Naomi Wolf: When Protest is Effective and When it is Not

| Strategize!

Above: Protesters block street in Los Angeles, screen shot from ABC News.

A portion of a presentation by Naomi Wolf about her research on protests — when they are effective and when they are not.  She describes how we have to stop the normal course of business or as she says “stop traffic.”  She also points out how protest is being regulated to ineffectiveness.  The permit process, the First Amendment Zones and the police regulating where protest is allowed.  Wolf points out it is important to violate those rules, break the law and expand our rights to Freedom of Speech, Right to Association and right to petition the government for grievances.  Looking at history in the U.S. and around the world, protest that works does not obey the limits of the law or allow police to regulate them.  The express their human right to speak out and assemble whether or not they operate within the law. They go out and stop traffic by blockading buildings, pipeline builders or frackers seeking to drill, they sit-in as part of a strike or take over the office of a president of a university, or they go into the street to march, whether or not allowed or use so many other tactics that stop business as usual.

  • Yup, good points. These days if you protest in my home town the police surround the protest with barriers that are too high to see over & which completely obscure all of the protest from the public’s view, enclosing you in a little bubble. They then keep you there for hours longer than you wanted to be there, so as to discourage further protest.

  • jimprues

    Naomi’s awesome. Here’s a platform for future efforts as well…

  • Daniel Colbert

    She can protest on my street and block my traffic whenever she wants J/S…..LOL

    In all seriousness though she is right. It’s not like MLK was allowed to protest in Alabama.

  • Lavinia Rojas

    The thing is .. people are Not going to travel from other countries or another city for a street protest. Hence, online campaigns couple with street protest are much better that “Just” street protests. Governments care how other countries view them. Except, China, North Korea, etc ..