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What is Peaceful Protest?

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posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:33 PM
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This term gets bandied about in this site quite often, sometimes used to justify actions that are hardly peaceful. Obstructing a right of way, for example, as a form of protest is not peaceful protest, it is merely protest, yet too many will take such an action and declare it peace. How are we ever going to achieve peace if we can not even agree what it is?

Protest definition


pro·test (pr-tst, pr-, prtst) v. pro·test·ed, pro·test·ing, pro·tests v.tr.

1. To object to, especially in a formal statement. See Synonyms at object.
2. To promise or affirm with earnest solemnity: "He continually protested his profound respect" (Frank Norris).
3. Law To declare (a bill) dishonored or refused.
4. Archaic To proclaim or make known: "unrough youths that even now/Protest their first of manhood" (Shakespeare). v.intr. 1. To express strong objection. 2. To make an earnest avowal or affirmation. n. (prtst)

1. A formal declaration of disapproval or objection issued by a concerned person, group, or organization.
2. An individual or collective gesture or display of disapproval.
3. Law a. A formal statement drawn up by a notary for a creditor declaring that the debtor has refused to accept or honor a bill. b. A formal declaration made by a taxpayer stating that the tax demanded is illegal or excessive and reserving the right to contest it.


Peaceful Protest definition


peace·ful (psfl) adj.
1. Undisturbed by strife, turmoil, or disagreement; tranquil. See Synonyms at calm.
2. Inclined or disposed to peace; peaceable.
3. Of or characteristic of a condition of peace.


I do not offer these definitions as some definitive answer to the question, merely as a guide by which to begin this discussion.




posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:40 PM
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Peaceful protest is a waste of time unless enough do so to disrupt the operations of whatever is being protested against.
If enough do not, it is a waste of time. Even if enough people do, they may find that they only received empty promises for their effort. Thus, you cannot abandon your civic duty to participate in public affairs, you must be prepared to return to the scene of the crime so to speak with broom and dustpan.
A pissed off minority can accomplish a lot as well as we are seeing with the internet bloggers. TPTB are noticing and the war is on.
We will see I suppose if peaceful protest does any good, and if "enough" people truly care on way or the other.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by SurrealisticPillow
 





Peaceful protest is a waste of time unless enough do so to disrupt the operations of whatever is being protested against.


How would that disruption of operations be counted as peaceful?

I am of the mind that "peaceful protest" is really just a limp wristed way of admitting helplessness and that there are stronger forms of protest. That is not to say I advocate violence, only that protest is a sort of passive aggressive action.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:44 PM
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A peaceful protest to me is not playing their game. Non violent lack of participation.

If you want to protest the TV, don't watch it, and especially don't give them your money for it.
If you want to protest against Monsanto or any Food related corp., don't buy their foods.
Just a couple examples.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by JibbyJedi
A peaceful protest to me is not playing their game. Non violent lack of participation.

If you want to protest the TV, don't watch it, and especially don't give them your money for it.
If you want to protest against Monsanto or any Food related corp., don't buy their foods.
Just a couple examples.


I can go along with that. If peaceful protest is synonymous with non-acquiescence to tyranny then I retract my criticisms of peaceful protest being nothing more than a limp writsted admission of helplessness and in re-evaluation consider such an action an important strategy when dealing with tyrants.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


3. Law To declare (a bill) dishonored or refused.

So, when protesting, presumably this is the point we are trying to achieve? Does such a Law exist though? I am not an American so can't help much on that but the point of protesting (presumably in sufficient numbers and obviously peacefully) should have the effect if dissolving law or legislation?
edit on 29/1/12 by LightSpeedDriver because: Typos, grammar



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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I think its a bit of an oxymoron in todays world. I guess a 'peacefull protest' in todays world means that you apply for a permit and if it is granted you can gather in a public space with your clever sign and walk up and down chanting lame slogans to nobody and achieving not much at all.

Protesting is like voting. They have become obselete in my opinion.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

A strike is a form of peaceful protest. Of course, they can turn violent. Occasionally you have to unite your brothers and make a statement and negotiate a settlement.
If your adversary brings a gun, well you go back home and bring something other than a handmade sign. In fact, that is how the government appears to want to deal with protests.
We should pursue other forms of peaceful protest if marching with signs doesn't work, if we do not wish to resort to violence. Of course, no sane person wants to resort to violence. But, if your back is literally against the wall? We generally act like cornered animals in those cases, I think.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


3. Law To declare (a bill) dishonored or refused.

So, when protesting, presumably this is the point we are trying to achieve? Does such a Law exist though? I am not an American so can't help much on that but surely if the point of protesting (presumably in sufficient numbers and obviously peacefully) should have the effect if dissolving law or legislation?


