Monday, February 25

What type of activism actually works?

I found these comments from Reddit user 'Lighting' interesting:
"...some of the largest protests ever (the pre-Iraq war) protests were not successful, the WI protests did not stop the GOP from pushing through legislation, OWS has changed nothing, etc.  
"But what HAS been successful ... 
"First: Look at what MLK did. 
"King led protest marches that were intended to get people arrested SO THAT HE COULD CHALLENGE THE LAWS IN COURT. The protests were just a means to an end. The strength of what MLK did was in boycotts and legal challenges... not the demonstrations themselves. 
"Second Look at Gandhi: 
"Gandhi's protests were things like the 'salt march' which was a boycott. In the US schools teach kids that Gandhi just had people sit around with demonstrations and get beaten and it suddenly changed people's minds. NO. It was activities that were not physically violent but where economically violent that had HUGE economic and legal impacts. Under his direction British revenues were crippled. Dropped some 40%. The guys in charge looked at their pocketbooks and said 'we're losing money, we're out of there.' That is what got stuff done. 
"US kids have been taught that the demonstrations by themselves did something. They grew up and now think that's the way to get things done. They have been misled on PURPOSE to get those same caring people to waste energy on activities which do NOT stop things. In fact I can't think of ANY demonstration in recent times that changed ANYTHING. 
"It is activities which affect the pocketbook or legal challenges which are effective. Nothing else."
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