million people went to the Washinton D.C to register their support of the civil rights movement, carrying signs and listening to Martin Luther’s famous speech “I have a dream”. During this time they were heard, but due to peace activists in America continuing with this trend over the decades, the policy makers have become immune to such protests or demonstrations, and thus do not put any importance in such. This tends to show that protests in current time carry no meaning, hence the need to burry them, and move on to a new change of tactic.
The earlier tactics of protests in the older days were well planned, and people fought for a particular reliable, long term strategy plan i.e. to have an America with equality, freedom and inclusion. This aspect of a protest with a long-term strategy lacks in the current period. For example, the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization had protestors smashing windows of certain stores, an act that did not serve the cause for the protest. This truly shows that current protestors are operating in a vacuum just as Joseph Hart quoted.
For the current non-violence to work the movements need to have a proper strategy, plan and calm ways to reach the opponent and have a total change in the entire system. This can be seen in the case of the movement that wanted to prevent the clearing of the Canadian rain forests. The activists faced the logging company with a large protest that incorporated violence, and this led to the arrest of 1,000 people and the clearing of the trees continued. So the activists turned to other tactics to help prevent the clearing of the trees such as the launch of a creative education campaign, and well put adverts targeting the customers and the public at large. In this way, they solved the problem without having to use signs and slogans in the street. However, it can be seen that time for protests are long gone and that change to better ways to solve problems.
The advice given to the people, who want change, is that they should leave the old dog tricks, be creative and thus initiate change. This can be seen through the famous Bubble project, where Lee printed a lot of stickers in the shape of blank cartoon bubbles, after he was fed up with his trade. He did this with the intention of getting the public opinion on the matter, instead of marching around the area seeking attention. This can be seen as a creative means of attracting people’s attention, which is the, key principle in the creation of movements.
However, civilized ways to solve issues may not in all cases work. Thus, the need to incorporate violence, like in the case of Mahatma Gandhi, where the civil rights movement protesters faced police batons, savage dogs and water cannons in order to have their pleas heard. This was an effective mode of having change impacted. Thus, as the article states there are times when it is alright to fight, but it should be done creatively in order to reduce the level of damage.
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It has been said that an old puppy can not be taught new tricks. However, one can teach the puppies new tricks, thus with the current activists there is the need to adopt new, creative ways of initiating change, without having to engage in protests that include violence or carrying of signs. This was done by the older generation, and in this case, we need to adopt better means of addressing change e.g. sitting together and finding ways to solve a problem.
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