We Need a New Form of Protest
always watch intently at the public protests where large groups of people ascend on some city landmark in a show
of solidarity. Something interesting is always bound to happen and I am able to witness first hand the nature in which humankind operates in herd
Protesters and police gather under their respective ideals, something like a unified banner for hordes to fight beneath; but this ideal and all it
stands for soon takes second-seat to an ever-growing group mentality, that insatiable feeling which overcomes us in the pulsing heat of a group
frenzy. Somewhere within, emotion overwhelms reason and the memory of peace soon gives way to the instinct of a ferocious mob. Riot ensues, people get
hurt or arrested, property gets damaged and nothing gets solved. As an observer, one can witness the very shattering of dignities.
We see this rage in protesters all over the world, all too quick to run amok for their ideals. In all cases, some windows gets smashed, effigies
burnt, some people get hurt, or worse, killed, and some parks get defecated upon; but nothing changes, nothing gives way to anything new, things go on
the way they always have and everyone is left to clean up the mess and pay back the damages. Voids are quickly filled with nothing different, and any
hope for change ceases.
We know there are real
idealists within the protest striving for real
change. All honor to them. They organize, educate and raise
awareness to inflict their moralities and systems as loudly, and hopefully as peacefully, as they can.
The opposition, usually represented by the men and women of the police, do the exact same and inflict their own— or at least their superior’s
ideals—on any unsuspecting protester who happens to be in the way.
We must give some credit here to the real perpetrators of this chaos, the architects of such herd madness, the organizers and idealists in the
trenches fighting the good fight for their flags. They at least have a reason to be there.
But for every diligent and ambitious subverter of the status quo in any protest, there are at least 10 hangers on, thugs, quarter-protesters, or
spectators getting in the way, or worse, undermining and slandering the protest. Whatever the reason that set the wheels in motion—perhaps a single
act of immolation in the most powerful form of protest against tyranny—gets overwhelmed by the bungling mediocrity of these ‘protesters’ (a
label they have yet to earn). At best, these specimen are stupid, caught in the moment and possessed by the ‘collective consciousness’ of the
stampeding herd; at worst, they’re participating for the wrong reasons, maybe as an excuse to do damage, to have fun, to become a mob, or perhaps
to appease the most petty yet beautiful vanity of the human spirit—to show off, merely to appear to themselves and others as if they are capable of
being a force for change, whatever that change it may be.
Take for instance the common 'slacktivist,' the one who gives off the appearance
of someone taking a concern in real issues, but who in turn
does absolutely nothing to further the cause. He is one such perpetrator. It’s strange to see a man fingering his iPad as he protests financial
inequality, consumerism and jobs being shipped over seas. He paradoxically supports the very forces he’s fighting against in a seemingly oblivious
ignorance. His thumbs are constantly on the ‘like’ button so he can let his friends know that he is fighting the good fight. Luckily, we
incredulous minds know that he’s not there for the issue; he’s there to keep up appearances, to take part, and to let it be known that he’s a
man who tackles real
issues. These protesters should be discouraged.
Nonetheless, when the mob is unable to control their herd-mentality and all too willingly stampede at any sign of panic, the protest is no more, and
riot takes its place. This begs the questions: is this what we need to do to force dialogue on our issues? Why must we burn ourselves and our homes to
The majority of people, the ‘99%’ of seven-billion plus human souls, have the most astounding odds in any opposition I’ve ever witnessed. And to
think that with that many people, change cannot be created by force. Well the sad fact is—and most of us are afraid to admit this—the majority
doesn’t want change, not unless they’re led there by the harness.
Change cannot be forced; it needs to be cultivated. It needs to grow organically from the soil up. What are we but that soil? A new form of protest
is needed, one where nothing is destroyed and nothing lost, but created and gained.
So, dear reader, where does it begin?
edit on 8-1-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)