Can Riots/Public Demonstrations Bring Change? A demonstration is an action by a group of people in favor of a political or other cause. It normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint to hear speakers. Actions such as blockades and sit-ins may also be referred to as demonstrations. Demonstrations can be violent or nonviolent. Nonviolent demonstrations can turn into violent demonstrations depending on the circumstances. Demonstrations are used around the world to take a stand on issues that the public find important.
Demonstrations allow a person’s voice to be heard. These demonstrations range from civil rights marches against discrimination to demonstrations supporting nuclear disarmament. Demonstrations can make a very real difference in changing policies and laws. Demonstrations allow people to come together to stand up against oppression from governments and can prove to be a very effective way of promoting change. A demonstration is one of many tactics which are needed to challenge existing power structures and bring progressive change.
When combined with media support, public opinion, and voting power demonstration plays a crucial role in change. Demonstrations can bring change because it increases the visibility of a cause and raises awareness. Demonstrations capture the attention of bystanders, politicians, and the media, attaching an issue to real people and consequently inviting persuasion and change. A protest, regardless of size, will almost always make at least one person see the cause with new eyes. Demonstration events can take all kinds of forms. Depending on your goal, different movements can be just as powerful in promoting change as demonstrations.
Whether it’s taking part in a vigil, participating in a walkout, agreeing to wear a specific color or symbol, or even getting people to turn off their lights for an hour, the message is the same: something is wrong and we’re ready to do something about it. (Head “Why Protest Events Are Not a Waste of Time) Demonstrations exhibit power. In March of 2013 schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced she wanted to close 54 schools and 61 school buildings come June (FitzPatrick and Dudek “Protesters block downtown streets over school closings”).
A large a group of people planned a demonstration over the closing of public schools. The Chicago Police officially put the crowds at 700 to 900 people, though a police department source at the scene estimated it at about 2,000 around the time the crowd began moving to City Hall (FitzPatrick and Dudek “Protesters block downtown streets over school closings”). Not only did public school officials but families and students, who are upset with the school closing, rallied together downtown in hopes to save the schools from being closed.
We wanted to make a statement about our schools closing that people would remember and hope more people will decide to get involved (FitzPatrick and Dudek “Protesters block downtown streets over school closings”). This demonstration was held in hopes to change the view of those who are intending to close the schools. They want people to understand the need to keep the m open. A demonstration like this does not bring change immediately but hopefully over time the change will happen. There have been many demonstrations in many states to legalize gay marriage. The demonstrations did not have an immediate impact.
However, over time, these demonstrations have persuaded law makers to legalize gay marriages in many states. The demonstrations in other states and in our own city have made law makers reevaluate whether gay marriage should be allowed. When large numbers of people take to the streets in protest, politicians and other key decision-makers take notice. They don’t always act, but they notice. Demonstrations promote a sense of solidarity. You may or may not feel like part of the movement even if you happen to agree with it. It is one thing to support same-sex marriage in the comfort of your own home.
It is another thing entirely to pick up a picket sign and support it in public to stand together with others to represent a movement. Demonstrations make the cause feel more real to participants. Demonstrations put warm bodies and heavy feet out there representing an issue, taking up real space and real time, attaching the cause to real faces and real voices who care enough about the cause to go out there (Head “Why Protest Events Are Not a Waste of Time). A successful demonstration energizes participants. It causes people to get excited over their cause. People feel as though their voices are being heard.
Demonstrations make people feel proud and good about themselves because they took a stand on an issue. A good demonstration has an almost religious effect on people, charging their batteries and inspiring them to get up and fight again another day (Head “Why Protest Events Are Not a Waste of Time). The religious effect is very helpful to the demonstrators giving them a reason to fight for their cause. It is very helpful for veteran activists because it gives them a second wind which is just as helpful to the cause. It is when demonstrations become violent that change does not happen.
When demonstrations become violent they are know to be riots. A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, people, or property. Riots often occur in reaction to a grievance. Riots typically involve vandalism and the destruction of private and public property. The specific property to be targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings.
During the 1992 Los Angeles, 2,383 people were injured, 8,000 were arrested, 51 were killed and over 700 businesses burned. Property damage was estimated at over 1 billion dollars. Of the 51 killed, at least ten of them were shot by police or National Guard forces (“Riots erupt in Los Angeles”). The effects of riots in terms of economic and political consequences are as complex as the socioeconomic origins of such events (“Riots erupt in Los Angeles”). Widespread property destruction and harm to individuals are often measurable effects. Riots do not help to change any cause because of the violence and the damage that is left behind.
After a riot is under control there can be many people hurt, even dead. Buildings can be burned and the damage left behind can be devastating. Riots attract attention of the media and politicians to demand a change. People riot to get there voices heard but in a violence manner that brings them negative attention. This is when their voices do not get heard. People only focus their attention on the destruction left from a riot. Riots are a type of demonstration that usually don’t cause change because of the negative attention that comes with it.
Riots take away from a cause and are no way to solve a problem or fight for cause. Riots bring attention to the actions of the people not the message they were trying to get across. In conclusion demonstrations can cause change. Demonstrators may organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy. A demonstration can attract attention to a certain issue that people feel that needs to be changed or stopped. When combined with media and public opinion demonstrations can play a role in change.
It brings attention to issues that people feel that need to be changed. Demonstrations can help with change overtime. Demonstrations help to keep the attention focused at the matter on hand. The media notices when a demonstration happens. The public takes notice when a demonstration happens. Politicians notice when a demonstration happens. If the demonstration is staged well, it will make somebody look at the cause with new eyes. Demonstrations are not persuasive in and of themselves, but they invite persuasion. They invite change. “Riots erupt in Los Angeles. ” 2013.
The History Channel website. Apr 9 2013, 12:06 ;http://www. history. com/this-day-in-history/riots-erupt-in-los-angeles. htm;. Dudek, Mitch and FitzPatrick, Lauren. “Protesters block downtown streets over school closings. ” March 27, 2013. The Sun-Times website. Apr 9 2013, 12:15 ;http://www. suntimes. com/news/education/protesters-block-downtown-streets-over-school-closings. htm; Head, Tom. “Why Protest Events Are Not a Waste of Time. ” 2013. The About. Com website. Apr 9 2013 1:05 ttp://www. about. com/civilliberty/od/historyprofiles/tp/Why-Protest. htm;.