PORTSIDE Archives

July 2018, Week 4

PORTSIDE@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG

Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show HTML Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Subject:
From:
Portside <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Date:
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 20:05:04 -0400
Content-Type:
multipart/alternative
Parts/Attachments:
text/plain (9 kB) , text/html (25 kB)
 

 		 [Long-term protests for women’s suffrage and the civil rights
movement, and against the Vietnam War captivated and defined entire
generations and altered the political landscape]
[https://portside.org/] 

 WE KNOW PROTESTS WORK. SO WHY AREN’T WE PROTESTING?  
[https://portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]


 

 Anthea Butler 
 July 24, 2018
Huffington Post
[https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-butler-protests_us_5b564158e4b0fd5c73c8127f]


	* 
	*
[https://plus.google.com/share?url=https%3A//portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]
	*
[https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A//portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]
	*
[https://twitter.com/intent/tweet/?text=We%20Know%20Protests%20Work.%20So%20Why%20Aren%E2%80%99t%20We%20Protesting%3F&url=https%3A//portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]
	* [https://portside.org/node/17755/printable/print]

 _ Long-term protests for women’s suffrage and the civil rights
movement, and against the Vietnam War captivated and defined entire
generations and altered the political landscape _ 

 The mother of a man who died in Vietnam holds up a sign protesting
U.S. involvement in the war during a demonstration in the 1970s.,
Jonathan Blair/Corbis via Getty Images 

 

As I watched the massive protests of President Donald Trump
[https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/donald-trump] and his
policies in London during his visit earlier this month, I couldn’t
help but hope that London’s fierce, festive display of resistance
would remind Americans that this is no time to feel weary.

Apart from the Women’s March on Inauguration Day and
its anniversary
[https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/protesters-gather-for-a-second-womens-march-in-nations-capital/2018/01/20/c641bf16-fdef-11e7-ad8c-ecbb62019393_story.html?utm_term=.08d87978a71f]
march this year, and the protests at airports in response to the
Muslim ban, also last year, there have been few major protests
against Trump and his policies, with the exception, perhaps, of the
June 30 demonstrations against Trump immigration policies, which drew
over 30,000 protesters
[https://www.vox.com/2018/6/18/17477376/families-belong-together-march-june-30]
in Washington, D.C., with 700 sites around the nation.

Protests work because they are a visual representation of what the
public wants from its government on the local and national level.
Protests are also part of citizenship: To protest is to exercise the
right to engage and advocate for policy changes, which is foundational
in a democratic society. Voting is important, but protest can make
policies change even after votes are cast. 

Historically, Americans are not strangers to protesting. Long-term
protests for women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement, and
against the Vietnam War captivated and defined entire generations and
altered the political landscape. In each case, organizations and
individuals fought against injustices by organizing, protesting and
pooling time and resources to the cause. Their protests gained
results: Women got the vote, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed, and the U.S. withdrew from
Vietnam in 1973. 

In the 1980s, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) took over
[https://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/11/nyregion/111-held-in-st-patrick-s-aids-protest.html]
buildings ― St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the New York Stock
Exchange ― as it engaged 
[https://www.nyclgbtsites.org/site/act-up-demonstration-at-the-new-york-stock-exchange/]in
radical protests. Now die-ins
[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/25/parkland-students-die-in-publix-nra-adam-putnam-protest]
are a regular part of protests, but radical actions like ACT UP’s
are rare. Despite the decline in violent protesting, proposed laws
[https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/rights-protesters/anti-protest-bills-around-country]
in over 20 states threaten to curb protests by promising arrests and
convictions for doing what the Constitution has guaranteed all
Americans: the right to peacefully assemble. Tennessee, Oklahoma,
North Dakota and South Dakota have been successful in passing
anti-protest laws. 

In order to drive the national conversation, we need major and
sustained national protests. Black Lives Matter protests both on local
and national levels have, for the last five years, drawn attention to
police violence against African Americans. That has not stopped the
uptick
[https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/a-year-inside-the-black-lives-matter-movement-204982/]in
police killings, but it has ensured that those killings do not go
unseen, unnoticed or unquestioned, in the U.S. and abroad.

