The biggest debates from the day was between those who think that this protest was ‘pointless’ and ‘stupid’ vs those who think that it is ‘important’ and ‘worthy’. I’m fascinated about this question – about strategies for bringing about change, and the enormous gaps between how the debate is framed by both kinds of people.
2 thoughts on “The “value” of “protest””
A practical perspective on this question would be to say that when you’re given a tableau by those with decisionmaking power whose terms are misguided, in which the public is engaged to participate, you can usually reverse the proceeding’s misguided premises by questioning the frame. For example, a government proceeding dealing with “P2P” apps, treating them as if they’re distinct as “P2P” or uniquely different from anything else on the Internet, might be reversed by relating the questions raised to a simple line like “Our Net is P2P.” A few people can effectively affect the outcome of proceedings like this by placing the legitimacy of the frame in question. You just have to be sure that the core of the frame for the proceeding is addressed by the line. This requires tailoring to the circumstances, but is a good bit more methodical and controllable than “freestanding” demonstrations. Its worth can easily be illustrated by relating the tactic to the frame of the event. The least that will happen if it’s done well, is the originally planned action which the framing of the tableau would have tended to lead toward, will either be delayed or have to be pursued in manifest contradiction with the public proceeding’s having shown the action’s illegitimacy.
That’s great advice – especially relevant in the P2P debate. Thanks, Seth.