It matters not what nation you hale from, law is law. Legislation is not law anymore than a map is the territory.

That said, in the United States government indoctrination centers that most like to call "schools" our children our "taught" that there are three ways to "make law", through the legislative process, then the executive signing of "law" and/or judge "made" law. However, what is not taught in the government indoctrination centers is jury nullification.

A jury can be so repulsed by legislation that they can render a verdict of not guilty even if under the act of legislation it is undeniable that the accused is "guilty".

Non-acquiescence to legislation is yet another way to get that legislation repealed or nullified.

in our government indoctrination centers, including the main stream media, the vaunted Ronald Regan is credited with bringing down the Soviet empire. This is just a silly American fantasy. The reality is that the Russians, largely through non-acquiescence, brought down the Soviet Union.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by SurrealisticPillow
 





A strike is a form of peaceful protest.


Presumably you mean a labor strike. I get that Marxist ideology (quite philosophical in its nature by the way) dictates that labor strikes are "peaceful" but this is predicated on the notion that no one has the right to quite actually "strike" these strikers for striking. Their disruption of business is hardly peaceful, it is just that Marxist ideology dictates that the disruption against the owners of a business is irrelevant and their rights don't matter.

If a laborer wants to protest peacefully that laborer has the absolute right to walk away from the job he, or she, is clearly not happy with.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:03 PM
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Then, according strictly to definition, truly peaceful protest (in this instance) is not possible simply because it will--in some form or fashion--inadvertently disrupt (or inconvenience) something that it was not intended to disrupt or inconvenience, thereby making it a protest. Protesting TV by not watching it is one thing, but protesting actions of government in order to institute change is quite another, and cannot, under these definitions, ever be anything but not peaceful

Of course, as you posted, we have the definitions with which to deal: what is peace(ful)? Does peace not include disruption or obstruction, or simply not violent or resistance?

Personal note: I am of the opinion that for protest to be truly effective it must disrupt something, to bring attention to the matter. I am also of the opinion that peaceful includes (to a degree) disruption without violence.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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There is no such thing as peaceful protesting or "protesting" for that matter.


"Protesting" means you're being combative, which means you're an enemy combatant. And we know what happens to enemy combatants.


So don't attempt to "protest" or be combative. Just accept what is going on, otherwise you're essentially a terrorist. Do not attempt to resist, just passively accept your situation, and you won't be thrown in guantanamo.

I saw this one person talking about protesting, but he was blocking the publics path. For god sakes, if you stand in the sidewalk while protesting and you're blocking peoples paths on the sidwalk, you're an enemy combatant, and bean bags, tear gas, and rubber bullets are coming your way.

USA! USA! USA!!!!



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:10 PM
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Beware the fury of a patient man. -Dryden

At some point, when peaceful protest ceases to be noticed, those who've
been quiet the longest, will fight the hardest.. -Me



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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My personal interpretation of peaceful protest (assembly) is that the intent of the protest be peaceful; not the actions that occur during the protest.

It's all about the intent of the protest; not the outcome of the protest.

If "peaceful protest" were outcome based, then ANY protest could be constitutionally shutdown by the actions of a few agent provocateurs; which would make our right to protest meaningless and even more worthless.

If "peaceful protest" is intent based, then protest with peaceful intent can not be constitutionally shut down due to the actions of a few agent provocateurs; rather they could only be shut down if the original intent of the protest was not of a peaceful nature.

Example 1: If I wanted to protest government corruption; with peaceful intent; it is protected by the constitution, even if it turns non-peaceful.

Example 2: If I wanted to rally a protest to overthrow the government; well, that is not peaceful intent. Thus, not allowed under the constitution, even if the protest itself was peaceful.

I feel that this is the proper interpretation of "peaceful assembly", as our forefathers would not have given us a right, only to allow it to be stripped away by a few bad apples.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by Liquesence
 





Personal note: I am of the opinion that for protest to be truly effective it must disrupt something, to bring attention to the matter. I am also of the opinion that peaceful includes (to a degree) disruption without violence.


Disrupt definition:


dis·rupt (ds-rpt) tr.v. dis·rupt·ed, dis·rupt·ing, dis·rupts
1. To throw into confusion or disorder: Protesters disrupted the candidate's speech.
2. To interrupt or impede the progress, movement, or procedure of: Our efforts in the garden were disrupted by an early frost.
3. To break or burst; rupture.


Violence definition


vi·o·lence (v-lns) n.
1. Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing: crimes of violence.
2. The act or an instance of violent action or behavior.
3. Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado. \
4. Abusive or unjust exercise of power.
5. Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.
6. Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor.