Sustaining physical protests on a national level helps to keep issues
at the forefront of the news. In 2016 and 2017, the “Candlelight
Protests” in South Korea against then-President Park Geun-Hye are an
example of how sustained, organized protests can convey a sense of
urgency to governmental officials. These nonviolent protests rallied
the country over 100 days, and they worked: They helped to remove
President Park.  

In order to drive the national conversation, we need major and
sustained national protests.

There is a lesson to be learned from the Candelight protests:
Sustaining effective large-scale protests requires a clear symbol ―
in this case, President Park ― and a clear goal. A new book
[http://www.beacon.org/History-Teaches-Us-to-Resist-P1345.aspx],
_History Teaches Us to Resist_, by University of Pennsylvania history
professor Mary Frances Berry, chronicles how resistance and protest
through 20th century America have reshaped the political landscape.
Using the March on Washington, anti-Vietnam protests and the
anti-apartheid movement as examples, Berry writes, “it is important
to realize that resistance works, even though it does not achieve all
of the movement’s goals, and that movements are always necessary.”

There are so many issues at stake in American life at this moment: the
future of Roe v. Wade, voting rights and LGBTQ rights, to name just
three that will be affected by the confirmation of Trump’s latest
Supreme Court nominee. The stakes are high. If organizers and
protesters can focus on clear, concise issues that bring people
together for a sustained national protest over a period of time, then
we can begin to see the changes we seek, socially and politically. 

An example of sustaining momentum is the recent protest
[https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/dan-ryan-shutdown-pfleger-march-violence/]
that shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. Led by Father
Michael Pfleger, this protest had one clear theme: ending gun violence
and police brutality. The protest had clear demands for leadership to
meet with youth groups to discuss joblessness and violence. While the
violence has not ceased, Pfleger’s march added fuel to ongoing
demands for an end to violence and police brutality in Chicago.

[Thousands of activists shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway led by Rev.
Michael Pfleger from St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chica]Thousands of
activists shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway led by Rev. Michael
Pfleger from St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago on July 7. (Patrick
Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Protest and civil disobedience are the hallmarks of a democratic
society. If we lose the momentum for this in an election year by not
consistently protesting changes that are rapidly diminishing American
democracy, we may find ourselves with new laws, such as the Antifa Act
[https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/12/us/unmasking-antifa-act-trnd/index.html],
which aims to send masked anti-fascist activists to jail for 15 years.
Laws like this one are designed to keep people out of the streets to
voice their dissent, and they have a chilling effect on protest. 
Now more than ever is the time to protest. The rights of American
citizens and immigrants who want to share in our democracy are only
ensured if we continue to voice our dissent vociferously in
America’s streets. Now more than ever is a time to protest. During
the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, in the 1950s, Mother Pollard
said [https://www.biography.com/people/mother-pollard-21384881], “My
feet are tired, but my soul is rested.” 

If your feet are not tired, America’s soul will never be rested.

© 2018 Huffington Post 

	* 
	*
[https://plus.google.com/share?url=https%3A//portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]
	*
[https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A//portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]
	*
[https://twitter.com/intent/tweet/?text=We%20Know%20Protests%20Work.%20So%20Why%20Aren%E2%80%99t%20We%20Protesting%3F&url=https%3A//portside.org/2018-07-24/we-know-protests-work-so-why-arent-we-protesting]
	* [https://portside.org/node/17755/printable/print]

 

 		 

 		 

 INTERPRET THE WORLD AND CHANGE IT 

 		 

 		 

 Submit via web [https://portside.org/contact/submit_to_portside] 
 Submit via email 
 Frequently asked questions [https://portside.org/faq] 
 Manage subscription [https://portside.org/subscribe] 
 Visit portside.org [https://portside.org/]

 Twitter [https://twitter.com/portsideorg]

 Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/Portside.PortsideLabor] 

 		 

 


https://portside.org/privacy-policy

To unsubscribe, click the following link:
https://lists.portside.org/cgi-bin/listserv/wa?SUBED1=PORTSIDE


ATOM RSS1 RSS2