Protesting Works!

We’ve changed the photo for our facebook page: Progressive Action New Hampshire. To a photo we feel more appropriate to our general interest; to get people involved inside and outside of the process and society to make change.

As tribute to this photo and just because its a darn good article, we’re publishing the write-up on the blog linked to it; St. Pete for Peace which talks about the positives of the strategy of the protest.  As the article points out, the mainstream media loves to mock protesters.  Nothing works better to keep people at home than to tell them that doing otherwise makes them look foolish.  As this writer can attest, while protesting won’t solve all problems directly, the social aspect of getting people together who share similar goals and frustrations is empowering to everyone.  Even people who in the majority respond favorably to protesters by honking their horns, extending the classic rising fist out of their car windows or even stopping to ask questions; people like it when people get together for a good cause.

Of course this summary doesn’t include those actions that have taken place in New Hampshire, including the current Stamp Stampede actions, the BlackLivesMatter protests, NH Rebellion walks, bird-dogging of politicians and of course the anti-gun-nut rallies that have been held in both Manchester and Nashua.

So without further ado:

Protesting Works!

Recent history has shown that protesting can have a significant impact.  In fact, what other single method has been as effective as protesting?

Protesting (which includes marches, rallies, pickets, strikes, non-violent direct action, sit-ins, etc.) doesn’t always work, and it’s not the end all solution to every problem.  Sometimes protesting is part of the solution, and other times, protesting leads to incremental improvements.  Sometimes it’s just to bring about awareness and to build momentum.  Protesting is also a way to let off steam, and to be around like minded people.

Protesting Works!

The establishment has perpetuated the myth that protesting doesn’t work because they want to deter people from doing it.  People in power must love it when activists take the bait and say that protesting doesn’t work.

Here are some recent examples where protesting has worked:

2014

  • May 7 – Stanford Divests: Student-Led Movement Forces Elite School to Pull Its Money from Coal Companies.
  • May 5 – “War Criminals Shouldn’t Be Honored”: Rutgers Students Nix Condoleezza Rice from Commencement Speech.

2013

  • Sept. 12 – SYRIA: Peace Pushes Back: How the People Won Out (For Now).
  • June 19 – Protests in Brazil force lawmakers to reverse an increase in bus and subway fares.
  • Feb. 20 – Widespread Austerity Protests Push Bulgarian Government to Resign.
    ‘I can’t watch as fences go up around Parliament,’ resigning PM states.
  • Jan. 17 – Pakistan Gives in to Protesters, Agrees to Early Elections.

2012

  • Sept. 21 – In Quebec It’s Official: Mass Movement Leads to Victory for Students. Naomi Klein: ‘This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked. They can win.’
  • Sept. 7 – Quebec’s students sustained action over tuition fees helped defeat Quebec’s Liberal government.
  • July 28 – Chinese protesters force officials to cancel industrial waste pipeline project.
  • May 14 – Palestinian Prisoners Score Heroic Victory.
  • Feb 6 – Romania’s Prime Minister resigns over austerity protests.
  • Jan. 22 – Libya Protests Spur Shake-Up in Interim Government.
  • Jan. 19 – SOPA bill shelved after global protests from Google, Wikipedia and others.

2011

  • Nov. 28 – Kuwait’s cabinet resigns amid ‘unprecedented’ protest against corruption.
  • Nov. 27 – Protests lead to a new constitution in Morocco; moderate Islamist Party wins elections (protesters aren’t satisfied, but this is a work in progress).
  • Nov. 21Egypt’s Cabinet submits resignation amid protests, violence.
  • Oct 23Portland high schools set to permit anti-war protesters to recruit students alongside the military.
  • Sept. 22 – By an incredible 99 percent YES vote, Tacoma teachers have ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Tacoma School Board. The ratification vote ends Tacoma teachers’ 10-day strike.
  • July 25 – Protests halt gold mining in El Salvador.
  • July 11 –  Egypt’s deputy PM resigns amid protests.
  • July 1 –  A day of victory in Palestine: Bil’in celebrates the removal of the wall after nearly seven years of resistance and struggle of the residents of Bil’in.
  • June 24 – Senegal drops new law amid protests.
  • Feb. 16 – Japan halts whaling hunt amid protests.
  • Feb. 14 – Puerto Rican University President Resigns in Wake of Student Protests.
  • Feb. 6 – George W. Bush cancels trip to Switzerland amid calls for protests & war crimes investigation.

2010

  • June 11 – Peace Groups Permanently Shut Down Army Experience Center in Philadelphia.
  • April 9 – Protesters in Kyrgyzstan oust Government.

2009

  • June 19 – Peru Indians victory over foreign companies’ exploitation. At least 34 people died during weeks of strikes against the legislation, which was eventually revoked.
  • April 11 – Thai protests cancel Asian summit.
  • March 25 – The Czech government collapsed after a no confidence vote in parliament.  For peace activists in the Czech Republic it is a great victory: they said the only way to stop the installation of a US radar base was the fall of the government.  The defeat was a huge embarrassment for the Czech Prime Minister, coming just days before a planned visit by President Barack Obama and midway through the Czech Republic’s six month European Union presidency.
  • Feb. 19 – Latvia’s government collapsed following violent demonstrations in the capital Riga in protest of the government’s handling of the financial crisis and steep IMF imposed cutbacks.
  • Jan. 26 – Iceland’s ruling coalition resigned three months after the collapse of the country’s currency, stock market and several major banks, and following months of public protests.

2007

  • Dec. 24 – Nepal ends its Monarchy after years of Maoist struggle.

2006

  • Oct. 30 – The president of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC was removed after days of protests and sleepouts.
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