Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to protest successfully

Many people are showing up at Trump rallies to show their opposition.  However, their actions often just rile up the Trump supporters.  A much more effective tactic would be to show up and do nothing.  A quiet audience is the worst possible insult to the likes of Donald Trump.

By wearing anti-Trump T-shirts or carrying anti-Trump signs, protesters just energize the Trump supporters.  But if a large part of his audience never applauded, never jeered, but just remained quiet, Trump wouldn’t know what to do, nor would many of his supporters.

Passive resistance like this can defuse many situations and make those who are the targets of the resistance feel very uncomfortable and unsure of their own positions.

I was very disappointed when Occupy Wall Street changed from lots of people carrying signs to a few people camping out in public spaces.  These squatters generated more antipathy than sympathy.

When somebody is shot, whether by police or by a bad guy shooting a cop, riots or demonstrations are not the answer.  Riots reduce the sympathy for the victim, and even distract from getting justice.  The best possible response is flowers at the site of the shooting.

Gandhi and King led the way on non-violent protest.  We dishonor them by even unduly disruptive behavior.