Again these are merely definitions offered by which to guide us.

My little boy, when he was two years old, had no concept of peaceful protest. The term "the terrible two's" was not invented by he, although he seemed to fully embrace its concept in between being the sweetest kid on the planet. When he protested at that age it was disruptive. He would throw things, he would hit, he would scream.

At some point he figured out that this form of protest was hardly in his best interest and he, being a chip off the old block, realized that a soft sigh, an exaggerated roll of the eyes, and non-acquiescence was far more effective. Sigh. Damn bloody brilliant kid.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

Hmm, but surely jury nullification (I had to google it) is a case by case deliberate non-adherance to some law rather than getting that law removed?

In your next scenario, how would my non-acquiescence help? Surely I would first need to be arrested, charged, processed in a court and hope for a jury of like-minded individuals? I could be grossly missing the point and am not doing so deliberately but I don't see how that would help with a lot of what "the 99'ers" want to see changed.

Yes, I totally get the Cold War thing. The effects were felt in the UK quite strongly too over the years. Maggie became almost a regular figure with Ronnie, sucking up his nuclear missiles. I think it was around that time that British political sentiment became very pro-US although I could be wrong on that.

I'm not a law buff but I read on wikipedia that Holland (where I now live) is a civil law country and not a common law one.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:18 PM
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reply to post by LightSpeedDriver
 


Non-acquiescence, particularly when practiced en masse, does not require being arrested and tried. Indeed, there is just not enough law enforcement personnel and prisons to deal with non-acquiescence on that level.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

A strike is usually associated with refusing to perform labor to get "demands" as it were. It is a form of peaceful protest. As part of a group, one may decide to stay at home.
In fact, refusal to work is a very common form of protest among the self-employed. For example, a contractor that provides a potential customer a bid, but is offered much less. If not adequate, the contractor "stays home".
I think if we are talking about protesting a tyrannical government or agency, then there would naturally be many different ways and levels of government tyranny, and thus, many different ways to counter that without violence were one to use the brain rather than the brawn.
Great thread. "Philosophical" poke noted, and taken in good humor.



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

Thanks for the clarification. Has the question now, at least slightly maybe, not become "How do we get a large enough group of people to protest in a cohesive and effective way?"? 1/4 of the population to protest, in all cities everywhere? Would that not just elicit a knee-jerk reaction from the state, placatory and conceding...until they just go about business as usual?



posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by Liquesence
 





Personal note: I am of the opinion that for protest to be truly effective it must disrupt something, to bring attention to the matter. I am also of the opinion that peaceful includes (to a degree) disruption without violence.


Disrupt definition:


dis·rupt (ds-rpt) tr.v. dis·rupt·ed, dis·rupt·ing, dis·rupts
1. To throw into confusion or disorder: Protesters disrupted the candidate's speech.
2. To interrupt or impede the progress, movement, or procedure of: Our efforts in the garden were disrupted by an early frost.
3. To break or burst; rupture.


Violence definition


vi·o·lence (v-lns) n.
1. Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing: crimes of violence.
2. The act or an instance of violent action or behavior.
3. Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado.
4. Abusive or unjust exercise of power.
5. Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.
6. Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor.


Again these are merely definitions offered by which to guide us.

My little boy, when he was two years old, had no concept of peaceful protest. The term "the terrible two's" was not invented by he, although he seemed to fully embrace its concept in between being the sweetest kid on the planet. When he protested at that age it was disruptive. He would throw things, he would hit, he would scream.

At some point he figured out that this form of protest was hardly in his best interest and he, being a chip off the old block, realized that a soft sigh, an exaggerated roll of the eyes, and non-acquiescence was far more effective. Sigh. Damn bloody brilliant kid.



Not every point must be met for the definition to apply. It is certainly possible to disrupt without violence, even though disrupting might sometimes include violence. Violence however, almost always includes disruption. By the definition of violence above, each of those points is certainly disruptive, and "violent." Every point under disruption is not violent. Confusion, disorder, impediment are not violent in themselves, but they could become or contain violence, though violence is not required.

Throwing things is certainly not peaceful. However, if your child wants to "protest," and he, say, sat in front of the TV blocking your view and refusing to move on command, that is not violent, but disruptive. I would go so far as to saw that is peaceful, albeit disruptive. It gets your attention, which would likely not be the case of he sat against a wall where you were not inconvenienced.

ETA:

But now we return to the OP: What is peace(ful)? Ideally, in a peaceful society there would not be any disruption, so a protest that disrupts something is disordered and therefore not peaceful. And since protest will always disrupt something in some form or fashion...

Once again, according to our definition(s), peaceful protest is, then, not possible.

edit on 29-1-2012 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)




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